United States District Court, D. Maryland
L. Hollander United States District Judge.
6, 2019, Antoine Hendricks, who is self represented, paid the
filing fee and filed suit against defendants Takirah Cook,
Judge John Nugent, and Marilyn Bentley. ECF 1. Then, on June
25, 2019, he filed an Amended Complaint. ECF 2.
claims appear to arise from a paternity suit filed against
him by Ms. Cook in the Circuit Court for Baltimore City,
Cook v. Hendricks, Case 24P15001060 (Cir. Ct. Balt.
City), over which Judge Nugent presided. Id. Marilyn
Bentley is the Clerk of Court for the Circuit Court for
Baltimore City. ECF 1 at 6.
claims that Cook disclosed private information to Bentley,
including his social security number, and Bentley conspired
with Cook to deprive him of due process. ECF 1 at 6; ECF 2 at
5. Hendricks faults Judge Nugent for “forcing the
order” against him, despite Hendricks' repeated
assertions that he did not “consent and was afraid for
his life.” ECF 1 at 6. Hendricks alleges that he is
“suffering from outstanding money damage” because
his monthly payments increased from $433.00 to $1033.00, he
cannot pay his bills, and he must go to therapy. ECF 1 at 7;
ECF 2 at 2. As relief, he seeks return of his money, $75,
000.00, and compensation for “fraud, mistake in fact,
and duress.” ECF 1 at 6, 7; ECF 2 at 4.
a complaint need not contain detailed allegations, the facts
alleged must be enough to raise a right to relief above the
speculative level and require “more than labels and
conclusions, ” as “‘courts are not bound to
accept as true a legal conclusion couched as a factual
allegation.'” Bell Atlantic Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007). The complaint must
contain “enough facts to state a claim to relief that
is plausible on its face.” Id. at 570.
(1) a short and plain statement of the grounds for the
court's jurisdiction, unless the court already has
jurisdiction and the claim needs no new jurisdictional
(2) a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the
pleader is entitled to relief; and
(3) a demand for the relief sought.
"allegation must be simple, concise, and direct.”
Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(d)(1). “Threadbare recitals of the
elements of a cause of action, supported by mere statements,
do not suffice.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S.
662, 678 (2009) (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555).
asserts violations of his rights under the Fourth and Fifth
amendments to the Constitution. ECF 2 at 2. He alleges that
he was “forced into a [sic] unconscionability [sic]
contract.” ECF 1 at 6. He premises his claims against
defendants on two criminal statutes: 18 U.S.C. §242
(deprivation of rights under color of law) and 18 U.S.C.
§241 (conspiracy against civil rights). ECF 1 at. 4.
private citizen, Hendricks does not have standing to bring
criminal charges against another; that is the role of the
prosecution. See Linda R.S. v. Richard D., 410 U.S.
614, 619 (1973) (stating private individuals have no
constitutional or other right to a criminal investigation,
nor any judicially cognizable interest in the prosecution or
non-prosecution of another). Moreover, the allegations in a
complaint must “give the defendant fair notice of what
the plaintiff's claim is and the grounds upon which it
rests.” Swierkiewicz v. Sorema N. A., 534 U.S.
506, 512 (2002) (internal quotation marks omitted). However,
the Complaint does not comply with federal pleading
requirements. Instead of a concise statement of facts as to
the underlying cause of action, the Complaint is filled with
legal statements and conclusions.
Hendricks asserts rights under the Fourth and Fifth
Amendments, and alleges that his rights to due process were
violated. Therefore, he will be permitted to supplement his
suit by providing additional facts to support his claims. ECF
1 at 6; ECF 2 at 1, 2.
should note that, in order to bring a claim of a
constitutional violation, he must show that defendants acted
“under the color of state law.” 42 U.S.C.
§1983 (“Every person who, under color of any
statute, ordinance, regulation, custom, or usage, of any
State or Territory ... subjects, or causes to be subjected,
any citizen of the United States or other person with the
jurisdiction thereof to the deprivation of any rights,
privileges or immunities secured by the Constitution and
laws, shall be liable to the party injured..., ”). In
this regard, I note that the Complaint provides no facts
suggesting that Ms. Cook acted under color of state law.
should also note that the claims and facts alleged against
Judge Nugent and Marilyn Bentley, the Clerk of Court, will be
reviewed in light of the doctrine of judicial immunity. The
doctrine of judicial immunity reaches claims brought against
a judge for acts undertaken in his official or individual
capacity. Mireles v. Waco, 502 U.S. 9, 9-10 (1991)
(per curiam); Forrester v. White, 484 U.S. 219,
226-27 (1988). Judicial immunity applies even where a judge
has committed “grave procedural errors.”
Stump v. Sparkman,435 U.S. 349, 359 (1978). Indeed,
“[t]his immunity applies even when the judge is accused
of acting maliciously and corruptly, and it “is not for
the protection or benefit of a malicious or corrupt judge,
but for the benefit of the public, whose interest it is that
the judges should be at liberty to exercise their functions
with independence and without fear of consequences.”
Pierson v. Ray, 386 U.S. 547, 553-54 (1967).
Moreover, “[c]ourt clerks enjoy derivative absolute