United States District Court, M.D. Alabama, Southern Division
Keith Watkins CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
April 26, 2018, the Magistrate Judge filed a Recommendation.
(Doc. # 10.) On May 8, 2018, Plaintiff Lorenzo Pearson filed
objections. (Doc. # 11.) Upon an independent and de
novo review of those portions of the Recommendation to
which objection is made, see 28 U.S.C. §
636(b), the court concludes that the Recommendation is
supported by applicable law and contains no factual error.
However, because the Magistrate Judge has correctly
recommended that Plaintiff's claims be dismissed not only
for failure to comply with this court's orders, but also
on the merits, the court concludes that dismissal should be
with prejudice. See Hall v. Tower Land & Inv.
Co., 512 F.2d 481, 483 (5th Cir. 1975) (noting that
dismissal for failure to state a claim upon which relief can
be granted “operates as an adjudication on the
merits”); see also Bonner v. City of Prichard,
661 F.2d 1206 (11th Cir. 1981) (en banc) (adopting
as binding precedent all of the decisions of the former Fifth
Circuit handed down prior to the close of business on
September 30, 1981).
Recommendation does not address Plaintiff's claims
against Defendant State of Alabama Rules of Civil Procedure.
However, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii),
Plaintiff's claims against this Defendant are subject to
dismissal with prejudice and without an opportunity to amend
for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be
granted. The State of Alabama's Rules of Civil
Procedure are exactly that - rules of procedure. They do not
possess assets subject to execution and cannot comply with an
injunction or declaratory judgment. Unlike inanimate
defendants in actions in rem, they are merely rules
and cannot be confiscated or executed upon. Plaintiff would
be more likely to collect from a pine stump. Moreover,
Plaintiff has not stated any facts from which it could
reasonably be concluded that the Alabama Rules of Civil
Procedure have committed any act or omission giving rise to a
cause of action, nor could they conceivably have done so
because they are not capable of taking (or failing to take)
action. Rather, in his amended complaint, Plaintiff argues
that the Alabama Rules of Civil Procedure, as applied in his
state court cases, deprived him of his constitutional rights.
court will not construe Plaintiff's complaint against
“State of Alabama Rules of Civil Procedure” as an
attempt to state a claim for a monetary judgment or equitable
relief against the State of Alabama on grounds that the Rules
were unconstitutionally applied during the state court
litigation. Any such construction would be of no help to
Plaintiff, because the claim would be subject to dismissal
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(i)-(iii) as
frivolous, for failure to state a claim upon which relief can
be granted, and on grounds that it seeks monetary relief
against a defendant who is immune from such relief. An
unconsenting state is immune from lawsuits brought in federal
court by the state's own citizens unless Congress has
abrogated immunity or the state has waived its immunity. U.S.
Const. Amend XI; Hans v. Louisiana, 134 U.S. 1, 21
(1890); see also Toth v. City of Dothan, Ala., 953
F.Supp. 1502, 1506 (M.D. Ala. 1996) (citing Eleventh
Amendment). Congress has not abrogated Eleventh Amendment
immunity in cases brought pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983,
nor has Alabama waived its immunity. Bd. of Trs. of Univ.
of Ala. v. Garrett, 531 U.S. 356, 363 (2001).
because the state court litigation has already been
concluded, any claim for injunctive or declaratory relief
against the State of Alabama on grounds that the Alabama
Rules of Civil Procedure are improperly drafted or were
improperly construed during the course of the state court
litigation is moot. Adler v. Duval Cty. Sch. Bd.,
112 F.3d 1475, 1477 (11th Cir. 1997) (“Equitable relief
is a prospective remedy, intended to prevent future injuries.
In contrast, a claim for money damages looks back in time and
is intended to redress a past injury. . . . When the threat
of future harm dissipates, the plaintiff's claims for
equitable relief become moot because the plaintiff no longer
needs protection from future injury.”).
any claim for “equitable relief” from the manner
in which the Alabama Rules of Civil Procedure were applied in
the state court case would effectively require this court to
reverse Alabama state courts, which, as was pointed out in
the Recommendation, this court has no power to do. Green
v. Jefferson Cty. Comm'n, 563 F.3d 1243, 1249 (11th
Cir. 2009) (“Generally speaking, the Rooker-
Feldman doctrine recognizes that federal district courts
do not have jurisdiction to act as appellate courts and
precludes them from reviewing final state court
it is ORDERED as follows:
1. Plaintiff's objection (Doc. # 11) is OVERRULED.
2. The Recommendation (Doc. # 10) is ADOPTED.
3. Plaintiff's claims against The Commercial Bank of
Ozark, Commercial Bank of Ozark, Commercial Bancshares of
Ozark, Inc., and State of Alabama Rules of Civil Procedure
are DISMISSED with prejudice.
4. Plaintiff Lorenzo Pearson is again ENJOINED from filing any
more notices of removal or direct suits in this court against
The Commercial Bank of Ozark or its agents, servants,
employees, officers, or directors, unless he complies with
the following procedures:
Lorenzo Pearson wishes to file any notice of removal or a
direct suit in the Middle District of Alabama in which The
Commercial Bank of Ozark or any of its agents, servants,
employees, officers, or directors is a party, he must submit
a petition for leave to file, along with a proposed notice of
removal or complaint and a copy of this Order, to this court
for consideration. The Clerk of the Court is DIRECTED to
forward to the undersigned any such petition and its
accompanying documents for consideration. The Clerk of the
Court shall not docket or open a new case until this court
issues an order to do so. If Lorenzo Pearson fails to comply
with the court's directive by submitting a notice of
removal or complaint involving The Commercial Bank of Ozark
(or any of its agents, servants, employees, officers, or
directors) without complying with this Order, the Clerk of
the Court is DIRECTED to return the notice of removal or
complaint to him or her.
if Lorenzo Pearson fails to submit the required petition
for leave to file, along with the complaint or notice of
removal in a case in which The Commercial Bank of Ozark, or
any of its agents, servants, employees, officers, or
directors is a party, he may be held in contempt of court and
may be subject to sanctions, including monetary sanctions to
offset the court's administrative costs (including return