Richards v. Judah (INMATE 1)
ORDER: It is ORDERED: 1. Plaintiffs objections (Doc. 5 ) are OVERRULED;2. The Recommendation (Doc. 4 ) is ADOPTED; 3. Plaintiffs claim against Valerie D. Judah filed under 42 U.S.C. 1983 is DISMISSED with prejudice pursuant to the provisions of 28 U.S.C. 1915(e)(2)(B)(i); and 4. Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 1367(c), the court declines to exercise jurisdiction over Plaintiffs pendent state law claim for legal malpractice. Therefore, the legal malpractice claim is DISMISSED without prejudice. Final judgment will be entered separately. Signed by Chief Judge William Keith Watkins on 10/25/2016. (dmn, )
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE MIDDLE DISTRICT OF ALABAMA
EDDIE JAMES RICHARDS, JR.,
VALERIE D. JUDAH,
CASE NO. 1:16-CV-776-WKW
On September 26, 2016, the Magistrate Judge filed a Recommendation (Doc.
# 4) to which Plaintiff timely filed objections. (Doc. # 5). The court has considered
the record and the objections and has conducted an independent and de novo review
of those portions of the Recommendation to which objections are made. See 28
U.S.C. § 636(b)(1).
Plaintiff alleges that, as his criminal defense attorney in a state court criminal
proceeding, Defendant Valerie D. Judah deprived him of his constitutional rights
and failed to adequately represent him when she waived a preliminary hearing
without his permission. As explained in the Recommendation, with respect to acts
undertaken in the performance of “a lawyer’s traditional functions as counsel to a
defendant in a criminal proceeding,” a criminal defense attorney does not act under
color of state law and is not subject to suit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Polk Cty. v.
Dodson, 454 U.S. 312, 324 (1981). The Magistrate Judge correctly concluded that
Plaintiff’s § 1983 claim has no legal basis and that the court should decline to
exercise jurisdiction over Plaintiff’s state law claim, which concerns an alleged act
of legal malpractice by a court appointed attorney in a state court proceeding. See
Gibson v. York, 569 F. App'x 810, 813 (11th Cir. 2014) (“[B]ecause [the plaintiff’s]
only federal claim was dismissed prior to trial, the district court was correct to
decline to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over [the plaintiff’s] state legal
Accordingly, it is ORDERED:
Plaintiffs’ objections (Doc. # 5) are OVERRULED;
The Recommendation (Doc. # 4) is ADOPTED;
Plaintiff’s claim against Valerie D. Judah filed under 42 U.S.C. § 1983
is DISMISSED with prejudice pursuant to the provisions of 28 U.S.C. §
Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1367(c), the court declines to exercise
jurisdiction over Plaintiff’s pendent state law claim for legal malpractice. Therefore,
the legal malpractice claim is DISMISSED without prejudice.
Final judgment will be entered separately.
DONE this 25th day of October, 2016.
/s/ W. Keith Watkins
CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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