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McGhee v. United States District Court of Southern District of Mississippi

United States District Court, S.D. Mississippi, Northern Division

September 4, 2014

GEORGE LEE McGHEE, JR., Plaintiff,
v.
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT OF SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF MISSISSIPPI, HONORABLE DANIEL P. JORDAN, III Defendant,

ORDER

CARLTON W. REEVES, District Judge.

Before the Court is the defendant's motion to dismiss. [6-7]. The plaintiff has responded [8-9] and the defendant has replied [10]. The Court has reviewed the facts, arguments, and applicable law, and is ready to rule.

I. Background

On October 2, 2013, United States District Judge Daniel P. Jordan, III, issued an order resolving a lawsuit pending before his Court. See Order, McGhee v. Shaw, Docket No. 11, No. 3:13-CV-290-DPJ-FKB (S.D.Miss. Oct. 2, 2013) [ hereinafter DPJ Order]. The lawsuit consisted of a 42 U.S.C. § 1983 claim filed by George McGhee, Jr., an inmate in custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections, against Frank Shaw, the warden of McGhee's correctional facility. See Report and Recommendation, Docket No. 8, No. 3:13-CV-290-DPJ-FKB (S.D.Miss. Sept. 11, 2013).

After reviewing McGhee's claim and federal case law, Judge Jordan concluded that McGhee could not sue Shaw under § 1983 "until such time as McGhee successfully has [his] state-court conviction invalidated via appeal, post-conviction relief, habeas, or otherwise." DPJ Order at 2 (applying Heck v. Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477 (1994)). Judge Jordan then dismissed McGhee's case. Id.

McGhee did not appeal Judge Jordan's order. Instead, he sued Judge Jordan in the Circuit Court of Hinds County. [5]. There, McGhee alleged that "the United States District Court Judges have something against me[.] They have been protecting the State of Mississippi for ten years[.] I have file[d] case after case in this court and all [were] dismiss[ed]." Id. McGhee sought a judgment requiring Judge Jordan to "pay the sum of (10, 000, 000) ten million dollars for this unconstitutional act." Id.

The Department of Justice stepped in to represent Judge Jordan. [1]. The Department subsequently removed the case into this Court by invoking 28 U.S.C. § 1442. Id. This motion followed.

II. Present Arguments

Through counsel, Judge Jordan contends that this case must be dismissed under the doctrine of judicial immunity. [7]. Because McGhee's claim stems from judicial acts performed in Judge Jordan's official capacity, dismissal is appropriate under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), he says. Id.

McGhee responds that dismissing this case would prove that the Judges of this Court have something against him. [8 ¶1]. He argues that Judge Jordan's dismissal of the § 1983 suit against the warden was inappropriate. Id. ¶3. McGhee adds that it was fundamentally unfair for Judge Jordan's order to refer McGhee to the habeas process, as McGhee had already sought habeas relief years ago and was denied. Id. ¶5.

III. Legal Standard

When considering a motion to dismiss pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6), the Court accepts the plaintiff's factual allegations as true and makes reasonable inferences in the plaintiff's favor. Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). The complaint must contain "more than an unadorned, the defendant-unlawfully-harmed-me accusation, " but need not have "detailed factual allegations." Id. (citation and quotation marks omitted). The plaintiff's claims must also be plausible on their face, which means there is "factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged." Id. (citation omitted). The Court need not accept as true "[t]hreadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements." Id. (citation omitted).

IV. Discussion

"A judge generally has absolute immunity from suits for damages." Davis v. Tarrant Cnty., Tex., 565 F.3d 214, 221 (5th Cir. 2009) (citation omitted). According to the Supreme Court, the purpose of judicial immunity is to ...


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