United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Harrison Division
ROBERT E. ALLEN PLAINTIFF
JUDGE GORDON WEBB, Circuit Court, Boone County, Arkansas; and DEPUTY PROSECUTOR CHRISTOPHER CARTER, Boone County, Arkansas DEFENDANTS
OPINION AND ORDER
TIMOTHY L. BROOKS, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
a civil rights action filed by Plaintiff Robert E. Allen
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff proceeds pro
se and in forma pauperis.
matter is presently before the Court for initial screening of
Plaintiff's pleading pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A.
For the reasons discussed below, the Court finds that this
action should be summarily dismissed pursuant to Section
1915A and Section 1915(e)(2)(B).
to the allegations of the Complaint (Doc. 1), the Defendants
have obstructed justice, committed malfeasance in office,
violated ethics laws, and violated other state and federal
laws by altering court documents. Plaintiff states he was
prosecuted "as a case from 2015 rather than July 201
O." He alleges Defendants "put on the
'ignorance of the law role', and 'the I'm
above the law role.'"
relief, Plaintiff seeks compensatory and punitive damages;
the reversal of his conviction; dismissal of the criminal
case; and, finally he asks that the Defendants be removed
from their offices by impeachment.
the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA), the Court is
obligated to screen the case prior to service of process
being issued. The Court must dismiss a complaint, or any
portion of it, if it contains claims that: (a) are frivolous
or malicious; (b) fail to state a claim upon which relief may
be granted; or, (c) seek monetary relief from a defendant who
is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b).
is frivolous if "it lacks an arguable basis either in
law or fact." Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S.
319, 325 (1989). A claim fails to state a claim upon which
relief may be granted if it does not allege "enough
facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its
face." Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S.
544, 570 (2007). "In evaluating whether a pro se
plaintiff has asserted sufficient facts to state a claim, we
hold 'a pro se complaint, however inartfully
pleaded, ... to less stringent standards than formal
pleadings drafted by lawyers.'"' Jackson v.
Nixon, 747 F.3d 537, 541 (8th Cir. 2014) (quoting
Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007)).
the claims against Judge Gordon Webb are subject to
dismissal. The claims against Judge Webb arise out of a
criminal action over which he presided. Judge Webb is immune
from suit. Mireles v. Waco, 502 U.S. 9, 11 (1991)
("Judicial immunity is an immunity from suit, not just
from ultimate assessment of damages."); see also
Duty v. City of Springdale, 42 F.3d 460, 462 (8th Cir.
1994). "Judges performing judicial functions enjoy
absolute immunity from § 1983 liability."
Robinson v. Freeze, 15 F.3d 107, 108 (8th Cir.
1994). "A judge will not be deprived of immunity because
the action he took was in error, was done maliciously, or was
in excess of his authority." Stump v. Sparkman,
435 U.S. 349, 356-57 (1978). Judicial immunity is overcome
if: (1) the judge's challenged action is non-judicial; or
(2) the judge's action, although judicial in nature, were
taken in the complete absence of all jurisdiction.
Mireles, 502 U.S. at 11. It is clear from the
allegations of the Complaint that neither exception applies
Christopher Carter, the prosecuting attorney, is immune from
suit. The United States Supreme Court in Imbler v.
Pachtman, 424 U.S. 409, 431 (1976), established the
absolute immunity of a prosecutor from a civil suit for
damages under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 "in initiating a
prosecution and in presenting the State's case."
Id. 424 U.S. at 427. This immunity extends to all
acts that are "intimately associated with the judicial
phase of the criminal process." Id. 424 U.S. at
430; see also Buckley v. Fitzsimmons, 509 U.S. 259
(1993) (prosecutor acting as an advocate for the state in a
criminal prosecution is entitled to absolute immunity, while
a prosecutor acting in an investigatory or administrative
capacity is only entitled to qualified immunity). Based on
the allegations of the Complaint, it is clear the Defendant
prosecuting attorney is entitled to absolute immunity.
See also Brodnicki v. City of Omaha, 75 F.3d 1261
(8th Cir. 1996) (county prosecutors entitled to absolute
immunity from suit).
extent the Complaint seeks injunctive relief, the claim is
not cognizable. While the Supreme Court has not held that
this immunity insulates prosecutors from declaratory or
injunctive relief, see Pulliam v. Allen, 466 U.S.
522 (1984), a plaintiff must show some substantial likelihood
that the past conduct alleged to be illegal will recur.
Plaintiff can make no such showing here. Further, injunctive
relief is not appropriate where an adequate remedy under
state law exists. Id., 466 U.S. at 542 & n.22.
See also Bonner v. Circuit Court of St. Louis, 526
F.2d 1331, 1336 (8th Cir. 1975).
reasons set forth above, IT IS ORDERED that this matter is
DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)
- because Plaintiffs claims are frivolous and/or ...