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Alva v. Titsworth

United States District Court, D. Nevada

April 20, 2019

James Scott Alva, Plaintiff
v.
Titsworth, et al., Defendants

          ORDER SCREENING COMPLAINT AND DISMISSING CASE

          JENNIFER A. DORSEY U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Plaintiff James Scott Alva, a prisoner in the custody of the Federal Bureau of Prisons, brings this “criminal” action pro se and seeks to appear in forma pauperis pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915.[1] Federal courts have the authority to dismiss a case if “the action or appeal (i) is frivolous or malicious; (ii) fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted; or (iii) seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from such relief.”[2] This provision applies to all actions filed in forma pauperis.[3]

         In this case, Alva purports to be a “private prosecutor” issuing a criminal complaint to charge CoreCivic employees with criminal conspiracy and deprivation of civil rights under 18 U.S.C. §§ 241-242.[4] I acknowledge the existence of private prosecutors but, in modern times, they appear to only be used in criminal contempt proceedings.[5] Alva is not attempting to prosecute a criminal contempt proceeding. Instead, he is attempting to charge and prosecute defendants for criminal conspiracy and deprivation of rights. The decision whether to prosecute and what to file or bring before a grand jury are decisions that generally rest within the discretion of a public prosecutor.[6] Alva thus may not charge and prosecute defendants for criminal conspiracy and deprivation of rights.

         To the extent that Alva is attempting to raise civil claims under 18 U.S.C. §§ 241-242, he cannot do so. These statutes are criminal provisions that provide no basis for civil liability.[7] So I dismiss this entire “criminal” complaint with prejudice because amendment would be futile.[8]

         Conclusion

         IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED that the Clerk of the Court FILE the complaint [ECF No. 6-1].

         IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that this case is DISMISSED with prejudice and without leave to amend because amendment would be futile.

         IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Alva's application to proceed in forma pauperis [ECF No. 6] is DENIED as moot.

         I certify that any in forma pauperis appeal from this order would not be taken “in good faith” pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(3).

         The Clerk of the Court is directed to CLOSE THIS CASE AND ENTER JUDGMENT accordingly.

---------

Notes:

[1] ECF Nos. 6, 6-1.

[2] 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(i)-(iii).


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