Rembold v. Helsel et al
MEMORANDUM. Signed by Chief Judge Catherine C. Blake on 6/30/2017. (c/m 6/30/2017 aos, Deputy Clerk)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF MARYLAND
DONALD GARY REMBOLD,
DAVID HELSEL, M.D., et al.
Civil No. PWG-16-1569
Plaintiff Donald Rembold (“Rembold”) has filed a 42 U.S.C. § 1983 action challenging
his previous confinement at Spring Grove Hospital Center. (See Compl. 3, ECF No. 1). Now
pending is Rembold’s motion to amend his complaint. (Mot. to Amend, ECF No. 33). No oral
argument is necessary. See Local Rule 105.6 (D. Md. 2016). For the reasons set forth below, the
court will deny the plaintiff’s motion to amend.
The plaintiff’s § 1983 suit is currently pending before United States District Judge Paul
W. Grimm. In his motion to amend, Rembold seeks to add Judge Grimm as a defendant in the
case in order “to charge Paul W. Grimm with conspiracy under 42 U.S.C. § 1986; and 42 U.S.C.
§ 1985(3).” (Mot. to Amend 2).1 In the motion to amend, the plaintiff also seeks to have counsel
appointed; to supplement his pleadings to add new civil rights violations; and to have the case
reassigned to a judge in Baltimore. (Id. 3). On June 13, 2017, Judge Grimm recused himself with
respect to the motion to amend only and referred the motion to amend to the Chief Judge of the
U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland for resolution. (ECF No. 36, 4).
Rembold filed a supplement to his motion to amend on June 21, 2017. (Mot. to Amend Supp., ECF No. 40).
The plaintiff’s motion to amend will be denied in light of the doctrine of judicial
immunity. “[J]udicial immunity is an immunity from suit, not just from ultimate assessment of
damages. Accordingly, judicial immunity is not overcome by allegations of bad faith or malice.”
Mireles v. Waco, 502 U.S. 9, 11 (1991) (citations omitted). Judicial immunity is overcome only
in two circumstances. “First, a judge is not immune from liability for nonjudicial actions, i.e.,
actions not taken in the judge’s judicial capacity. Second, a judge is not immune for actions,
though judicial in nature, taken in the complete absence of all jurisdiction.” Id. at 11–12
(citations omitted). The plaintiff’s allegations against Judge Grimm derive from actions taken
within Judge Grimm’s judicial capacities, and Rembold has failed to show that Judge Grimm
acted without jurisdiction. (See Mot. to Amend 1–3). Accordingly, Judge Grimm’s actions are
protected by judicial immunity, and the plaintiff’s conspiracy claims against him cannot proceed.
For that reason, the court will deny the motion to amend to include claims against Judge Grimm.2
In his motion to amend, Rembold also renews several requests previously submitted to
the court. First, he requests “that his case be assigned to another Judge in the proper Baltimore
venue.” (Id. 3). Previously, Rembold filed a motion to transfer his case to the Northern Division
of the United States District Court for the District of Maryland, (Mot. to Transfer, ECF No. 11),
which the court denied, (ECF No. 21). To the extent Rembold’s motion to amend also moves to
transfer his case to the Northern Division, the motion to transfer is denied. Second, Rembold’s
motion to amend also requests the appointment of counsel. Rembold previously moved for the
appointment of counsel, (Mot. to Appoint Counsel, ECF No. 14), which the court denied without
In the motion to amend, Rembold states, “New Civil Rights Violations relating back to the named defendants
while involving new defendants have manifested requiring the filing of supplements and amendments to the existing
case (PWG-16-1569).” (Mot. to Amend 3). To the extent the plaintiff moves to amend his complaint to include
“supplements and amendments” relating to claims against Judge Grimm, the motion is denied.
prejudice, (ECF No. 21). To the extent Rembold renews his motion to appoint counsel in his
motion to amend, the motion to appoint counsel is again denied without prejudice.
For the foregoing reasons, the plaintiff’s motion to amend will be denied. A separate
June 30, 2017
Catherine C. Blake
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