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Guillry v. Earls

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

November 7, 2018

PATRICK GUILLRY
v.
KRISTEN EARLS, ET AL

          TERRY A. DOUGHTY JUDGE

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          CAROL B. WHITEHURST UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         Pro se plaintiff Patrick Guillory, proceeding in forma pauperis, filed the instant civil rights complaint on September 4, 2018. This matter has been referred to the undersigned for review, report, and recommendation in accordance with the provisions of 28 U.S.C. §636 and the standing orders of the Court. For the following reasons it is recommended that the complaint be DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE as frivolous and for failing to state a claim for which relief may be granted.

         Statement of the Case

          Plaintiff complains that at the age of 17, he was “forced into the life of an informant for the Crowley P.D.” [Rec. Doc. 1, p. 3] He alleges that although he was diagnosed with a mental illness, he was forced to work for the police, that his life has been in danger, that he was beaten in jail and suffered mistreatment due to his status as a known informant. He names as defendants Judge Kristian Earles (erroneously named as “Kristen Earls”), Assistant District Attorney Roger Hamilton, private attorney Jack E. Nickel, Crowley Police Department and Louisiana State Police. He seeks $25, 000, 000.00 in damages and asks this Court to “take away” his conviction.

         Law and Analysis

         1. Screening

          When a prisoner is allowed to litigate a civil rights complaint in forma pauperis, the district court should dismiss the case if at any time it determines that the complaint is frivolous, malicious, fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted, or seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B); 28 U.S.C. § 1915A (stating that when a prisoner seeks redress from a governmental entity or one of its employees, the court shall review the complaint as soon as practicable and dismiss it if the court finds the complaint frivolous, malicious, fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted, or seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from such relief); 42 U.S.C.A. § 1997e(c) (providing that a district court shall on its own motion or the motion of any party dismiss a complaint by a prisoner regarding prison conditions if the court is satisfied the complaint is frivolous, malicious, fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or seeks monetary relief from an immune defendant).

         A claim is frivolous if it has no arguable basis in law or fact. Nietzke v. Williams, 19');">490 U.S. 319, 109 S.Ct. 1827');">109 S.Ct. 1827, 104 L.Ed.2d 338 (1989). A claim has no arguable basis in law if it is based on an indisputably meritless legal theory, “such as if the complaint alleges the violation of a legal interest which clearly does not exist.” Davis v. Scott, 157 F.3d 1003');">157 F.3d 1003, 1005 (5th Cir.1998) (quotation omitted). A claim has no arguable basis in fact if “after providing the plaintiff the opportunity to present additional facts when necessary, the facts alleged are clearly baseless.” Talib v. Gilley, 138 F.3d 211, 213 (5th Cir.1998).

         While district courts are required to construe in forma pauperis complaints liberally, particularly in the context of dismissals under § 1915(e)(2)(B), they are, nonetheless, given broad discretion in determining when such complaints are frivolous. Macias v. Raul A. (Unknown) Badge No. 153, 23 F.3d 94, 97 (5th Cir.1994). A complaint may not be dismissed under § 1915(d)(2)(B) “simply because the court finds the plaintiff's allegations unlikely.” Jolly v. Klein, 923 F.Supp. 931, 942-43 (S.D.Tex.1996). Nevertheless, a civil rights plaintiff must support his claims with specific facts demonstrating a constitutional deprivation and may not simply rely on conclusory allegations. Schultea v. Wood, 47 F.3d 1427, 1433 (5th Cir.1995); see Wesson v. Ogleby, 10 F.2d 278');">910 F.2d 278, 281 (5th Cir.1990) (“An IFP complaint that recites bare legal conclusions, with no suggestion of supporting facts, or that postulates facts of an entirely fanciful nature, is a prime candidate for dismissal under [§ 1915(d)(2)(B) ].”). The district court is bound by the allegations in a plaintiff's complaint and is “not free to speculate that the plaintiff ‘might' be able to state a claim if given yet another opportunity to add more facts to the complaint.” Macias v. Raul A. (Unknown) Badge No. 153, 23 F.3d at 97.

         2. Civil Rights Claims

         A. Judge Kristian Earles

         Plaintiff's claims against 15th Judicial District Court Judge Kristian Earles arise out of the performance of his judicial duties. Judges have absolute immunity for acts done within the scope of their jurisdiction. Stump v. Sparkman, 435 U.S. 349, 356 (1978). The Fifth Circuit has delineated three elements to identify acts as being judicial in nature, and thus not in the clear absence of all jurisdiction: “(1) normal judicial functions that (2) occurred in the judge's court or chambers and were (3) centered around a case pending before the judge.” Eitel v. Holland, 787 F.2d 995, 998 (5th Cir.1986). These factors are construed liberally in favor of immunity. Adams v. McIlhany, 764 F.2d 294, 297 (5th Cir.1985). As plaintiff's allegations center around normal judicial functions that occurred in Judge Earles' courtroom related to plaintiff's criminal matter pending before him, all claims against Judge Earles should be dismissed.

         B. Assistant District ...


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