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.

Jupiter v. Hobbs

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

February 19, 2019

KEON CONELIUS JUPITER, #306860, Plaintiff,
v.
JUDGE TUMAN M. HOBBS, and DISTRICT ATTY. DARYL BAILEY, Defendants.

          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 Keon Conelius Jupiter, an indigent state inmate currently serving a three-year sentence for second degree rape imposed upon him by the Circuit Court of Montgomery County, Alabama.[1] In this complaint, Jupiter presents claims challenging the constitutionality of his conviction. Doc. 1 at 2-3. Specifically, Jupiter alleges that his Montgomery County conviction for second degree rape subjects him to double jeopardy because he was previously convicted of second degree rape in Elmore County. Doc. 1 at 3. Jupiter names as defendants Truman M. Hobbs, the judge who presided over his criminal proceedings before the Montgomery County Circuit Court, and Daryl Bailey, the District Attorney for Montgomery County. Jupiter seeks release from his incarceration and monetary damages for the alleged violation of his constitutional rights. Doc. 1 at 4.

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

         II. DISCUSSION

         A. Judge Truman M. Hobbs

         Jupiter entered a guilty plea to second degree rape on October 18, 2017 before the Circuit Court of Montgomery County, Alabama, a proceeding over which Judge Hobbs presided. Construing the complaint liberally, Jupiter alleges the Judge Hobbs violated his constitutional rights during the criminal proceedings that resulted in his conviction for second degree rape. Doc. 1 at 2-3. The claims against Judge Hobbs entitle Jupiter to no relief in this cause of action.

         “[J]udicial immunity is an immunity from suit, not just from ultimate assessment of damages.” Mireles v. Waco, 502 U.S. 9, 11 (1991) (internal citation omitted). “Judges are entitled to absolute immunity from suits for acts performed while they are acting in their judicial capacity unless they acted in complete absence of all jurisdiction.” Allen v. Florida, 458 Fed.Appx. 841, 843 (11th Cir. 2012). “A judge will not be deprived of immunity because the action he took was in error, was done maliciously, or was in excess of his authority; rather, he will be subject to liability only when he has acted in the clear absence of all jurisdiction.” Stump v. Sparkman, 435 U.S. 349, 356-57 (1978) (internal quotation marks and citation omitted); Mireles, 502 U.S. at 11 (holding that “[j]udicial immunity is not overcome by allegations of bad faith or malice”); Allen, 458 Fed.Appx. at 843 (same). “[T]he relevant inquiry is the nature and function of the act, not the act itself.” Mireles, 502 U.S. at 12 (internal quotation marks and citation omitted). “This immunity applies to proceedings [brought] under 42 U.S.C. § 1983.” Wahl v. McIver, 773 F.2d 1169, 1172 (5th Cir. 1981).

         Judge Hobbs is absolutely immune from civil liability for any actions taken in his judicial capacity during state-court proceedings over which he presided pursuant to the authority granted him by state law. Hyland v. Kolhage, 267 Fed.Appx. 836, 840-41 (11th Cir. 2008) (holding that, because a judge's “actions were taken within his judicial capacity and he did not act in the absence of all jurisdiction [in altering minutes of a sentencing hearing after completion of such hearing], he was entitled to absolute judicial immunity”); Stump, 435 U.S. at 356 (holding that where judge was not acting in the “clear absence of all jurisdiction” he is entitled to immunity even if Plaintiff alleges the action taken was erroneous, malicious or without authority). Consequently, Jupiter's claims against Judge Hobbs are “based on an indisputably meritless legal theory” and are therefore subject to dismissal in accordance with the provisions of 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(i) and (iii).

         B. District Attorney Daryl Bailey

         Similarly, “a prosecutor is entitled to absolute immunity for all actions he takes while performing his function as an advocate for the government.” Buckley v. Fitzsimmons, 509 U.S. 259, 273 (1993); Jones v. Cannon, 174 F.3d 1271, 1281 (11th Cir. 1999) (holding that a “prosecutor enjoys absolute immunity from allegations stemming from the prosecutor's function as advocate”). In a § 1983 action, “the immunity that the law grants prosecutors [for actions intimately associated with initiation, prosecution and punishment in a criminal case] is absolute.” Van de Kamp v. Goldstein, 555 U.S. 335, 342 (2009) (internal quotation marks omitted); Imbler v. Pachtman, 424 U.S. 409, 420 (1976) (holding that “a prosecutor enjoys absolute immunity from § 1983 suits for damages when he acts within the scope of his prosecutorial duties”); Rowe v. Ft. Lauderdale, 279 F.3d 1271, 1279 (11th Cir. 2002) (holding that “[a] prosecutor is entitled to absolute immunity for all actions he takes while performing his function as an advocate for the government”). The absolute immunity afforded prosecutors protects against “impair[ing] the performance of a central actor in the judicial process.” Malley v. Briggs, 475 U.S. 335, 343 (1986). Absolute immunity from § 1983 liability is afforded to prosecutors for their conduct in “initiating a prosecution and in presenting the State's case . . . [when] that conduct is intimately associated with the judicial phase of the criminal process.” Burns v. Reed, 500 U.S. 478, 486 (1991) (internal quotation marks and citation omitted).

         To the extent Jupiter seeks relief from the District Attorney for actions undertaken during the proceedings related to his second degree rape conviction, it is clear that these actions occurred while Bailey engaged in activities intimately associated with the judicial phase of the criminal process. This is conduct for which Bailey is entitled to absolute immunity. Buckley, 509 U.S. at 273; Burns, 500 U.S. at 493. Thus, Jupiter's claims against District Attorney Daryl Bailey are due to be dismissed pursuant to the directives of 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(i) and (iii). In addition, Jupiter is entitled to no declaratory or injunctive relief against defendant Bailey for any alleged adverse action related to the conviction and sentence imposed upon him by the Circuit Court of Montgomery County, Alabama.

         C. The Challenge to Plaintiff's Conviction and Sentence

         Insofar as Jupiter presents a claim which goes to the fundamental legality of his second degree rape conviction and the resulting sentence on which he is now incarcerated, he is entitled to no relief on this claim. Edwards v. Balisok, 520 U.S. 641, 646 (1997); Heck v. ...


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.