Hudson v. Hood et al
OPINION and ORDER Summarily Dismissing Plaintiff's 1 Complaint under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2). Signed by District Judge Stephen J. Murphy, III. (DPar)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF MICHIGAN
Case No. 2:17-cv-10608
HONORABLE STEPHEN J. MURPHY, III
DENISE HOOD, et al.,
OPINION AND ORDER SUMMARILY
DISMISSING PLAINTIFF'S COMPLAINT UNDER 28 U.S.C § 1915(e)(2)
Plaintiff Antonio Hudson filed a pro se complaint against Chief United States District
Judge Denise Hood, United States District Judge Arthur Tarnow, United States Circuit
Judge Alice Batchelder, United States District Judge Peter Economus, United States
Supreme Court Clerk Scott Harris, United States Supreme Court Case Manager Clayton
Higgins, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder, the Michigan Department of Corrections, and
Michigan Parole Board Member Michael Eagen. Hudson alleges violations of a variety of
statutes: 28 U.S.C. § 2254; 28 U.S.C. § 2244; 42 U.S.C. § 1983; 42 U.S.C. § 1985(2), (3);
28 U.S.C. § 1331(a); 28 U.S.C. § 1332; 28 U.S.C. § 1343(2), (3), (4); 28 U.S.C. §
1391(b)(2)(c); 18 U.S.C. § 241, 242; Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents; the Habeas
Corpus Act; the RICO Act; and Title Six of the U.S. Civil Rights Act of 1964. Additionally,
Hudson alleges numerous violations of the United States Constitution: Article 1, Section
9, Cl. 2; and the First, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, Ninth, Thirteenth, and
Fourteenth Amendments. Hudson seeks $106,000,000 in damages. For the following
reasons, the Court will grant Hudson's application to proceed in forma pauperis, and
dismiss the complaint.
In 1990, a Michigan court convicted Hudson of multiple crimes: two counts of
kidnapping, Mich. Comp. Laws § 750.89; first-degree criminal sexual conduct, Mich. Comp.
Laws § 750.520B; and assault with a dangerous weapon, Mich. Comp. Laws § 750.84.
ECF 2, PgID 47. He was sentenced to 15 to 30 years imprisonment. He petitioned a federal
court for a writ of habeas corpus. After 10 years of litigation, the court denied Hudson's
petition. See Hudson v. Kapture, Case No. 2:99-cv-73834 (E.D. Mich. Sept. 15, 1999)
(Tarnow, J., presiding). The Sixth Circuit affirmed. Id. at ECF 205. As a prisoner, Hudson
filed a § 1983 and Bivens claim against Judge Tarnow and Governor Snyder (and other
federal and state officials), alleging statutory and constitutional violations based on the
denial of his habeas petition. See Hudson v. Tarnow, et al., Case No. 2:13-cv-12604
(Economus, J., presiding). This case was dismissed with prejudice for failure to state a
claim. Id. at ECF 89. After Hudson's release from custody, he filed the present complaint.
Under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2), the Court must summarily dismiss any in forma
pauperis complaint that is frivolous, malicious, fails to state a claim upon which relief can
be granted, or seeks monetary relief from a defendant immune from such relief. When
reviewing a complaint under § 1915(e), however, the Court must grant a "liberal
construction to pro se filings." Jones v. Caruso, 569 F.3d 258, 263 (6th Cir. 2009). And the
Court must accept a pro se plaintiff's factual allegations as true, unless they are "irrational
or wholly incredible." Patterson v. Godward, 370 F. App'x 608, 609 (6th Cir. 2010) (quoting
Denton v. Hernandez, 504 U.S. 25, 33 (1992)). But "[t]he leniency granted to pro se
[litigants] . . . is not boundless." Martin v. Overton, 391 F.3d 710, 714 (6th Cir. 2004).
"A complaint is frivolous where plaintiff failed to present a claim with an arguable or
rational basis in law or in fact." Perry v. Rose, 205 F.3d 1341 (6th Cir. 2000) (unpublished
table decision). For example, "an in forma pauperis complaint that merely repeats pending
or previously litigated claims may be dismissed under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(i) as frivolous
or malicious." Cummings v. Mason, No. 1:11-CV-649, 2011 WL 2745937, at *1 (W.D. Mich.
July 13, 2011); see, e.g., McWilliams v. State of Colorado, 121 F.3d 573, 574 (10th Cir.
1997) ("[R]epetitious litigation of virtually identical causes of action may be dismissed under
§ 1915 as frivolous or malicious.") (quotations omitted); Cato v. United States, 70 F.3d
1103, 1105 n.2 (9th Cir. 1995) (noting that 28 U.S.C. § 1915 permits dismissal of a
complaint "that merely repeats pending or previously litigated claims.").
A complaint is duplicative when the "parties and available relief do not significantly
differ from an earlier-filed action." Cummings, 2011 WL 2745937, at *2. "Although
complaints may not significantly differ, they need not be identical." Id. (quotations omitted).
For example, a complaint that "repeats the same factual allegations" against "different
defendants" may be dismissed as duplicative. Id. (quoting Bailey v. Johnson, 846 F.2d
1019, 1021 (5th Cir. 1988)).
Here, Hudson's complaint is substantively identical to the claim he filed nearly four
years ago. See Hudson v. Tarnow, et al., Case No. 2:13-cv-12604 (E.D. Mich. Sept. 22,
2014). In the earlier-filed case, Hudson brought a claim under § 1983 and Bivens against
Judge Tarnow, Governor Snyder, the Michigan Department of Corrections, and other
federal and state officials. Id. He alleged that the denial of his habeas petition violated his
civil rights. The prior court decided Hudson's claim on the merits: the doctrine of judicial
immunity barred Hudson's claims against the federal defendants, and Eleventh Amendment
and qualified immunity barred his claims against the Michigan defendants. Id. at ECF 89.
The prior court denied Hudson's application to proceed in forma pauperis on appeal, and
the Sixth Circuit affirmed. Id. at ECF 101.
Hudson's present complaint does not significantly differ from his earlier-filed suit. He
repeats the same factual allegations against Judge Tarnow, Governor Snyder, and the
Michigan Department of Corrections, and adds Judges Hood, Batchelder, and Economus,
Supreme Court Clerk Harris, United States Supreme Court Case Manager Higgins, and
Michigan Parole Board Member Eagen as defendants. And Hudson's complaint repeats his
previously-litigated claim that federal and state officials violated his civil rights during the
litigation of his petition for habeas corpus. Although he added six defendants, his present
claim is substantively identical to his earlier-filed claim. Accordingly, the Court will dismiss
the complaint under § 1915(e)(2)(B) as frivolous or malicious. The Court also finds that an
appeal would be frivolous and could not be taken in good faith. 28 U.S.C. §1915(a)(3).
Therefore the Court will deny Hudson leave to proceed in forma pauperis on appeal. See
Fed. R. App. P. 24(a).
WHEREFORE, it is hereby ORDERED that Hudson's Application to Proceed In
Forma Pauperis  is GRANTED.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Hudson's Complaint is DISMISSED WITH
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Hudson is DENIED leave to proceed in forma
pauperis on appeal.
s/Stephen J. Murphy, III
STEPHEN J. MURPHY, III
United States District Judge
Dated: March 21, 2017
I hereby certify that a copy of the foregoing document was served upon the parties and/or
counsel of record on March 21, 2017, by electronic and/or ordinary mail.
s/David P. Parker
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