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Grumbley v. Higgins

United States District Court, District Circuit

January 3, 2014

FREDERICK H. GRUMBLEY, Plaintiff,
v.
CLAYTON R. HIGGINS, JR., Defendant.

MEMORANDUM OPINION

Plaintiff brings this action against a deputy Clerk of the Supreme Court of the United States, alleging that his "Constitutional right to Petition the Government for redress of Grievances, to the Equal Protection of the Law, and to the right to Due Process" have been violated by defendant Higgins, Compl. 13, who allegedly "returned [plaintiffs] Petition, " id. ¶ 7, and intercepted plaintiffs "letter to clerk [W]illiam [K]. Suter" complaining of defendant's prior action, id. ¶ 9. Plaintiff demands "mon[e]tary damages for this Depravation of his Civil Rights." Id. ¶13.

The Clerk of the Supreme Court is the designated recipient of all documents filed with the Supreme Court, and is authorized to reject any filing that does not comply with the applicable rules and orders. See Sup. Ct. R. 1. This Court has no authority to determine what action, if any, must be taken by the Supreme Court and its administrative officers. See In re Marin, 956 F.2d 339, 340 (D.C. Cir.), cert, denied, 506 U.S. 844 (1992). Furthermore, insofar as plaintiff demands compensatory damages, the defendant is absolutely immune from suit. The absolute judicial immunity afforded to judges, see Sindram v. Suda, 986 F.2d 1459, 1460 (D.C. Cir. 1993) ("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."), extends to court clerks performing "tasks that are an integral part of the judicial process." Id. at 1460-61.

The Court will grant plaintiffs application to proceed in forma pauperis and will dismiss the complaint with prejudice. See 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2)(B), 1915A(b). An Order consistent with this Memorandum Opinion is issued separately.


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