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Cruz v. State

United States District Court, D. New Mexico

May 8, 2018

LUKIS J. CRUZ, Plaintiff,
v.
STATE OF NEW MEXICO, SUSANA MARTINEZ, TAOS COUNTY, et al., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER OF DISMISSAL

          WILLIAM P. JOHNSON CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         THIS MATTER comes before the Court on pro se Plaintiff's Complaint and Legal Suit against Criminal Defendant, Doc. 7, filed April 23, 2018 (“Amended Complaint”), and on his Request for Judge, Doc. 8, filed April 23, 2018. For the reasons stated below, the Court DENIES Plaintiff's Request for Judge and DISMISSES this case without prejudice.

         Plaintiff's original Complaint asserted claims against the State of New Mexico, Governor Martinez, and the State Court for violations of his civil rights. See Doc. 1 at 3-5. Plaintiff also sought to have this Court review the State Court's judgment and appeared to be asserting a civil rights claim against the State Court Judge. See Complaint at 2, 5. The Court dismissed the claims against the State of New Mexico, Susana Martinez, and the State Court without prejudice for lack of jurisdiction and the civil rights claim against the State Court Judge with prejudice. See Mem. Op. and Order at 4, Doc. 6, filed April 3, 2018.

         The original Complaint also asserted federal claims against various “Private Parties, ” some of whom may be state actors. See Complaint at 2-5. The Court dismissed the federal claims against the “Private Parties” without prejudice for failure to state a claim because the allegations were vague and conclusory. See Doc. 6 at 5.

         The Court, having dismissed all of the federal law claims, declined to exercise supplemental jurisdiction on Plaintiff's state law claims and dismissed the Complaint. The Court granted Plaintiff leave to file an amended complaint for those claims that have been dismissed without prejudice. Plaintiff timely filed his Amended Complaint along with a Request for Judge.

         Plaintiff's Request for Judge, which the Court construes as a motion to reassign this case to another judge, states in its entirety:

The Plaintiff is making request for a judge without bias nor predjudice [sic] in the case at hand. The judge must know the rights afforded an American and see himself or herself as equal to all Americans and able to simply arrange a trial where testimony can be given before an unbiased jury which has no preferrance [sic] between the parties stated above and make a decision based upon the charges and damage amounts requested.

         Doc. 8 at 1. The Court will deny Plaintiff's request to assign this case to another judge because he has not asserted any facts or law indicating that the assigned Judge is biased and should disqualify himself. See Bryce v. Episcopal Church in the Diocese of Colorado, 289 F.3d 648, 659 (10th Cir.2002) (“a judge also has as strong a duty to sit when there is no legitimate reason to recuse as he does to recuse when the law and facts require”).

         Plaintiff's Amended Complaint asserts that the “State of New Mexico is monetariliy [sic]liable for criminal activity on the part of the judicial system as it pertains to my case.” Amended Complaint at 3. The State of New Mexico is the only Defendant in Amended Complaint.[1] In its Order dismissing Plaintiff's original Complaint, the Court explained that it did not have jurisdiction over Plaintiff's claims against the State, Governor Martinez, the State Court and the State Judge (“State Defendants”), and cited Tenth Circuit case law to support its explanation that the State Defendants are immune from suit unless Congress abrogates the State's immunity or the State waives its immunity and consents to be sued. See Doc. 6 at 3-4. The Amended Complaint does not allege that Congress abrogated New Mexico's immunity or that New Mexico waived its immunity. See Amended Complaint. Instead, Plaintiff argues, without citation to any legal authority, that the State is not immune from suits for, and is liable for, damages resulting from civil and criminal violations of its employees. See Amended Complaint.

         The Court will dismiss the claims in the Amended Complaint for lack of jurisdiction. Plaintiff, by asking the Court to exercise jurisdiction over his claims against the State, asks the Court to proceed contrary to established case law from the Supreme Court of the United States and the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. United States Judges swear that they will perform all the duties incumbent upon them under the Constitution and the laws of the United States. See 28 U.S.C. § 453, Oaths of justices and judges. The laws of the United States include the case law of the Supreme Court of the United States and the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit in which this District sits. The Court will not proceed in a manner that is clearly contrary to case law from the Supreme Court of the United States and the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit.

         Having dismissed all of the claims in the Amended Complaint, the Court dismisses this case without prejudice.

         IT IS ORDERED that:

(i) Plaintiffs Request for Judge, Doc. 8, filed April 23, ...

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