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Kharii W. Brodie, Individually and As Parent and Natural Guardian of B.B. and S.B v. Katherine Worthington

January 24, 2012

KHARII W. BRODIE, INDIVIDUALLY AND AS PARENT AND NATURAL GUARDIAN OF B.B. AND S.B., PLAINTIFF,
v.
KATHERINE WORTHINGTON, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Barbara Jacobs Rothstein United States District Judge

FINAL ORDER OF DISMISSAL

MEMORANDUM OPINION

Plaintiff Kharii W. Brodie brings this action against the judges, prosecutors, and defense attorneys involved in the criminal case that led to his conviction for wire fraud and conspiracy to make false statements to financial institutions to obtain mortgage loans, as well as federal officials involved in his subsequent imprisonment. Many motions by Brodie are before the Court. Brodie moves for reconsideration of the orders dismissing his claims against several defendants [Dkt. ## 106, 112, 113] and for leave to file an amended complaint [Dkt. # 90]. Brodie also requests a default judgment against Jonathan Rosen, a former federal prosecutor who has not responded to the complaint [Dkt. # 114] and for reconsideration of an order denying a motion to strike [Dkt. # 120]. Upon consideration of the motions, the oppositions thereto, and the entire record of the case, the Court concludes that Brodie's motions must be denied and his claims against Jonathan Rosen dismissed. His entire case is therefore dismissed.

I. BACKGROUND

In 2005 a jury convicted Kharii W. Brodie*fn1 of one count of conspiracy to make false statements to financial institutions to obtain mortgage loans in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 371 and three counts of wire fraud in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1343. United States v. Brodie, 524 F.3d 259, 261, 265 (D.C. Cir. 2008). Brodie was sentenced to 57 months' imprisonment and ordered to pay restitution. Id. at 266. His conviction and sentence were upheld upon appeal. Id. at 274.Brodie's motion for post-conviction relief under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 was denied. See Brodie v. United States, 626 F. Supp. 2d 120 (D.D.C. 2009).

Brodie then brought this suit for damages, repeating many of the allegations that were rejected in his appeal and section 2255 action.*fn2 Brodie asserts that his indictment and arrest were procedurally flawed, that his prosecutors committed misconduct and his lawyers malpractice, that the judges at his trial and on appeal acted corruptly, and that the Federal Bureau of Prisons held him at a facility generally reserved for non-citizens. All defendants except Jonathan Rosen moved to dismiss the complaint, and the Honorable Henry H. Kennedy, Jr. granted each motion. Brodie now moves for reconsideration of those dismissals and for leave to amend his complaint. The Court also addresses the status of Brodie's claims against Rosen.

II. ANALYSIS

A. Motions for Reconsideration

Although "[m]otions for reconsideration are not specifically provided for under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure," United Mine Workers of Am. 1974 Pension Trust v. Pittston Co., 793 F. Supp. 339, 344 (D.D.C. 1992), aff'd 984 F.2d 469 (D.C. Cir. 1993), "[i]nterlocutory orders . . . may always be reconsidered prior to final judgment."*fn3 Langevine v. District of Columbia, 106 F.3d 1018, 1023 (D.C. Cir. 1997); see also Schoen v. Washington Post, 246 F.2d 670, 673 (D.C. Cir. 1957) (Burger, J.) ("[W]here the interests of justice require it, [a trial] court has plenary powers to set aside or otherwise modify its interlocutory orders at any time before final judgment."); Muwekma Tribe v. Babbitt, 133 F. Supp. 2d 42, 48 n.6 (D.D.C. 2001) ("[I]nterlocutory judgments are not brought within the restrictions of [Rule 60(b)], but rather they are left subject to the complete power of the court rendering them to afford such relief from them as justice requires.") (quoting FED. R. CIV. P. 60(b) Advisory Comm. Notes (1946)). "So long as the court has jurisdiction over an action, it should have complete power over interlocutory orders made therein and should be able to revise them when it is consonant with equity to do so." Schoen, 246 F.2d at 673 (emphasis, internal quotation marks and internal brackets omitted); accord Moses H. Cone Mem'l Hosp. v. Mercury Constr. Corp., 460 U.S. 1, 12 (1983) ("[E]very order short of a final decree is subject to reopening at the discretion of the district judge.") (citing FED. R. CIV. P. 54(b)). "This is true even when a case is reassigned to a new judge." Langevine, 106 F.3d at 1023 (citing In re Agent Orange Prod. Liab. Litig., 733 F.2d 10, 13 (2d Cir. 1984) ("It is well established that the interlocutory orders and rulings made by a district judge are subject to modification by the district judge at any time prior to final judgment, and may be modified to the same extent if the case is reassigned to another judge.")). This Court has the power to reconsider any order that has been issued in this case; it will exercise that power if justice so requires. The Court proceeds to consider whether any of Judge Kennedy's orders dismissing the claims against certain defendants should be set aside or otherwise modified.

i. Judicial Defendants

Judge Kennedy dismissed Brodie's claims against the judicial defendants*fn4 on the grounds that they had not been properly served and, even if properly served, were entitled to absolute immunity. See Order of August 31, 2011 [Dkt. # 105]. Moving for reconsideration of that dismissal, Brodie argues that he should have been given an opportunity to cure his defective service of process, and that the judicial defendants are not entitled to absolute immunity because-the Court understands him to argue-they were either defrauded by the federal prosecutors or else erred so gravely as to forfeit the benefit of their immunity. Because the judicial defendants are clearly entitled to absolute immunity from this suit, the Court does not reach Brodie's argument as to service of process.

"Judges enjoy absolute judicial immunity from suits for money damages for all actions taken in the judge's judicial capacity, unless these actions are taken in the complete absence of all jurisdiction." Sindram v. Suda, 986 F.2d 1459, 1460 (D.C. Cir. 1993) (per curiam).*fn5 This absolute immunity "is not overcome by allegations of bad faith or malice, the existence of which ordinarily cannot be resolved without engaging in discovery and eventual trial." Mireles v. Waco, 502 U.S. 9, 11 (1991) (per curiam); see also Pierson v. Ray, 386 U.S. 547, 554 (1967) (noting that "immunity applies even when the judge is accused of acting maliciously and corruptly"). Because all of Brodie's allegations relate to the judges' actions in their judicial capacities-and because even if there had been a technical flaw in Brodie's indictment, as he alleges, the ensuing prosecution would not have occurred "in the complete absence of all jurisdiction," see, e.g., King v. Myers, 973 F.2d 354, 356--58 (4th Cir. 1992)-the Court declines to modify the order dismissing all claims for money damages against the judicial defendants.

ii. Katherine Worthington

Judge Kennedy dismissed Brodie's claims against Assistant United States Attorney Katherine Worthington on the grounds that Brodie failed to properly serve her, and that she was entitled to prosecutorial immunity. See Order of August 31, 2011 [Dkt. # 104]. Moving for reconsideration of that dismissal, Brodie argues that he should have been given an opportunity to cure his defective service of process. He also argues that Worthington was not entitled to prosecutorial immunity for her conduct in seeking an indictment ...


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