United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
C. HAMILTON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter is before the Court upon the motion of plaintiff
Willie Cox, a/k/a Abbue-Jau, for leave to proceed in forma
pauperis in this civil action. For the reasons explained
below, the motion will be denied, and this case will be
Standard on Initial Review
to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2), the Court is required to
closely screen cases where, as here, there is an application
to proceed in forma pauperis. The Court may deny a litigant
leave to proceed in forma pauperis and dismiss an action if
it determines that the complaint is frivolous or malicious. A
complaint is frivolous “where it lacks an arguable
basis either in law or in fact.” Neitzke v.
Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 325 (1989). A complaint is
malicious if it was filed for the purpose of harassing the
named defendant and not for the purpose of vindicating a
cognizable right. Spencer v. Rhodes, 656 F.Supp.
458, 461-63 (E.D. N.C. 1987), aff'd 826 F.2d
1061 (4th Cir. 1987).
considering whether a complaint is malicious, the Court may
refer to objective factors such as the circumstances
surrounding the filing and the nature of the allegations.
Id. Additionally, the Eighth Circuit has recognized
that “malicious” applies to situations where the
complaint is “plainly part of a longstanding pattern of
abusive and repetitious lawsuits.” Horsey
v. Asher, 741 F.2d 209, 213 (8th Cir. 1984),
Cooper v. Wood, 111 F.3d 135 (8th Cir. 1997)
(unpublished); see also In re McDonald, 489 U.S. 180
(1989) (leave to proceed in forma pauperis can be denied
based in part on prior abusive litigation).
case at bar is one of many interrelated civil rights actions
plaintiff has filed pro se and in forma pauperis in this
Court since September 17, 2019. As of the date of this Memorandum
and Order, all of plaintiff's cases that have been
reviewed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B) have been
dismissed for one of the reasons set forth therein. In
Cox v. City of Clayton, 4:19-cv-03091-RLW, the
Honorable Ronnie L. White determined that plaintiff's
repeated filing of frivolous and interrelated lawsuits
amounted to abuse of the judicial process, and cautioned him
that restrictions may be imposed if he continued the
practice. On November 22, 2019, plaintiff began filing
lawsuits seeking damages against the District Judges of this
Court who dismissed his cases.
brings this action against the Honorable Henry Edward Autrey
to complain about the dismissal of one of his prior cases,
Cox v. Brentwood, Missouri, City of,
4:19-cv-3067-PLC (E.D.Mo. Nov. 7, 2019). Plaintiff attached
to the complaint a copy of the Memorandum and Order entered
in the case by the Honorable Henry Edward Autrey, along with
handwritten notations on the Order.
makes general statements about the role of judges, and he
alleges that Judge Autrey has violated the oath he made to
the Constitution and to the people of this land. Plaintiff
also asserts that there is no such thing as judicial immunity
in a lawsuit brought pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, and
he claims that judges who do not uphold their oaths are
engaged in acts of treason.
with the complaint are pages of language about various legal
topics, definitions of the words “driver, ”
“traffic, ” and “transportation, ”
and other material. Plaintiff seeks several million dollars
Court finds that plaintiff's in forma pauperis
application should be denied and this action should be
dismissed because the complaint is frivolous and malicious.
The complaint is frivolous because judges generally cannot be
sued for monetary relief based on alleged judicial
misconduct, and nothing in the instant complaint establishes
that Judge Autrey acted in the absence of jurisdiction or
outside his judicial capacity. See Imbler v.
Pachtman, 424 U.S. 409, 434-35 (1976) (citing
Pierson v. Ray, 386 U.S. 547 (1967)). The complaint
is malicious because it is clear from the circumstances
surrounding the filing and the nature of the allegations that
plaintiff filed the complaint to harass and disparage Judge
Autrey for ruling against him, see Spencer,
656 F.Supp. at 461-63, and because the complaint is clearly
part of a pattern of abusive and repetitious lawsuits.
See Horsey, 741 F.2d at 213.
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that plaintiff's
motion for leave to proceed in forma ...