United States District Court, District of Columbia
proceeding pro se, has submitted a complaint
("Compl.") and an application to proceed in
forma pauperis ("IFP App."). The Court will
grant the IFP application and will dismiss this case for lack
of subject matter jurisdiction. See Fed. R. Civ. P.
12(h)(3) (requiring dismissal of an action "at any
time" the Court determines that it lacks subject matter
is a resident of Dresden, Germany. Compl. at caption. He
alleges that he was convicted in the United States District
Court for the Eastern District of Missouri and that
conviction was affirmed by the Court of Appeals for the
Eighth Circuit. Id. at 2. Upon completion of his
sentence, plaintiff alleges that he was deported.
See IFP App. at 1.
the United States. Compl. at caption. However, it is clear
from his allegations that his claims are based on his
objections to his underlying criminal conviction and
sentencing, and his maintenance of his innocence. He makes
passing citation to the Federal Tort Claims Act, 28 U.S.S.
§ 1346(b)(1), however he states no viable claim under
that statute. Id. at 1, 4. Instead, he continually
argues that the "Chief Judge Riley, Circuit Judge Smith,
and Circuit Judge Colloton, for the United States Court of
Appeals, Eighth Circuit... violated [his] constitutional
rights," and "deliberately ignored the United
States Constitution," sentencing guidelines, and other
legal precedent, during the course of his criminal case.
Id. at 1, 2, 7-13. He alleges that they "sen[t]
an innocent person ... to Federal Prison." Mat 2.
Plaintiff seeks a declaration that these judges allegedly
violated his constitutional rights and demands monetary
damages. Id. at 14.
arguendo that plaintiff had pled sufficient factual
and legal bases against defendant, his claims against the
United States nonetheless fail. The United States possesses
sovereign immunity from suit against itself or one of its
agencies for money damages, except to the extent that it
expressly consents to suit. Dalehite v. United
States, 346 U.S. 15, 30 (1953). Sovereign immunity bars
a suit against the United States and its agencies except upon
consent, which must be clear and unequivocal. United
States v. Mitchell, 445 U.S. 535, 538 (1980) (citation
omitted). A waiver of sovereign immunity "must be
unequivocally expressed in statutory text, and [it cannot] be
implied." Lane v. Pena, 518 U.S. 187, 192
(1996) (citations omitted). Plaintiff has neither pled nor
established that defendant has expressly consented to damages
suits for constitutional violations.
to the extent that plaintiff attempts to sue the judges who
presided over his trial and appeal, his claims must also
fail; the claims, as pled, are protected under the doctrine
of judicial immunity. Federal judges are immune 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); see also Mireles v. Waco, 502
U.S. 9, 9-10 (1991) (acknowledging line of Supreme Court
precedents holding that a "judge is immune from a suit
for constitutional claims for money damages"). Moreover,
"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." Stump v. Sparkman,
435 U.S. 349, 356 (1978) (citation omitted).
extent that plaintiff seeks to revisit the other federal
courts' decisions, this court also lacks jurisdiction.
See 28 U.S.C. §§ 1331, 1332 (general
jurisdictional provisions); Panko v. Rodah, 606 F.2d
168, 171 n.6 (7th Cir. 1979) ("[I]t it seems axiomatic
that a lower court may not order the judges or officers of a
higher court to take an action."), cert,
denied, 444 U.S. 1081 (1980); United States v.
Choi, 818 F.Supp.2d 79, 85 (D.D.C. 2011) (stating that
federal district/courts "generally lack appellate
jurisdiction over other judicial bodies, and cannot exercise
appellate mandamus over other courts") (citing Lewis
v. Green, 629 F.Supp. 546, 553 (D.D.C. 1986));
Fleming v. United States, 847 F.Supp. 170, 172
(D.D.C. 1994) (applying District of Columbia Court of
Appeals v. Feldman, 460 U.S. 462, 482 (1983), and
Rooker v. Fidelity Trust Co., 263 U.S. 413, 415, 416
(1923)), aff'd, No. 94-5079, 1994 WL 474995
(D.C. Cir. 1994), cert. denied, 513 U.S. 1150(1995).
his constitutional claims for monetary damages are barred by
Heck v. Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477 (1994). In
Heck, the Supreme Court held that a litigant
convicted of a crime may not recover damages pursuant to 42
U.S.C. § 1983 for "harm caused by actions whose
unlawfulness would render [his] conviction or sentence
invalid." Id. at 486. An exception to this
prohibition exists if a plaintiff can "prove that the
conviction or sentence has been reversed on direct appeal,
expunged by executive order, declared invalid by a state
tribunal authorized to make such determination, or called
into question by a federal court's issuance of a writ of
habeas corpus, 28 U.S.C. § 2254." Id. at
486-87. Heck's holding that a litigant may not
recover damages under § 1983 which would render his
conviction or sentence invalid is also applicable to
Bivens actions. See Williams v. Hill, 74
F.3d 1339, 1340-41 (D.C. Cir. 1996) (per curiam). Plaintiff
claims no injury apart from his conviction and sentencing. If
judgment is granted in his favor, it "would necessarily
imply the invalidity of his conviction." Heck,
512 U.S. at 487.
of the aforementioned reasons, plaintiff has failed to
establish subject matter jurisdiction. See Fed. R.
Civ. P. 12(h)(3). As a result, this case is dismissed. A