United States District Court, D. Minnesota
Peter R. Wright, Plaintiff,
Judge Frank Magill and Hennepin County 4th District Court, Defendants.
R. Wright, pro se; and
Kathryn Iverson Landrum, Minnesota Attorney General's
Office, for Defendants.
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
E. Rau United States Magistrate Judge
matter is before the Court on Defendants' Motion to
Dismiss, (ECF No. 13), as well as several motions filed by
Plaintiff Peter Wright in response, (ECF Nos. 24, 25, 28, 32,
33). These motions have been referred for report and
recommendation to the Honorable John R. Tunheim, Chief United
States District Judge for the District of Minnesota, under 28
U.S.C. § 636 and Local Rule 72.2(b). (ECF No. 20). This
Court recommends Defendants' motion be granted,
Wright's motions be denied, and this matter be dismissed
PROCEDURAL AND FACTUAL BACKGROUND
filed a civil complaint in Minnesota's Fourth Judicial
District on May 25, 2017. (Compl., at 4, ECF No. 1). Wright
brought suit pro se, alleging his brother and a
credit union committed fraud in connection with the sale of a
car. (Compl., at 4); Order Granting Summ. J., Case No.
27-cv-17-7938 (Minn. Fourth Jud. Dist. June 13, 2018)
[provided via Aff. of Kathryn Iverson Landrum, Ex.
A, ECF No. 17]. Judge Magill granted summary judgment to
the defendants. (Compl., at 5).
days later, Wright filed this case. Wright claims Judge
Magill committed various legal maladies in granting summary
judgment, including denying Wright equal protection of the
law in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 241, 18 U.S.C. §
242, the First, Fifth, Eighth, Ninth, and Fourteenth
Amendments, and the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
(Compl., at 2, 6). Wright also alleges Judge Magill was
negligent, engaged in biased judicial conduct, committed an
act of sabotage, and failed to register as an agent of a
foreign government. (Compl., at 2, 6). Wright claims Judge
Magill failed to comply with the Code of Judicial Conduct for
United States Courts and Judges. (Compl., at 3). Wright
requests $100 million in damages, that Judge Magill be
prohibited from serving as a Minnesota state judge and his
law license be revoked, Judge Magill personally pay Wright
$50 million, and that Judge Magill be required to register as
a foreign agent. (Compl., at 8).
courts are courts of limited jurisdiction and the
‘threshold requirement in every federal case is
jurisdiction.'” Barclay Square Prop. v. Midwest
Fed. Sav. and Loan Ass'n of Minneapolis, 893 F.2d
968, 969 (8th Cir. 1990) (quoting Sanders v. Clemco
Indus., 823 F.2d 214, 216 (8th Cir. 1987)). Federal
courts must dismiss a claim if it lacks subject matter
jurisdiction over the claim. Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(h)(3), 12(b)(1).
When considering a facial attack on jurisdiction in a Rule
12(b)(1) motion, the court “merely needs to look and
see if plaintiff has sufficiently alleged a basis of subject
matter jurisdiction.” Branson Label, Inc. v. City
of Branson, Mo., 793 F.3d 910, 914 (8th Cir. 2015)
(quotation omitted). Under such an analysis, the court
restricts itself to the pleadings and the non-moving party is
afforded the same protections as those provided by a Rule
12(b)(6) motion. Id.
deciding a Rule 12(b)(6) motion, a court accepts as true all
well-pleaded factual allegations and then determines
“whether they plausibly give rise to an entitlement to
relief.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 664
(2009). The court must draw reasonable inferences in the
plaintiff's favor. Zink v. Lombardi, 783 F.3d
1089, 1098 (8th Cir. 2015) (citation omitted). “To
survive a motion to dismiss, a complaint must contain
sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to state a claim
to relief that is plausible on its face.” Sletten
& Brettin Orthodontics v. Cont'l Cas. Co., 782
F.3d 931, 934 (8th Cir. 2015) (quoting Bell Atlantic
Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 547 (2007)); accord
Zink, 783 F.3d at 1098. Facial plausibility of a claim
exists “when the plaintiff pleads factual content that
allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the
defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.”
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (citing
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555). Although a sufficient
complaint need not be detailed, it must contain
“[f]actual allegations . . . enough to raise a right to
relief above the speculative level.” Twombly,
550 U.S. at 555 (citation omitted); see Id.
(“The pleading must contain something more . . . than .
. . a statement of facts that merely creates a suspicion of a
legally cognizable right of action.”) (quotations and
citation omitted). Additionally, complaints are insufficient
if they contain “naked assertions devoid of further
factual enhancement.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678
(citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 557) (internal
quotation marks omitted).
assessing a pro se complaint, the court applies
“less stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted
by lawyers.” Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89,
94 (2007) (per curiam) (quotation and citation omitted);
accord Jackson v. Nixon, 747 F.3d 537, 541 (8th Cir.
2014). “If the essence of an allegation is discernible,
” then the court, in applying a liberal construction to
pro se complaints, “should construe the
complaint in a way that permits the layperson's claim to
be considered within the proper legal framework.”
Solomon v. Petray, 795 F.3d 777, 787 (8th Cir. 2015)
(quoting Stone v. Harry, 364 F.3d 912, 914 (8th Cir.
2004)). Despite the liberal construal of such complaints, the
pro se plaintiff “still must allege sufficient
facts to support the claims advanced.” Stringer v.
St. James R-1 Sch. Dist., 446 F.3d 799, 802 (8th Cir.
2006) (quoting Stone, 364 F.3d 912, 914 (8th Cir.
2004)). Thus, pro se litigants “must set a
claim forth in a manner which, taking the pleaded facts as
true, states a claim as a matter of law.”
Stringer, 446 F.3d at 802 (quoting Cunningham v.
Ray, 648 F.2d 1185, 1186 (8th Cir. 1981)).
Judge Magill is Immune from Suit
immunity of a judge for acts within his jurisdiction has
roots extending to the earliest days of the common
law.” Imbler v. Pachtman, 424 U.S. 409, 423
n.20 (1976). “A judge is entitled to absolute immunity
for all judicial actions that are not ‘taken in a
complete absence of all jurisdiction.'” Penn v.
United States, 335 F.3d 786, 789 (8th Cir. 2003)
(quoting Mireles v. Waco, 502 U.S. 9, 11-12 (1991)).
Thus, “a judge is immune from liability for damages if
he had ...