United States District Court, D. Maryland
JEROME L. GRIMES Plaintiff,
PUBLIC DEFENDERS OFFICE STATE OF MARYLAND Defendants.
XINIS UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
19, 2017, Jerome L. Grimes filed the above-captioned
complaint and motion to proceed in forma pauperis. ECF Nos. 1
& 2. Grimes, who is now a patient in the “trial
competency program” at the Springfield Hospital Center
in Sykesville, Maryland, filed his complaint pursuant to 42
U.S.C. § 1983 raising claims of “attorney's
professional misconduct, ” violation of his
“right of access to the courts “ and to
“reasonable bail access.” Grimes appears to take
issue with the Maryland State Public Defender's Office
actions to have him categorized as a “crisis client
incompetent to stand trial.” He contends that the
designation was made without probable cause by individuals
who are not physicians, and only after he had been admitted
into a local detention facility for several hours. He
contends that his due process rights were violated and his
right to bail bonds were “intimidated.” ECF No.
1, p. 1-3. He seeks to enjoin the Deputy Public Defender from
practicing the law to deter professional misconduct and
additionally seeks monetary damages of $3, 100, 000.00 and
punitive damages of $52, 000.00, for engaging in professional
misconduct. No. 1, pp. 4-5.
review of the state court docket reveals that eight
Montgomery County, Maryland cases involving Grimes relate to
traffic incidents occurring in 2016. The docket also reflects
that on February 26, 2017, a warrant was issued for Grimes on
counts of arson/threat and making a false statement with
regard to a destructive device. See State v. Grimes,
Case No. 5D00368618 (District Court for Montgomery County).
On May 11, 2017, the case was transferred to the Circuit
Court for Montgomery County. Grimes is represented by an
Assistant Public Defender in that case, and a scheduling
order and plea of not guilty has been entered. See State
v. Grimes, Case Number 131689C;
examination of the Public Access to Court Electronic Records
(“PACER”) reveals that Grimes has filed hundreds
of cases in the federal courts. In Grimes v. Haney, et
al., Civil Action No. JSW(PR)-15-436 (N.D. Cal.), United
States District Court Judge Jeffrey S. White of the Northern
District of California noted that “[o]n May 18, 2000,
this Court informed [Grimes] that under the
‘three-strikes' provisions of 28 U.S.C. §
1915(g) he generally is ineligible to proceed in forma
pauperis in federal court with civil actions filed while he
is incarcerated.” (citing Grimes v. Oakland Police
Dep't, Civil Action No. CW-00-1100 (N.D. Cal.)).
Judge White further observed that “in 2003 alone
[Grimes'] failure to pay the full filing fee and to state
cognizable claims for relief had resulted in the dismissal of
approximately thirty-six actions under § 1915(g).”
Grimes v. Haney, et al., Civil Action No.
JSW(PR)-15-436. at ECF No. 4. Similarly, in 2007, United
States District Court Judge Claudia Wilken of the Northern
District of California observed that “[t]he Court had
routinely granted [Grimes]leave to amend to pay the full
filing fee and to state cognizable claims for relief but he
has habitually failed to do so. For example, in 2003 alone
Plaintiff's failure to comply resulted in the dismissal
of approximately thirty-six actions under §
1915(g).” See Grimes v. Wan, et al, . Civil
Action No. CW (PR)-07-1726 (N.D. Cal.). In the Western
District of Louisiana, the District Court noted that Grimes
has “filed more than 350 complaints and appeals [, and]
[t]hree or more of them have been dismissed as
frivolous.” See Grimes v. Ms. Lewis, et al.,
Civil Action No. EEF-MLH-12-3159 (W.D. La.). This court takes
judicial notice of these relevant and indisputable filings.
See Nolte v. Capital One Fin. Corp., 390 F.3d 311,
317 n. * (4th Cir. 2004).
28 U.S.C. § 1915(e), a prisoner is prohibited from
filing a civil action if he “has, on 3 or more
occasions, while incarcerated or detained in any facility,
brought an action or appeal in a court of the United States
that was dismissed on the grounds that it is frivolous,
malicious, or fails to state a claim upon which relief may be
granted, unless the prisoner is under imminent danger of
serious physical injury.” 28 U.S.C. § 1915(g).
Given Grimes' filing history in federal court, he is
barred under § 1915(g) from filing prisoner complaints
in forma pauperis unless he can establish that he is under
imminent danger of serious physical injury. Grimes does not
allege that he is under imminent danger of serious physical
injury. He is forewarned that should he attempt to file
future civil rights actions in this court, they must be
accompanied by the civil filing fee, unless the complaint
establishes that Grimes is in imminent danger of serious
were this court to offer Grimes the opportunity to proceed
with this case by paying the filing fee, the named defendants
cannot be held liable for the claims raised in the complaint
under § 1983. Jurisdictional and threshold requirements
for suits brought under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 civil actions
require that a substantial federal question be asserted and
that the named defendant is acting "under color of"
state law. See 28 U.S.C. §§ 1343(a)(3) and
(4); West v. Adkins, 487 U.S. 42, 49 (1988);
Lugar v. Edmondson Oil Co., 457 U.S. 922, 928-930
(1982). A defense attorney, whether privately retained or
court-appointed, represents only his client, not the State
and thus is not considered a state actor. See Polk County
v. Dodson, 454 U.S. 312, 325 (1981); Deas v.
Potts, 547 F.2d 800 (4th Cir. 1976).
a § 1983 lawsuit may not be filed against the State of
Maryland. Neither a state nor an agency of a state is a
“person” within the meaning of 42 U.S.C. §
1983. See Will v. Michigan Dep't of State
Police, 491 U.S. 58, 64-65 & 70-71 (1989). The State
of Maryland is also immune from liability under the Eleventh
Amendment from a § 1983 suit in federal court without
regard to the nature of the relief sought. See Pennhurst
State School & Hospital v. Halderman, 465 U.S. 89,
101-01 (1984); C.H. v. Oliva, 226 F.3d 198, 201 (3rd
Grimes' motion to proceed in forma pauperis shall be
denied and his complaint shall be dismissed without prejudice
by separate Order.
 Grimes also raises claims of false
arrest, illegal interstate extradition from Florida to
Maryland and a “frame up” as a victim of a
telephonic crank call. ECF No. 1, p. 6.
 The court has examined the court
docket for Montgomery County, Maryland, which reflects Grimes
was cited for several traffic violations, including the
failure to display his license to uniform police on demand,
driving without a required license and authorization, driving
on a revoked out-of-state license, driving while license is
suspended, driving on a suspended out-of-state license,
failure to attach vehicle registration plates at front and
rear, failure to display registration card upon demand by
police, and driving without current registration plates and
validation tabs. State v. Grimes, Citation Nos.
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