United States District Court, W.D. Michigan, Southern Division
E. GALINA PHELPS, Plaintiff,
KENT ENGLE, Defendant.
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
S. CARMODY United States Magistrate Judge
initiated this action on February 28, 2018, against Kent
Engle. (ECF No. 1). As Plaintiff has been
permitted to proceed as a pauper, the Court has reviewed
Plaintiff's complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
1915(e)(2) to determine whether it is frivolous, malicious,
or fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.
For the reasons articulated herein, the undersigned
recommends that Plaintiff's complaint be
must be dismissed for failure to state a claim on which
relief may be granted unless the “[f]actual allegations
[are] enough to raise a right for relief above the
speculative level on the assumption that all of the
complaint's allegations are true." Bell Atlantic
Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 545 (2007). The Court
need not accept as true, however, factual allegations which
are Aclearly irrational or wholly incredible."
Denton v. Hernandez, 504 U.S. 25, 33 (1992).
Supreme Court more recently held, to avoid dismissal, a
complaint must contain “sufficient factual matter,
accepted as true, to 'state a claim to relief that is
plausible on its face.'" Ashcroft v. Iqbal,
556 U.S. 662, 677-78 (2009). This plausibility standard
“is not akin to a 'probability requirement, '
but it asks for more than a sheer possibility that a
defendant has acted unlawfully." If the complaint simply
pleads facts that are “merely consistent with" a
defendant's liability, it “stops short of the line
between possibility and plausibility of 'entitlement to
relief.'" Id. As the Court further
Two working principles underlie our decision in
Twombly. First, the tenet that a court must accept
as true all of the allegations contained in a complaint is
inapplicable to legal conclusions. Threadbare recitals of the
elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory
statements, do not suffice. . .Rule 8 marks a notable and
generous departure from the hyper-technical, code-pleading
regime of a prior era, but it does not unlock the doors of
discovery for a plaintiff armed with nothing more than
conclusions. Second, only a complaint that states a plausible
claim for relief survives a motion to dismiss. . .Determining
whether a complaint states a plausible claim for relief will,
as the Court of Appeals observed, be a context-specific task
that requires the reviewing court to draw on its judicial
experience and common sense. But where the wellpleaded facts
do not permit the court to infer more than the mere
possibility of misconduct, the complaint has alleged - but it
has not “show[n]" - “that the pleader is
entitled to relief."
Id. at 678-79 (internal citations omitted).
one-page complaint, Plaintiff asserts that she has initiated
the present action because Judge Engle engaged in
“obstruction of justice.” Specifically, Plaintiff
alleges that Judge Engle: (1) refused to allow Plaintiff to
represent herself; (2) approved a fraudulent document; (3)
refused to receive evidence regarding the aforementioned
fraudulent document; and (4) declined to dismiss a lawyer
from Plaintiff's case.
complaint must be dismissed for at least three reasons.
First, Plaintiff has failed to allege facts sufficient to
state a claim. Second, Judge Engle is entitled to judicial
immunity from Plaintiff's claims. See, e.g., Dixon v.
Clem, 492 F.3d 665, 674 (6th Cir. 2007). Finally, this
Court lacks jurisdiction to review final judgments of state
court judicial proceedings. See District of Columbia
Court of Appeals v. Feldman, 460 U.S. 462, 482 (1983);
Rooker v. Fidelity Trust Co., 263 U.S. 413, 415-16
(1923); Exxon Mobil Corp. v. Saudi Basic Indus.
Corp., 544 U.S. 280, 283-84 (2005).
reasons discussed herein, the undersigned recommends that
Plaintiff's claims be dismissed pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915(e)(2). The undersigned further recommends that
appeal of this matter would not be taken in good faith.
See McGore v. Wrigglesworth, 114 F.3d 601, 611 (6th
Cir. 1997); 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(3).
to this Report and Recommendation must be filed with the
Clerk of Court within fourteen (14) days of the date of
service of this notice. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(C).
Failure to file objections within the specified time waives
the right to appeal the District Court's order. See
Thomas v. Arn, 474 U.S. 140 (1985); United States v.
Walters, 638 F.2d 947 (6th Cir.1981).