Unpublished Disposition, 869 F.2d 1497 (9th Cir. 1989)Annotate this Case
Thomas Nicholas MERIWEATHER, Jr., Plaintiff-Appellant,v.Launie J. HITCHCOCK, and Scott M. Taylor, Defendants-Appellees.
United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit.
Submitted Dec. 29, 1988.* Decided Feb. 15, 1989.
Before BRUNETTI, KOZINSKI and DAVID R. THOMPSON, Circuit Judges.
After a jury trial in state court, Thomas Nicholas Meriweather, Jr. was convicted of the crimes of rape, sodomy and sexual penetration with a foreign object. Following his sentencing, he filed a complaint against Launie J. Hitchcock and Scott M. Taylor under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Hitchcock was the probation officer who prepared Meriweather's presentence report. Taylor was Hitchcock's supervisor. Meriweather alleged that Hitchcock falsified statements in the presentence report, and as a result Meriweather received a lengthy dangerous offender sentence. The district court dismissed Meriweather's complaint for failure to state a claim pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b) (6). Meriweather appeals. We affirm.
Probation officers preparing presentence reports for state court judges are entitled to absolute immunity from liability under section 1983. Demoran v. Witt, 781 F.2d 155, 158 (9th Cir. 1986). This immunity fails to attach only when a probation officer acts clearly and completely outside the scope of official duties. Id. In the present case Hitchcock was plainly acting within the scope of official duties when he prepared the presentence report.
Meriweather argues that Demoran is inapposite because Hitchcock conspired with Taylor, the prosecuting attorney and the sentencing judge to have him sentenced as a dangerous offender. This argument lacks merit. The immunity doctrine shields judicial officers from this kind of a conspiracy charge. See Ashelman v. Pope, 793 F.2d 1072, 1078 (9th Cir. 1986).
Meriweather's claim against Hitchcock's supervisor, Taylor, also is meritless. The doctrine of respondeat superior does not apply in section 1983 civil rights cases. Ashelman, 793 F.2d at 1074 n. 1.