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Cox v. Dorroh

United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Shreveport Division

August 15, 2017

PATTI MARIE COX
v.
KATHERINE C. DORROH, ET AL.

          HAYES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

          MEMORANDUM RULING

          S. MAURICE HICKS, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Before the Court is a Motion to Dismiss (Record Document 22) filed by Defendant Judge Katherine C. Dorroh (“Judge Dorroh”). Judge Dorroh seeks dismissal of Plaintiff Patti Marie Cox's (“Cox”) complaint for declaratory and injunctive relief. Cox has opposed the Motion to Dismiss. See Record Document 28. For the reasons set forth below, the Motion to Dismiss (Record Document 22) is GRANTED and all of Cox's claims against Judge Dorroh are DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE.

         BACKGROUND

         Cox was arrested for domestic violence in February 2014. See Record Document 12 at 8. She had five court dates in 2014 and believed the charges against her would be dropped. See id. Cox alleges that she began asking for a jury trial on May 5, 2015. See id. She further alleges:

I was only told that a Domestic Violence charge was a petty offense and a jury trial was not allowed altought [sic] the average sentence for Domestic Abuse Battery is three years. I have asked for a jury trial at every court date I have had.
In April 2016, I was again charged with Domestic Violence and am now facing up to three years in prison. I again ask for a jury trial on May 17, 2016. Assistance [sic] District Attorney . . . said I would qualify for a jury trial. Judge Dorroh asked me if I was an attorney and I said no. Her reply, “We are not going to do that.”
I do not have to be an attorney to have a jury trial. My rights to a jury trial come from the Sixth and Fourteenth Amendments.

Id.

         Cox has sued Judge Dorroh “pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for deprivation of rights under color of law in claims arising from violations of federal constitutional rights guaranteed in the Sixth and Fourteenth Amendments.” Record Document 12 at 3. More specifically, Cox alleged:

As a citizen of the United States of America, I have a federal right to a jury trial.
[Judge Dorroh is] depriving me of my federal rights under color of law that are secured by the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights.

Id. at 8. Cox also alleges a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 242, which provides:

Whoever, under color of any law, statute, ordinance, regulation, or custom, willfully subjects any person in any State, Territory, Commonwealth, Possession, or District to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured or protected by the Constitution or laws of the United States, or to different punishments, pains, or penalties, on account of such person being an alien, or by reason of his color, or race, than are prescribed for the punishment of citizens, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both; and if bodily injury results from the acts committed in violation of this section or if such acts include the use, attempted use, or threatened use of a dangerous weapon, explosives, or fire, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both; and if death results from the acts committed in violation of this section or if such acts include kidnapping or an attempt to kidnap, aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to commit aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to kill, shall be fined under this title, or imprisoned for any term of years or for life, or both, or may be sentenced to death.

18 U.S.C. § 242. As to Section 242, Cox maintains that Judge Dorroh's denial of a jury trial request was “willful, ” as required by Section 242. Record Document 12 at 9. In her prayer ...


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