United States District Court, S.D. Texas, Houston Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
P. ELLISON, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
a pretrial detainee proceeding pro se and in
forma pauperis, filed this section 1983 lawsuit against
Houston Police Department ("HPD") Officer J.
Elizondo, Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg, and Harris
County state district judge Nikita V. Harmon for alleged
violations of his constitutional rights. He seeks monetary
screened the complaint as required by section 1915, the Court
dismisses this lawsuit for the reasons explained below.
BACKGROUND AND CLAIMS
is in custody of the Harris County Sheriffs Office awaiting
trial on felony charges for D.W.I, (third offense),
aggravated assault against a public servant, and evading
arrest/detention with a motor vehicle. His claims in this
lawsuit, however, arise from his earlier D.W.I, arrest in
January 2017 by defendant HPD Officer J., Elizondo. According
to plaintiff, the arrest was a false arrest because Officer
J. Elizondo had no evidence of his intoxication. He states
that the charges were dismissed by the Harris County District
Attorney's Office in January 2019.
seeks $2.5 million in monetary compensation for the alleged
denials of his constitutional rights and his unlawful
two-year detention during pendency of the charges.
plaintiff is a prisoner who proceeds in forma
pauperis, the Court is required to scrutinize the claims
and dismiss his complaint, in whole or in part, if it
determines that the complaint "is frivolous, malicious,
or fails to state a claim upon which relief may be
granted" or "seeks monetary relief from a defendant
who is immune from such relief." 28 U.S.C. §
complaint is frivolous when it "lacks an arguable basis
either in law or in fact." Neitzke v. Williams,
490 U.S. 319, 325 (1989). A claim lacks an arguable basis in
law when it is "based on an indisputably meritless legal
theory." Id. at 327. A complaint fails to state
a claim upon which relief may be granted when it fails to
plead "enough facts to state a claim to relief that is
plausible on its face." Bell Atl. Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007); see also Ashcroft
v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662 (2009). When reviewing a. pro
se plaintiffs complaint, a court must construe the
allegations as liberally as possible. Haines v.
Kerner, 404 U.S. 519(1972).
claims for monetary damages against state district judge
Nikita V. Harmon are barred by judicial immunity. See,
e.g., Herring v. Mayfield, 51 F.3d 1043 (5th Cir. 1995)
("Herring's allegations against Judge Mayfield are
based upon Judge Mayfield's actions in conducting a bond
hearing and setting the amount of the bond, which is within
the scope of her jurisdiction, thus affording her absolute
judicial immunity.")- In presiding over plaintiff s
criminal prosecution, the state district judge was taking
judicial actions within the scope of her authority, and
plaintiff does not allege that she acted in complete absence
of jurisdiction. See Mitchell v. McBryde, 944 F.2d
229, 230 (5th Cir. 1991). No. viable claim is raised.
claims against state district judge Nikita V. Harmon are
DISMISSED WITHOUT PREJUDICE for failure to
state a viable claim for relief under section 1983.