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Amison v. Stiles

United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division

June 29, 2018

WILLIAM AMISON, Plaintiff,
v.
BRETT STILES, et. al., Defendants.

          OPINION AND ORDER OF SUMMARY DISMISSAL

          TERRENCE G. BERG, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         I. Introduction

         The Plaintiff, William Amison, presently confined at the Jackson County Jail in Jackson, Michigan, has filed a pro se civil rights complaint. Dkt. 1. For the reasons stated below, the Court will dismiss the complaint without prejudice.

         II. Standard of Review

         On June 21, 2018, this Court granted Plaintiff's Application to Proceed without Prepaying Fees or Costs pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a). Dkt 4. Section 1915(e)(2)(B) provides that the court shall dismiss a case brought by a litigant proceeding in forma pauperis at any time if the court determines that the action or appeal is, inter alia, frivolous or malicious. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(i).

         A complaint is frivolous if it lacks an arguable basis in law or fact. Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 325 (1989); see also Denton v. Hernandez, 504 U.S. 25, 32 (1992). Sua sponte dismissal is appropriate if the complaint lacks an arguable basis when filed. McGore v. Wrigglesworth, 114 F.3d 601, 612 (6th Cir. 1997); Goodell v. Anthony, 157 F.Supp.2d 796, 799 (E.D. Mich. 2001).

         III. Analysis

         Plaintiff's complaint indicates that he is a pretrial detainee who has been charged with criminal offenses related to a heroin overdose death and first-degree criminal sexual conduct. Dkt. 1. Petitioner's criminal case is currently pending in the Jackson Circuit Court.[1] Plaintiff claims that he has been the victim of police and prosecutorial misconduct. See Dkt. 1. Plaintiff also contends that the police violated his Fourth Amendment rights in the search and seizure of his vehicle, and that three civilian witnesses gave false statements and testimony. See Id. He asserts that he has already been tried once, but the jury was unable to reach a verdict. Plaintiff seeks monetary damages and “to be released from jail, due to the state not having a case against me.” Dkt. 1, at 8.

         IV. Discussion

         Plaintiff's complaint is subject to summary dismissal under Younger v. Harris, 401 U.S. 37, 45 (1971). In Younger, the United States Supreme Court held that federal courts should not enjoin pending state criminal proceedings except in a “very unusual circumstance” where an injunction is necessary to prevent “both great and immediate” irreparable injury. See Id. The cost, anxiety, and inconvenience of a defendant having to defend against a single criminal prosecution cannot be considered in itself to constitute irreparable injury. Instead, the threat to a state criminal defendant's federally protected rights must be one that “cannot be eliminated by his defense against a single criminal prosecution.” Id. at 46. The holding in Younger was based on principles of equity and upon the “more vital consideration” of the principles of comity and federalism. Id. at 44. Thus, in cases in which a criminal defendant is seeking to enjoin ongoing state court proceedings- whether they be criminal, civil, or administrative-federal courts should not exercise jurisdiction, but should instead dismiss the case in its entirety. Kish v. Michigan State Bd. of Law Examiners, 999 F.Supp. 958, 965 (E.D. Mich. 1998) (internal citations omitted).

         A three-factor test applies in determining whether the Younger abstention doctrine should apply:

1. are there pending or ongoing state judicial proceedings;
2. do these proceedings implicate important state interests; and
3. is there an adequate opportunity in the state proceedings to raise ...

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