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Knight v. Krauser

United States District Court, W.D. Missouri, Western Division

June 2, 2015

WILLIAM MICHAEL KNIGHT, Plaintiffs,
v.
KAREN LEE KRAUSER, Defendants.

ORDER

FERNANDO J. GAITAN, Jr., District Judge.

Currently pending before the Court is defendant Karen Lee Krauser's Motion to Dismiss (Doc. # 4) and plaintiff's Motion to Strike Entry of Appearance of the Office of the Missouri Attorney General as Defendant's Representative (Doc. # 8).

I. BACKGROUND

Plaintiff alleges that on October 20, 2014, he appeared before Judge Krauser, Clay County, Missouri Associate Circuit Court judge on a municipal ordinance violation. Plaintiff states that on that date, he asked Judge Krauser two times whether the Court had adopted the Administrative Procedures Act. Plaintiff alleges that Judge Krauser first stated she did not know what the Administrative Procedures Act was. Plaintiff states that the second time she was asked, she assured plaintiff that she had jurisdiction, without disclosing what the jurisdiction was. Plaintiff alleges that Judge Krauser then granted the prosecutor a continuance for a "docket review" and the hearing was continued until November 10, 2014. Plaintiff alleges that on that date, he again appeared before Judge Krauser and challenged the procedure, rules, personal and subject matter jurisdiction and venue and then stated that he would not consent to any further movement until the venue, capacity, process and rules of which Judge Krauser was attempting to exercise and apply were clearly spelled out. Plaintiff states that Judge Krauser "acting in the capacity of an elected Circuit Court Judge, stated that she was not going to answer any more of the injured party's questions and again assured the injured party that she had jurisdiction." (Plaintiff's Complaint, ¶10). Judge Krauser then entered a plea of not guilty for plaintiff and continued the case until December 8, 2014. Plaintiff alleges that Judge Krause "acting in the capacity of an elected Judicial Circuit Court Judge has agreed to knowingly and willfully violating her sworn Oath of Office and thereby lost all immunity from a lawsuit....by refusing to address the guaranteed rights of the injured party under the Constitution for the United States, and the Missouri Constitution, by moving forward with the case without disclosing the nature and cause of the charges, personal and subject matter jurisdiction, venue, capacity, or rules to the detriment of the injured party...." (Complaint, ¶ 27).

Plaintiff further alleges that "the wrong doer, acting in the capacity of an elected Judicial Circuit Court Judge never disclosed the venue of which the case was being heard as the City of Liberty Municipal Court Judge, Thomas Capps, had recused himself from presiding over the case thus making it nearly impossible for the injured party to get any proper documentation as to whether the case is being heard in a State Court, County District Court, or a Municipal Court, in order to obtain documentation for a new case as the statues of limitations have run out to prosecute under Missouri Revised Statutes 556.036.2(2) and Missouri Revised Statutes 556.036.6(1) to the detriment of the injured party in order to properly defend himself against the charges in which the injured party submitted to the wrong doer a Notice of Complaint for Judicial Misconduct and Malfeasance of Office for Clay County, Missouri, Circuit Court Judge Karen Lee Krauser (Complaint, ¶ 29).

Finally, plaintiff alleges that Judge Krauser "committed an act or acts of fraud against the injured party as she has refused to answer the injured party's questions regarding the nature and cause of the charges, personal and subject matter jurisdiction, the venue, capacity, and rules when the duty to answer the questions is imposed... and thereby abandoned her sworn Oath of Office and leaving the injured party without a clear understanding of the rules, jurisdiction, and venue which are guaranteed rights to which he was unable to defend himself." (Complaint, ¶ 30). Plaintiff asks for an award of $250, 000 in damages for the cost of mailings, public records costs, research time, time incurred for proceedings, undue physical, mental and financial stress, as well as punitive damages and any other compensation the Court deems just.

Defendant Krauser alleges that the Complaint should be dismissed for failure to state a claim under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6) and for lack of subject matter jurisdiction under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(1).

II. STANDARD

To survive a motion to dismiss under 12(b)(6), "a complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to state a claim for relief that is plausible on its face." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1949, 173 L.Ed.2d 868 (2009) (quoting Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 167 L.Ed.2d 929 (2007)). A pleading that merely pleads "labels and conclusions" or a "formulaic recitation" of the elements of a cause of action, or "naked assertions" devoid of "further factual enhancement" will not suffice. Id . (quoting Twombly). "Determining whether a complaint states a plausible claim for relief will... be a context-specific task that requires the reviewing court to draw on its judicial experience and common sense." Id. at 1950. Under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6) we must accept the plaintiff's factual allegations as true and grant all reasonable inferences in the plaintiff's favor. Phipps v. FDIC, 417 F.3d 1006, 1010 (8th Cir. 2005).

In Driesen v. Smith, No. C13-4037-MWB, 2014 WL 24234 (N.D.Iowa Jan. 2, 2014), aff'd, 584 Fed.Appx. 292 (8th Cir. 2014), the Court explained the standards for Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(1).

A motion attacking the court's subject matter jurisdiction is governed by Federal Rule Civil Procedure 12(b)(1). A Rule 12(b)(1) motion can either attack the complaint's claim of jurisdiction on its face or it can attack the factual basis for jurisdiction.... In a facial challenge to jurisdiction, all of the factual allegations concerning jurisdiction are presumed to be true and the motion is successful if the plaintiff fails to allege an element necessary for subject matter jurisdiction.... If the [defendant] wants to make a factual attack on the jurisdictional allegations of the complaint, the court may receive competent evidence such as affidavits, deposition testimony, and the like in order to determine the factual dispute.

Id. at *6.

III. DISCUSSION

Defendant states that plaintiff's claims are barred by the doctrine of judicial immunity. "It is well settled, under both federal and state law, that judges are completely immune from civil lawsuits based on claims of misconduct during the performance of their judicial functions." Pierson v. Ray, 386 U.S. 547, 553-54, 87 S.Ct. 1213, 1217-18, 18 L.Ed.2d 288 (1967); Stump v. Sparkman, 435 U.S. 349, 355-57, 98 S.Ct. 1099, 1104-05, 55 L.Ed.2d 331 (1978); Mireles v. Waco, 502 U.S. 9, 11, 112 S.Ct. 286, 287-88, 116 L.Ed.2d 9 (1991); Liles v. Regan, 804 F.2d 493, 495 (8th Cir.1986). In Hoppe v. Klapperich, 28 N.W.2d 780 (1947), the Court stated, "It is unquestionable, and has been from the earliest days of the common law, that a judicial officer cannot be called to account in a civil action for [ ] determinations and acts in [a] judicial capacity, however erroneous or by whatever motives prompted.'" Id. at 788 (quoting Stewart v. Case, 54 N.W. 938 (1893)). "Only if a judge acts in the clear absence of all jurisdiction over the subject-matter' can he be liable." P.G. v. Ramsey County, 141 F.Supp.2d 1220, 1230 (D.Minn. 2001)(quoting Bradley v. Fisher, 80 U.S. 335, 351, 20 L.Ed. 646, 13 Wall. 335 (1871)). Additionally, in Jackson v. Borengasser, No. 2:12-CV-02306, 2013 WL 5218057 (W.D.Ark. Sept. 16, 2013), the Court stated, "A judge will not be deprived of immunity because the action [s]he took was in error, was done maliciously, or was ...


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