United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Tampa Division
Cliarlene Edwards Honeywell United States District Judge.
cause comes before the Court on the Report and Recommendation
of Magistrate Judge Mark A. Pizzo (Doc. 5). In the Report and
Recommendation, Magistrate Judge Pizzo recommends that the
(1) deny Plaintiff Darryl Schneider's request to proceed
in forma pauperis (Doc. 2); and
(2) dismiss Schneider's Complaint (Doc. 1).
filed Objections to the Report and Recommendation (Docs. 8
and 9). Upon consideration, the Court will overrule the
objections and approve the Magistrate Judge's Report and
pro se, Darryl Schneider (“Schneider”)
brings this civil rights action against Defendants, Circuit Judge
Bernard Silver and administrative personnel working for the
Thirteenth Judicial Circuit, alleging a violation of his due
process rights during his state case. Doc. 1. Ultimately,
Schneider's state complaint was dismissed with prejudice
because Judge Silver determined that Schneider's
assertions were either already adjudicated in probate court
or could have been raised in probate court. Id.
¶ 21. Schneider seeks to proceed in forma
pauperis. (Doc. 2).
STANDARD OF REVIEW
party makes a timely and specific objection to a Magistrate
Judge's Report and Recommendation, the district judge
“shall make a de novo determination of those
portions of the report or specified proposed findings or
recommendations to which objection is made.” 28 U.S.C.
§ 636(b)(1)(C); Jeffrey S. v. State Board of
Education of State of Georgia, 896 F.2d 507, 512 (11th
Cir. 1990). With regard to those portions of the Report and
Recommendation not objected to, the district judge applies a
clearly erroneous standard of review. See Gropp v. United
Airlines, Inc., 817 F.Supp. 1558, 1562 (M.D. Fla. 1993).
The district judge may accept, reject, or modify in whole or
in part, the Report and Recommendation of the Magistrate
Judge. Fed.R.Civ.P. 72. The district judge may also receive
further evidence or recommit the matter to the Magistrate
Judge with further instructions. Id.
district court must dismiss an in forma pauperis
complaint at any time if it determines the action is
“frivolous or malicious” or “fails to state
a claim on which relief may be granted.” 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915(e)(2)(B). Dismissal for failure to state a claim
is appropriate if the facts, as pleaded, fail to state a
claim for relief that is “plausible on its face.”
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009).
Furthermore, an action is frivolous where the allegations are
“clearly baseless, ” “fanciful, ”
“delusional, ” or without arguable basis either
in law or fact. Denton v. Hernandez, 504 U.S. 25,
31-33 (1992); Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319,
324-29 (1989). Accordingly, where a district court determines
from the face of the complaint that the factual allegations
are clearly baseless or the legal theories are indisputably
without merit, the court may conclude a case has little or no
chance of success and dismiss the complaint before service of
process. Carroll v. Gross, 984 F.2d 392, 393 (11th
Cir. 1993) (per curiam).
doctrine of judicial immunity protects judges and their staff
from damages for acts taken while they are acting in their
judicial capacity. Bolin v. Story, 225 F.3d 1234,
1239 (11th Cir. 2000); Jallali v. Florida, 404 F.
App'x 455, 456 (11th Cir. 2010) (noting that immunity
extended to law clerk). Judicial immunity “applies even
when the judge's acts are in error, malicious, or were in
excess of his or her jurisdiction.” Bolin, 225
F.3d at 1239. The immunity fails to apply only when a judge
acts “in clear absence of all jurisdiction.”
Magistrate Judge Pizzo recommended denial of Schneider's
request to proceed in forma pauperis and dismissal
of his Complaint because Plaintiff's allegations pertain
to actions that were taken while Judge Silver was acting in
his judicial capacity. Plaintiff's objections dispute
this finding and contend that Defendant Silver's actions
overstepped his bounds as a judge, made trouble for him and
violated his Fourteenth Amendment due process rights.
See Docs. 8 and 9. Plaintiff also contends that
Magistrate Judge Pizzo was biased and/or discriminatory in
his report and recommendation. Id.
careful consideration, the Court agrees with Magistrate Judge
Pizzo and finds that Schneider failed to state a claim upon
which relief may be granted because Judge Silver's
actions fall within the doctrine of judicial immunity. As
Magistrate Judge Pizzo correctly concluded, Judge Silver
acted in his judicial capacity when he executed an order
requiring Schneider to cease telephonic communications with
his office and when he ordered the dismissal of
Schneider's claims with prejudice. Indeed, all of
Schneider's allegations that form the ...