United States District Court, S.D. Georgia, Statesboro Division
ORDER AND REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
the Court is plaintiff's Motion for Injunctive Relief or
Temporary Restraining Order, doc. 2; defendants Mike Kiles
and Unknown Sheriff's Deputy's Motion to Dismiss by
Special Appearance, doc. 5; plaintiff's Motion for
Joinder of Party, doc. 7; defendants City of Sylvania and
Tony Taylor's Motion to Dismiss, doc. 16; defendants Mike
Kiles and Unknown Sheriff's Deputy's Second Motion to
Dismiss, doc. 18; defendant's Keith McIntyre, and Michael
T. Muldrew's Motion to Dismiss, doc. 19; defendants'
Joint Motion to Stay, doc. 23; plaintiff's Motion for
Default Judgment, doc. 24; and plaintiff's two Motions to
Traverse, doc 25 and 30.
the undersigned recommends GRANTING
defendant's motions and the dismissal of plaintiff's
case, defendants' Joint Motion to Stay Discovery and all
Rule 26 Proceedings, doc. 23, is DISMISSED AS
MOOT. Plaintiff's two Motions to Traverse, doc.
25 and 30, which the Court construes as a response in
opposition to defendants' Motion to Stay and a reply in
support of his motion for default judgment respectively, are
DISMISSED AS MOOT. As to plaintiff's
Motion for Default Judgment, doc. 24, and Motion for Joinder
of a party, doc. 7, they should be
DENIED. Finally, plaintiff's Motion for
Injunctive Relief or Temporary Restraining Order, doc. 2,
should likewise be DISMISSED AS MOOT.
filed this suit against various officials alleging an illegal
search, illegal warrant, and illegal arrest. Despite its
length, plaintiff's complaint is extremely light on
details. However, he generally alleges that Judge Turner and
Judge Muldrew deprived him of due process and equal
protection via an administrative error. Doc. 1 at 6. He
alleges that District and Assistant District Attorney Keith
McIntyre obtained illegal video-tape testimony and used it to
convict him. Id. He claims that Lt. Taylor-who the
City of Sylvania failed to properly train-and an unknown
police officer relied on warrant lacking probable cause to
arrest him in his wife's house, which they entered
without a search warrant. Id. He also claims that
Sheriff Kyles and an unknown deputy sheriff also helped
arrest D'Angelo with the illegal warrant. Id.
D'Angelo seeks “summary judgment” against all
defendants, wants to be released from all state-control
custody and obligations tied to his illegal conviction,
payment from each defendant in the amount of $275, 000,
“out-of-pocket” compensation for work missed in
the amount of $250, 000, and a $50, 000 payment for his wife
for the invasion of her home. Id. at 7. For the
following reasons, these claims all fail.
claims against defendants broadly construed (he alleges
almost no facts to support his claims), appear to be based on
false arrest and malicious prosecution. Defendants have all
filed motions to dismiss these charges. Docs. 16, 18, and 19.
For the following reasons, the Court should
GRANT defendants' motions to dismiss.
Because plaintiff's claims are frivolous, and the
defendants enjoy absolute immunity or the claims are barred
due to the statute of limitations, no leave to amend is
avoid dismissal for failure to state a claim upon which
relief can be granted, the allegations in the complaint must
“state a claim for relief that is plausible on its
face.” Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S.
544, 570 (2007). “A claim has facial plausibility when
the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to
draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable
for the misconduct alleged.” Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). That is,
“[f]actual allegations must be enough to raise a right
to relief above the speculative level.”
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555. While Rule 8(a) of the
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure does not require detailed
factual allegations, “it demands more than an
unadorned, the defendant unlawfully-harmed-me
accusation.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678. A
complaint is insufficient if it “offers ‘labels
and conclusions' or ‘a formulaic recitation of the
elements of a cause of action, '” or if it
“tenders ‘naked assertions' devoid of
‘further factual enhancement.'” Id.
(quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555, 557). In short,
the complaint must provide a “‘plain
statement' possess[ing] enough heft to ‘sho[w] that
the pleader is entitled to relief.'”
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 557 (quoting Fed.R.Civ.P.
Statute of Limitations and Judicial Immunity
claims appear to all be time barred. The statute of
limitations for § 1983 claims “is that which the
State provides for personal-injury torts.” Wallace
v. Kato, 549 U.S. 384, 387 (2007) (cite omitted). Under
Georgia law, the statute of limitations for such claims is
two years. O.C.G.A. § 9-3-33; see Williams v. City
of Atlanta, 794 F.2d 624, 626 (11th Cir. 1986).
Generally, the statute of limitations for § 1983 claims
begins to run when facts supporting the cause of action are
or should be reasonably apparent to the claimant. Brown
v. Ga. Bd. of Pardons & Paroles, 335 F.3d 1259, 1261
(11th Cir. 2003) (per curiam).
alleges that these activities occurred in 2007 when the
arrest warrant was issued, and plaintiff was detained
pursuant to legal process. See e.g., Doc. 1-1 at 2.
Any such allegations arising from these activities are
untimely now, signature-filed as they were more than ten
years later years later. Doc. 1 at 7 (signature-filed on
October 1, 2018).
his claims against Judge Muldrew and District Attorney Keith
McIntyre are dead on arrival. Judges, “are entitled to
absolute judicial immunity from damages for those acts taken
while they are acting in their judicial capacity.”
Williams v. Alabama, 425 Fed.Appx. 824, 826 (11th
Cir. 2011) (quoting Bolin v. Story, 225 F.3d 1234,
1239 (11th Cir. 2000)). That absolute judicial immunity
“applies even when [a] judge's acts are in error,
malicious, or were in excess of his or her
jurisdiction.” Bolin, 225 F.3d at 1239. And
prosecutors enjoy “absolute immunity in § 1983
actions for activities that are ‘intimately associated
with the judicial phase of the criminal process.'”
Hart v. Hodges, 587 F.3d 1288, 1294 (11th Cir. 2009)
(quoting Van de Kamp v. Goldstein, 555 U.S. 335, 341
(2009)); see also Imbler v. Pachtman, 424 U.S. 409,
409 (1976) (“[I]n initiating a prosecution and in
presenting the State's case, the prosecutor is immune
from a civil suit for damages under § 1983.”);
Jackson v. Capraun, 534 Fed.Appx. 854, 859 (11th
Cir. 2013) (prosecutor entitled to absolute immunity for
initiating prosecution even if he did so with
malicious intent). In other words, any § 1983 claim for
damages against the judges or prosecutors involved in
D'Angelo's state criminal case cannot proceed. Even
if these defects could somehow be remedied, however,
plaintiff still does not state a viable claim for relief.
False Arrest and Malicious Prosecution
complaint fails to state a claim for either false arrest or
malicious prosecution. A claim for false arrest derives from
the constitutional right to be free of “unreasonable
searches and seizures.” U.S. Const. Amend. IV. A
warrantless arrest made without probable cause violates the
Fourth Amendment and forms the basis of a § 1983 claim
for damages. Ortega v. Christian, 85 F.3d 1521, 1525
(11th Cir. 1996); Max v. Gumbinner, 905 F.2d 1503,
1505 (11th Cir. 1990); Von Stein v. Bresher, 904
F.2d. 572, 578 (11th Cir. 1990). The existence of probable
cause, however, is a bar to § 1983 claims based on false
arrest and false imprisonment. Ortega, 85 F.3d at
1525-26. Because “[a] cause of action for false or
unlawful arrest cannot be pursued . . . when a person is
arrested based on a warrant, ” D'Angelo's claim
must fail. Norton v. Stidham, 2009 WL 5214484 at * 4
(W.D. Va. Dec. 29, 2009); Churchill v. Whitaker,
2005 WL 3534208 at *2 (N.D. Tex. Dec. 9, 2005 (same).
case of continuing detention (as here), however, “false
imprisonment ends once the victim becomes held pursuant to
[legal] process - when, for example, he is bound over by a
magistrate or arraigned on charges.” Wallace v.
Kato, 549 U.S. 384, 389-90 (2009); see
Chisholm, SPCR18-00137 & Chisholm,
SPCR18-01351. Once an arrestee's unlawful detention
becomes a product of legal process, his continued custody may
still be unlawful, but any damages suffered after that point
must be recovered under the “entirely distinct”
tort of malicious prosecution, “which remedies
detention accompanied not by the absence of legal process,
but by wrongful institution of legal ...