United States District Court, D. Montana, Missoula Division
ORDER AND FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS OF UNITED
STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
JEREMIAH C. LYNCH, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
John Finley, a prisoner proceeding without counsel, submitted
a filing on September 18, 2018 which was liberally construed
as a complaint. (Doc. 1.) On October 1, 2018 he filed a
motion to proceed in forma pauperis (Doc. 3) and an amended
complaint (Doc. 4). He alleges Defendants failed to provide
him with a fair and unbiased criminal trial. The motion to
proceed in forma pauperis will be granted. The Amended
Complaint fails to name a proper Defendant and Finley's
claims are barred by the doctrine set forth in Heck v.
Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477(1994). This matter should be
Motion to Proceed in Forma Pauperis
motion to proceed in forma pauperis is sufficient to make the
showing required by 28 U.S.C. §1915(a). (Doc. 3.) The
request to proceed in forma pauperis will be granted. 28
U.S.C. § 1915(a). The initial partial filing fee is
waived, and Finley may proceed with the case. See Bruce
v. Samuels, 136 S.Ct. 627, 629 (2016)(“the initial
partial filing fee may not be exacted if the prisoner has no
means to pay it, § 1915(b)(4)”). He will, however,
be required to pay the fee in installments and make monthly
payments of 20% of the preceding month's income credited
to his prison trust account. The percentage is set by statute
and cannot be altered. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(2). Finley
must make these monthly filing-fee payments simultaneously
with the payments required in any other cases he has filed.
Id. By separate order, the Court will direct the
facility where Finley is held to forward payments from
Finley's account to the Clerk of Court each time the
account balance exceeds $10.00, until the filing fee is paid
in full. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(2).
Screening Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915 and 28 U.S.C.
is a prisoner proceeding in forma pauperis so the Court must
review his Complaint under 28 U.S.C. § 1915 and §
1915A. Sections 1915A(b) and 1915(e)(2)(B) require the Court
to dismiss a complaint filed in forma pauperis and/or by a
prisoner against a governmental defendant before it is served
if it is frivolous or malicious, fails to state a claim upon
which relief may be granted, or seeks monetary relief from a
defendant who is immune from such relief.
complaint is frivolous if it “lacks an arguable basis
either in law or in fact.” Neitzke v.
Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 325 (1989). “A case is
malicious if it was filed with the intention or desire to
harm another.” Andrews v. King, 398 F.3d 1113,
1121 (9th Cir. 2005). A complaint fails to state a claim upon
which relief may be granted if a plaintiff fails to allege
the “grounds” of his “entitlement to
relief.” Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550
U.S. 544, 555 (2007) (quotation omitted). “A document
filed pro se is ‘to be liberally
construed,' and ‘a pro se complaint,
however inartfully pleaded, must be held to less stringent
standards than formal pleadings drafted by
lawyers.'” Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S.
89, 94 (2007); cf. Fed. Rule Civ. Proc. 8(e)
(“Pleadings must be construed so as to do
names state district court Judge John Larson as a Defendant
in this matter. Judges are absolutely immune from damage
liability for acts which are judicial in nature.
Forrester v. White, 484 U.S. 219, 227-229 (1988);
see also Stump v. Sparkman, 435 U.S. 349, 355-57
(1978); Pierson v. Ray, 386 U.S. 547, 553-55 (1967).
Judicial immunity applies to actions brought under 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983 for acts committed within the scope of judicial
duties, “even when such acts are in excess of their
jurisdiction, and are alleged to have been done maliciously
or corruptly.” Stump, 435 U.S. at 356.
“[A] judge will not be deprived of immunity because the
action he took was in error, was done maliciously, or was in
excess of his authority; rather, he will be subject to
liability only when he has acted in the clear absence of all
jurisdiction.” Id. at 356-37; see also
Forrester, 484 U.S. at 227 (a judicial act “does
not become less judicial by virtue of an allegation of malice
or corruption of motive”); Mireless v. Waco,
502 U.S. 9, 12 (1991).
claims Judge Larson acted with bias at all venues and
hearings, engaged in procedural irregularities, would not
allow evidence, and was aware that multiple witnesses were
committing perjury. (Doc. 4 at 8.) These are all actions
taken within Judge Larson's judicial duties for which
Judge Larson is absolutely immune. As such, Finley's
claims against Judge Larson must be dismissed. See Chavez
v. Robinson, 817 F.3d 1162, 1167-68 (9th Cir. 2016)
(noting that 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(iii) requires the
court to dismiss an action “at any time” if it
“seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune
from such relief.”);
next brings claims against Ellen Donnahue a state district
attorney. For purposes of this Order, the Court assumes Ms.
Donnahue was the prosecutor in Finley's criminal
proceedings. He alleges Ms. Donnahue knowingly put a witness
under oath that was committing perjury, helped fabricate
evidence via testimony, tampered with witnesses, and
fabricated physical evidence. (Doc. 4 at 8.) State
prosecutors are absolutely immune when performing functions
“intimately associated with the judicial phase of the
criminal process.” Imbler v. Pachtman, ...