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Lemon v. Hong

United States District Court, D. Maryland

May 4, 2016

ARRON FREDERICK LEMON Plaintiff,
v.
JEANNIE JINKUNG HONG, Defendant.

MEMORANDUM

Ellen L. Hollander United States District Judge

Arron Frederick Lemon, who is self-represented, filed suit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against Jeannie J. Hong, a judge serving on the Circuit Court of Maryland for Baltimore City. ECF 1. He has attached numerous exhibits to his suit. ECF 1-2 to ECF 1-13. According to Lemon, during State criminal proceedings held on January 16, 2014, and March 6, 2014, Judge Hong deprived him of his rights under the United States Constitution and Maryland law. ECF 1.[1]

Lemon has paid the filing fee. For the reasons set forth below, the case shall be dismissed.

I. Factual Background

On January 16, 2014, during a criminal proceeding involving a charge of possession of marijuana by defendant, Judge Hong expressed concern about Lemon’s mental status. She also held Lemon in criminal contempt for disrupting the criminal hearing, and sentenced him to 120 days of incarceration for the contempt. ECF 1-10 (Order of Direct Criminal Contempt); ECF 1 at 18 ¶ 79.[2]

Lemon complained to Judge Hong at the hearing on January 16, 2014, [3] that his case was “‘over four hundred something days old.” (ECF 1, ¶ 30), in violation of the State’s 180-day “Hick’s Rule.” ECF 1, ¶¶ 30, 38.[4] He also accused the judge of bias. Id. Judge Hong initially called for a jury (Id. ¶ 33) and Lemon did not want a lawyer. Id. ¶¶ 34-36. Moreover, he demanded to confront his accuser, the State of Maryland. Id. ¶¶ 40-44.

At the proceeding on January 16, 2014, Judge Hong asked Lemon whether he had ingested anything during the lunch break. Id. ¶ 47. He responded, in part (id. ¶ 48):

You can’t sit there and say that I’m crazy. You said that I have the Right to be confronted with my accuser. It says the STATE OF MARYLAND v. AARON LEMON. Okay, that’s the accuser. How, how, how, I don’t understand? What, what, am I speaking a foreign language? The accuser is the STATE OF MARYLAND. You said I have the Right to be confronted with by [sic] My accuser. I want to be confronted by the STATE OF MARYLAND. That’s it. You said I have that Right. So, I’m asking I’m asking for that right.

Judge Hong asked Lemon whether he wanted to consider referral to the mental health court. Id. ¶¶ 49, 52, 70. In addition, Judge Hong warned Lemon that his behavior placed him in possible contempt of court (id. ¶¶ 63, 73) and, later in the proceeding, she found him in contempt. Id. ¶ 79. As noted, she sentenced Lemon to 120 days of incarceration on the contempt.

On March 6, 2014, Lemon pleaded guilty in the Circuit Court for Baltimore City, in case 813032017, to the offense of possession of marijuana. The court imposed a two-day sentence of time served. https://ecf.mdd.circ4.dcn/cgi-bin/DktRpt.pl?847608536591934-L10-1. Plaintiff claims he pleaded guilty under duress (ECF 1 ¶ 1), because of the earlier sentence for contempt.

Notably, Lemon twice sought to remove his State case to this District. See Civil Action No. RDB-13-469 (D. Md.); ELH-13-1575 (D. Md.). The Honorable Richard D. Bennett remanded Civil Action No. RDB-13-469 (D. Md.) to the Circuit Court for Baltimore City on September 17, 2013. I remanded ELH-13-1575 (D. Md.) to the Circuit Court for Baltimore City on June 3, 2013.

This Complaint is the second Lemon has filed in this District against Judge Hong based on the underlying State criminal proceedings. On March 30, 2016, the Honorable James K. Bredar dismissed Lemon’s first suit, Lemon v. Hong, et al., JKB-16-872 (D. Md.), without prejudice, for lack of jurisdiction and for failure to state a claim. The claims in this case, for Abuse of Process (Count 1); Fraud (Count 2); Battery (Count 3); False Imprisonment (Count 4); Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress (Count 5); and Intent (Count 6), are largely the same as the claims asserted in Judge Bredar’s case. However, in the case assigned to Judge Bredar, Lemon also sued the State prosecutor and a defense attorney. In this case, Judge Hong is the sole defendant.

In the instant Complaint, Lemon claims, inter alia, that Judge Hong acted without jurisdiction in his criminal proceeding; that her conduct was “QUASI-JUDICIAL” (ECF 1, ¶ 3); and her conduct was in disregard of his right to a speedy trial and due process. ECF 1 at 3, 6. As in his first case, Lemon claims Judge Hong acted with “evil motive, intent to injure, ill will and fraud, under color of law” (ECF 1, ¶ 19), so as to deny him a speedy trial, deny him due process, use the Maryland Courts for her own personal gain, and cause him physical and emotional harm. ECF 1 at 8-9; see also Lemon v. Hong, et al., JKB-16-872, ECF 1 at 2-5.

As relief, Lemon seeks a total of $12 million dollars in damages as well as declaratory and injunctive relief. ECF 1 at 21. He seeks declaratory relief stating that his constitutional rights were violated. Id. at 22. As injunctive relief, he asks to enjoin the State of Maryland from attempting “to impart the Defendant with any immunity” and to ...


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