United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
OPINION AND ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO
ALTER OR AMEND JUDGMENT (ECF NO. 4)
CORBETT O'MEARA UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Michael Ray Thomas, a state inmate who is proceeding without
the assistance of counsel, filed a civil rights complaint
under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. On January 31, 2018, the Court
dismissed Plaintiff's complaint following a screen
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. Now before the Court is
Plaintiff's motion to alter or amend judgment. (ECF No.
4.) For the reasons that follow, Plaintiff's motion is
factual background of this case is set out fully in the
Court's January 31, 2018 Order of Summary Dismissal. The
Court adopts the factual background as set out in that order.
to alter or amend judgment under Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 59 may be granted if there is a clear error of law,
newly discovered evidence, an intervening change in
controlling law or to prevent manifest injustice.
GenCorp., Inc. v. American Int'l
Underwriters, 178 F.3d 804, 834 (6th Cir. 1999).
“A motion under Rule 59(e) is not an opportunity to
re-argue a case.” Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of
Chippewa Indians v. Engler, 146 F.3d 367, 374 (6th Cir.
1998). “Parties should not use them to raise arguments
which could, and should, have been made before judgment
issued. Motions under Rule 59(e) must either clearly
establish a manifest error of law or must present newly
discovered evidence.” Id. (citing FDIC v.
World Univ. Inc., 978 F.2d 10, 16 (1st Cir. 1992)).
Attorney Grievance Commission Defendants
disagrees with the Court's conclusion that the Attorney
Grievance Commission (“AGC”) is absolutely immune
for the acts or omissions performed within its official
capacity. He cites to Grievance Administrator, Attorney
Grievance Commission, Michigan v. Fieger, 409 F.Supp.2d
858 (E.D. Mich. 2005), to support his position that a suit
can be brought against a grievance administrator provided the
challenge is “based upon the Constitution or federal
laws.” Id. at 866.
misreads the holding of the case. In Feiger, the AGC
filed a formal complaint against the defendant, who moved to
remove the case to federal court. The court held that he
could not remove the case to federal court because he did not
state a federal claim. It noted only hypothetically that such
a suit could be filed in federal court if it raised issues of
constitutional or federal law. It made no comment about the
success of such a suit. Nor did it discuss the absolute
immunity afforded to the AGC for acts or omissions performed
in its official capacity. Eston v. Van Bolt, 728
F.Supp. 1336, 1338 (E.D. Mich. 1990) (citing M.C.R.
9.108(A)). Moreover, even if Plaintiff's reading of the
case was correct, it still does not support his position, as
his entire complaint was predicated on matters of state law,
not federal or constitutional law. Plaintiff is not entitled
to relief under Rule 59 on this basis.
Michigan Supreme Court
next argues that the Michigan Supreme Court can be held
liable for its enforcement role related to attorney
discipline. As support for this position, he cites to
Supreme Court of Virginia v. Consumers Union of U.S.,
Inc., 44 U.S. 719 (1980). In that case, the United
States Supreme Court held that the Virginia Supreme Court was
not absolutely immune from suits involving its enforcement
authority over attorney discipline. It described this
enforcement authority as “beyond that of adjudicating
complaints filed by others and beyond the normal authority of
the courts to punish attorneys for contempt.”
Id. at 724. Here, Plaintiff takes issue with how the
Michigan Supreme Court handled the complaint he filed against
an attorney. His complaint does not describe anything beyond
the duty of the Michigan Supreme Court to adjudicate
complaints filed by others, and therefore the holding in
Consumers is inapposite. The Michigan Supreme Court
is immune in the instant action and Plaintiff is not entitled
to relief on this basis.
Michigan Supreme Court Justices
Plaintiff asserts that the Michigan Supreme Court justices
are not immune in this action because he filed it to seek
prospective relief to end a continuing violation of federal
law. In his motion, Plaintiff contends that he is attempting
to compel the Michigan Supreme Court justices to comply with
the First Amendment right to redress grievances, and the Due
Process clause. However, his complaint merely takes issue
with the Michigan Supreme Court's handling of his
grievance. He has no constitutional right to win his case at
the Michigan Supreme Court. Nor do his allegations that the
Michigan Supreme Court Justices failed to ...