Constant v. Matthews
ORDER granting 8 Motion to Dismiss. Signed by District Judge John Corbett O'Meara. (WBar)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF MICHIGAN
Case No. 16-14501
Honorable John Corbett O’Meara
CHERYL A. MATTHEWS,
ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO DISMISS
This matter came before the court on defendant Cheryl A. Matthews' February
21, 2017 motion to dismiss. Plaintiff Joseph Constant filed a response April 25, 2017;
and Defendant filed a reply May 9, 2017. No oral argument was heard.
Plaintiff Constant's complaint alleges that Oakland County Circuit Court Judge
Cheryl A. Matthews violated his civil rights in ruling against him in his state court
proceedings in a dispute with DTE Energy Company. The underlying state court case
arises from an action filed by DTE that resulted in its obtaining a preliminary
injunction to enter Plaintiff's property to trim trees and conduct line clearance.
Plaintiff Constant filed pro se the instant suit against Judge Matthews for alleged
violations of his civil rights under 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
Pro se litigants are held to a less stringent standard than formal pleadings drafted
by lawyers. Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520 (1972). However, the leniency
granted to pro se litigants is not boundless. Martin v. Overton, 391 F.3d 710, 714 (6th
Cir. 2004). All litigants must conduct a reasonable inquiry before filing any
pleadings. Fed. R. Civ. P. 11(b).
Judicial officers are immune from suits for monetary damages based on actions
undertaken in their judicial capacity. Mireles v. Waco, 502 U.S. 9, 11 (1991). The
immunity afforded judges applies to actions brought under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 to
recover for alleged deprivation of civil rights. Stern v. Mascio, 262 F.3d 600, 606 (6th
Cir. 2001). "Judges . . . 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." Id. at 606.
Plaintiff Constant's claims against Judge Matthews arise directly out of her
performance of judicial acts. Although Plaintiff argues that Judge Matthews' acts
"were not judicial in nature," they were. Accordingly, Plaintiff's claims are barred by
the doctrine of absolute immunity.
It is hereby ORDERED that defendant Matthews' February 21, 2017 motion to
dismiss is GRANTED.
s/John Corbett O'Meara
United States District Judge
Date: June 5, 2017
I hereby certify that a copy of the foregoing document was served upon the
parties of record on this date, June 5, 2017, using the ECF system and/or ordinary
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