United States District Court, W.D. Missouri, Western Division
ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT RIGBY'S MOTION TO
KAYS, CHIEF JUDGE
case arises out of a criminal case involving pro se Plaintiff
James Abbott (“Abbott”) and presided by Defendant
Judge Twila K. Rigby (“Judge
Rigby”). In this case, Abbott is suing Judge Rigby,
attorneys, and others involved in the criminal case, for
violations of his constitutional and civil rights.
before the Court is Judge Rigby's Motion to Dismiss (Doc.
6). 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, Judge Rigby 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 Judge Rigby, Jackson County, Missouri prosecutors
and 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.
alleges Judge Rigby “conspired to provide plaintiff
with continued necessary medical care”,
“unilaterally dismissed case no. 1216CR05298 on
12/21/2012”, and “conspired under the color of
law to violate plaintiff's 1st, 4th, 5th, 6th, 8th, and
14th constitutional and Section 1983 civil rights.”
Rigby moves to dismiss Abbott's claims against her under
Rule 12(b)(1) and 12(b)(6) arguing the
Rooker-Feldman doctrine applies and that she has
absolute 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 Judge Rigby argues 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 ...