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Ansley v. State

United States District Court, D. New Mexico

March 13, 2019

KAHEEM RICKY ANSLEY, Plaintiff,
v.
STATE OF NEW MEXICO, WILLIAM J. HULL, WILLIAM G.W. SHOEBRIDGE, and ERIK SCRAMLIN, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

         THIS MATTER is before the Court under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B), 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, Kaheem Ricky Ansley, on June 13, 2018 (Doc. 1). The Court will dismiss Plaintiff Ansley's Complaint based on immunity, failure to state a claim on which relief can be granted, and as barred by the Heck doctrine.

         I. Factual and Procedural Background

         Plaintiff Kaheem Ricky Ansley filed his Civil Rights Complaint Pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 (“Complaint”) on June 13, 2018. (Doc. 1) His Complaint names, as Defendants, State of New Mexico, Public Defender William J. Hull, Judge William G. W. Shoobridge, and District Attorney Erik Scramlin. (Doc. 1 at 1, 3). Ansley is proceeding under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, claiming denial of his rights and violations of the cannons of judicial conduct arising out of his criminal conviction in State of New Mexico, Fifth Judicial District cause no. D-506-CR-201400231. (Doc. 1 at 2). Ansley alleges three counts against the Defendants:

“Count I: Conflict of Interest imposed by the State of New Mexico's Fifth Judicial District Court . . .
Count II: Conflict of Interest Imposed by the State of New Mexico's Fifth Judicial District Attorney's Office and the Lea County Public Defenders' Office . . .
Count III: Denial of Rights; Jurisdiction; Illegal Sentence . . .”

(Doc. 1 at 4-5). Ansley seeks reversal of his conviction, “Full Rights With Prejudice, ” and $9, 500, 000.00 in damages. (Doc. 1 at 6).

         II. The Law Regarding Dismissal for Failure to State a Claim

         Plaintiff Ansley 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 (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. Id.

         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. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii). 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. 319, 327 (1989). 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 (10th Cir. 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.

         III. Analysis of Plaintiff Ansley's Claims

         A. Plaintiff's Claims Against Judge Shoobridge and District Attorney Scramlin are Barred by Judicial and Prosecutorial Immunity:

         Civil 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); Christensenv. 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 ofCollins v. Tabet,111 N.M. 391, 396, 806 P.2d 40, 45 (1991). ...


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