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Knight v. Crocker

United States District Court, Sixth Circuit

July 11, 2013

SEAN PAUL KNIGHT, Plaintiff,
v.
JANET J. CROCKER et al., Defendants.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

JOSEPH H. McKINLEY, District Judge.

Plaintiff, Sean Paul Knight, commenced this 42 U.S.C. § 1983 action by filing a Courtsupplied, civil-rights complaint form with numerous attachments (117 pages) and 10 DVDs (DN 1). Because the "Statement of Claim(s)" portion of the complaint form merely stated for each of the five Defendants, "conspiracy' see attachments and videos" the Court ordered Plaintiff to fill out the statement-of-the-claims portion of the complaint form. Plaintiff has complied (DN 11). The Court will now rule on Plaintiff's pending motions and conduct its initial screening pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A and McGore v. Wrigglesworth, 114 F.3d 601 (6th Cir. 1997). For the reasons set forth below, the action will be dismissed.

MOTIONS

First, the Court will consider the motions to amend the complaint and to enter evidence filed by Plaintiff (DNs 6, 8, 9, and 12). In the first motion, DN 6, Plaintiff asks the Court to allow entry into evidence of various exhibits and a video. The Court considers this to be a motion to amend the complaint. A party may amend its pleading once as a matter of course within 21 days of service. Fed.R.Civ.P. 15(a). Service has not occurred here. Consequently, Plaintiff's motion (DN 6) is GRANTED.

Plaintiff's second motion (DN 8) asks to add a request for relief that all entities and persons involved be prosecuted and requests reform of the Kentucky Department of Public Advocacy and of the public's access to the Kentucky judicial system. He also asks for relief for any Defendant convicted by Judge Crocker or prosecuted by Commonwealth's Attorney Clint G. Willis.

First, "[i]t is well settled that the question of whether and when prosecution is to be instituted is within the discretion of the Attorney General." Powell v. Katzenbach, 359 F.2d 234, 235 (D.C. Cir. 1965). The Court does not have the power to direct that criminal charges be filed against anyone as Plaintiff requests. Peek v. Mitchell, 419 F.2d 575, 577-78 (6th Cir. 1970); Fleetwood v. Thompson, 358 F.Supp. 310, 311 (N.D. Ill. 1972). Second, to the extent that Plaintiff seeks relief on behalf of others, a non-lawyer cannot represent others in this action. "[I]n federal court a party can represent himself or be represented by an attorney, but cannot be represented by a nonlawyer." Gonzales v. Wyatt, 157 F.3d 1016, 1021 (5th Cir. 1998); Eagle Assocs. v. Bank of Montreal, 926 F.2d 1305, 1308 (2d Cir. 1991); see also 28 U.S.C. § 1654.

"A district court may deny a plaintiff leave to amend his or her complaint... when the proposed amendment would be futile." Kottmyer v. Maas, 436 F.3d 684, 692 (6th Cir. 2006). Because here the proposed amendment would be futile, the motion to amend (DN 8) is DENIED.

In his next motion (DN 9), Plaintiff seeks to add as Defendants Governor Steven L. Beshear and Attorney General Jack Conway. That motion offers no claims against these wouldbe Defendants. Instead, it asserts that slavery in Kentucky is alive and thriving in the judicial system. He asserts that Kentucky's prisons are overcrowded with indigent defendants who should be out on bond. He alleges that examination of "files" would reveal the difference in the outcome of the indigent defendants versus those with private counsel. He states, "This is nothing less than indigent Slavery by way of incarceration to grow the Commonwealth[']s Economy and Industry."

The specific facts alleged in a complaint must explain how a defendant is personally responsible for the alleged injuries. Smith v. Rowe, 761 F.2d 360, 369 (7th Cir. 1985). Plaintiff fails to do so. As such, the claims against these would-be Defendants would have to be dismissed for failure to state a claim. See Copeland v. Machulis, 57 F.3d 476, 481 (6th Cir. 1995) (per curiam) (stating that personal involvement by the defendant is an essential element in a § 1983 cause of action asserting a constitutional deprivation). Because it would be futile to allow these claims to be added to the complaint, Plaintiff's motion to amend (DN 9) is DENIED.

Plaintiff's third motion to amend the complaint (DN 11) is actually his response to the Court's Order for him to fill out the "Statement of Claims(s)" portion of the complaint. Accordingly, that motion (DN 11) is GRANTED.

In his next motion (DN 12), he seeks to add additional exhibits, including two DVDs. The complaint and other documents are signed by Plaintiff Sean Paul Knight but DN 12 is signed by Paul Knight, Plaintiff's father, as "Witness for Plaintiff." Plaintiff is proceeding pro se. No one but Plaintiff himself may sign and submit filings to this Court. See Fed.R.Civ.P. 11(a) ("Every pleading... must be signed by at least one attorney of record in the attorney's name - or by a party personally if the party is unrepresented."). Consequently, this motion (DN 12) is DENIED.

I. SUMMARY OF CLAIMS

In his original complaint, Plaintiff sues in their official capacities state-court judge Janet J. Crocker; Commonwealth's Attorney Clint G. Willis; Department of Public Advocacy attorneys Patrick C. Roemer and Samuel H. Lowe; and Allen County Detention head jailer Larry E. Piper. In his amended complaint, submitted pursuant to the Court's Order, he alleges that Defendants Crocker, Willis, Roemer, and Lowe conspired to deprive him of his Fourteenth Amendment right to due process; concealed from him the "prosecution of wrongful charge Theft/Auto could and in fact did cause Plaintiff greater judicial harm"; concealed discovery; and maliciously prosecuted him. He alleges that Defendant Crocker allowed Defendant Lowe to continue to represent him even after Defendant Lowe allegedly committed perjury. Plaintiff accuses Defendant Crocker of other instances of mishandling his state-court criminal case.

With regard to Defendant Piper, the jailer, Plaintiff alleges that he and Defendant Crocker conspired to deprive Plaintiff of his due-process and equal protection rights under the Fourteenth Amendment. Plaintiff further alleges that Defendant Piper failed to secure adequate medical attention for Plaintiff after an attack by another inmate, failed to protect him from a violent inmate, and transferred Plaintiff for disciplinary action ...


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