The opinion of the court was delivered by: Joyner, J.
Presently before the Court is the Motion to Proceed In Forma Pauperis
of Plaintiff Robert Davis ("Plaintiff" or "Davis"). For the reasons that
follow, the Court will grant Plaintiff's Motion to Proceed In Forma
Pauperis, but will dismiss his complaint.
Plaintiff seeks to proceed in forma pauperis in this action. It appears
to the Court that Plaintiff cannot afford to pay the filing fees to
initiate this action, thus, the Court grants Plaintiff leave to proceed
in forma pauperis. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915. However, the Court directs
that the complaint be dismissed prior to service.
This Court has the power to sua sponte dismiss this case "at any time
if the court determines that . . . (B) the action . . . (i) is frivolous
or malicious; (ii) fails to state a claim on which relief may be
granted; or (iii) seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is immune
from such relief." 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(i), (ii), and (iii). An
action is frivolous if it "lacks an arguable basis in either fact or
law." See Green v. Seymour, 59 F.3d 1073, 1077 (10th Cir. 1995) (quoting
Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 325, 109 S.Ct. 1827, 1832 (1989)).
Moreover, "[d]ismissal under § 1915(e) is appropriate both when the
action is `based on an indisputably meritless legal theory' and when it
posits `factual contentions [that] are clearly baseless.'" Rankine v.
Server, No. CIV.A. 01-0653, 2001 WL 322517, *1 (E.D.Pa. Feb. 13, 2001)
(quoting Neitzke, 490 U.S. at 327)).
Plaintiff's complaint names as defendants the following: Philadelphia
County, et. al.; Philadelphia Court Appointed Attorneys, et. al.;
Judges, et. al.; Clerk of Judicial Records, et. al.; D.A. Office(s), et.
al.; and Pathologist in Forensic Pathology, et. al. Plaintiff does not
identify who the "et. al." after each general category is meant to
The complaint purports to sue the above mentioned parties for alleged
violations of Plaintiff's Constitutional Rights. The constitutional
violations of which Plaintiff complains all stem from his underlying
state court conviction and his post-conviction representation. He
summarizes the violations as follows:
Plaintiff's Compl. at pg. 1.
Plaintiff also complains that his sentence should be vacated and that
there should be an evidentiary hearing to determine the impact of his
Attention Deficit Disorder on his trial.*fn1 Plaintiff requests that
this Court "expeditiously act upon this memorandum by either rendering an
appropriate judgment or immediately refering [sic] the case to an
appropriate court or agency to investigate and resolve the injustices in
the failure of the court to serve the petitioner."*fn2 Id. at pg. 3.
• Plaintiff's Claims Against the Judicial Defendants
Plaintiff argues that Judge Richette violated his constitutional rights
by communicating with Plaintiff directly while Plaintiff was being
represented by various court-appointed counsel (what Plaintiff calls
"hybrid representation"); by not monitoring and expecting reasonable
performance from Plaintiff's court-appointed counsel; by not holding
court-appointed counsel responsible; and by issuing conflicting orders.
Plaintiff's allegations against Judge Richette lack an arguable basis
in law because Judge Richette enjoys absolute judicial immunity for the
actions of which Plaintiff complains. Judges are entitled to absolute
judicial immunity from suit for actions arising from judicial acts which
were undertaken with jurisdiction. See Gallas v. Supreme Court of
Pennsylvania, 211 F.3d 760, 768 (3d Cir. 2000). The actions for which
Plaintiff seeks to hold Judge Richette accountable are, by Plaintiff's
own admission, actions she took in her official capacity as Judge in an
underlying criminal proceeding. Plaintiff complains that Judge Richette
issued conflicting orders and that she allowed him to file things pro se
while also accepting filings from his court-appointed counsel. These
actions were clearly undertaken in Judge Richette's official capacity,