United States District Court, D. Maryland
L. Hollander United States District Judge
27, 2016, the self-represented plaintiff, Arron Frederick
Lemon, filed a Motion For Reconsideration (ECF 7,
"Motion"), pursuant to Rule 60(b)(1), (4) and (6)
of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, seeking
reconsideration of this Court’s Order of May 3, 2016.
ECF 4. In that Order, this Court dismissed Lemon’s suit
because his Complaint (ECF 1) failed to state a claim upon
which relief may be granted. Lemon’s Motion was
accompanied by a proposed Amended Complaint. ECF 7-1. Also on
May 27, 2016, Lemon filed a notice of appeal to the Fourth
Circuit from the Order dismissing the case. ECF
factual and procedural background pertinent to this case may
be found in the Memorandum issued on May 3, 2016. ECF 3. I
incorporate the Memorandum here by reference, and shall
repeat facts only as necessary to resolve Lemon’s
January 16, 2014, Judge Hong presided in the Circuit Court
for Baltimore City over Lemon’s criminal proceeding for
marijuana possession. As a result of what occurred during the
hearing, Judge Hong expressed concern about Lemon’s
mental health status.
the course of the hearing, Lemon complained to Judge Hong
that his case was "over four hundred something days
old" (ECF 1, ¶ 30), and in violation of the
State’s 180-day "Hick’s Rule."
Id. ¶¶ 30, 38. 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. A jury trial was not convened, however.
Ultimately, Judge Hong found Lemon in contempt of court and
sentenced him to 120 days’ incarceration. ECF 1-10
(Order of Direct Criminal Contempt); ECF 1 at 18 ¶ 79.
March 6, 2014, Lemon entered a plea of guilty before Judge
Hong in the Circuit Court for Baltimore City on a charge of
marijuana possession in criminal case 813032017. Judge Hong
imposed a two-day sentence of time served. See
March 23, 2016, Lemon filed suit in federal court against
Judge Hong, based on his State criminal proceedings. In that
case, Lemon also sued the State prosecutor and a defense
attorney. See ECF 1 in Case JKB-16-872. By
Memorandum and Order of March 30, 2016, the Honorable James
K. Bredar dismissed Lemon’s suit, without prejudice,
for lack of jurisdiction and for failure to state a claim.
See Lemon v. Hong, et al., JKB-16-872, ECF
3, ECF 4.
later, on April 4, 2016, Lemon again filed suit against Judge
Hong, which is the case sub judice. He alleged that
she acted without jurisdiction in his criminal proceeding and
in disregard of his right to a speedy trial and due process.
ECF 2-3, ECF 6. Lemon also claimed that Judge Hong’s
conduct was "QUASI-JUDICIAL" (ECF 1, ¶ 3), and
that her conduct was in disregard of his right to a speedy
trial and due process. ECF 1 at 3, 6. And, Lemon claimed that
he pleaded guilty under duress (ECF 1 ¶ 1), because of
his earlier sentence for contempt of court. Lemon claimed
Judge Hong acted with "evil motive, intent to injure,
ill will and fraud under color of law" 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.
relief, Lemon sought $12 million dollars in damages and
declaratory and injunctive relief. ECF 1 at 21. Additionally,
he sought declaratory relief, stating his constitutional
rights were violated. Id. at 22. As injunctive
relief, he asked to enjoin the State of Maryland from
attempting "to impart the Defendant with any
immunity" and to stop defendant from "engaging in
Unconstitutional and Unlawful acts [sic]." Id.
Memorandum and Oder of May 3, 2016, I dismissed Lemon’s
Complaint because his claims against Judge Hong were based on
determinations she rendered during the course of pretrial
proceedings. See ECF 3; ECF 4. I concluded that
these determinations were clearly within the scope of her
judicial responsibilities and constituted functions typically
performed by a judge. As explained to Lemon by Judge Bredar,
and again in my Memorandum (ECF 3 at 5), a judge is
"absolutely immune from liability for his [or her]
judicial acts." Stump v. Sparkman, 435 U.S.
349, 359 (1978). Lemon’s bald assertions that Judge
Hong’s decisions were made in the absence of
jurisdiction were unsubstantiated and bordered on the
frivolous. ECF 3 at 5. On this ground, I dismissed this case
for failure to state a claim.
noted that, to the extent Lemon’s Complaint represented
an attempt to appeal his State conviction in federal court,
abstention was warranted under the Rooker-Feldman
doctrine. See D.C. Court of Appeals v. Feldman, 460
U.S. 462 (1983); Rooker v. Fidelity Trust Co., 263
U.S. 413 (1923). Insofar as Lemon sought damages under 28
U.S.C. §1983 for allegedly unlawful criminal proceedings
against him, a cause of action for damages attributable to an
unconstitutional conviction or sentence does not accrue until
the conviction or sentence has been invalidated. Heck v.
Humphrey. 512 U.S. 477, 486-87 and nn. 6-8 (1994). Lemon
did not demonstrate invalidation of his conviction or
sentence, and his claims for damages were dismissed on this
basis as well.
Rules 59 (e) and 60(b) of the Federal Rules ...