Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Blocker v. Goggans

United States District Court, M.D. Alabama, Northern Division

November 3, 2017

ANDREW BLOCKER, Plaintiff,
v.
JUDGE JAMES GLENN GOGGANS, Defendant.

          RECOMMENDATION OF THE MAGISTRATE JUDGE

          GRAY M. BORDEN, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         I. INTRODUCTION

         This 42 U.S.C. § 1983 action is pending before the court on a complaint filed by Andrew Blocker, an indigent inmate incarcerated at the Elmore County Jail on pending state criminal charges.[1] In the instant complaint, Blocker complains that the state-court judge imposed an excessive bond in his cases. Doc. 1 at 3. Blocker requests that this court set a reasonable bond in his state criminal cases and seeks monetary damages from the defendant for his lost wages. Doc. 3 at 4.

         Upon a thorough review of the claims set forth in the complaint, the court concludes that this case is due to be summarily dismissed in accordance with the provisions of 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii) and (iii).[2]

         II. DISCUSSION

         Blocker contends that the bond amount set in his pending criminal cases is excessive and seeks declaratory and injunctive relief in the form of an order for a reasonable bond amount. Blocker also requests damages from Judge James Glenn Goggans for setting the bond.

         A. Request for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief

         The state-court records indicate that the orders regarding the bond amount set in Blocker's criminal cases are not final orders. Insofar as Blocker seeks relief from any order setting bond that is not yet final, he is due no relief from this court because he has an adequate remedy at law. Bolin v. Story, 225 F.3d 1234, 1242 (11th Cir. 2000) (“In order to receive declaratory or injunctive relief, plaintiff[] must establish that there was a [constitutional] violation, that there is a serious risk of continuing irreparable injury if the relief is not granted, and the absence of an adequate remedy at law.”). As is relevant here, Blocker may request reconsideration of his bond amount by the state court, and court records reflect that a hearing on this matter is scheduled before the District Court of Elmore County on November 7, 2017. If unsuccessful in seeking a reduction of his bond amount before the trial court, Blocker may then seek relief from the state appellate court via a habeas corpus petition. Ex parte Stokes, 990 So.2d 852, 856 (Ala. 2008) (internal citations omitted) (“A petition for a writ of habeas corpus [filed with the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals] is the proper vehicle by which to challenge the setting of allegedly excessive bail [or bond].”). Since state law provides an adequate remedy for Blocker to challenge non-final orders, he is “not entitled to declaratory or injunctive relief in this case” relative to these orders. Bolin, 225 F.3d at 1243.

         In light of the foregoing, the court concludes that summary dismissal of the request for declaratory and injunctive relief from orders setting bond in Blocker's criminal cases is appropriate under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii).

         B. Request for Monetary Damages

         All of the allegations made by Blocker against Judge Goggans emanate from actions taken by this defendant in his judicial capacity during state-court proceedings over which he had jurisdiction. The law is well settled that a state judge is absolutely immune from civil liability for acts taken pursuant to his judicial authority. Forrester v. White, 484 U.S. 219, 227-29 (1988); Paisey v. Vitale, 807 F.2d 889 (11th Cir. 1986); Stump v. Sparkman, 435 U.S. 349 (1978). For this reason, Blocker's claims for monetary damages against Judge Goggans are “based on an indisputably meritless legal theory” and are therefore due to be summarily dismissed in accordance with the provisions of 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(iii). Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 327 (1989).

         III. CONCLUSION

         Accordingly, it is the RECOMMENDATION of the Magistrate Judge that:

1. The plaintiff's claims seeking declaratory and injunctive relief from orders issued by Judge James Glenn Goggans setting bond in his criminal cases be DISMISSED without prejudice pursuant to the ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.