United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle
HONORABLE JOHN C. COUGHENOUR
following Minute Order is made by direction of the Court, the
Honorable John C. Coughenour, United States District Judge:
matter comes before the Court sua sponte. On August
27, 2019, the Honorable Michelle L. Peterson, United States
Magistrate Judge, granted Plaintiff's motion for leave to
proceed in forma pauperis. (Dkt. No. 5.)
to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B), the Court must dismiss an
in forma pauperis complaint at any time if the
action fails to state a claim, raises frivolous or malicious
claims, or seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is
immune from such relief. In order to state a claim for
relief, a pleading must contain “a short and plain
statement of the grounds for the court's
jurisdiction” and “a short and plain statement of
the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to
relief.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(1), (2). Conclusory
allegations of law and unwarranted factual inferences are not
sufficient to state a claim. Vasquez v. L.A. Cty.,
487 F.3d 1246, 1249 (9th Cir. 2007). In addition, dismissal
is appropriate if a complaint fails to put forth “a
cognizable legal theory.” Balistreri v. Pacifica
Police Dep't, 901 F.2d 696, 699 (9th Cir. 1988).
pro se complaint suffers from several deficiencies.
First, in the “Statement of Claim” portion of
Plaintiff's complaint, Plaintiff simply states
“Post Master General, Megan J. Brennan
2022682550.” (Dkt. No. 2 at 5-6.) Plaintiff's
perfunctory statement neither establishes that he is entitled
to relief nor sets forth a cognizable legal theory.
See Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a)(2); Balistreri,
901 F.2d at 699.
Plaintiff's complaint names Magistrate Judges Deborah A.
Robinson, Robin M. Meriweather, and G. Michael Harvey, and
Clerk of Court Angela D. Caesar of the United States District
Court for the District of Columbia as Defendants in this
action. (Dkt. No. 2 at 2-3.) Plaintiff seeks $5, 858, 000.00
in damages. (Id. at 5.) Plaintiff asserts that the
Court has federal question jurisdiction over this action
because his claims arise from “judicial misconduct,
judicial conference circuit executive, Clerk (AKA) Angela
Caesar subject to removal.” (Id. at 3) (some
well established that judges are absolutely immune from
liability for acts “done by them in the exercise of
their judicial functions.” Miller v. Davis,
521 F.3d 1142, 1145 (9th Cir. 2008) (quoting Bradley v.
Fisher, 80 U.S. 335, 347 (1871)). As the Ninth Circuit
has stated, a judge remains immune from suit even if the
action she took was in error, done maliciously, or in excess
of her authority. Sadoski v. Mosley, 435 F.3d 1076,
1079 (9th Cir. 2006). The exception, of course, is that
judicial immunity does not extend to acts taken in the
“clear absence of all jurisdiction.” Stump v.
Sparkman, 435 U.S. 349, 356-57 (1978). Additionally,
“[c]ourt clerks have absolute quasi-judicial immunity
from damages for civil rights violations when they perform
tasks that are an integral part of the judicial
process.” Mullis v. U.S. Bankr. Court for Dist. of
Nev., 828 F.2d 1385, 1390 (9th Cir. 1987) (collecting
cases); cf. Sharma v. Stevas, 790 F.2d 1486
(9th Cir. 1986) (holding that clerk of the United States
Supreme Court was entitled to absolute quasi-judicial
immunity under Federal Tort Claims Act because challenged
acts were integral part of the judicial process).
discussed above, Plaintiff's perfunctory description of
his claims are insufficient to enable the Court to assess
their merits or Plaintiff's underlying legal theory.
However, Plaintiff's claims against the Magistrate Judges
Robinson, Meriweather, and Harvey may be barred by absolute
judicial immunity. See Bradley, 80 U.S. at 347.
Similarly, Plaintiff's claims for damages against Clerk
of Court Caesar may be barred by absolute quasi-judicial
immunity. See Mullis, 828 F.2d at 1390. And if
Plaintiff is seeking Clerk of Court Caesar's removal, he
has not established that he may pursue such a remedy.
See 28 U.S.C. § 751(a).
it is not clear that venue is proper in this Court.
A civil action may be brought in . . . (1) a judicial
district in which any defendant resides, if all defendants
are residents of the State in which the district is located;
(2) a judicial district in which a substantial part of the
events or omissions giving rise to the claim occurred . . .;
or (3) if there is no district in which an action may
otherwise be brought as provided in this section, any
judicial district in which any defendant is subject to the
court's personal jurisdiction with respect to such
28 U.S.C. § 1391(b). None of the Defendants reside in
this district, Plaintiff's perfunctory statement of his
claim does not demonstrate that a substantial part of the
events underlying his claims occurred here, and Plaintiff has
not demonstrated that any of the Defendants are subject to
the Court's personal jurisdiction. (See
generally Dkt. No. 2); see 28 U.S.C. §
1391(b); see also Dermendziev v. Washington, 624
Fed.Appx. 454, 455 (9th Cir. 2015) (affirming district
court's dismissal without prejudice of pro se
plaintiff's 42 U.S.C. § 1983 action for improper
the Court finds that the complaint fails to state a claim
upon which relief can be granted, it will not dismiss a claim
unless “it is absolutely clear that no amendment can
cure the [complaint's] defect[s].” Lucas v.
Dep't of Corr., 66 F.3d 245, 248 (9th Cir. 1995).
Accordingly, the Court ORDERS Plaintiff to file an amended
complaint no later than 21 days from the date this order is
issued. In his amended complaint, Plaintiff must cure the
deficiencies identified in the ...