Constant v. Chabot
ORDER granting application 2 to proceed in forma pauperis and DISMISSING CASE. Signed by District Judge Nancy G. Edmunds. (CBet)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF MICHIGAN
Case No. 17-10018
Honorable Nancy G. Edmunds
HON. RAE LEE CHABOT,
ORDER GRANTING PLAINTIFF’S APPLICATION TO PROCEED IN FORMA
PAUPERIS  AND DISMISSING THE COMPLAINT
This matter comes before the Court on Plaintiff’s application to proceed in forma
pauperis pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915. The Court has reviewed Plaintiff’s application and
affidavit and GRANTS his request to proceed in forma pauperis.  For the reasons that
follow, however, the Court dismisses Plaintiff's complaint as frivolous pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
The standards governing in forma pauperis motions are set forth in 28 U.S.C. §
1915(a). The district court may authorize the commencement of a civil action without the
prepayment of fees or costs by a person who submits an affidavit that he “is unable to pay
such fees or give security therefor.” 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(1). Plaintiff claims that he is
unemployed and relies on state and federal aid for subsistence. Based on this affidavit, the
Court grants Plaintiff’s application to proceed without prepayment of fees pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 1915.
Even when a plaintiff establishes indigence, the district court must screen the
complaint as mandated by Congress in § 1915(e)(2). See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2); see also
McGore v. Wrigglesworth, 114 F.3d 601, 608 (6th Cir. 1997). Specifically, the district court
is obligated to dismiss a civil complaint if it is “frivolous . . .; [or] fails to state a claim on
which relief may be granted." § 1915(e)(2)(B). While the Court is mindful that a pro se
litigant’s complaint is held to “less stringent standards” than a complaint drafted by counsel,
it must contain facts sufficient to show that a redressable legal wrong has been committed.
See Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520 (1972); see also Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b). Dismissal
is appropriate where "the claim is based on an indisputably meritless legal theory[.]" Wilson
v. Yaklich, 148 F.3d 596, 600 (6th Cir. 1998).
Here, Plaintiff contends that Judge Rae Lee Chabot "in her action[s] and the words
of her order, have indisputably discriminated against me . . . . " (Compl. ¶ 7). But even
assuming this was true, judges and judicial employees are entitled to absolute immunity
on claims for damages. See Mireles v. Waco, 502 U.S. 9, 9–10, 112 S.Ct. 286, 116 L.Ed.2d
9 (1991) (finding that a judge performing judicial functions is absolutely immune from suit
seeking monetary damages even if acting erroneously, corruptly or in excess of
jurisdiction); Collyer v. Darling, 98 F.3d 211, 221 (6th Cir.1996) (citing Mireles, 502 U.S. at
9); see also Kircher v. City of Ypsilanti, 458 F.Supp.2d 439, 446–47 (E.D.Mich.2006)
(noting that judges are entitled to absolute judicial immunity). The Sixth Circuit has
described the immunity from suit enjoyed by judges as follows:
[J]udges of courts of superior or general jurisdiction are not liable to civil
actions for their judicial acts, even when such acts are in excess of their
jurisdiction, and are alleged to have been done maliciously or corruptly. This
immunity applies to actions brought under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 to recover for
alleged deprivation of civil rights. The Supreme Court explained: “If judges
were personally liable for erroneous decisions, the resulting avalanche of
suits, most of them frivolous but vexatious, would provide powerful incentives
for judges to avoid rendering decisions likely to provoke such suits. The
resulting timidity would be hard to detect or control, and it would manifestly
detract from independent and impartial adjudication . . . . Most judicial
mistakes or wrongs are open to correction through ordinary mechanisms of
review, which are largely free of the harmful side-effects inevitably associated
with exposing judges to personal liability.
Stern v. Mascio, 262 F.3d 600, 606 (6th Cir.2001) (internal citations omitted).
Plaintiff's challenge to the proceedings in State court involve the performance of
judicial duties by the Judge Chabot. See (Compl. ¶ 3) ("At the hearing, Chabot lied against
me, and accused me of not filing an answer . . . .). Absolute judicial immunity is overcome
in only two situations: (1) when liability is based on non-judicial actions; “i.e., actions not
taken in the judge’s judicial capacity,” and (2) when liability is based on actions taken in the
complete absence of jurisdiction.” DePiero v. City of Macedonia, 180 F.3d 770, 784 (6th
Cir. 1999). Because Plaintiff does not allege facts that fall within these two exceptions,
Judge Chabot is absolutely immune and all claims asserted against her in this matter are
DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE. In addition, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(3), this Court
hereby certifies that an appeal may not be taken in forma pauperis because it would not
be taken in good faith. This order closes the case in its entirety.1
The Court notes that Plaintiff has a history of filing meritless litigation against state
court judges and officials. See Constant v. Kumar, 15-11926 (Cox, J), (Dkt. 12) ("Having
reviewed Plaintiff’s Complaint and Response, none of the alleged actions by Judge Kumar
fall outside of the scope of judicial immunity."); Constant v. Schuette, 15-11928 (Murphy,
J) ("This Court must dismiss this action because Plaintiff’s Complaint fails to state a claim
against these Defendants upon which relief can be granted."); Plaintiff is strongly advised
to review Rule 11 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure before filing future lawsuits to
prevent against the imposition of monetary or injunctive sanctions.
S/Nancy G. Edmunds
Nancy G. Edmunds
United States District Judge
Dated: February 1, 2017
I hereby certify that a copy of the foregoing document was served upon counsel of record
on February 1, 2017, by electronic and/or ordinary mail.
S/Carol J. Bethel
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