United States District Court, E.D. Kentucky, Central Division, Lexington
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
M. Hood Senior U.S. District Judge
matter is before the Court upon pro se Plaintiff
Ross “Word” Phar's Motion to Reconsider [DE
8], in which he contests the Court's sua sponte
screening and dismissal of the above-captioned case pursuant
to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2). In its Memorandum Opinion and
Order of April 4, 2017 [DE 5], the Court construed
Plaintiff's complaint as stating a claim for damages
under 42 U.S.C. 1983, then dismissed it with prejudice
because the named Defendants were immune from suit under the
Eleventh Amendment. Plaintiff insists that the Court violated
his Due Process rights by dismissing the case without giving
him an opportunity to be heard. He also contends that the
Court's analysis was based on a misunderstanding of the
Eleventh Amendment. The Court will address each of these
arguments in turn.
to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2), courts are authorized to
conduct an initial screening of a complaint filed by a
pro se litigant seeking to proceed in forma
pauperis. Court are also entitled to dismiss a complaint
that is frivolous or malicious, fails to state a claim upon
which relief may be granted, or seeks monetary relief against
a defendant who is immune from such relief. See McGore v.
Wrigglesworth, 114 F.3d 601, 608 (6th Cir. 1997),
overruled on other grounds by LaFountain v. Harry,
716 F.3d 944, 951 (6th Cir. 2013)).
the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit has
not addressed the constitutionality of sua sponte
dismissals under § 1915(e)(2), other circuits have held
that this procedure does not violate the procedural
protections of the Fifth Amendment's Due Process Clause.
See Kiselis v. Suizzo, 491 F. App'x 762, 763
(7th Cir. 2012) (“A sua sponte dismissal of a meritless
complaint that cannot be saved by amendment comports with due
process.”); Curley v. Perry, 246 F.3d 1278,
1283 (10th Cir. 2001) (“We agree with the majority view
that sua sponte dismissal of a meritless complaint that
cannot be salvaged by amendment comports with due process and
does not infringe the right of access to the courts.”).
In this case, Plaintiff's Complaint could not be saved by
amendment because the entities that he sued were immune from
the relief sought. See Carter v. All Dist. Fed. Judges,
U.S.A., 441 F. App'x 859, 860 (3d Cir. 2011) (per
curiam) (concluding that amendment of the plaintiff's
complaint would be futile because the defendants were immune
from suit); Fiamengo v. Wadsworth, 127 F. Appx'
564, 565 (2d Cir. 2005) (same). Thus, the Court did not
violate Plaintiff's Due Process rights in dismissing his
Complaint with prejudice without allowing him an opportunity
to be heard.
Court observed in its previous Memorandum Opinion and Order,
“an unconsenting State is immune from suits brought in
federal courts by her own citizens as well as by citizens of
another State” under the Eleventh Amendment, unless the
State unequivocally consent to such a suit. Edelman v.
Jordan, 415 U.S. 651, 663 (1974). The Supreme Court of
the United States has also applied this rule to entities that
qualify as state agents and state instrumentalities.
Id.; see also Regents of the Univ. of Ca. v.
Doe, 519 U.S. 425, 429 (1997).
complains that the Court founded its analysis on a flawed
interpretation of constitutional law, one “based on
precedent and ‘case law' rather than the original
intent of the founding fathers when they penned the U.S.
Constitution and Declaration of Independence.” [DE 8 at
1]. However, the Constitution of the United States not only
contemplates the creation of the Supreme Court of the United
States and other federal courts, it also vests them with
jurisdiction to hear, inter alia, cases
“arising under this Constitution.” U.S. Const.
Art. III, § 1-2. In order to perform that function,
federal courts must be able “to exercise judicial
review and interpret the Constitution.”
DaimlerChrysler Corp. v. Cuno, 547 U.S. 332, 340-41
(2006) (citing Marbury v. Madison, 1 Cranch 137, 177
(1803) (“Those who apply the rule to particular cases,
must of necessity expound and interpret that rule.”).
Thus, it was not error for this Court to rely on Supreme
Court case law interpreting the Constitution in rendering its
final matter, the Court wishes to clarify that
Plaintiff's Complaint was not dismissed on grounds of
frivolity or maliciousness. The Court understands and
appreciates Plaintiff's concerns. However, it ultimately
found it necessary to dismiss Plaintiff's Complaint with
prejudice because the law simply does not allow him to
recover monetary damages from the named Defendants. That
conclusion remains the same, for the reasons stated above and
in the Court's prior Memorandum Opinion and Order.
for the reasons stated herein, IT IS ORDERED
that Plaintiff Ross “Word” Phar's Motion to
Reconsider [DE 8] be, and is hereby, DENIED.
IS FURTHER ORDERED that a copy of this Memorandum
Opinion and Order be sent to Plaintiff at his listed ...