764 Fed.Appx. 178 (3rd Cir. 2019), 18-1592, Pierre v. Supreme Court of Pennsylvania

Docket Nº:18-1592
Citation:764 Fed.Appx. 178
Opinion Judge:COWEN, Circuit Judge.
Party Name:Alex H. PIERRE, Appellant v. SUPREME COURT OF PENNSYLVANIA
Attorney:Alex H. Pierre, Esq., Pro Se Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts, Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts, Philadelphia, PA, for Defendant
Judge Panel:BEFORE: KRAUSE, COWEN, and FUENTES, Circuit Judges
Case Date:March 08, 2019
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit

Page 178

764 Fed.Appx. 178 (3rd Cir. 2019)

Alex H. PIERRE, Appellant

v.

SUPREME COURT OF PENNSYLVANIA

No. 18-1592

United States Court of Appeals, Third Circuit

March 8, 2019

NOT PRECEDENTIAL

Submitted under Third Circuit L.A.R. 34.1(a) October 22, 2018

Editorial Note:

This opinion is not regarded as Precedents which bind the court under Third Circuit Internal Operating Procedure Rule 5.7. (See Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure Rule 32.1)

Page 179

On Appeal from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania (D.C. Civ. No. 2-17-cv-05327), Honorable Joel H. Slomsky, District Judge

Alex H. Pierre, Esq., Pro Se

Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts, Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts, Philadelphia, PA, for Defendant

BEFORE: KRAUSE, COWEN, and FUENTES, Circuit Judges

OPINION[*]

COWEN, Circuit Judge.

Alex H. Pierre appeals from the order of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania denying his "Motion for Recusal and Amendment of Complaint." We will affirm.

I.

Acting pro se, Pierre, an attorney who was suspended from the practice of law by the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, brought this action against the state supreme court and sought leave to proceed in forma pauperis . According to Pierre, he could not be reinstated until he repaid in full (with interest) a disbursement made by the Pennsylvania Lawyers Fund for Client Security to his former client. He was unable to do so. Meanwhile, he initiated a civil action against his landlord in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, which granted judgment on the pleadings against Pierre. Concluding that the state trial court committed an abuse of discretion, the Pennsylvania Superior Court reversed. The state suit proceeded to trial, where a jury eventually rendered a verdict against Pierre. According to Pierre: A myriad of irregularities appeared at trial, with the trial court having ex parte communications in the removal of two jurors, ignoring case law cited for the proposition [that] replacement value is the measure of damages for items unlawfully discarded by a landlord after eviction and the awardability of punitive damages therefor, disregarding [an] unambiguous attorney admission [that] she was no agent of the landlord for purposes of tortious interference, twice instructing the jury not to award compensatory damages for the discarded goods, the jury having returned with a question on awarding damages for the quantity of items unlawfully trashed, as well as denying

Page 180 [a] post-trial motion for judgment as a matter of law despite the absence of fact questions and [a] new trial despite controlling Pennsylvania Supreme Court law demanding [the] same for improper juror removals.

(Appellant’s Brief at 4-5 (citing Complaint at ¶¶ 24-27 (ECF No. 6) ).) The Pennsylvania Superior Court affirmed, and the Pennsylvania Supreme Court denied Pierre’s petition for allowance of appeal.

On January 3, 2018, the District Court granted Pierre leave to proceed in forma pauperis . However, it dismissed the complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(i) for frivolousness and 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii) for failure to state a claim on which relief may be granted. The District Court Clerk was directed to close the case. According to the District Court, Pierre’s 42 U.S.C. § 1983 claims that the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania violated his constitutional rights under the Eighth Amendment and the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment were legally baseless on account of the Eleventh Amendment and because a state is not considered a person for purposes of § 1983. It also rejected his breach of contract claims on the grounds that a judicial administration rule set forth in Pennsylvania’s Administrative Code did not constitute a contract.

Pierre responded to the District Court’s dismissal of his complaint by filing a series of unsuccessful reconsideration motions through which Pierre also sought to amend his federal complaint. On January 19, 2018, the District Court denied Pierre’s first motion for reconsideration. Considering the amended complaint he sought to file with this motion, it determined that amendment would be futile,...

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