United States District Court, E.D. Virginia, Richmond Division
SUNDARIK. PRASAD, Plaintiff,
JUDICIAL INQUIRY & REVIEW COMMISSION, Defendant.
Hannah Lauck Judge
K. Prasad, a Virginia inmate proceeding pro se and
in forma pauper is, filed this civil action. By
Memorandum Order entered on December 11, 2017, the Court
directed Prasad to submit a particularized complaint within
fourteen (14) days of the date of entry thereof. In that
Memorandum Order, the Court explained as follows:
In order to state a viable claim under Bivens,
plaintiff must allege that a person acting under color of
federal authority deprived him or her of a constitutional
right or of a right conferred by a law of the United States.
See Williams v. Burgess, No. 3:09cvll5, 2010 WL
1957105, at *2 (E.D. Va. May 13, 2010) (citing Goldstein
v. Moatz, 364 F.3d 205, 210 n.8 (4th Cir. 2004)). Courts
must liberally construe pro se civil rights
complaints in order to address constitutional deprivations.
Gordon v. Leeke, 574 F.2d 1147, 1151 (4th Cir.
1978). Nevertheless, "[p]rinciples requiring generous
construction of pro se complaints are not... without
limits." Beaudett v. City of Hampton, 775 F.2d
1274, 1278 (4th Cir. 1985). Plaintiffs current allegations
fail to provide the Defendant with fair notice of the facts
and legal basis upon which its liability rests. See
BellAtl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)
(quoting Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 47 (1957)).
Moreover, it is unclear why Plaintiff believes that
Defendant, apparently a commission of the Commonwealth of
Virginia, acted under color of federal
(ECF No. 9, at 1-2.) The Court also explained that if Prasad
instead desired to bring this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983, she must clearly indicate that at the top of her
particularized complaint. The Court warned Prasad that the
failure to submit the particularized complaint would result
in the dismissal of the action.
Memorandum Opinion and Order entered on February 22, 2018,
the Court dismissed the action without prejudice because more
than fourteen (14) days had elapsed since the entry of the
December 11, 2017 Memorandum Order and Prasad failed to
submit a particularized complaint or otherwise respond. On
March 2, 2018, the Court received a letter from Prasad
indicating that she never received the December 11, 2017
Memorandum Order and asking for an extension of thirty days
to file a particularized complaint. By Memorandum Order
entered on March 15, 2018, the Court granted her request for
an extension of time to the extent that Prasad was required
to file a particularized complaint that comported with the
directives therein within thirty (30) days of the date of
entry hereof. The Court explained that if Prasad timely filed
a particularized complaint, the Court would reinstate the
action on the active docket.
Court has received Prasad's Particularized Complaint.
(ECF No. 14.) Thus, the action will be reinstated on the
active docket and the February 22, 2018, Memorandum Opinion
and Order will be vacated. Nevertheless, because Prasad's
claims lack merit, the Court will dismiss the action with
to the Prison Litigation Reform Act ("PLRA") this
Court must dismiss any action filed by a prisoner if the
Court determines the action (1) "is frivolous" or
(2) "fails to state a claim on which relief may be
granted." 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2); see 28
U.S.C. § 1915A. The first standard includes claims based
upon "an indisputably meritless legal theory, " or
claims where the "factual contentions are clearly
baseless." Clay v. Yates, 809 F.Supp. 417, 427
(E.D. Va. 1992) (quoting Neitzke v. Williams, 490
U.S. 319, 327 (1989)). The second standard is the familiar
standard for a motion to dismiss under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6).
motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6) tests the sufficiency
of a complaint; importantly, it does not resolve contests
surrounding the facts, the merits of a claim, or the
applicability of defenses." Republican Party of N.C.
v. Martin, 980 F.2d 943, 952 (4th Cir. 1992) (citing 5A
Charles A. Wright & Arthur R. Miller, Federal
Practice and Procedure § 1356 (1990)). In
considering a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim,
a plaintiffs well-pleaded allegations are taken as true and
the complaint is viewed in the light most favorable to the
plaintiff. Mylan Labs., Inc. v. Matkari, 7 F.3d
1130, 1134 (4th Cir. 1993); see also Martin, 980
F.2d at 952. This principle applies only to factual
allegations, however, and "a court considering a motion
to dismiss can choose to begin by identifying pleadings that,
because they are no more than conclusions, are not entitled
to the assumption of truth." Ashcroft v. Iqbal,
556 U.S. 662, 679 (2009).
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure "require only 'a
short and plain statement of the claim showing that the
pleader is entitled to relief, ' in order to 'give
the defendant fair notice of what the ... claim is and the
grounds upon which it rests.'" Bell All. Corp.
v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007) (second alteration
in original) (quoting Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41,
47 (1957)). Plaintiffs cannot satisfy this standard with
complaints containing only "labels and conclusions"
or a "formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of
action." Id. (citations omitted). Instead, a
plaintiff must allege facts sufficient "to raise a right
to relief above the speculative level, " id.
(citation omitted), stating a claim that is "plausible
on its face, " id. at 570, rather than merely
"conceivable." Id. "A claim has
facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content
that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that
the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged."
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 (citing Bell Ad.
Corp., 550 U.S. at 556). In order for a claim or
complaint to survive dismissal for failure to state a claim,
the plaintiff must "allege facts sufficient to state all
the elements of [his or] her claim." Bass v. E.I.
DuPont de Nemours & Co., 324 F.3d 761, 765 (4th Cir.
2003) (citing Dickson v. Microsoft Corp., 309 F.3d
193, 213 (4th Cir. 2002); Iodice v. United States,
289 F.3d 270, 281 (4th Cir. 2002)). Lastly, while the Court
liberally construes pro se complaints, Gordon v.
Leeke, 574 F.2d 1147, 1151 (4th Cir. 1978), it will not
act as the inmate's advocate and develop, sua
sponte, statutory and constitutional claims that the
inmate failed to clearly raise on the face of his complaint.
See Brock v. Carroll, 107 F.3d 241, 243 (4th Cir.
1997) (Luttig, J., concurring); Beaudett v. City of
Hampton, 775 F.2d 1274, 1278 (4th Cir. 1985).
SUMMARY OF PLAINTIFF'S ALLEGATIONS
the Court's prior admonition, it appears that Prasad now
brings her action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and not
pursuant to Bivens. (See Part. Compl. 1, 3.) Prasad
alleges that several Virginia state court judges violated her
rights to equal protection and due process and "judges
canons/code, " in what appears to stem from civil cases
in the Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court ("JD&R
Court") and the Circuit Court ("Circuit
Court") for the County of Chesterfield, Virginia.
(Id. at 1-2.) Prasad names JD&R Court Judges
Jayne Pemberton and TJ Hauler, and Judge William Shaw, who
appears to be a Circuit Court judge . (Id. at
Prasad demands damages "in no event less than 6 million
dollars" and declaratory relief. (Id. at 18
are absolutely immune from suits under § 1983 for acts
committed within their judicial discretion. Stump v.
Sparkman,435 U.S. 349, 355-56 (1978). "Absolute
judicial immunity exists 'because it is recognized that
judicial officers in whom discretion is entrusted must be
able to exercise discretion vigorously and effectively,
without apprehension that they will be subjected to
burdensome and vexatious litigation.'" Lesane v.
Spencer, No. 3:09CV012, 2009 WL 4730716, at *2 (E.D. Va.
Dec. 8, 2009) (citations omitted) (quoting McCray v.
Maryland,456 F.2d 1, 3 (4th Cir. 1972), overruled
on other grounds, Pink v. Lester,52 F.3d 73, 77 (4th
Cir. 1995)). A judge is entitled to immunity even if
"the action he [or she] took was in error, was done
maliciously, or was in excess of his [or her] authority"
Stump, 435 U.S. at 356. This immunity extends to
state magistrates in Virginia. Pressly v. Gregory,831 F.2d 514, 517 (4th Cir. 1987) (citation omitted) (noting
that "[a]s judicial officers, magistrates are entitled
to absolute immunity for acts performed in their judicial
capacity"). Only two exceptions apply to ...