Solomon v. Dawson
MEMORANDUM. Signed by Judge Paul W. Grimm on 7/18/2013. (c/m 7/18/13 rs) (rss, Deputy Clerk)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF MARYLAND
CARGYLE BROWN SOLOMON,
CIVIL ACTION NO. PWG-13-1953
HERMAN C. DAWSON,
Plaintiff brings this self-represented
action against Circuit Court for Prince George's
County Judge Herman C. Dawson pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
for Leave to Proceed in Forma Pauperis (ECF No.2)
shall be granted.
1983. ECF NO.1. Plaintiff's Motion
Upon review of the
complaint, the Court concludes that it shall be dismissed under the provisions of 28 U.S.C.
1915(e). See Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319 (1989); see also Denton v. Hernandez, 504
U.S. 25 (1992); Cochran v. Morris, 73 F.3d 1310 (4th Cir. 1996); Nasim v. Warden, 64 F.3d 951
(4th Cir. 1995).
The defense of absolute immunity extends to "officials whose special functions or
constitutional status requires complete protection from suit." Harlow v. Fitzgerald, 457 U.S.
800, 807 (1982).
Judges, whether presiding at the state or federal level, are clearly among those
officials who are entitled to such immunity.
See Stump v. Sparkman, 435 U.S. 349 (1978).
Because it is a benefit to the public at large, "whose interest it is that the judges should be at
liberty to exercise their functions with independence and without fear of consequences," Pierson
v. Ray, 386 U.S. 547, 554 (1967), absolute immunity is necessary so that judges can perform
their functions without harassment or intimidation.
"Although unfairness and injustice to a
litigant may result on occasion, 'it is a general principle of the highest importance to the proper
administration of justice that a judicial officer, in exercising the authority vested in him, shall be
free to act upon his own convictions,
of personal consequences
Mireles v. Waco, 502 U.S. 9, 10 (1991), quoting Bradley v. Fisher, 13 Wall. 335,20
L. Ed. 646 (1872).
Moreover, the law is well-settled that the doctrine of judicial immunity is
applicable to actions filed under 42 U.S.C.
1983. Stump, 435 U.S. at 356.
In determining whether a particular judge is immune, inquiry must be made into whether
the challenged action was "judicial" and whether at the time the challenged action was taken the
judge had subject matter jurisdiction.
Stump, 435 U.S. at 356. Unless it can be shown that a
judge acted in the "clear absence of all jurisdiction," absolute immunity exists even when the
alleged conduct is erroneous, malicious, or in excess of judicial authority. Id. at 356-57.
A review of Plaintiffs allegations against the Honorable Herman C. Dawson does not
compel the conclusion that the judge acted in clear absence of jurisdiction. Plaintiffs
exactly the type of action that the Pierson Court recognized as necessitating the doctrine of
In apparent disagreement with the decisions reached at the state court level,
this self-represented litigant has turned to this forum to assert allegations of unconstitutional acts
against a state court judge.
Because immunity precludes plaintiffs
recovery, sua sponte
dismissal of Plaintiffs claim is appropriate.
A separate Order shall be entered reflecting the
Paul W. Grimm
United States District Judge
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