Stiltner v. Rhay, 20217.

Decision Date10 April 1967
Docket NumberNo. 20217.,20217.
PartiesDouglas STILTNER, Appellant, v. B. J. RHAY, Superintendent, Washington State Penitentiary at Walla Walla, Washington et al., Appellees.
CourtU.S. Court of Appeals — Ninth Circuit

Douglas Stiltner, in pro. per.

John J. O'Connell, Atty. Gen. of Wash., Olympia, Wash., Lincoln E. Shropshire, Pros. Atty., Yakima, Wash., for appellees.

Before MERRILL, KOELSCH and BROWNING, Circuit Judges.

Certiorari Denied April 10, 1967. See 87 S.Ct. 1318.

KOELSCH, Circuit Judge.

The district court did not err in dismissing plaintiff's cause on the ground that his amended complaint failed to state any claim under the Civil Rights Act (42 U.S.C. § 1983).

This court has only recently held, in Gilbert v. United States, 366 F. 2d 923 (9th Cir. Sept. 16, 1966), that the constitutional guarantees against self incrimination and of equal protection are not infringed by requiring a person detained on a criminal charge to participate in a police line-up (and to speak) in order to assist others in his identification as the perpetrator of a crime.1

And the doctrine of judicial immunity protects the State trial judge (and the prosecuting attorney) from liability for preventing plaintiff from calling the assistant prosecuting attorney as a witness for the defense. Sires v. Cole, 320 F.2d 877 (9th Cir. 1963).2

Finally, keeping in mind the "wide discretion" necessarily vested in state prison authorities as to the nature and extent of medical treatment of prisoners Snow v. Gladden, 338 F.2d 999, 1000 (9th Cir. 1964), we "find no showing here of inadequate medical care and treatment that would justify federal intervention." United States ex rel. Lawrence v. Ragen, 323 F.2d 410, 412 (7th Cir. 1963).3

The judgment is affirmed.

1 We disagree with plaintiff's extravagant assertion that merely requiring him to participate in the lineup constituted "cruel and unusual punishment."

2 The judge's act consisted of a ruling made during the course of plaintiff's trial on a charge of robbery. The trial was had in the Superior Court of the State of Washington, a court having jurisdiction over the subject matter. Plaintiff's conviction was later reversed on the ground that the trial judge's ruling constituted an abuse of discretion. State v. Stiltner, 61 Wash.2d 102, 377 P.2d 252 (1962), cert. denied, 380 U.S. 924, 85 S. Ct. 928, 13 L.Ed.2d 810.

3 Under exceptional circumstances the failure to provide or permit access to medical care may rise to Fourteenth Amendment proportions. For example, in Coleman v. Johnston, 247 F.2d 273 (7th Cir. 1957), allegations that the police prevented treatment of bullet wounds so severe that they later required amputation of the prisoner's leg, "spelled out enough to prevent the summary disposition" of plaintiff's complaint under the Civil Rights Act.

Similarly, in Hughes v. Noble, 295 F.2d 495 (5th Cir. 1961) the Fifth Circuit, speaking of a complaint that the Sheriff, upon arriving at the scene of an automobile accident, arrested and held incommunicado a person who had sustained a broken neck and other bodily injury, declared that "it does not appear beyond doubt that the plaintiff can prove no set of facts in support of his claim which would entitle him to relief" under the Act. To the same effect...

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