Black v. State of Ohio et al
Memorandum of Opinion and Order For the reasons stated in the Order, this action is dismissed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B). The plaintiff's motion for appointment of counsel (Doc. No. 17 ) is denied. 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 Dan Aaron Polster on 3/9/2018. (K,K)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
NORTHERN DISTRICT OF OHIO
JAMES DARNELL BLACK,
STATE OF OHIO, et al.,
CASE NO. 1:17 CV 2393
JUDGE DAN AARON POLSTER
MEMORANDUM OF OPINION
Pro se plaintiff James Darnell Black, currently a prisoner incarcerated in the State of
Idaho, has filed an in forma pauperis complaint in this matter pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983
against the State of Ohio, the Ashland County Prosecutor’s Office, the Ashland County Sheriff’s
Office, and “Ashland County Commissioners.” (Doc. No. 2.) He has amended his complaint to
add Ashland County Court of Common Pleas Judge Ronald P. Forsthoefel as a defendant. (Doc.
The basis for his action is that his Fourth Amendment rights were violated, and he was
unlawfully confined in the Ashland County Jail in November 2011, because Judge Forsthoefel
denied his request to dismiss a 2010 criminal indictment against him with prejudice on the basis
of the single transfer rule and speedy trial provisions of the Interstate Agreement on Detainers
(IAD). This allowed the State of Ohio to re-indict him on more serious charges in Ashland
County for which he stood trial. He seeks only monetary relief.
District courts are expressly required, under 28 U.S.C. §1915(2)(2)(B), to screen all in
forma pauperis actions brought in federal court, and to dismiss before service any such action
that the court determines is frivolous or malicious, fails to state a claim on which relief may be
granted, or seeks monetary relief from defendant who is immune from such relief. See 28
U.S.C. §1915(e)(2)(B); Hill v. Lappin, 630 F.3d 468, 470-71 (6th Cir. 2010).
The plaintiff’s complaint must be dismissed pursuant to § 1915(e)(2)(B). Even assuming
his position with respect to his rights under the Interstate Agreement on Detainers (IAD) has
merit, the only two defendants he mentions in the body of his pleadings, Judge Forsthoefel and
the State of Ohio, are immune from his damages suit. It is well established that judges and other
court officers enjoy absolute immunity from suits seeking monetary damages on claims arising
out of the performance of judicial or quasi-judicial functions. See Wappler v. Carniak, 24 F.
App'x 294, 295-96 (6th Cir. 2001). The plaintiff’s allegations against Judge Forsthoefel clearly
pertain to the performance of judicial duties for which the judge is entitled to absolute immunity.
The State of Ohio is entitled to immunity under the Eleventh Amendment and cannot be
sued for damages in federal court. See Herbst v. Voinovich, 9 F. Supp.2d 828, 832 (N.D. Ohio
Accordingly, this action is dismissed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B). The
plaintiff’s motion for appointment of counsel (Doc. No. 17) is denied. 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.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
DAN AARON POLSTER
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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