Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Smith v. Donald

United States District Court, S.D. Ohio, Eastern Division

June 16, 2017

CHARMANE SMITH, Plaintiff,
v.
JUDGE JOHN DONALD, et al., Defendants.

          GEORGE C. SMITH JUDGE.

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION AND ORDER

          KIMBERLY A. JOLSON UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         Plaintiff Charmane Smith, a Tennessee resident who is proceeding without the assistance of counsel, brings this action against Judge John Donald, Attorney Timothy L. Edington, Comenity Bank, and World Financial Network Bank. This matter is before the undersigned for consideration of Plaintiff's Motion for Leave to Proceed in forma pauperis (Doc. 1) and the initial screen of Plaintiff's Complaint under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2).

         Plaintiff's request to proceed in forma pauperis is GRANTED. All judicial officers who render services in this action shall do so as if the costs had been prepaid. 28 U.S.C . § 1915(a). Furthermore, having performed an initial screen and for the reasons that follow, it is RECOMMENDED that the Court DISMISS Plaintiff's claims.

         I. LEGAL STANDARD

         Because Plaintiff is proceeding in forma pauperis, the Court must dismiss the Complaint, or any portion of it, that is frivolous, malicious, fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted, or seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2). Rule 8(a)(2) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure requires a complaint to set forth “a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief.” In reviewing a complaint, the Court must construe it in Plaintiff's favor, accept all well-pleaded factual allegations as true, and evaluate whether it contains “enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.” Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007). “A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556). On the other hand, a complaint that consists of “labels and conclusions” or “a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action” is insufficient. Id. (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555). Although pro se complaints are to be construed liberally, Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520 (1972), “basic pleading essentials” are still required. Wells v. Brown, 891 F.2d 591, 594 (6th Cir. 1989).

         II. BACKGROUND

         Although unclear, Plaintiff seems to allege deficiencies related to a state-court proceeding in Tennessee. For instance, she alleges “legal malpractice by Judge John Donald, ” whose address, as alleged, is “General Sessions Court, 140 Adams Ave., Memphis, TN 38103.” (Doc. 1-1, ¶ 4, p. 4). She additionally claims that Attorney Timothy Edington failed “to have the case removed from the docket as closed and settled in [her] favor.” (Id., p. 1). In addition, Plaintiff alleges claims related to her credit and seeks a variety of relief, including $280 million for “damage to Business Credit Rating.” (Id., ¶ 5). The Court is unsure whether the allegations regarding Plaintiff's credit relate to the proceeding before Judge Donald.

         III. DISCUSSION

         The Court recommends dismissal on a number of grounds.

         A. Rooker-Feldman Doctrine

         First, to the extent Plaintiff challenges a judgment from a state court in Tennessee, the Rooker-Feldman doctrine bars such a claim. The United States District Court does not have jurisdiction to review state-court judgments-only the United States Supreme Court has that power. See Gottfried v. Medical Planning Servs., 142 F.3d 326, 330 (6th Cir. 1998). Further, under the Rooker-Feldman doctrine, a litigant cannot collaterally attack a state court judgment by filing a civil rights complaint. Ritter v. Ross, 992 F.2d 750, 754 (7th Cir. 1993); Dist. of Columbia Court of Appeals v. Feldman, 460 U.S. 462, 486 (1983); Rooker v. Fidelity Trust Co., 263 U.S. 413, 416 (1923). On this basis, the Court recommends dismissal of the Complaint to the extent it is challenging any Tennessee state-court proceeding.

         B. Judicial Immunity

         In addition, absolute judicial immunity bars Plaintiff's claims against Judge Donald. “Judges are immune from liability for damages for acts committed within their judicial discretion.” Pierson v. Ray, 386 U.S. 547, 87 S.Ct. 1213, 18 L.Ed.2d 288 (1967). Because the actions alleged here were taken in Judge Donald's capacity as a judge-like allegedly “allowing Attorney Edington to ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.