quot; When a state or local government entity is in an enforcement posture,exercising its executive authority to regulate or remedy socially harmful conduct, the “important state interest requirement” is easily met. Potrero Hills Landfill, Inc. v. County of Solano, 657 F.3d 876, 883-84 (9th Cir.2011). Accordingly, federal actions challenging the enforcement of public nuisance laws are barred by Younger. Huffman v. Pursue, Ltd., 420 U.S. 592 (1975); see also Woodfeathers, Inc. v. Washington County, Oregon, 180 F.3d 1017, 1021 (9th Cir. 1999) (“Civil actions
brought by a government entity to enforce nuisance laws have been held to justify Case 2:17-cv-00487-MCE-AC Document 43 Filed 07/12/17 Page 4 of 6 Younger abstention.”).
Here, all the requirements for Younger abstention are present. First, the Shasta County
nuisance abatement proceeding is ongoing. Second, that proceeding by its nature implicates
important state regulatory and enforcement interests in nuisance abatement. Third, the Shasta County Superior Court is a venue in which federal questions can be raised, and plaintiff has in fact presented his concerns there (albeit unsuccessfully). Finally, the action plaintiff seeks – an order vacating the superior court’s appointment of the receiver – would have the practical effect of enjoining the abatement process. At hearing on the instant motion, plaintiff argued that Younger abstention does not apply because the nuisance abatement proceeding was brought in bad faith and involved fraud. The Supreme Court held in Huffman, supra, that abstention is not required where “the District Court
properly finds that the state proceeding is motivated by a desire to harass or is conducted in bad faith. . .” 420 U.S. at 611. Plaintiff’s “bad faith” theory, as presented in oral argument, is predicated on the same conduct which he claims renders the Receivership Order void, including alleged defects in the stipulation and interlineations on the proposed order by the judge. This is
an insufficient basis for the bad faith exception to Younger. See Baffert v. Cal. Horse Racing
Board, 332 F.3d 613, 621 (9th Cir.) (facts underlying the claimed constitutional violation do not support exception to Younger), cert. denied, 540 U.S. 1075 (2003). In the Younger abstention context, bad faith “means that a prosecution has been brought without a reasonable expectation of obtaining a valid conviction.” Kugler v. Helfant, 421 U.S. 117, 126 n.6 (1975). Plaintiff does not meet that standard. There are no facts here to suggest that the state court proceeding was initiated without intent to abate an actual nuisance, but rather for the purpose of harassing plaintiff or preventing him from exercising his rights. Cf. Younger, 401 U.S. at 47-49 (discussing Dombrowski v. Pfister, 380 U.S. 479 (1965), which upheld an injunction against baseless criminal prosecutions of civil rights
workers, which were intended to discourage civil rights advocacy). To the contrary,the record demonstrates that the City had a valid factual basis for initiating the proceeding, and a reasonable expectation of obtaining relief under the Health and Safety Code. Cf. Baffert, 332 Case 2:17-cv-00487-MCE-AC Document 43 Filed 07/12/17 Page 5 of 6 F.3d at 621 (no bad faith where regulatory board had reasonable basis to initiate enforcement proceeding against horse trainer). Because the bad faith exception does not apply, the Younger abstention doctrine bars the relief plaintiff seeks.For all these reasons, the motion must be denied.III.