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Mayfield v. Da

United States District Court, D. New Mexico

September 27, 2018

EARL R. MAYFIELD, Plaintiff,
v.
JOHN SUGGS DA, ATTY AT LAW JEFFREY SCOVIL, ESTATE OF DET JOHN KELLY APD, STATE OF NEW MEXICO, DA RACHEL EAGEL, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

         THIS MATTER is before the Court under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A on the Prisoner's Civil Rights Complaint filed by Plaintiff Earl R. Mayfield on December 1, 2017. (Doc. 1). The Court dismisses Mayfield's Complaint for failure to state a claim and as frivolous under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6) and 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B). The Court also imposes a “strike” against Plaintiff Mayfield under the Prison Litigation Reform Act, 28 U.S.C. 1915(g).

         Plaintiff Mayfield has filed six cases before this Court in the last two years: Earl R. Mayfield v. Joe Garcia, et al., No. CV 16-00805 JB/JHR; Earl Mayfield v. Tom Ruiz, No. CV 17-00193 JCH/LAM; Earl R. Mayfield v. Ken Smith, Warden, et al., No. CV 17-00237 RJ/CG; Earl R. Mayfield v. Craig Cole, et al., No. CV 17-00332 WJ/KK, Earl R. Mayfield v. Presbyterian Hospital Administration, No. CV 17-00398 MCA/KRS, and this case, Earl Mayfield v. John Suggs, et al., No. CV 17-01190 WJ/GBW.[1] Each of the lawsuits involves different, but often overlapping, claims for relief against different defendants and correctional facilities. The Court has received multiple, largely incomprehensible, filings from Plaintiff Mayfield, which he often requests be filed in multiple pending cases regardless of whether the filings are relevant to all or even any of the cases.

         Mayfield filed this proceeding as a prisoner civil rights action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. He names, as Defendants, District Attorneys John Sugg and Rachel Eagel, New Mexico Public Defender staff attorney, Jeffrey Scovil, the Estate of Albuquerque Police Department Detective John Kelly, and the State of New Mexico. (Doc. 1 at 1). He alleges a vague, wide-ranging conspiracy among the Defendants to illegally arrest, prosecute, and incarcerate him. (Doc. 1 at 1-5). Mayfield seeks “$1, 000, 000 from each def in his or her individual capacity for each and every violation of Def civil & const rights . . . & $10, 000, 000.00 in monetary, compensatory damages.” (Doc. 1 at 5).

         To the extent the Court can decipher Mayfield's submissions, Mayfield appears to allege that he was arrested in 2012 by Albuquerque Police Department officers, including Detective John Kelly, based on a drug trafficking transaction involving a confidential informant. Mayfield claims that, during his prosecution, Detective Kelly “came clean” about corruption in the Albuquerque Police Department in a taped interview that was provided both to the prosecuting attorney, John Sugg, and Mayfield's defense counsel, Jeffrey Scovil. Mayfield contends that, before his criminal trial, Detective Kelly was murdered and District Attorney Sugg lost, destroyed, or concealed the taped interview as part of a conspiracy with defense counsel Scovil, Assistant District Attorney Rachel Eagel, Albuquerque Police Department, State Judge Stan Whittaker, and the State of New Mexico. Mayfield also argues that the death of attorney Mary Han (who played no role in Mayfield's case) and the deaths of eleven women in the unsolved West Mesa murders are also involved in the conspiracy. (Doc. 5 at 13).

         Mayfield attaches several New Mexico state appellate filings to his submissions in this case. (Doc. 5 at 15-27; Doc. 6 at 7-47). Those documents indicate that the New Mexico appellate courts have consistently rejected Mayfield's allegations and have affirmed his criminal convictions. (Doc. 6 at 21-26, 38-43, 47). Last, Mayfield attaches a letter report from the Civilian Police Oversight Agency in response to a complaint filed by Mayfield before that Agency raising the same allegations he makes in this case. (Doc. 5 at 84-85). That letter report relates the Agency's investigation and conclusions that “Mr. Mayfield presents accusations, but does not provide any evidence to support his assertions . . . Detective Kelly did not reveal criminal conduct or misconduct by other APD personnel during the [pretrial] interview . . .[t]here is no evidence to support Mr. Mayfield's assertions that Detective Kelly was the victim of homicide.” (Doc. 5 at 84-85).

         I. PENDING MOTIONS

         Pending before the Court are Plaintiff Mayfield's Motion to Amend (Doc. 5) and Motion for Summary Judgment (Doc. 6). Both motions are largely incoherent, seek a variety of relief, and have numerous attachments. See Doc. 5 at 13, 15-86; Doc. 6 at 5, 7-47. Neither motion complies with the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure or the Court's Local Rules, and Mayfield's request for summary judgment is premature. Bradenburg v. Beaman, 632 F.2d 120, 122 (10thCir. 1980) (“It is incumbent on litigants, even those proceeding pro se, to follow the federal rules of procedure. . . The same is true of simple, nonburdensome local rules . . ..” (citation omitted)); Jones v. Bock, 549 U.S. 199, 213-14 (2007) (requests for discovery or dispositive relief are premature and unavailable prior to the Court's completion of its screening obligation under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(A)).

         The Court denies Plaintiff Mayfield's Motion to Amend (Doc. 5) and Motion for Summary Judgment (Doc. 6). The Court has, however, reviewed and considered the attachments to the two motions in performing its preliminary review of Plaintiff Mayfield's Complaint. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(b); Hall v. Bellmon, 935 F.2d 1106, 1109 (10th Cir. 1991); Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 327 (1989).

         II. THE COMPLAINT FAILS TO STATE A CLAIM FOR RELIEF

         The Law Regarding Dismissal for Failure to State a Claim

          Plaintiff Mayfield is proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis. The Court has the discretion to dismiss an in forma pauperis complaint sua sponte for failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted under either Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6) or 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B). 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 (10thCir. 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 at 1109 (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. Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570.

         Under § 1915(e)(2)(B) the Court may dismiss the complaint at any time if the Court determines the action fails to state a claim for relief or is frivolous or malicious. 28 U.S.C. § 915(e)(2)(B)(2). The authority granted by § 1915 permits the court the unusual power to pierce the veil of the complaint's factual allegations and dismiss those claims whose factual contentions are clearly baseless. Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. at 327. See also Hall v. Bellmon, 935 F.2d at 1109. The authority to “pierce the veil of the complaint's factual allegations” means that a court is not bound, as it usually is when making a determination based solely on the pleadings, to accept without question the truth of the plaintiff's allegations. Denton v. Hernandez, 504 U.S. 25, 32-33 (1992). The Court is not required to accept the truth of the plaintiff's allegations but, instead, may go beyond the pleadings and consider any other materials filed by the parties, as well as court proceedings subject to judicial notice. Denton, 504 U.S. at 32-33.

         In 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.

         In 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 ...


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