United States District Court, W.D. Texas, Austin Division
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION OF THE UNITED STATES
W. AUSTIN UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
HONORABLE ROBERT PITMAN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
the Court is Kyle Holland's Application to Proceed In
Forma Pauperis (Dkt. No. 2) and Financial Affidavit in
Support, along with his Complaint (Dkt. No. 1). The District
Court referred the above-motion to the undersigned Magistrate
Judge for a determination pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)
and Rule 1(c) of Appendix C of the Local Rules of the United
States District Court for the Western District of Texas,
Local Rules for the Assignment of Duties to United States
APPLICATION TO PROCEED IN FORMA PAUPERIS
reviewing Holland's Application to Proceed In Forma
Pauperis, the Court finds that he is indigent. Accordingly,
the Court HEREBY GRANTS Holland in forma pauperis status and
ORDERS his Complaint be filed without pre-payment of fees or
costs or giving security therefor pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915(a)(1). This indigent status is granted subject to
a later determination that the action should be dismissed if
the allegation of poverty is untrue or the action is found
frivolous or malicious pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e).
Holland is further advised that although he has been granted
leave to proceed in forma pauperis, a Court may, in its
discretion, impose costs of court at the conclusion of this
lawsuit, as in other cases. Moore v. McDonald, 30
F.3d 616, 621 (5th Cir. 1994).
stated below, this Court has conducted a review of the claims
made in Holland's Complaint and is recommending his
claims be dismissed under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e).
Therefore, service upon the Defendants should be withheld
pending the District Court's review of the
recommendations made in this report. If the District Court
declines to adopt the recommendations, then service should be
issued at that time upon the Defendants.
SECTION 1915(e)(2) FRIVOLOUSNESS REVIEW
Standard of Review
Holland has been granted leave to proceed in forma pauperis,
the Court is required by standing order to review his
Complaint under §1915(e)(2), which provides in relevant
part that “the court shall dismiss the case at any time
if the court determines that . . . the action or appeal (i)
is frivolous or malicious; (ii) fails to state a claim on
which relief may be granted; or (iii) seeks monetary relief
against a defendant who is immune from such relief.” 28
U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2).
complaints are liberally construed in favor of the plaintiff.
Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520-21 (1972). The
court must “accept as true factual allegations in the
complaint and all reasonable inferences that can be drawn
therefrom.” Nami v. Fauver, 82 F.3d 63, 65 (3d
Cir. 1996); see also Watts v. Graves, 720 F.2d 1416,
1419 (5th Cir. 1983). In deciding whether a complaint states
a claim, “[t]he court's task is to determine
whether the plaintiff has stated a legally cognizable claim
that is plausible, not to evaluate the plaintiff's
likelihood of success.” Lone Star Fund V (U.S.),
L.P. v. Barclays Bank PLC, 594 F.3d 383, 387 (5th Cir.
2010). “A claim has facial plausibility when the
[nonmovant] pleads factual content that allows the court to
draw the reasonable inference that the [movant] is liable for
the misconduct alleged.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal,
556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). “The plausibility standard is
not akin to a ‘probability requirement, ' but it
asks for more than a sheer possibility that a defendant has
acted unlawfully.” Id. However, the
petitioner's pro se status does not offer him “an
impenetrable shield, for one acting pro se has no license to
harass others, clog the judicial machinery with meritless
litigation, and abuse already overloaded court
dockets.” Farguson v. Mbank Houston N.A., 808
F.2d 358, 359 (5th Cir. 1986).
files this lawsuit under 28 U.S.C. § 1983 alleging that
United States District Judge Lee Yeakel “has engaged in
conduct prejudicial to the effective and expeditious
administration of the business of the courts because Judge
Lee Yeakel is unable to discharge all of the duties of the
office by reason of mental, and emotional,
instability.” Complaint at p. 1. Holland filed this
lawsuit after Judge Yeakel dismissed one of Holland's
other lawsuits for frivolousness under § 1915. See
Holland v. Massad, 1:18-CV-004-LY (W.D. Tex. Feb. 2,
2018) (order dismissing § 1983 lawsuit for lack of
jurisdiction where plaintiff attempted to re-litigate
domestic relations case). Instead of filing an appeal with the
Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, Holland filed the
instant lawsuit against Judge Yeakel. Although not entirely
clear, it also appears that Holland is attempting to file a
complaint of judicial misconduct against Judge Yeakel in the
instant Court. Holland filed an identical lawsuit against
Judge Lane which this Court has recommended be dismissed
under § 1915(e)(2)(B). See Holland v. Lane,
1:18-CV-191 RP (W.D. Tex. March 26, 2018). Like his lawsuit
against Judge Lane, Holland's lawsuit should be dismissed
under § 1915.
this § 1983 lawsuit should be dismissed
because“federal judges are absolutely immune from suit
with respect to ‘acts committed within their judicial
jurisdiction.'” Lyons v. Sheetz, 834 F.2d
493, 495 (5th Cir. 1987) (quoting Pierson v.
Ray, 386 U.S. 547, 554 (1967)). “Few doctrines
were more solidly established at common law than the immunity
of judges from liability for damages for acts committed
within their judicial jurisdiction.” Pierson,
386 U.S. at 553-54. “This immunity applies even when
the judge is accused of acting maliciously and corruptly, and
it is not for the protection or benefit of a malicious or
corrupt judge, but for the benefit of the public, whose
interest it is that the judges should be at liberty to
exercise their functions with independence and without fear
of consequences.” Id. at 554 (internal
quotations and citations omitted). Because Holland is
attempting to attack rulings Judge Yeakel made within his
judicial jurisdiction, Judge Yeakel is immune, and
Holland's suit fails to state a claim.
lawsuit should also be dismissed because § 1983 only
applies to state actors acting under color of state
laws. Because Judge Yeakel is a federal official and not a
state actor, he is not a proper party under § 1983.
See Evans v. Ziporkin, 471 F. App'x 302, 303
(5th Cir. 2012) (holding that plaintiff's civil action
against an employee of the Social Security Administration
acting under federal law “was not proper under Section
1983, which only applies to state actors acting under color
of state law.”); Lyons, 834 F.2d at 495
(“The Lyonses have failed to state a claim under ...