United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
ORDER OF SUMMARY DISMISSAL
VICTORIA A. ROBERTS UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Marvin Belser, Sr., a state inmate currently incarcerated at
the Carson City Correctional Facility in Carson City,
Michigan, has filed a pro se complaint under 42
U.S.C. § 1983. He names two defendants, Wayne County
Circuit Court Judges Vonda Evans and Sheila Ann Gibson
Manning. He challenges their decisions related to a child
protective services case and his criminal trial. He also
argues that their actions violated Michigan's Public
Health Code. Plaintiff seeks declaratory and monetary relief.
The complaint will be dismissed under 28 U.S.C. §
1915(e)(2)(B) for failure to state a claim upon which relief
may be granted
addition to Marvin Belser, Sr., the complaint names five
additional plaintiffs. However, Belser, Sr., is the only
plaintiff to have signed the complaint and the only plaintiff
to have submitted an application to proceed in forma
pauperis. There is no indication that any of the
additional plaintiffs were even aware of Belser's intent
to file this case. These plaintiffs, therefore, are dismissed
the filing of his complaint, Plaintiff has filed a Motion for
Leave to Amend Complaint (ECF No. 7), a second Motion for
Leave to Amend Complaint (ECF No. 8), a Motion to Submit
Relevant Documents (ECF No. 9), and a Motion to Submit More
Relevant Documents (ECF No. 10). Plaintiff's motions for
leave to amend complaint seek to expand the relief he seeks
in this action. As discussed below, the Court finds that the
complaint fails to state a claim for relief under § 1983
and declines to exercise jurisdiction over the state-law
claims. Amendment of the relief section, therefore, would be
futile and the motions are denied. Plaintiff's motions to
submit additional exhibits are granted and the documents
attached to the motions are accepted for filing.
Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a) requires that a complaint set
forth “a short and plain statement of the claim showing
that the pleader is entitled to relief, ” as well as
“a demand for the relief sought.” Fed.R.Civ.P.
8(a)(2), (3). The purpose of this rule is to “give the
defendant fair notice of what the . . . claim is and the
grounds upon which it rests.” Bell Atl. Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007) (quoting Conley v.
Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 47 (1957) and Fed.R.Civ.P.
8(a)(2)). While this notice pleading standard does not
require “detailed” factual allegations,
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555, it does require more than
the bare assertion of legal conclusions or “an
accusation.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662,
678 (2009). “A pleading that offers ‘labels and
conclusions' or ‘a formulaic recitation of the
elements of a cause of action will not do.'”
Id. (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555).
“Nor does a complaint suffice if it tenders
‘naked assertion[s]' devoid of ‘further
factual enhancement.'” Id. (quoting
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 557).
has been granted leave to proceed without prepayment of the
filing fee for this action. Under the Prison Litigation
Reform Act (“PLRA”), the Court is required to
sua sponte dismiss an in forma pauperis
complaint before service on a defendant if it determines that
the action is frivolous or malicious, fails to state a claim
upon which relief can be granted, or seeks monetary relief
against a defendant who is immune from such relief.
See 42 U.S.C. § 1997e(c); 28 U.S.C. §
1915(e)(2)(B). Similarly, the Court is required to dismiss a
complaint seeking redress against government entities,
officers, and employees that it finds to be frivolous or
malicious, fails to state a claim upon which relief may be
granted, or seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is
immune from such relief. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b). A
complaint is frivolous if it lacks an arguable basis in law
or in fact. Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 325
state a federal civil rights claim, a plaintiff must allege
that: (1) he was deprived of a right, privilege, or immunity
secured by the federal Constitution or laws of the United
States, and (2) the deprivation was caused by a person acting
under color of state law. Flagg Bros. v. Brooks, 436
U.S. 149, 155-57 (1978). A pro se civil rights
complaint is to be construed liberally. Haines v.
Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520-21 (1972).
noted, Plaintiff's complaint focuses on the actions of
state court judges Evans and Gibson Manning. Judges are
absolutely immune from civil rights suits when acting in a
judicial capacity unless they act in the clear absence of all
jurisdiction. See Mireles v. Waco, 502 U.S. 9, 11-12
(1991). Whether an action is “judicial” depends
on the “‘nature of the act itself, i.e.,
whether it is a function normally performed by a judge,
'” and “‘the expectations of the
parties, i.e., whether they dealt with the judge in
his judicial capacity.'” Id. at 13,
quoting Stump v. Sparkman, 435 U.S. 349, 362 (1978).
A judge's acts do not become non-judicial simply because
they are erroneous or “in excess of his
authority”; if that were the case, then “any
mistake of a judge in excess of his authority would become a
‘nonjudicial' act, because an improper or erroneous
act cannot be said to be normally performed by a
judge.” Id. at 12. Plaintiff complains of
Judge Evans' and Judge Gibson Mannings' actions
related to a child custody proceeding and his criminal trial,
including evidence Plaintiff argues was improperly considered
at his criminal trial and an incorrect verdict reached in
that trial. Plaintiff's allegations concern actions
normally performed by a judge. Therefore, these defendants
are immune from suit under § 1983.
addition, Plaintiff argues that Defendants' actions
violated various provisions of Michigan's Public Health
Code. Section 1983 does not provide redress for a violation
of a state law. Pyles v. Raisor, 60 F.3d 1211, 1215
(6th Cir. 1995). Plaintiff's assertion that Defendants
violated state law therefore fails to state a claim under
§ 1983. Moreover, to the extent that Plaintiff seeks to
invoke this Court's supplemental jurisdiction over a
state-law claim, the Court declines to exercise jurisdiction.
In determining whether to retain supplemental jurisdiction,
“[a] district court should consider the interests of
judicial economy and the avoidance of multiplicity of
litigation and balance those interests against needlessly
deciding state law issues.” Landefeld v. Marion
Gen. Hosp., Inc., 994 F.2d 1178, 1182 (6th Cir. 1993).
Ordinarily, where a district court has exercised jurisdiction
over a state-law claim solely by virtue of ...