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John Henry Carter v. Judge Thomas Flaherty

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA


September 4, 2012

JOHN HENRY CARTER, PLAINTIFF,
v.
JUDGE THOMAS FLAHERTY, DEFENDANT.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Judge Cathy Bissoon

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

I. MEMORANDUM

For the reasons that follow, Defendant's Motion to Dismiss (Doc. 5) will be granted. Defendant Thomas Flaherty, a sitting judge of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County ("Judge Flaherty"), presided over a "Motion to Correct Sentence" filed by Plaintiff in state court, under Docket No. CP-02-CR-0013402-2000 (Allegh. Cty. Comm. Pl.). See Order of J. Flaherty dated Jun. 22, 2012 (attached to Compl., under Doc. 2-1). Judge Flaherty subsequently denied Plaintiff's related "Petition for [a] New Order" (see Doc. 2-2), and Plaintiff has brought this lawsuit requesting that "the [N]ew [O]rder be granted." See Compl. at ¶ 1.

As Defendant correctly asserts, Plaintiff's action is barred by the Rooker-Feldman doctrine. See White v. Rabner, 2009 WL 2974882, *1 (3d Cir. Sept. 18, 2009) (holding same under analogous circumstances). Even were it not, Judge Flaherty enjoys judicial immunity from damages claims, and injunctive relief is unavailable because Plaintiff has neither alleged nor shown that Defendant violated a declaratory decree or that declaratory relief is unavailable. Id.; accord Abulkhair v. Rosenberg, 2012 WL 70649, *1 (3d Cir. Jan. 10, 2012) (holding same).

Although Plaintiff, in response to Defendant's Motion to Dismiss, has requested an opportunity to amend his Complaint, nothing in his response gives "[any] indication that repleading would correct the defects" identified above. See King v. Baldino, 2010 WL 5078008, *3 (3d Cir. Dec. 14, 2010) (citation to quoted source omitted). Accordingly, Defendant's Motion to Dismiss will be granted, with prejudice.

Consistent with the foregoing, the Court hereby enters the following:

II. ORDER

Defendant's Motion to Dismiss (Doc. 5) is GRANTED. IT IS SO ORDERED.

Cathy Bissoon United States District Judge

cc (via ECF email notification): All counsel of record

cc (via First-Class U.S. Mail): John Henry Carter 809 Crucible Street Pittsburgh, PA 15220

20120904

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