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.

Radford v. Crimi

United States District Court, W.D. New York

March 23, 2017

BARNEY J. RADFORD, JR., Plaintiff,
v.
JUDGE CHARLES CRIMI, ATTORNEY JOSEPH CRIMI, MONROE COUNTY PUBLIC DEFENDER'S OFFICE, MONROE COUNTY CONFLICT DEFENDER, ATTORNEY DAVID ABBATOY, and MONROE COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY'S OFFICE, Defendants.

          DECISION AND ORDER

          HON. FRANK P. GERACI, JR. Chief Judge United States District Court

         Pro se Plaintiff Barney J. Radford, Jr. has filed this action seeking relief under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 (ECF No. 1) and has requested both permission to proceed in forma pauperis and the appointment of counsel. ECF Nos. 2, 3.

         The substance of Plaintiff's Complaint is difficult to parse, but read liberally, Plaintiff alleges that (1) Rochester City Court Judge Charles Crimi was biased during a State Court proceeding against Plaintiff because Judge Crimi ruled against him and refused to recuse himself; (2) that the defense attorneys who represented or consulted with him, namely, David Abbatoy, Joseph Crimi, “Attorney Nocce” (who is actually Charles Noce, and is named as “Monroe County Conflict Defenders Office” in the caption of the Complaint”) and Stephanie Stare (named in the caption of the Complaint as “Monroe County Public Defender's Office”), provided ineffective assistance of counsel and/or had a conflict of interest when they represented or consulted with Plaintiff in connection with his State Court matters; and (3) that an unnamed Assistant District Attorney (named as “Monroe County District Attorney's Office in the caption of the Complaint) “knew that Judge Crimi should have recues (sic) himself from the start.”

         For relief, Plaintiff requests that the court “make me whole, ” “have the charges and conviction removed from my record, ” and to “remove [the Defendants'] abilities to practice law in the State of New York.” ECF No. 1, at 6.

         For the reasons discussed below, (1) Plaintiff's request to proceed as a poor person is granted, (2) Plaintiff's Complaint is dismissed with prejudice pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii) and (iii), and (3) Plaintiff's motion for the appointment of counsel is denied as moot.

         DISCUSSION

         Because Plaintiff has met the statutory requirements of 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a), he is granted permission to proceed in forma pauperis. Title 28, United States Code, Section 1915(e)(2)(B) provides that the Court shall dismiss a case in which in forma pauperis status has been granted if, at any time, the Court determines that the action (i) is frivolous or malicious; (ii) fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted; or (iii) seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from such relief. Section 1915 “provide[s] an efficient means by which a court can screen for and dismiss legally insufficient claims.” Abbas v. Dixon, 480 F.3d 636, 639 (2d Cir. 2007) (citing Shakur v. Selsky, 391 F.3d 106, 112 (2d Cir. 2004)).

         After reviewing the Complaint, the Court determines that it must be dismissed under Section 1915(e), because several of the Defendants are immune from suit, and the remainder of Plaintiffs' claims fail to state a claim upon which relief could be granted.

         I. Absolute Immunity: Judge Crimi

         Plaintiff's claims against Judge Charles Crimi all relate to actions that Judge Crimi took in his judicial role. As such, Judge Crimi is entitled to absolute judicial immunity from the allegations in the Complaint.

         It is well settled that judges are absolutely immune from suit for any actions taken within the scope of their judicial responsibilities. See Mireles v. Waco, 502 U.S. 9, 10 (1991). Judicial immunity is not pierced by allegations that the judge acted in bad faith or with malice, Pierson v. Ray, 386 U.S. 547, 554 (1967), even though unfairness and injustice to a litigant may result on occasion. Mireles, 502 U.S. at 9. Judicial immunity can be overcome only if the court is alleged to have taken non-judicial actions or if the judicial actions taken were “in the complete absence of all jurisdiction.” Id. at 11-12. The United States Supreme Court has expressly applied the doctrine of judicial immunity to actions brought pursuant to 42 U.S.C. 1983. See Pierson, 386 U.S. at 547.

         Plaintiff's Complaint only alleges acts taken by Judge Crimi in his judicial role during a case in Rochester City Court. Accordingly, Plaintiff's claims against Judge Crimi are precluded by the doctrine of absolute judicial immunity and must be dismissed with prejudice pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § § 1915(e)(2)(B)(iii).

         II. Absolute Immunity: Monroe County Assistant District Attorney

         Even though Plaintiff did not name the specific Assistant District Attorney he references in his Complaint, whomever that prosecutor is, they are entitled to absolute immunity. The Supreme Court has held that when prosecutors perform traditional prosecutorial activities that are “intimately associated with the judicial phase of the criminal process, ” they are entitled to absolute immunity. Imbler v. Patchman, 424 U.S. 409, 430 (1976). In determining whether absolute prosecutorial immunity attaches to a particular action, courts apply a “functional approach.” Hill v. City of New York, 45 F.3d 653, 660 (2d Cir. 1995). “Prosecutorial immunity from § 1983 liability is broadly defined, covering ...


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.