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Gregory v. Gerds

United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division

July 26, 2019

Lilbert H. Gregory, Plaintiff,
v.
Carl F. Gerds III & Diane Druzinski, Defendants.

          Elizabeth A. Stafford, Mag. Judge.

          OPINION AND ORDER CONSOLIDATING NOS. 19-CV-11421 AND 19-CV-11680 AND SUMMARILY DISMISSING

          JUDITH E. LEVY, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         I. Introduction

         Before the Court are Plaintiff Lilbert H. Gregory's pro se civil rights complaints filed pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Gregory is an inmate incarcerated at the Macomb County Jail.

         In the complaint filed in No. 19-cv-11421, Gregory sues Michigan Judges Carl F. Gerds III and Diane Druzinski. He asserts that he has a pending criminal case in Macomb County for armed robbery, and claims that on December 7, 2018, Gerds set pretrial bond at $750, 000. Additionally, Gregory alleges that on April 22, 2019, Drusinski denied his motion to reduce this bond. As a result, he requests the Court “to grant [him] a reasonable bond with 10%. [He] would also like the Court to award [him] lost and punitive damages. [He] respectfully ask[s] the Court to remove the Hon. Judge Diane Druzinski from [his] criminal proceedings.” (ECF No. 1, PageID.4-5).

         In the complaint filed in No. 19-cv-11680, Gregory sues Druzinski for allowing his race to be listed as Black in his police report. He also reiterates his claims about excessive bail. Finally, Gregory seeks an order compelling the state court to set reasonable bail and damages.

         The Court consolidates these two cases into one action. And after careful review of the complaints, summarily dismisses both of them.

         II. Standard of Review

         Gregory was granted permission to proceed without prepayment of fees, otherwise known as proceeding in forma pauperis. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a). Under the Prison Litigation Reform Act, the Court is required to dismiss any in forma pauperis action filed by a prisoner brought under federal law if the complaint is frivolous, malicious, fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted, or seeks monetary relief from a defendant immune from such relief. §§ 1915(e)(2), 1915A; 42 U.S.C. § 1997e(c). However, the Court must read a pro se complaint generously, see Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520 (1972), and accept the allegations as true unless they are clearly irrational or wholly incredible. Denton v. Hernandez, 504 U.S. 25, 33 (1992).

         III. Consolidation

         Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 42 (a)(2) indicates that a district court may consolidate actions which “involve a common question of law or fact.” And a district court is also permitted to consolidate separate civil rights actions prior to screening the case. See, e.g., Johnson v. Johns, 100 Fed.Appx. 496, 496 (6th Cir. 2004). Gregory's two civil rights cases involve a common question of law or fact. And as such, these cases will be consolidated into one action.

         IV. Analysis

         A. Request for Pretrial Bond

         Gregory first asks the Court to grant him a reasonable bond. In Younger v. Harris, 401 U.S. 37, 45 (1971), the United States Supreme Court held that federal courts should not enjoin pending state criminal proceedings except in a “very unusual circumstance” where an injunction is necessary to prevent “both great and immediate” irreparable injury. This is the Younger abstention doctrine. It instructs federal courts to abstain from interfering in state cases where: (1) there is a pending or ongoing state judicial proceeding; (2) that implicates important state interests; and (3) where there is an adequate opportunity in the state proceedings for the defendant to ...


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