United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
K. MAJZOUB, MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
ORDER HOLDING ALL PROCEEDINGS IN ABEYANCE, DISMISSING
PLAINTIFF TAWANNA SIMPSON, GRANTING DEFENDANT CHIEF JUDGE
COLOMBO'S MOTION TO DISMISS, AND ADMINISTRATIVELY CLOSING
J. TARNOW, SENIOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Robert Davis filed a Complaint  and Emergency Motion for
Temporary Restraining Order or in the alternative, Motion for
Preliminary Injunction  against Defendants Ruth Johnson,
Secretary of State; Cathy M. Garrett, Wayne County Clerk;
Wayne County Election Commission; and the Honorable Judge
Robert Colombo, Jr., Chief Judge of the Wayne County Circuit
Court, on October 3, 2016.
Court convened a phone status conference on October 6, 2016.
At that conference, Plaintiffs' Counsel indicated that he
intended to file an Amended Complaint. Counsel for Defendant
Judge Colombo also advised the Court that she planned to a
file a Motion to Dismiss in the coming days.
filed an Amended Complaint  on October 10, 2016. In the
Amended Complaint, Plaintiff Davis added several new parties:
Co-Plaintiff Tawanna Simpson and Defendants Bill Schuette,
Attorney General; Janice Winfrey, Detroit City Clerk; and
Unnamed/Unknown Election Inspectors. Plaintiff Davis filed an
Amended Emergency Motion for Temporary Restraining Order or
in the alternative, Motion for Preliminary Injunction  on
October 11, 2016. Plaintiff Tawanna Simpson also filed an
Emergency Motion for Temporary Restraining Order or in the
alternative, Motion for Preliminary Injunction  on
October 11, 2016.
Court held a phone status conference on October 14, 2016. At
that conference, Counsel for Defendants Ruth Johnson and Bill
Schuette advised Plaintiffs' Counsel that, with regards
to Plaintiff Davis' desire to print and distribute
anonymous campaign literature pursuant to M.C.L. §
169.247(1), Plaintiff Davis must follow the formal
administrative procedure as spelled out in M.C.L. §
169.215(2), and request a declaratory ruling from Defendant
Secretary of State Ruth Johnson. Plaintiffs' Counsel
admitted that neither he nor his client had utilized this
process. Plaintiffs' Counsel also agreed that Plaintiff
Davis and Plaintiff Simpson are pursuing different claims for
relief, and that it is appropriate for Plaintiff Simpson to
file a separate lawsuit if she so chooses.
Judge Robert Colombo filed a Motion to Dismiss  on
October 17, 2016.
Court finds it prudent at this time to hold all proceedings
in abeyance while Plaintiff Davis proceeds with the formal
administrative process to request a declaratory ruling from
Defendant Secretary Johnson, as provided by M.C.L. §
Court will dismiss Plaintiff Tawanna Simpson from this case
because her claims are improperly joined with Plaintiff
Court will grant Defendant Judge Robert Colombo's Motion
to Dismiss. “[A] district court may, at any time, sua
sponte dismiss a complaint for lack of subject matter
jurisdiction pursuant to Rule 12(b)(1) . . . when the
allegations of a complaint are totally implausible,
attenuated, unsubstantiated, frivolous, devoid of merit, or
no longer open to discussion.” Apple v. Glenn,
183 F.3d 477, 479 (6th Cir. 1999); see also Hagans v.
Levine, 415 U.S. 528, 536-37 (1974). For the reasons set
forth below, the Court will dismiss Plaintiffs' claims
against Defendant Judge Robert Colombo.
Judge Colombo is entitled to judicial immunity.
well established that judges enjoy judicial immunity from
suits arising out of the performance of their judicial
functions. Brookings v. Clunk, 389 F.3d 614, 617
(6th Cir. 2004); see also Pierson v. Ray, 386 U.S.
547, 553-54 (1967). The Supreme Court has held that state
judges are absolutely immune from liability under 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983. Brisco v. LaHue, 460 U.S. 325, 334
(1983). The scope of judicial immunity is broad; it applies
to “acts performed maliciously and corruptly as well as
acts performed in bad faith or with malice . . .”
Brookings, 389 F.3d at 617; see also Mireles v.
Waco, 502 U.S. 9, 11 (1991).
very apparent that Plaintiffs disagree with Judge
Colombo's various decisions with regard to the Bailer and
Davis election matters. However, Plaintiffs fail to present
any evidence demonstrating that Judge Colombo has exceeded
his authority as a judicial officer. See Strump v.
Sparkman, 435 U.S. 349, 356-57 (1978) (“A judge
will not be deprived of immunity because the action he took
was in error, was done maliciously, or was in excess of his
authority . . .”). The shield of judicial immunity
fails in only two situations: first, when a judge engages in
non-judicial actions, i.e. actions not taken in the
judge's official capacity. Second, when a judge takes
action, even judicial action, in the complete absence of all
jurisdiction. See Barnes v. Winchell, 105 F.3d 1111,
1115-16 (6th Cir. 1997). Neither situation presents itself to
the Court, and Judge Colombo is entitled to judicial
Plaintiffs' claims against Judge Colombo fail pursuant to