Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Tilgham v. Princess Anne Polic Dept.

United States District Court, D. Maryland

March 16, 2018

BRADFORD TILGHMAN, Plaintiff
v.
PRINCESS ANNE POLIC DEPT., et al, Defendants BRADFORD TILGHMAN, Plaintiff
v.
ATTORNEY GENERAL OF MARYLAND, et al., Defendants BRADFORD TILGHMAN, Plaintiff
v.
CHIEF OF POLICE, et al, Defendants

          MEMORANDUM

          GEORGE J. HAZEL UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         The 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.

         Plaintiff 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.[1]

         In 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.

         Additionally, for the reasons that follow, Plaintiff's claims against prosecutors Garner and Hayward, and defense attorney Mcffadden are individually subject to dismissal.

         Prosecuting 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).

         As to 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.

         Plaintiffs 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 (1973).

         Special 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.

         A separate Order follows.

---------

Notes:

[1] http://casesearch.courts.state.md.us/casesearch/inquirySearch.iis (last visited March 13, ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.