United States District Court, W.D. Missouri, Western Division
ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO
KAYS, CHIEF JUDGE
case arises out of a criminal case involving pro se Plaintiff
James Abbott (“Abbott”).In this case, Abbott is suing
the judge who presided over his criminal case, prosecuting
attorneys, defense attorneys, and others involved in the
criminal case, for violations of his constitutional and civil
before the Court is Defendants Jean Peters Baker
(“Baker”), Patrick Edwards
(“Edwards”), and Michael Hunt's
(“Hunt”) Motion to Dismiss (Doc. 11). As
explained below, the motion is GRANTED.
Plaintiff's allegations as true and drawing all
reasonable inferences in his favor, the Court finds the facts
to be as follows.
lawsuit stems from a state criminal case. Abbott was arrested
and charged with a felony. After a supplemental mental health
examination, the Judge dismissed his case without prejudice,
finding he lacked the mental fitness to proceed, and there
was not a substantial probability he would be mentally fit to
proceed in the foreseeable future.
filed this two-count lawsuit alleging violations of his civil
rights by the Judge, Baker, Edwards, and Hunt (collectively
“Prosecutor Defendants”), public defenders,
private defense attorneys, a psychologist, and Correct Care
Solutions, for actions that took place related to his
criminal case. Count I alleges Abbott was detained in jail
and then released to obtain immediate medical treatment at
his own expense. Count II alleges Defendants conspired to
deprive Abbott of his constitutional rights by arresting him,
fabricating and contriving criminal charges against him,
denying his right to preliminary hearing through excessive
continuances, making false statements to keep him in jail,
imposing excessive bail, refusing to provide him with
adequate and appropriate medical care and treatment, and
releasing him from jail to avoid the cost of medical
treatment. Abbott seeks compensatory and punitive damages,
costs, pre- and post-judgment interest, and a declaration
that is constitutional and civil rights were violated.
Defendants are prosecutors employed by Jackson County,
Missouri. Abbott alleges Edwards falsified Plaintiff's
legal representation on a motion for mental examination. He
further alleges that Hunt and Edwards failed to present
“proof of cause” at a preliminary hearing. As to
Hunt and Baker, he alleges they conspired to provide him with
continued necessary medical care. Finally, he alleges the
Prosecutor Defendants conspired to violate his 1st, 4th, 5th,
6th, 8th, and 14th amendment rights as well as his §
1983 civil rights. Finally, Abbott alleges that his rights
were violated through excessive continuances and that he was
improperly charged. (Doc. 1-3).
Prosecutor Defendants move to dismiss Abbott's claims
against them under Rule 12(b)(1) and 12(b)(6) arguing the
Rooker-Feldman doctrine applies and that they have
immunity from suits.
are two types of challenges to subject matter jurisdiction
under Rule 12(b)(1): “factual” attacks and
“facial” attacks. Osborn v. United
States, 918 F.2d 724, 729 n.6 (8th Cir. 1990). In a
factual attack, the court considers matters extrinsic to the
pleadings to determine if it has subject matter jurisdiction.
A facial attack challenges subject matter jurisdiction based
on the bare allegations in the complaint. In a facial attack
the court assumes the allegations in the complaint are true,
whereas in a factual attack the court does not. The pending
motion is a facial attack because the Prosecutor Defendants
argue that even if Abbott's allegations are true, the
Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction.
purpose of a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6) is to test
the legal sufficiency of the complaint. When considering a
Rule 12(b)(6) motion, the court assumes the factual
allegations of a complaint are true and construes the facts
in favor of the plaintiff. Neitzke v. Williams, 490
U.S. 319, 326 (1989). To avoid dismissal, the complaint must
include “enough facts to state a claim to relief that
is plausible on its face.” Bell Atl. Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007). “A claim has
facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content
that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that
the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.”
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009).
Plaintiff is pro se, the Court is bound to liberally construe
his filings in order to do substantial justice. Estelle
v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 106 (1976). “Though pro se
complaints are to be construed liberally, they still must
allege sufficient facts to support the ...