United States District Court, D. Maryland
J. HAZEL UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
above-captioned cases, filed by Bradford Lesley Tilghman, a
self-represented pretrial detainee, seek his release from
confinement, dismissal of state criminal charges pending
against him, expungement of his record, and monetary damages.
ECF No. 1. Plaintiff has also filed motions for leave to
proceed in forma pauperis, ECF No. 2, which shall be granted.
The complaints are filed against the same
defendants/respondents, raise identical claims, arise from
the same event, and seek identical relief. As such,
consolidation for the purposes of review is appropriate.
alleges he was denied his rights under the Fourth and
Fourteenth Amendments when he was arrested, released, and
tien rearrested on the same charges. Id. He claims
"hat under Maryland law the second arrest was
impermissible and that the first arrest should have been
expunged from his records. Id. Additionally, he
alleges in Civil Action No. GJH-lS-f 78, that Assistant
State's Attorney Kendra Hayward and defense attorney Art
Mcffadden conspired to "read the wrong law to the
judge" resulting in his continued confinement. ECF No.
He reasserts his claim that his arrest, release, and rearrest
were improper. Id. Plaintiff is currently confined
in the Queene Anne's County Detention Center awaiting
trial on criminal charges pending against him which are the
subject of the instant cases. ECF No. 1; see also
Maryand Judiciary Case Search, State v. Tilghman,
Case Nos. C19CR17000269 and C19CR17000545, Circuit Court for
Somerset County, Maryland.
Heck v. Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477, 487 (1994), the
Supreme Court held that ckims challenging the legality of a
conviction are not cognizable in a 42 U.S.C. § 1983
action urisss and until the conviction is reversed, expunged,
invalidated, or impugned and complaints containing such
claims must therefore be dismissed without prejudice. See
also Edwards v. Balisok, 520 U.S. 641, 645 (1997)
(Heck precludes claims that necessarily imply the
invalidir/ of the judgment). These cases were filed as civil
rights actions. To the extent Plaintiff sseks monetary
damages, his claims for damages cannot be entertained by this
court as he has no; yet stood trial in his criminal case.
for the reasons that follow, Plaintiff's claims against
prosecutors Garner and Hayward, and defense attorney
Mcffadden are individually subject to dismissal.
attorneys are quasi-judicial officers who enjoy absolute
immunity when performing prosecutorial, as opposed to
investigative or administrative functions. See Imbler v.
Pachtman, 424 U.S. 409 422-23 (1976). Absolute immunity
is designed to protect judicial process, thus the
inquiry is whether prosecutor's actions are closely
associated with judicial process. See Burns v. Reed,
500 U.S. 478, 479 (1991) (citing Imbler, 424 U.S. at
423-23). The decision as to "whether and when to
prosecute' is "quasi-judicial, " therefore,
defendants Garner and Hayward enjoy absolute immunity under
the facts alleged by Plaintiff. See Lyles v. Sparks,
79 F.3d 372 377 (4th Cir. 1996).
Plaintiff's defense attorney, Mcffadden, privately
retained attorneys do not act under color of state law even
if they are appointsd by the court. See Deas v.
Potts, 547 F.2d 800, 800 (4th Cir. 1976); see also
Hall v. Quillert, 631 F.2d 1154, 1155-56 (4th Cir.
1980). In addition, public defenders do not act under color
of state law when performing a lawyer's traditional
functions as counsel to a defendant in a criminal proceeding.
Polk Cty v. Dodson, 454 U.S. 312, 453-54 (1981).
While an attorney who conspires with a state official to
violate constitutional rights does act under color of state
law, evidence of the conspiracy is required. See Tower v.
Glover, A61 U.S. 914, 920 (1984); Philips v.
Mashburn, 746 F.2d 782, 785 (11th Cir. 1984) (plaintiff
must make more than naked assertion of conspiracy). As such,
Plaintiffs complaint is subject to dismissal as to Garner,
Hayward and Mcffadden.
request for dismissal of the charges against him and
expungement of the record is also not properly before this
Court. Pretrial federal habeas relief is available under 28
U.S.C. §2241 if the petitioner is in custody, has
exhausted state court remedies, and special circumstances
exist that justify intervention by the federal court. See
Dickerson v. Louisiana, 816 F.2d 220, 224B 26 (5th Cir.
1987). Exhaustion is established where both the operative
facts and controlling legal principles of each claim have
been fairly presented to the state courts. See Bake'
v. Corcoran, 220 F.3d 276, 289 (4th Cir. 2000)
(citations omitted). In the pretrial context, federal courts
must abstain from exercising jurisdiction over a claim that
may be resolved through trial of the merits or by other state
procedures available for review of the claim. See Braden
v. 3(f Judicial Circuit Court, 410 U.S. 484, 489-90
circumstances justifying this Court's intervention do not
exist where there are procedures in place to protect
petitioner's constitutional rights. See Moore v.
DeYoung, 515 F.2d 437, 449 (3d Cir. 1975) (assertion of
appropriate defense at trial forecloses pretrial federal
habeas relief); Drayton v. Hayes, 589 F.2d 117,
120-21 (2d Cir. 1979) (double jeopardy claim justified
pretrial federal habeas intervention because constitutional
right claimed would be violated if petitioner went to trial);
see also Younger v. Harris, 401 U.S. 37 (1971). The
alleged errors raised by Plaintiff in the instant cases may
be addressed by the trial court. Thus, the hybrid petition
must be dismissed without prejudice.
separate Order follows.
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