Kitti Ellen, et al.; Michael L. Montalvo, Plaintiffs-appellants, v. Jeffrey Stamm; Peter Ramirez; Jeffrey Yllander; Douglasgrey, Defendants-appellees, 951 F.2d 359 (9th Cir. 1991)Annotate this Case
Before WALLACE, Chief Judge, SCHROEDER and RYMER, Circuit Judges.
Kitti Ellen and Michael L. Montalvo ("appellants") appeal pro se the district court's order affirming the magistrate judge's order denying their request to file two criminal complaints against law enforcement officers associated with the arrest and conviction of Montalvo and alleged harassment of Ellen. Appellants contend that the district court violated their first amendment right to petition the government for redress of grievances and their alleged "right to file a criminal complaint against other citizens for violating citizens' constitutional rights and for offenses against the United States." We have jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1291, and we affirm.
It is well established that private citizens can neither bring a direct criminal action against another person nor can they petition the federal courts to compel the criminal prosecution of another person. See Maine v. Taylor, 477 U.S. 131, 137 (1986); Heckler v. Chaney, 470 U.S. 821, 832 (1985); Leeke v. Timmerman, 454 U.S. 83, 86-87 (1981); United States v. General Dynamics Corp., 828 F.2d 1356, 1366 (9th Cir. 1987). Accordingly, the district court did not err by refusing to allow the appellants to file criminal charges or to request the district court to compel prosecution based on those charges.