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Roanne Eye v. James I. Cohn

November 8, 2011


The opinion of the court was delivered by: K. Michael Moore United States District Judge


THIS CAUSE came before the Court upon Defendants' Motion to Dismiss (ECF No. 19). Plaintiff filed a Response (ECF No. 23). This Motion is now ripe for review.

UPON CONSIDERATION of the Motion and the Response, the pertinent portions of the record, and being otherwise fully advised in the premises, the Court enters the following Order.


Plaintiff, Roanne Eye, is the defendant in a criminal case in the Southern District of Florida, and she brings this Complaint in response to the actions taken in that criminal case. Eye names as Defendants Judge James I. Cohn, United States District Court Judge, and Magistrate Judge Robin S. Rosenbaum, Magistrate Judge Lurana Snow, and Magistrate Judge Barry Seltzer; all of whom are United States Magistrate Judges. Collectively Judge Cohn and the Magistrate Judges are referred to as the "Defendant Federal Judges." Eye also names as Defendants Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney; Jennifer A. Keene, Assistant United States Attorney; Matthew Mueller, Department of Justice Trial Attorney (collectively "Federal Prosecutors") and Steven M. Larimore, Clerk of Court for the Southern District of Florida. Eye makes claims against all Defendants in their individual capacities in her Complaint, and she alleges what she terms a "Full Bivens Action." See Compl.

Eye argues that the Defendants acted in conspiracy with one another to defraud her of her "most fundamental right to have subject matter jurisdiction, in personam jurisdiction, and standing, established by fact, before the fact, beyond the shadow of doubt, not by the alleged court in case #0:11-cr-60004-JIC-1 . . . ." Compl. at 33. The Complaint makes several allegations of unconstitutional acts on the part of Defendants, mostly related to the very existence of the Court in the Southern District of Florida, which Eye claims lacks jurisdiction because it does not legally exist. Eye also makes some incomprehensible claims regarding a failure on the part of Defendant Larrimore to use address labels that she provided in order to mail her filings from her criminal case. The U.S. Postal Service attempted to deliver copies of court filings to Eye's address of record. See Compl. ¶ 2.1. After several failed attempts, a deputy clerk noted on the criminal docket that mail was undeliverable and noted the attempts. See Case No. 11-cr-60004-JIC, ECF Nos. 60 & 61. Eye ultimately accuses Larimore of being part of the conspiracy to deprive her of her constitutional rights via these actions.

The Complaint is fifty-three pages in length, and is rambling and incoherent in its allegations of wrongdoing on the part of Defendants. However, the Court recognizes that pro se pleadings are held to a less strict standard than pleadings filed by lawyers and thus are construed liberally. Alba v. Montford, 517 F.3d 1249, 1252 (11th Cir. 2008) (citing Tannenbaum v. United States, 148 F.3d 1262, 1263 (11th Cir. 1998)). With that in mind, the Court reviews the sufficiency of Eye's Complaint.


A motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim merely tests the sufficiency of the complaint; it does not decide the merits of the case. Milburn v. United States, 734 F.2d 762, 765 (11th Cir. 1984). On a motion to dismiss, the Court must accept the factual allegations as true and construe the complaint in the light most favorable to the plaintiff. SEC v. ESM Grp., Inc., 835 F.2d 270, 272 (11th Cir. 1988). "To survive a motion to dismiss, a complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to 'state a claim for relief that is plausible on its face.'" Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S. Ct. 1937, 1949 (2009) (quoting Bell Atl. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). "The plausibility standard is not akin to a 'probability requirement,' but asks for more than a sheer possibility that a defendant has acted unlawfully." Id. "But where the well pleaded facts do not permit the court to infer more than the mere possibility of misconduct, the complaint has alleged--but it has not 'shown'--'that the pleader is entitled to relief.'" Id. at 1950. A complaint must also contain enough facts to indicate the presence of the required elements. Watts v. Fla. Int'l Univ., 495 F.3d 1289, 1302 (11th Cir. 2007). However, "[a] pleading that offers 'a formulaic recitation of elements of a cause of action will not do.'" Iqbal, 129 S. Ct. at 1949 (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555). "[C]onclusory allegations, unwarranted deductions of fact or legal conclusions masquerading as facts will not prevent dismissal." Oxford Asset Mgmt., Ltd. v. Jaharis, 297 F.3d 1182, 1188 (11th Cir. 2002).


A. Immunity of Defendants

1. Defendant Federal Judges "Few doctrines [are] more solidly established at common law than the immunity of judges from liability for damages for acts committed within their judicial jurisdiction." Pierson v. Ray, 386 U.S. 547, 554 (1967). "This immunity applies even when the judge is accused of acting maliciously or corruptly, and it 'is not for the protection or benefit of a malicious or corrupt judge, but for the benefit of the public, whose interest it is that the judges should be at liberty to exercise their functions with independence and without fear of consequences.'" Id. (quoting Bradly v. Fisher, 80 U.S. (13 Wall.) 335, 349 n.16 (1871)). Judicial immunity may only be overcome where (1) the challenged action was not taken in the judge's judicial capacity, or (2) the action was taken in the complete absence of jurisdiction. Mireless v. Waco, 502 U.S. 9, 11-12 (1991).

The Federal Judges named in Eye's Complaint were all acting within their respective judicial capacities in making decisions in Eye's criminal case. Eye makes conclusory statements that the Defendant Federal Judges were not acting within their judicial capacity. See Compl. ΒΆΒΆ 6.1, 7.1, 8.2, 8.3.1, 9.2, 9.3, 9.4, 9.5. However, these are conclusory allegations which are not supported by any facts whatsoever. Oxford Asset Mgmt., 297 F.3d at 1188. Eye further claims the Defendant Federal Judges were acting without jurisdiction because the Southern District of Florida itself lacks any jurisdiction. Eye's assertions regarding the Court's lack of constitutional authority or jurisdiction are vague and ...

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