United States District Court, D. Maryland
J. HAZEL UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
above-captioned cases, filed on March 22, 20I8. 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 Nos. I. Plaintiff has also filed
motions for leave to proceed in forma pauperis (ECF No.2)
which shall be granted. The complaints arise from the same
event, raise similar claims, and seek identical relief. As
such, consolidation for review purposes is appropriate.
alleges he was denied his rights under the Fourth and
Fourteenth Amendments when he was arrested, released, and
then rearrested on the same charges. Id. He claims
that 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-18-835, 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. I. He reasserts his claim
that his arrest, release, and rearrest were improper.
Id. Plaintiff is currently confined in the Queen
Anne's County Detention Center awaiting trial on criminal
charges pending against him which are the subject of the
instant cases. ECF Nos. I; see also Maryland
Judiciary Case Search, Slale v. Tilghman, Nos.
C19CR17000269 and C19CR17000276, Circuit Court for Somerset
Heck v. Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477, 487 (1994), the
Supreme Court held that claims challenging the legality of a
conviction are not cognizable in a 42 U.S.C. Â§ 1983 action
unless 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
invalidity of the judgment). These cases were filed as civil
rights actions. To the extent Plaintiff seeks monetary
damages, his claims for damages cannot be entertained by this
court as he has not yet stood trial.
for the reasons that follow, Plaintiff's claims against
prosecutors Garner and Hayward, and defense attorney McFadden
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.
Pachlman, 424 U.S. 409 422-23 (1976). Absolute immunity
is designed to protect judicial process, thus the
inquiry is whether the 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).
Plaintiffs defense attorney, McFadden, privately retained
attorneys do not act under color of state law even if they
are appointed by the court. See Deas v. Polts, 547
F.2d 800, 800 (4th Cir. 1976); see also Hall v.
Quillen, 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, 467 U.S. 914, 920 (1984); Phillips 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. 92241 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, 224- 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 Baker 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. 30th 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
petitioners 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.
Plaintiff raised identical claims
in the consolidated matter of Tilghman v. Prince Anne
Police Dept., et al., Civil Action No. 17-3692 (D. Md.).
Those cases were dismissed on March 16, 1018. It appears
Plaintiff filed the instant cases prior to receiving the
memorandum and order dismissing the previously filed
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