United States District Court, E.D. Wisconsin
William C. Griesbach, Chief Judge.
John Mannery, a Wisconsin state prisoner who is representing
himself, filed a complaint alleging that the defendants
violated his civil rights. This case was originally assigned
to U.S. Magistrate William E. Duffin and not all parties have
had the opportunity to consent to magistrate judge
jurisdiction. Therefore, this case was randomly reassigned to
this U.S. District Court judge for screening of the
Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA) applies to this case
because plaintiff was incarcerated when he filed his
complaint. The PLRA allows prisoners to proceed with their
lawsuits without prepaying the $350 filing fee, as long as
they comply with certain requirements. 28 U.S.C. §1915.
One of those requirements is that the prisoner pay an initial
partial filing fee.
November 20, 2017, Judge Duffin ordered plaintiff to pay an
initial partial filing fee of $1.33. ECF No. 10. Plaintiff
paid $3.00 on December 1, 2017. Therefore, the Court will
grant plaintiff's motion to proceed without prepayment of
the full filing fee.
OF THE COMPLAINT
PLRA requires federal courts to screen complaints brought by
an incarcerated plaintiff who seeks relief against a
governmental entity or officer or employee of a governmental
entity. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). The Court can dismiss an
action or portion thereof if the claims alleged are
“frivolous or malicious, ” fail to state a claim
upon which relief may be granted, or seek monetary relief
from a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C.
state a claim under the federal notice pleading system,
plaintiff must provide a “short and plain statement of
the claim showing that [he] is entitled to relief[.]”
Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). The complaint need not plead specific
facts, and need only provide “fair notice of what the .
. . claim is and the grounds upon which it rests.”
Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555
(2007) (quoting Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 47
(1957)). “Labels and conclusions” or a
“formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of
action” will not do. Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556
U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at
factual content of the complaint must allow the court to
“draw the reasonable inference that defendant is liable
for the misconduct alleged.” Id. Allegations
must “raise a right to relief above the speculative
level.” Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555. Factual
allegations, when accepted as true, must state a claim that
is “plausible on its face.” Iqbal, 556
U.S. at 678.
courts follow the two step analysis set forth in
Twombly to determine whether a complaint states a
claim. Id. at 679. First, the court determines
whether plaintiff's legal conclusions are supported by
factual allegations. Id. Legal conclusions not
supported by facts “are not entitled to the assumption
of truth.” Id. Second, the court determines
whether the well-pleaded factual allegations “plausibly
give rise to an entitlement to relief.” Id.
Courts give pro se allegations, “however
inartfully pleaded, ” a liberal construction. See
Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007) (quoting
Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 106 (1976)).
Allegations in the Complaint
states that Milwaukee County Circuit Court Judge Jeffery
Conan “misused his power” during the
plaintiff's criminal trial. ECF No. 1 at 2. Plaintiff
does not explain what Judge Conan said or did to
“misuse his power” but Judge Conan allegedly
admitted to doing so during a “heated
conversation” at plaintiff's sentencing.
Id. at 3. At sentencing, plaintiff stated “you
sabotaged my case from the beginning, ” and Judge Conan
replied “You're right. I did.” Id.
at 3. When the plaintiff stated that he hoped that
“this is being recorded, ” Judge Conan stated
“I didn't mean to say that.” Id. The
plaintiff believes that Judge Conan was “bias and
impartial.” Id. He seeks monetary damages and
asks that the judge be investigated. Id. at 4.
The Court's Analysis
are entitled to absolute immunity for their judicial conduct
unless they acted in the absence of all jurisdiction. See
Polzin v. Gage, 636 F.3d 834, 838 (7th Cir. 2011).
Judicial immunity serves as a device for “discouraging
collateral attacks” and to “establish appellate
procedures as the standard system for correcting judicial
error.” Forrester v. White, 484 U.S. 219, 225
(1988). It also “protect[s] judicial independence by
insulating judges from vexatious actions prosecuted by
disgruntled litigants.” Id. A state court
trial judge has jurisdiction over a defendant during a
criminal trial and sentencing. See Polzin, 636 F.3d
at 838. Thus, Judge Conan is absolutely immune for his
judicial conduct ...