United States District Court, E.D. New York
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
ROSLYNN R. MAUSKOPF, United States District Judge.
Patrice Dorcil, who is presently incarcerated at the Otis
Bantum Correctional Center (OBCC) at Rikers Island, filed the
instant pro se action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §
1983. Dorcil's request to proceed in forma
pauperis pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915 is granted
for purposes of this Order. As explained below, Dorcil's
complaint is dismissed for failure to state a claim upon
which relief may be granted.
following facts, presumed true for purposes of this
Memorandum and Order, are drawn from Dorcil's complaint.
Dorcil brings this action against the defense attorney and
judge assigned to his pending state criminal court case.
(See generally Compl. (Doc. No. 1).) Dorcil alleges
constitutional violations stemming from the ongoing state
criminal proceeding. (Id.) Although Dorcil alleges
few facts in support of his claim, and it is unclear what
relief he seeks, he avers that his due process rights have
been violated and that bail was set at an excessive amount.
28 U.S.C. § 1915A, a district court “shall review,
before docketing, if feasible or, in any event, as soon as
practicable after docketing, a complaint in a civil action in
which a prisoner seeks redress from a governmental entity or
employee of a governmental entity.” 28 U.S.C. §
1915A. Under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B), a district court
shall dismiss an in forma pauperis action where it
is satisfied that the action “(i) is frivolous or
malicious; (ii) fails to state a claim on which relief may be
granted; or (iii) seeks monetary relief against a defendant
who is immune from such relief.” An action is
“frivolous” when either: (1) “the
‘factual contentions are clearly baseless, ' such
as when allegations are the product of delusion or
fantasy”; or (2) “the claim is ‘based on an
indisputably meritless legal theory.'”
Livingston v. Adirondack Beverage Co., 141 F.3d 434,
437 (2d Cir. 1998) (internal citation omitted). 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.
at the pleadings stage, the Court must assume the truth of
“all well-pleaded, nonconclusory factual
allegations” in the complaint. Kiobel v. Royal
Dutch Petroleum Co., 621 F.3d 111, 123 (2d Cir. 2010)
(citing Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662 (2009)). A
complaint must plead sufficient facts to “state a claim
to relief that is plausible on its face.” Bell Atl.
Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007). It is
axiomatic that pro se complaints are held to less
stringent standards than pleadings drafted by attorneys, and
the Court is required to read the plaintiff's pro
se complaint liberally and interpret it raising the
strongest arguments it suggests. Erickson v. Pardus,
551 U.S. 89 (2007); Hughes v. Rowe, 449 U.S. 5, 9
(1980); Sealed Plaintiff v. Sealed Defendant #1, 537
F.3d 185, 191-93 (2d Cir. 2008).
state a claim pursuant to § 1983, a plaintiff must
allege (1) that the challenged conduct was “committed
by a person acting under color of state law, ” and (2)
that such conduct “deprived [the plaintiff] of rights,
privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution or laws
of the United States.” Cornejo v. Bell, 592
F.3d 121, 127 (2d Cir. 2010) (quoting Pitchell v.
Callan, 13 F.3d 545, 547 (2d Cir. 1994)). “Section
1983 itself creates no substantive rights; it provides only a
procedure for redress for the deprivation of rights
established elsewhere.” Sykes v. James, 13
F.3d 515, 519 (2d Cir. 1993). Here, Dorcil has not stated a
plausible claim for relief under § 1983 against any
well settled that Judges have absolute immunity for their
judicial acts performed in their judicial capacities.
Mireles v. Waco, 502 U.S. 9, 11 (1991); Stump v.
Sparkman, 435 U.S. 349, 356 (1978); Dupree v.
Bivona, No. 07-cv-4599, 2009 WL 82717, at *1-2 (2d Cir.
2009); Colson v. New York Police Dept., No.
13-CV-5394 (JG), 2015 WL 64688, at *6 (E.D.N.Y. Jan. 5,
2015). This absolute “judicial immunity is not overcome
by allegations of bad faith or malice, ” nor can a
judge “be deprived of immunity because the action he
took was in error . . . or was in excess of his
authority.” Mireles, 502 U.S. at 11 (quotation
marks omitted); Horton v. City of New York, No.
14-CV-4279 (KAM), 2014 WL 3644711, at *1 (E.D.N.Y. July 22,
2014); Edo v. Queens County Criminal Court, No.
13-CV-7089 (JBW), 2013 WL 6732811, at *1 (E.D.N.Y. Dec. 19,
2013); Gamez v. U.S. Dist. Court Eastern and Southern
Dist. of - Tyranny, No. 11-CV-4068 (KAM), 2011 WL
3949807, at *1 (E.D.N.Y. Sept. 6, 2011).
the Federal Courts Improvement Act of 1996, § 309(c),
Pub.L. No. 104-317, 110 Stat. 3847, 3853 (1996) (amending 42
U.S.C. § 1983) bars all claims for injunctive relief
against a judicial officer for a judicial action or omission
“unless a declaratory decree was violated or
declaratory relief was unavailable.” See also
Rodriguez v. Trager, No. 10-CV-0781 (ARR), 2010 WL
889545, at *2 (E.D.N.Y. Mar. 8, 2010).
Dorcil asserts that Judge Murphy “deprived [plaintiff]
of [his] equal rights” and imposed excessive bail.
(Compl. at 3). Dorcil's claim stems from judicial
decisions and rulings made by Judge Murphy in his pending
state court action. (See generally Compl.) Dorcil
fails to assert any plausible claim which suggests that Judge
Murphy is without jurisdiction or has acted outside his
judicial capacity. (Id.) Accordingly, Dorcil's
claim against Judge Murphy is dismissed as barred by absolute
judicial immunity. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A.