962 F.2d 11 (7th Cir. 1992), 90-3355, Wright v. State of Indiana

Docket Nº:90-3355.
Citation:962 F.2d 11
Party Name:William A. WRIGHT, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. STATE of INDIANA, County of Clark, Indiana Court of Appeals Judges: Honorable J. Neal, Honorable C.J. Ratliffe, Honorable J. Robertson, and Floyd Circuit Judge: Henry N. Leist, et al., Defendants-Appellees.
Case Date:April 24, 1992
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
 
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Page 11

962 F.2d 11 (7th Cir. 1992)

William A. WRIGHT, Plaintiff-Appellant,

v.

STATE of INDIANA, County of Clark, Indiana Court of Appeals Judges: Honorable J. Neal, Honorable C.J. Ratliffe, Honorable J. Robertson, and Floyd Circuit Judge: Henry N. Leist, et al., Defendants-Appellees.

No. 90-3355.

United States Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit

April 24, 1992

Editorial Note:

This opinion appears in the Federal reporter in a table titled "Table of Decisions Without Reported Opinions". (See FI CTA7 Rule 53 regarding use of unpublished opinions)

Decided May 11, 1992.

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, New Albany Division, No. 88 C 67; Sarah Evans Barker, Judge.

S.D.Ind.

AFFIRMED.

Before RIPPLE and MANION, Circuit Judges, and GRANT, Senior District Judge. [**]

ORDER

Pro se appellant William A. Wright brought a civil rights action under 42 U.S.C. §§ 1983, 1985 and 1986 against the State of Indiana, Clark County, state judges, county attorneys, the county sheriff, the bank and individual defendant Clay (the two that brought foreclosure actions against the appellant in state court in 1983), their attorneys and the bank's CEO. Mr. Wright sought judgment in the amount of $10 million against defendants in their official and personal capacities. 1 The district court dismissed the suit against the state, granted summary judgment to the remaining defendants for reasons of immunity and failure to state a claim, and imposed sanctions on Mr. Wright. Because Mr. Wright has not alleged that there are material facts in dispute, we will not repeat the facts set forth succinctly in the district court's opinion of September 20, 1990. Mr. Wright challenges the court's granting of summary judgment and Rule 11 sanctions. 2 We review de novo the district court's dismissal for failure to state a claim, Gregory v. Nunn, 895 F.2d 413, 414 (7th Cir.1990) (per curiam), and its grant of summary judgment. DOE v. Allied-Signal, Inc., 925 F.2d 1007, 1008 (7th Cir.1991). We review its decision as to the appropriateness of imposing Rule 11 sanctions under a deferential "abuse of discretion" standard. A-Abart Electric Supply, Inc. v. Emerson Electric Co., 956 F.2d 1399, ---- (7th Cir.1992).

We begin, as did the district court, with the issue of the judges' immunity. If judicial immunity is applicable, the judges are entitled to immunity from suit rather than to a defense from a judgment for civil damages. Dellenbach v. Letsinger, 889 F.2d 755, 758 (7th Cir.1989), cert. denied, 494 U.S. 1085 (1990) (citing Mitchell v. Forsyth, 472 U.S. 511, 526, 105 S.Ct. 2806, 2815, 86 L.Ed.2d 411 (1985)). Mr. Wright's allegations against Judges Neal, Ratliff, Robertson, Leist, and Hensley concern their decisions to grant foreclosure and to dismiss Mr. Wright's appeal. Because these judicial rulings are acts performed in their judicial capacity, the judges are absolutely immune from suit herein. Mireles v. Waco, 502 U.S. 9, 112 S.Ct. 286, 287, 116 L.Ed.2d 9 (1991) (per curiam) (absolute immunity is overcome only for nonjudicial actions or for actions taken without jurisdiction). See also Dellenbach, 889 F.2d at 759-60.

Quasi-judicial absolute immunity is extended to auxiliary judicial personnel who perform functions...

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