United States District Court, D. New Mexico
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
MATTER is before the Court under 28 U.S.C.
§1915A and Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6) on the Civil Rights
Complaint Pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 filed by
Plaintiff Rudy Bustos on October 12, 2016 (Doc. 1)
(“Complaint”). The Court will dismiss the
Complaint, with prejudice, based on immunity, failure to
state a claim, and the Heck doctrine.
Factual and Procedural Background
Rudy Bustos is a prisoner incarcerated at the Western New
Mexico Correctional Facility. Bustos was indicted by a New
Mexico Grand Jury on two counts of voluntary manslaughter and
one count of second degree murder. He pled no contest to the
charges. In 2005, he was sentenced to 15 years of
incarceration with a one-year enhancement and two years of
parole, and was granted 410 days of presentence credit. The
Court also imposed restitution in the amount of $12, 500.
(Doc. 1 at 2-3). See, also, State of New Mexico v.
Bustos, Nos. D-202-CR-2004-04512 and
filed his Complaint under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 in this Court
on October 12, 2016.(Doc. 1). His Complaint names the
2nd Judicial District Court and the District
Attorney of Bernalillo County of New Mexico as Defendants.
(Doc. 1 at 1-2). Bustos contends that, by imposing two years
of parole on top of the maximum statutory sentence of 15
years, the State District Court and the District Attorney
violated the prohibition against double jeopardy under both
the United States and the New Mexico Constitutions. (Doc. 1
at 2-3). He seeks “to be compensated for mental strain
and anguish, cruel and unusual punishment and constitutional
rights, ” to have his sentence re-calculated, and to be
relieved of the restitution obligation. (Doc. 1 at 3-4).
The Law Regarding Dismissal for Failure to State a
Bustos is proceeding pro se. The Court has the discretion to
dismiss a pro se complaint sua sponte for failure to
state a claim upon which relief may be granted under 28
U.S.C. § 1915A and Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6). Under
Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6) the Court must accept all well-pled
factual allegations, but not conclusory, unsupported
allegations, and may not consider matters outside the
pleading. Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S.
544, 555 (2007); Dunn v. White, 880 F.2d 1188, 1190
(10th Cir. 1989). The court may dismiss a
complaint under Rule 12(b)(6) for failure to state a claim if
“it is ‘patently obvious' that the plaintiff
could not prevail on the facts alleged.” Hall v.
Bellmon, 935 F.2d 1106, 1109 (10th Cir. 1991) (quoting
McKinney v. Oklahoma Dep't of Human Services,
925 F.2d 363, 365 (10th Cir. 1991)). A plaintiff must allege
“enough facts to state a claim to relief that is
plausible on its face.” Twombly, 550 U.S. at
570. A claim should be dismissed where it is legally or
factually insufficient to state a plausible claim for relief.
reviewing a pro se complaint, the Court liberally construes
the factual allegations. See Northington v. Jackson,
973 F.2d 1518, 1520-21 (10th Cir. 1992). However, a pro se
plaintiff's pleadings are judged by the same legal
standards that apply to all litigants and a pro se plaintiff
must abide by the applicable rules of court. Ogden v. San
Juan County, 32 F.3d 452, 455 (10thCir.
1994). The court is not obligated to craft legal theories for
the plaintiff or to supply factual allegations to support the
plaintiff's claims. Nor may the court assume the role of
advocate for the pro se litigant. Hall v. Bellmon,
935 F.2d at 1110.
deciding whether to dismiss the complaint, in whole or in
part, the court is to consider whether to allow plaintiff an
opportunity to amend the complaint. Pro se plaintiffs should
be given a reasonable opportunity to remedy defects in their
pleadings. Reynoldson v. Shillinger, 907 F.2d 124,
126 (10th Cir. 1990). The opportunity to amend
should be granted unless amendment would be futile. Hall
v. Bellmon, 935 F.2d at 1109. An amendment is futile if
the amended claims would also be subject to immediate
dismissal under Rule 12(b)(6) or § 1915(e)(2)(B)
standards. Bradley v. Val-Mejias, 379 F.3d 892, 901
(10th Cir. 2004).
Plaintiff's Complaint Fails to State a Claim for
Plaintiff's Claims are Barred by Judicial and
rights and state law claims against judicial officers acting
as judges are clearly barred by absolute judicial immunity.
See Stump v. Sparkman, 435 U.S. 349, 355-56 (1978);
Christensen v. Ward, 916 F.2d 1462, 1473-76
(10th Cir. 1990); Hunnicutt v. Sewell,
147 N.M. 272, 277-78, 219 P.3d 529, 534-45 (Ct. App. 2009).
It is well settled that the doctrine of judicial immunity is
applicable in actions, such as the case at bar, with 42
U.S.C. § 1983 claims as well as state law claims.
Van Sickle v. Holloway, 791 F.2d 1431, 1434-35 (10th
Cir.1986); Collins on Behalf of Collins v.
Tabet, 111 N.M. 391, 396, 806 P.2d 40, 45 (1991).
Absolute immunity bars all suits for money damages for acts
made in the exercise of judicial discretion. Guttman v.
Khalsa, 446 F.3d 1027, 1033 (10th Cir.2006).
United States Supreme Court has recognized absolute immunity
for officials whose special functions or constitutional
status requires complete protection from suit. Harlow v.
Fitzgerald, 457 U.S. 800, 807 (1982). The
purpose of absolute judicial immunity is:
“to benefit the public, ‘whose interest is that
the judges should be at liberty to exercise their functions
with independence and without fear of consequences.' The
Supreme Court has recognized that ‘the loser in one
forum will frequently seek another, charging the participants
in the first with unconstitutional animus.' Therefore,
absolute immunity is ...