Plaintiff, stating the findings of plagiarism, was defamatory. Plaintiff's lawsuit was based on the premise that Plaintiff should not have been disciplined for plagiarism. Plaintiff did not sue Riccio or Seton Hall at that time. On June 30, 1994, the Superior Court granted Zimmer summary judgment on his claims. Plaintiff appealed that judgment, which was affirmed. See Barth v. Zimmer, No. A-6632-93T2 (N.J. Super. Ct. App. Div. March 24, 1995).
In 1994, Plaintiff sued many of the same defendants named here in the Southern District of New York. On July 25, 1994, Judge Keenan denied Plaintiff's motion for a preliminary injunction allowing him to take the July 1994 New York Bar exam. See Anonymous v. Kaye, 1994 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 10145, 1994 WL 389157 (S.D.N.Y. 1994). On October 19, 1995, Judge Keenan dismissed the action before him as against Judges Kaye, Bellacosa, Ciparick, Levine, Simons, Smith, and Titone for improper venue. See Anonymous v. Kaye, 1995 WL 617795, at *1. Judge Keenan also dismissed Plaintiff's complaint against Justices Wilentz, Clifford, Handler, Pollock, O'Hern, Garibaldi, and Stein of the New Jersey Supreme Court for lack of personal jurisdiction and against Seton Hall University School of Law and Dean Ronald R. Riccio on res judicata grounds. Id. Plaintiff appealed the judgment, which was affirmed via summary order. Anonymous v. Kaye, 104 F.3d 355 (2d Cir. 1996).
Plaintiff's Complaint contains twenty-eight causes of action. Defendants include, inter alia, seven judges on the New York Court of Appeals, seven justices on the New Jersey Supreme Court, the former Attorney General for the State of New Jersey, Plaintiff's former law school and law school professors, and the American Bar Association. Plaintiff's rambling Complaint alleges violations of his constitutional rights to interstate travel, due process, and equal protection, as well as RICO violations, conspiracy, injury to reputation, breach of contract, malicious prosecution, intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligence, and antitrust violations. Plaintiff seeks damages "in an amount not less than seven billion dollars."
The present motion to dismiss has been brought by the New York State Attorney General's Office on behalf of the Judges of the New York Court of Appeals, the New York State Board of Law Examiners and its members, the " New York Rules for Admission to the Bar 22 NYCRR 520 et seq.," and the "Rules of the New York State Board of Law Examiners § 6000 et seq." (hereinafter collectively referred to as "the New York Defendants").
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) provides that a cause of action shall be dismissed if the complaint fails "to state a claim upon which relief can be granted." In analyzing a motion to dismiss, the facts alleged by the plaintiff are assumed to be true and must be liberally construed in the light most favorable to the plaintiff. See, e.g., Easton v. Sundram, 947 F.2d 1011, 1014-15 (2d Cir. 1991), cert. denied, 504 U.S. 911, 118 L. Ed. 2d 548, 112 S. Ct. 1943 (1992). While a court need not accept mere conclusions of law, a court should accept the pleader's description of what happened along with any conclusions that can reasonably be drawn therefrom. See Murray v. City of Milford, 380 F.2d 468 (2d Cir. 1967).
Furthermore, when a party makes a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, a court will limit its consideration to the facts asserted on the face of the complaint. Cosmas v. Hassett, 886 F.2d 8, 13 (2d Cir. 1989). A complaint will not be dismissed for failure to state a claim unless it appears, beyond a doubt, that the plaintiff can prove no set of facts that would entitle her to relief. See Wanamaker v. Columbian Rope Co., 740 F. Supp. 127 (N.D.N.Y. 1990).
With this standard in mind, the Court will address the sufficiency of Plaintiff's Complaint.
A. Eleventh Amendment Immunity
At this point in the history of our republic, it is clear that principles of federalism limit this Court's jurisdiction. For example, the Eleventh Amendment bars most claims against a state or an agency of the state in federal court absent either waiver of immunity and consent to suit by the state, or abrogation of constitutional immunity by Congress. See, e.g., Pennhurst State School & Hospital v. Halderman, 465 U.S. 89, 100, 79 L. Ed. 2d 67, 104 S. Ct. 900 (1984); Welch v. Texas Department of Highways and Public Transp., 483 U.S. 468, 107 S. Ct. 2941, 2945, 97 L. Ed. 2d 389 (1987); Atascadero State Hospital v. Scanlon, 473 U.S. 234, 105 S. Ct. 3142, 3145-46, 87 L. Ed. 2d 171 (1985). A suit against a state official is regarded as one against the state itself when the relief sought against the official would operate against the state. Pennhurst, 104 S. Ct. at 906-08. In addition, a federal court may not grant relief, whether prospective or retroactive, against state officials on the basis of state law violations. Dube v. State University of New York, 900 F.2d 587, 595 (2d Cir. 1990); Jungels v. State University College of New York, 922 F. Supp. 779, 784 (W.D.N.Y. 1996), aff'd, 1997 U.S. App. LEXIS 9659 (2d Cir. 1997).
Accordingly, all of Plaintiff's claims against the New York State Board of Law Examiners, the judges of the New York Court of Appeals in their official capacities, and the members of the New York State Board of Law Examiners in their official capacities are barred by the Eleventh Amendment and must be dismissed.
B. Individual Immunity
The doctrine of judicial immunity has been an established principle in our jurisprudence since Bradley v. Fisher, 80 U.S. (13 Wall.) 335, 20 L. Ed. 646 (1872). In Bradley, the Court wrote that "judges of courts of superior or general jurisdiction are not liable to civil actions for their judicial acts, even when such acts are in excess of their jurisdiction, and are alleged to have been done maliciously or corruptly." 80 U.S. at 351. Thus, "a judge . . . is entitled to absolute judicial immunity from damages liability for acts performed in his judicial capacity." Green v. Maraio, 722 F.2d 1013, 1016 (2d Cir. 1983) (citing Dennis v. Sparks, 449 U.S. 24, 27, 101 S. Ct. 183, 186, 66 L. Ed. 2d 185 (1980)); see also Stump v. Sparkman, 435 U.S. 349, 360, 98 S. Ct. 1099, 1106, 55 L. Ed. 2d 331 (1978). Furthermore, judges are entitled to absolute legislative immunity for actions relating to the promulgation of disciplinary rules. See Supreme Court of Virginia v. Consumers Union of the United States, Inc., 446 U.S. 719, 734, 100 S. Ct. 1967, 1975-76, 64 L. Ed. 2d 641 (1980).
Here, there is no allegation that the judges of the New York Court of Appeals acted outside their authority as judges on New York's highest court. Accordingly, they are entitled to absolute judicial immunity and Plaintiff's claims against them in their individual capacities must also fail.
As to the members of the New York State Board of Law Examiners, they may be entitled to qualified immunity. In this circuit,
public officials are entitled to qualified immunity from claims for damages if (1) their conduct did not violate federal statutory or constitutional rights that were clearly established at the time, or (2) it was objectively reasonable for them to believe their acts did not violate those rights. In determining whether a right was clearly established, we consider (1) whether the right in question was defined with 'reasonable specificity', (2) whether the decisional law of the Supreme Court and the applicable circuit court support the existence of the right in question, and (3) whether under preexisting law a reasonable defendant official would have understood that his or her acts were unlawful.