United States District Court, D. Kansas
FREDDIE L. WILLIAMS, Plaintiff,
CHRISTOPHER SCHNEIDER, et al., Defendants.
ORDER OF DISMISSAL
CROW U.S. SENIOR DISTRICT JUDGE
matter is a civil rights action filed under 42 U.S.C.
§1983. Plaintiff, a pretrial detainee held at the
Wyandotte County Jail, proceeds
pro se and in forma pauperis.
names the district attorney and a state district judge as
defendants in this action. He claims he is being held on
charges that lack evidentiary support, that he has been
incarcerated for 17 months without a preliminary hearing or
trial, and that his request for a bond modification was
denied. He asserts claims of obstruction of justice,
excessive bail, and the violation of his right to a speedy
seeks the dismissal of his criminal case and monetary
federal court must conduct a preliminary review of any case
in which a prisoner seeks relief against a governmental
entity or an officer or employee of such an entity.
See 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). Following this
review, the court must dismiss any portion of the complaint
that is frivolous, malicious, fails to state a claim upon
which relief may be granted, or seeks monetary damages from a
defendant who is immune from that relief. See 28
screening, a court liberally construes pleadings filed by a
party proceeding pro se and applies “less stringent
standards than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers.”
Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007).
Court has examined the complaint and the proposed supplement
to the complaint and finds this matter is subject to
dismissal. First, the defendant district attorney is entitled
to absolute immunity from damages arising from his action as
an advocate for the State. Imbler v. Pachtman, 424
U.S. 409, 430-32 (1976). “The ‘public trust of
the prosecutor's office would suffer' were the
prosecutor to have in mind his ‘own potential'
damages ‘liability' when making prosecutorial
decision - as he might well were he subject to § 1983
liability.” Van de Kamp v. Goldstein, 555 U.S.
335, 341-42 (2009)(quoting Imbler, 424 U.S. at 424).
considering whether a prosecutor's actions are shielded
by this immunity, the Court must consider whether the conduct
in question is “intimately associated with the judicial
phase of the criminal process.” Imbler, 424
U.S. at 430-31. The “determinative factor is
‘advocacy' because that is the prosecutor's
main function and the one most akin to his quasi-judicial
role.” Mink v. Suthers, 482 F.3d 1244, 1261
(10th Cir. 2007)(quoting Roberts v.
Kling, 104 F.3d 316, 319 (10thCir. 1997)).
Here, the conduct of the defendant district attorney appears
to be the decision on the charges brought against plaintiff.
Because that conduct clearly falls within the
prosecutor's role as an advocate and is closely
associated with the judicial phase of the criminal
proceedings against plaintiff, the defendant is protected by
absolute prosecutorial immunity. Therefore, plaintiff's
claims for damages against this defendant must be dismissed.
also names a state district judge as a defendant. A judge has
absolute immunity from suit for acts performed within the
jurisdiction of the court. See Stump v. Sparkman,
435 U.S. 349, 356-57 (1978). In determining whether the
defendant judge's actions identified in the complaint
were within her judicial capacity, the Court must look to the
nature of the act, that is, whether the nature of the act is
judicial, and not whether the act was erroneous or malicious.
Mireles v. Waco, 502 U.S. 9, 13 (1991)(considering
“the particular act's relation to a general
function normally performed by a judge”).
Plaintiff's claims against the defendant judge concern
her decisions in setting the amount of bond, denying his
motions for modification and to dismiss, and her management
of his criminal case. Because all of these acts are within
her judicial role, the defendant judge is shielded by
absolute judicial immunity, and plaintiff's claims
against her must be dismissed.
plaintiff's claims under § 1983 against the named
defendants fail due to the immunities described, to the
extent he seeks the dismissal of his criminal case, his
federal remedy is a writ of habeas corpus. Preiser v.
Rodriguez, 411 U.S. 475, 500 (1973).
while a prisoner who challenges his detention may proceed
pretrial under 28 U.S.C. § 2241, “[a] habeas
petitioner is generally required to exhaust state
remedies” before proceeding under that provision.
Montez v. McKinna, 208 F.3d 862, 866
(10th Cir. 2000). Because plaintiff does not
suggest that he has presented his claims in the state ...