Payne v. Collier-Williams
Memorandum Opinion and Order dismissing this action pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A for the reasons set forth within. The court further certifies, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §1915(a)(3), that an appeal from this decision could not be taken in good faith. Signed by Judge Solomon Oliver, Jr. on 8/8/2017. (R,Sh) (Additional attachment(s) added on 8/8/2017: # 1CORRECT Memorandum of Opinion) (R,Sh). Modified to add memorandum, wrong document uploaded on 8/8/2017 (R,Sh).
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
NORTHERN DISTRICT OF OHIO
Case No.: 1:17 CV 1464
JUDGE SOLOMON OLIVER, JR.
MEMORANDUM OF OPINION
Pro Se Plaintiff Kevin Payne, a state prisoner detained in the Cuyahoga County Jail, has filed
an in forma pauperis civil rights Complaint in this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against
Defendant Cassandra Collier-Williams, a Judge of the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas.
(Doc. No. 1.) The Plaintiff contends Judge Collier-Williams violated his constitutional rights by
not declaring a mistrial in a state criminal case against him, and he seeks damages and dismissal of
the state case.
Federal district courts are required, under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, to review as soon as practical
after docketing any complaint filed in a civil action in which a prisoner seeks redress from a
governmental entity, or an officer or employee of a governmental entity, and to dismiss before
service such action that the court determines is frivolous or malicious, fails to state a claim on which
relief can be granted, or seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief.
See Hill v. Lappin, 630 F.3d 468, 470 (6th Cir. 2010).
The Plaintiff’s Complaint must be dismissed. Judges are entitled to absolute immunity from
suits based on their judicial acts, even if they acted erroneously or in bad faith. Mireles v. Waco, 502
U.S. 9, 11 (1991). Absolute judicial immunity is overcome in only two sets of circumstances, if the
judge’s actions were “nonjudicial” in nature or were “taken in the complete absence of all
jurisdiction.” Id. at 11–12. Plaintiff has not alleged facts plausibly suggesting that Judge CollierWilliams took any action falling outside of the scope of her judicial immunity. To the contrary, his
allegations clearly pertain to judicial acts for which the Judge is absolutely immune from suit.
Furthermore, to the extent the Plaintiff asks the court to dismiss a state criminal judgment
against him, or to dismiss a state criminal case, his action is barred by the Rooker-Feldman doctrine,
which precludes a federal court from exercising jurisdiction over claims that, in substance, seek
appellate review of a state court decision. See Dakota v. Brown, No. 3:12 CV 2110, 2012 WL
5378733, at *5 (N.D. Ohio Oct. 31, 2012). Federal district courts do not have jurisdiction over
challenges to state court decisions even if the challenges purport to allege that a state court’s action
was unconstitutional. Id.
Accordingly, this action is dismissed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. The court further
certifies, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §1915(a)(3), that an appeal from this decision could not be taken in
IT IS SO ORDERED.
/s/ SOLOMON OLIVER, JR.
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
August 8, 2017
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