WALTHOUR v. JONES
OPINION SIGNED BY HONORABLE JOEL H. SLOMSKY ON 11/9/17. 11/14/17 ENTERED AND COPIES MAILED TO PRO SE. (va, )
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA
C. DARNELL JONES, II,
November 9, 2017
Plaintiff Victor Walthour brings this civil action against the Honorable C. Darnell Jones,
II because he believes that Judge Jones violated his constitutional rights. Plaintiff’s claims are
based on the fact that Judge Jones dismissed a civil action filed by Plaintiff, Walthour v.
Feldman, E.D. Pa. Civ. A. No. 15-6643. On May 16, 2016, Plaintiff filed a Motion to Remove
the Complaint. (Doc. No. 2.) On May 23, 2016, Plaintiff’s Motion was granted by Order of this
Court, and the case was dismissed without prejudice. (Doc. No. 3.)
On November 3, 2017, Plaintiff filed a Motion to Reopen the Complaint (Doc. No. 4) and
a Motion that Any Request to Dismiss Be Denied (Doc. No. 5). The Motions (Doc. Nos. 4, 5)
are before the Court for a decision. For the foregoing reasons, the Motion to Reopen the
Complaint (Doc. No. 4) will be granted, but the Motion that Any Request to Dismiss Be Denied
(Doc. No. 5) will be denied because Judge Jones has absolute immunity.
Plaintiff, proceeding in forma pauperis, filed a Motion to Reopen the Complaint. (Doc.
No. 4.) The Court will grant the Motion because the Court previously dismissed the Complaint
without prejudice. (Doc. No. 3.) However, 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(i) requires the Court to
dismiss a Complaint if it is frivolous. A Complaint is frivolous if it “lacks an arguable basis
either in law or in fact,” Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 325 (1989), and is legally baseless if
it is “based on an indisputably meritless legal theory.” Deutsch v. United States, 67 F.3d 1080,
1085 (3d Cir. 1995). As Plaintiff is proceeding pro se, the Court construes his allegations
liberally. Higgs v. Att’y Gen., 655 F.3d 333, 339 (3d Cir. 2011).
Judges are entitled to absolute immunity from civil rights claims that are based on acts or
omissions taken in their judicial capacity, as long as they do not act in the complete absence of
all jurisdiction. See Stump v. Sparkman, 435 U.S. 349, 355-56 (1978); Azubuko v. Royal, 443
F.3d 302, 303-04 (3d Cir. 2006) (per curiam). As it is apparent that Plaintiff is suing Judge Jones
based on Judge Jones’s dismissal of his case, his claims are clearly barred by judicial immunity.
Accordingly, Plaintiff’s Complaint against Judge Jones is legally baseless. If Plaintiff was
dissatisfied with Judge Jones’s ruling, he was entitled to appeal to the Third Circuit Court of
For the foregoing reasons, the Court will grant the Motion to Reopen the Complaint
(Doc. No. 4), will deny the Motion that Any Request to Dismiss Be Denied (Doc. No. 5), and
will dismiss the Complaint. Plaintiff will not be given leave to amend because he cannot cure
the defects in his claims. An appropriate Order follows.
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