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Espinosa v. Lynch

United States District Court, D. Arizona

February 28, 2017

Anthony Espinosa, Plaintiff,
v.
Loretta Lynch, et al., Defendants.

          ORDER

          Honorable Frank R. Zapata Senior United States District Judge

         Pending before the Court is: (1) Defendant's Motion to Dismiss; (2) the Magistrate Judge's Report & Recommendation regarding Defendant's fully briefed motion; (3) Plaintiff's Objections to the R&R; and (4) Defendant's Response.

         Plaintiff alleged that Defendants violated the “Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment” and the case was assigned to this Court by “random lot” - although not arbitrarily[1] - as Article III Courts have jurisdiction over all “cases” or “controversies” “arising under the Constitution”.[2]

         But, Defendants claim, and the Magistrate Judge agrees, this Court lacks jurisdiction to adjudicate this matter beyond determining its own jurisdiction.[3]

         Defendants argue that the Court cannot engage in “judicial review” of this case because it involves reviewing a prosecutor's decision to send a “Giglio letter” to a federal executive agency about an agent of the executive - and absolute immunity applies.[4]

         The Magistrate Judge's R&R also invoked the “separation of powers doctrine” and found “judicial review of the [prosecutor's] decisionmaking process [] inappropriate in this case.”[5]

         Whether this Court possesses the Power of Judicial Review is beyond “judicial review” in this matter.[6] And absolute prosecutorial immunity from Judicial Review applies to decisions whether or not to prosecute.[7]

         Here, the prosecutor sent the Giglio letter after it received a prosecution referral from the agency.[8] The prosecutor declined to prosecute, and issued the letter detailing its rationale for that decision and stating its intentions to “no longer [use] Plaintiff ‘as a government witness in any criminal prosecution.' ”[9]

         Plaintiff was subsequently terminated from their position with the executive agency and alleges that Defendants deprived them of liberty and property, without due process of law, because Plaintiff's employment was terminated “based solely on” the “Giglio letter” and Plaintiff never received notice or a hearing to challenge the prosecutor's decision to issue the letter.[10]

         But Plaintiff's claimed “liberty interest” - best construed as the Right to be free from arbitrary governmental action - was not violated by the Defendants as the Giglio letter provided a rationale for the prosecutor's decisions.[11]

         And although Plaintiff may have legitimate “property interest” in continuing federal employment;[12] Defendants did not employ Plaintiff, nor did Defendants terminate Plaintiff's employment.[13]

         Therefore, Plaintiff has not adequately alleged any deprivation of “liberty” or “property” proximately caused by Defendants[14] - whose actions merely constituted responding to an Article II agency's intrabranch communication and explaining their decision not to prosecute.[15]

         Any judicial inquiry beyond this “limited judicial review” of the prosecutor's actions to ensure constitutional compliance lies ...


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