United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Tacoma
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
W. CHRISTEL UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
Dated: August 23, 2019 Plaintiff Donald W. Rownan, proceeding
pro se, filed this civil rights complaint pursuant
to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. After reviewing
Plaintiff's Amended Complaint, the Court finds Plaintiff
has failed to state a claim and has failed to adequately
respond to the Court's Order to Show Cause. Therefore,
the Court recommends this action be dismissed and all pending
motions, including the Motion for Leave to Proceed In
Forma Pauperis (Dkt. 1), be denied as moot.
Amended Complaint, Plaintiff, who is housed at the Olympic
Corrections Center, alleges Defendants - Pierce County
Prosecutors Kathleen Oliver, Frank Krall, and Scott Petters -
violated his Fourteenth Amendment right to due process by
“wrongfully and unlawfully imprison[ing]” him.
Dkt. 8, p. 5. Specifically, Plaintiff alleges Defendants kept
him incarcerated despite another person being convicted of
the crime Plaintiff was alleged to have committed. Dkt. 8,
pp. 4-5. Plaintiff alleges he should have been released
“pending investigation” but was instead
incarcerated on the charges from December 25, 2015 until
April 5, 2016. Id. Plaintiff seeks monetary damages
for his alleged wrongful imprisonment. Id. at pp.
11, 2019, the Court screened Plaintiff's Complaint and
found it was deficient. See Dkt. 3. The Court
ordered Plaintiff to correct the deficiencies in the
Complaint by July 11, 2019. Id. After the Court
granted Plaintiff an extension of time, Plaintiff filed the
Amended Complaint on July 22, 2019. Dkt. 7, 8.
the Prison Litigation Reform Act of 1995, the Court is
required to screen complaints brought by prisoners seeking
relief against a governmental entity or officer or employee
of a governmental entity. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). The
Court must “dismiss the complaint, or any portion of
the complaint, if the complaint: (1) is frivolous, malicious,
or fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted;
or (2) seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune
from such relief.” Id. at (b); 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915(e)(2); see Barren v. Harrington, 152
F.3d 1193 (9th Cir. 1998).
Failure to State a Claim
Amended Complaint, Plaintiff named three Pierce County
Prosecutors as Defendants. See Dkt. 8, p. 3.
Prosecutors are entitled to absolute immunity from liability
for damages under § 1983. Imbler v. Pachtman,
424 U.S. 409, 427 (1976). Prosecutorial immunity protects a
prosecutor who “acts within his or her authority and in
a quasi-judicial capacity.” Asheleman v. Pope,
793 F.2d 1072, 1076 (9th Cir. 1986) (citing Imbler,
424 U.S. at 430-31). “Such immunity applies even if it
leaves ‘the genuinely wronged defendant without civil
redress against a prosecutor whose malicious or dishonest
action deprives him of liberty.'” Id.
(quoting Imbler, 424 U.S. at 427). As Defendants
have immunity, Plaintiff has failed to state a claim against
them and his claims cannot proceed.
Plaintiff fails to clearly identify how any of the Defendants
allegedly violated his rights, or clearly state the alleged
wrongdoing of each Defendant. He provides only generalized
statements alleging Defendants unlawfully incarcerated him
after another person admitted to a crime and that he
“should have been released . . . pending
investigation.” See Dkt. 8, p. 5.
Without properly alleging actions each Defendant took which
violated his rights, Plaintiff has failed to state a claim
for which relief can be granted in this action. See
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (the
pleading must be more than an “unadorned,
Jones v. Community Development Agency, 733 F.2d 646,
649 (9th Cir. 1984) (vague and mere conclusory allegations
unsupported by facts are not sufficient to state section 1983
Statute of Limitations
Complaint, Plaintiff alleges he was wrongfully imprisoned
from December 25, 2015 until April 5, 2016. Dkt. 8, p. 5.
complaint must be timely filed. The Civil Rights Act, 42
U.S.C. § 1983, contains no statute of limitations.
“Thus, the federal courts  apply the applicable
period of limitations under state law for the jurisdiction in
which the claim arose.” Rose v. Rinaldi, 654
F.2d 546, 547 (9th Cir. 1981). In Rose, the Ninth
Circuit determined the three-year limitations period
identified in Revised Code of Washington 4.16.080(2) is the
applicable statute of limitations for § 1983 cases in
Washington. 654 F.2d at 547; see R.C.W. §
Court also applies the forum state's law regarding
equitable tolling for actions arising under § 1983.
Jones v. Blanas, 393 F.3d 918, 927 (9th Cir. 2004).
In Washington, courts permit equitable tolling “when
justice requires.” Millay v. Cam, 135 Wash.2d
193, 206 (1998). “The predicates for equitable tolling
are bad faith, deception, or false assurances by the
defendant and the exercise of diligence by the
plaintiff.” Id. Courts “typically permit
equitable tolling to occur only sparingly, and should not
extend it to a garden variety claim of excusable
neglect.” State v. Robinson, 104 Wash.App.
657, 667 (2001) (internal quotations omitted). Washington
State also allows for a ...