Murphy v. Bailey et al (MAG+)
ORDERED as follows: (1) The Recommendation (Doc. # 5 ) is ADOPTED. (2) This action is DISMISSED with prejudice pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 1915(e). A separate final judgment will be entered. Signed by Chief Judge William Keith Watkins on 4/12/2017. (kh, )
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE MIDDLE DISTRICT OF ALABAMA
RODNEY J. MURPHY,
DARYL D. BAILEY, D.A., in his
official and individual capacity,
SHERIFF'S OFFICE, and
STATE OF ALABAMA,
) CASE NO. 2:16-CV-968-WKW
On January 3, 2017, the Magistrate Judge filed a Recommendation. (Doc. #
5.) On January 12, 2017, Plaintiff Rodney J. Murphy filed objections. (Doc. # 6.)
The court has conducted an independent and de novo review of those portions of the
Recommendation to which objection is made. See 28 U.S.C. § 636(b).
Plaintiff’s objections do not offer any substantive legal argument or factual
assertions concerning the following critical findings of the Magistrate Judge: (1) that
the complaint fails to allege facts sufficient to state a claim in compliance with Rule
8(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure; (2) that, on its face, the complaint seeks
relief against defendants who are immune from such relief; (3) that Plaintiff’s claims
are barred by the statute of limitations; (4) that, to the extent Plaintiff is attempting
to allege state law tort claims premised on a theory of malicious prosecution, the
court lacks subject matter jurisdiction due to the lack of diversity between the parties;
and (5) that dismissal with prejudice prior to service of the complaint is appropriate
because any amendment would be futile. In his objection, Plaintiff seeks leave to
amend. However, Plaintiff offers no basis for a finding that an amendment could be
anything but futile.
Upon review of the record and Plaintiff’s objections, the court reaches the
following conclusions: (1) that supplemental jurisdiction exists over Plaintiff’s state
law malicious prosecution claim, see 28 U.S.C. § 1367(a); (2) that the complaint
fails to allege facts sufficient to state a claim against any Defendant; (3) that the
federal claims in the complaint, except for claims akin to a claim for malicious
prosecution,1 are time-barred; and (4) that the federal and state law claims in the
“For both complaints of malicious prosecution and false imprisonment, federal courts
borrow the statute of limitation of the forum state.” Burgest v. McAfee, 264 F. App’x 850, 853
(11th Cir. 2008) (citation omitted). In Alabama, actions for malicious prosecution must be brought
within two years of the failure to file a notice of appeal or, if an appeal is filed, from the final
decision on appeal. Ala. Code 1975 § 6-2-38; Barrett Mobile Home Transp., Inc. v. McGugin,
530 So. 2d 730, 733 (Ala. 1988). Documents attached to Plaintiff’s complaint indicate that the
prosecution arising from the September 19, 2014 arrest was originally nol prossed in November
2014 (Doc. # 1-4), but other unexplained documents indicate that another prosecution was initiated
in 2016. The subject of the 2016 prosecution is not apparent on the face of the complaint and
supporting documents. Plaintiff’s objections seems to suggest that the two prosecutions are related
to the same underlying alleged criminal conduct. On the whole, it is not clear from the complaint
and attached documents or from Plaintiff’s objections whether, prior to the filing of the complaint,
the statute of limitations expired on a malicious prosecution claim arising out of the acts and
omissions alleged in the complaint. Therefore, the court makes no finding as to whether Plaintiff’s
federal or state claims for malicious prosecution are barred by the statute of limitations.
complaint are subject to dismissal pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §1915(e)(2)(B)(iii) on
grounds that they seek relief against parties who enjoy prosecutorial and/or
sovereign immunity.2 Further, the court finds that further opportunity to amend
would be futile.
Accordingly, it is ORDERED as follows:
The Recommendation (Doc. # 5) is ADOPTED.
This action is DISMISSED with prejudice pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
A separate final judgment will be entered.
DONE this 12th day of April, 2017.
/s/ W. Keith Watkins
CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Plaintiff’s complaint does not allege specific facts indicating any basis for the
Montgomery County Commission’s liability. The remaining Defendants are immune from
Plaintiff’s claims. Melton v. Abston, 841 F.3d 1207, 1234 (11th Cir. 2016) (holding that “Alabama
sheriffs and their deputies are state officials and are absolutely immune from suit as an officer of
the state under the Eleventh Amendment” and that Alabama sheriffs are immune from prosecution
under Art. I, § 14, Alabama Const. 1901); Jones v. Cannon, 174 F.3d 1271, 1281 (11th Cir. 1999)
(“A prosecutor enjoys absolute immunity from allegations stemming from the prosecutor's
function as advocate.”); Poindexter v. Dep’t of Human Res., 946 F. Supp. 2d 1278, 1291 (M.D.
Ala. 2013) (“[T]he Eleventh Amendment bars both federal and state law claims against states and
state entities regardless of type of relief sought, with the exception of those claims that fall under
the Ex parte Young fiction.”); Bogle v. Galanos, 503 So. 2d 1217, 1219 (Ala. 1987) (holding that
prosecutorial “immunity under state law in this case is at least as broad as immunity under a §
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