United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
GRANTING APPLICATION TO PROCEED WITHOUT PREPAYING FEES,
SUMMARILY DISMISSING AND CLOSING ACTION, FINDING ALLEGATIONS
FRIVOLOUS, AND ENJOINING PLAINTIFF HERBERT STUDSTILL (EL)
FROM FILING ANY NEW ACTION WITHOUT FIRST OBTAINING PERMISSION
FROM THE COURT
Page Hood Chief Judge, United States District Court .
SUMMARY DISMISSAL OF COMPLAINT
the Court is Plaintiff Herbert Studstill's Application to
Proceed Without Prepaying Fees or Costs. A review of
the application supports his claim of pauper status. The
Court grants in forma pauperis status to proceed
without prepayment of the filing fee for this action.
However, for the reasons set forth below, the Court dismisses
the action as frivolous and for failure to state a claim upon
which relief may be granted.
to the provisions of 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B), a
district court may dismiss a complaint before service on a
defendant if it is satisfied that the action is frivolous,
malicious, if it fails to state a claim upon which relief may
be granted, or if it seeks monetary relief from a defendant
or defendants who is/are immune from such relief. A complaint
may be dismissed as frivolous “where it lacks an
arguable basis either in law or in fact.” Neitzke
v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 325 (1989). In McGore v.
Wrigglesworth, the Sixth Circuit clarified the
procedures a district court must follow when faced with a
civil action filed by a non-prisoner proceeding in
Unlike prisoner cases, complaints by non-prisoners are not
subject to the screening process required by § 1915A.
However, the district court must still screen the complaint
under § 1915(e)(2) ... Section 1915(e)(2) provides us
with the ability to screen these, as well as prisoner cases
that satisfy the requirements of this section. The screening
must occur even before process is served or the individual
has had an opportunity to amend the complaint. The complaint
must be dismissed if it falls within the requirements of
§ 1915(e)(2) when filed.
McGore v. Wrigglesworth, 114 F.3d 601, 608 (6th Cir.
1997)(overruled on other grounds by Jones v. Bock,
549 U.S. 199 (2007)); Smith v. Bernanke, 283 F.
App'x 356, 357 (6th Cir. Jun. 26, 2008). Federal courts
hold the pro se complaint to a “less stringent
standard” than those drafted by attorneys. Haines
v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519 (1972). However, pro se
litigants are not excused from failing to follow basic
procedural requirements. Jourdan v. Jabe, 951 F.2d
108, 110 (6th Cir. 1991); Brock v. Hendershott, 840
F.2d 339, 343 (6th Cir. 1988).
alleges in his Complaint that on February 8, 2016, a hearing
was held before District Judge Tina Brooks Green of the 34th
Judicial District, State of Michigan, where Plaintiff
challenged the jurisdiction of the court over his person.
(Doc. No. 1, Pg ID 4) Plaintiff claims that he had requested
Judge Green for her oath of office, but Judge Green refused
to show Plaintiff the oath. Id. Instead, Plaintiff
asserts that Judge Green threatened him with 20 hours of
community service. Id. Plaintiff argues that Judge
Green was without jurisdiction to proceed in his case or to
force him to undergo a mental evaluation. Id. at 5.
Plaintiff further asserts that Judge Green committed an act
of treason when she failed to uphold her oath of office.
construing Plaintiff's Complaint, the Court finds that it
fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted under
Rule 12(b)(6). Defendant is a judicial officer. As a general
rule, judges are entitled to absolute judicial immunity on
claims for monetary damages under 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
Mireles v. Waco, 502 U.S. 9, 10 (1991). “It is
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), citing Pierson v. Ray, 386 U.S.
547, 553-54(1967). Injunctive relief against a judicial
officer is also foreclosed under 42 U.S.C. § 1983
(“injunctive relief shall not be granted” in an
action brought against “a judicial officer for an act
or omission take in such officer's judicial capacity . .
. unless a declaratory decree was violated or declaratory
relief was unavailable.”). See Kipen v.
Lawson, 57 F. App'x 691 (6th Cir. 2003); Kircher
v. City of Ypsilanti, 458 F.Supp.2d 439, 446-47 (E.D.
Mich. 2006); Hass v. Wisconsin, 109 F. App'x
107, 113-14 (7th Cir. 2004); Savage v. Mester, 2007
WL 3173369, Case No. 07-14200 (E.D. Mich. Oct. 29, 2007).
appears that Plaintiff is seeking to further litigate the
criminal action against him on the Obstruction of Justice
criminal matter which was before the Defendant. The Supreme
Court in Heck v. Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477 (1994) held
that a state prisoner cannot state a cognizable claim under
42 U.S.C. § 1983 if a ruling on the claim would
necessarily imply the invalidity of a conviction and
confinement until such time that the conviction is reversed
on direct appeal, expunged by executive order, declared
invalid by a state tribunal, or called into question by a
federal court's issuance of a writ of habeas corpus.
Heck, 512 U.S. at 486-87. Plaintiff's claim
seeking to review the criminal matter before the Defendant
must be dismissed for failure to state a claim upon which
relief may be granted.
ENJOINING FURTHER FILING
instant action is the thirteenth action filed by
Plaintiff within the last two years. Ten of the actions were
summarily dismissed by the various judges assigned to the
case. (See footnote 1 infra.) Two of the cases were
dismissed based on motions by the defendant. (See Case Nos.
15-12336 and 15-14043) Plaintiff sued his own mother in two
cases for slander while speaking on his behalf in court. (See
Case Nos. 16-12406 and 16-14068) Plaintiff also sued two
state court district judges. (See Case Nos. 16-10536 and
Sixth Circuit has held that district courts may properly
enjoin vexatious litigants from filing further actions
against a defendant without first obtaining leave of court.
Feathers v. Chevron U.S.A., Inc., 141 F.3d 264, 269
(6th Cir. 1998); see also, Filipas v. Lemons, 835
F.2d 1145, 1146 (6th Cir. 1987). “There is nothing
unusual about imposing prefiling restrictions in matters with
a history of repetitive or vexatious litigation.”
Feathers, 141 F.3d at 269. A district court need
only impose “a conventional prefiling review
requirement.” Id. The traditional tests
applicable to preliminary injunction motions need not be
applied since the district court's prefiling review
affects the district court's inherent power and does not
deny a litigant access to courts of law. See In re
Martin-Trigona, 737 F.2d 1254, 1262 (2d Cir. 1984). A
prefiling review requirement is a judicially imposed remedy
whereby a plaintiff must obtain leave of the district court
to assure that the claims are not frivolous or harassing.
See e.g., Ortman v. Thomas, 99 F.3d 807,
811 (6th Cir. 1996). Often, a litigant is merely attempting
to collaterally attack prior unsuccessful suits.
Filipas, 835 F.2d at 1146.
light of Plaintiff's now thirteen filed actions (most
have been summarily dismissed by various judges in this
Court), it is appropriate the Plaintiff must obtain
permission of the district court for any new action to assure
that the claims are not frivolous or harassing. Many of
Plaintiff's actions relate to the state court proceedings
before the 34th Judicial District Court, State of Michigan.