United States District Court, D. Maryland
DEBORAH K. CHASANOW, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Weeks, who is an inmate at the Maryland Correctional Training
Center, filed this complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §
1983 with a motion to proceed in forma pauperis and
a motion to appoint counsel. ECF Nos. 1, 2, 3. Mr. Weeks is
suing Elizabeth Camuti, an Assistant State's Attorney for
Washington County, Michele Hansen, an Assistant State's
Attorney for Washington County, Detective Jared Barnhart, a
member of the Washington County Sheriff's Department,
Agent Carl Brian Hook, who serves on the Washington County
Narcotics Task Force, Judge M. Kenneth Long, a retired judge
on the Circuit Court for Washington County, and Judge Donald
E. Beachley, a judge on the Court of Special Appeals of
Maryland,  in their individual and official
capacities, for “selective prosecution, retaliation,
discrimination, and racism” in violation of his right
to due process. ECF No. 1 at 4-6. Mr. Weeks also claims that
defendants committed torts against him under state law. ECF
No. 1 at 4. As relief, he is seeking punitive and monetary
damages, a declaratory judgment explaining his legal rights
and the legal duties and obligations of the defendants, and
injunctive relief to protect him from threats of harm or
retaliation. ECF No. 1 at 10.
gravamen of Mr. Weeks' complaint is that he was unfairly
charged and convicted of drug charges in the Circuit Court
for Washington County arising from his October 29, 2014,
arrest for distribution of 1.95 grams of crack cocaine,
traces of heroin and other related offenses. ECF No. 1
¶11, 30. Mr. Weeks, who describes himself as a
black male, was sentenced on April 28, 2016, to twenty years,
all but the ten years mandatory minimum suspended, for
distribution of 0.8 grams of crack cocaine, and five years,
all suspended, for distribution of traces of heroin. He
contrasts his treatment with that of Amanda Lynn Taylor, the
white female who acted as the police informant against him
who was discovered at a later date to be in possession of .88
grams of crack cocaine, 0.4 grams of heroin and syringes with
traces of crack cocaine on March 12, 2015, but was not
charged with any drug offense. ECF No. 1 ¶¶ 41, 42,
43. This, he claims, shows that he was deprived of his right
to a fair trial. ECF No. 1 ¶¶ 30, 31, 35, 36, 40,
42. Mr. Weeks claims that Ms. Taylor should also have been
charged for breach of contract for using drugs while
“employed” for Agent Hook and Assistant
State's Attorney Camuti and for violating her probation.
Id. ¶ 41. Further, Mr. Weeks claims that Agent
Hook and Assistant State's Attorney Camuti targeted him
in retaliation for posting a You-Tube Video of a Hagerstown
Police Officer issuing a “frivolous” citation to
him. Id. ¶¶ 13, 39. Mr. Weeks claims that
he first became aware that his civil rights had been violated
when he received information on May 23, 2018, in response to
his Public Information Act request.
Kenneth M. Long and Judge Donald E. Beachley are Maryland
state judges whom Mr. Weeks is suing for decisions made in
their capacity as judges. Id. ¶¶ 22, 37.
This cause of action cannot be maintained because it is
prohibited by the doctrine of judicial immunity. See
Forrester v. White, 484 U.S. 219, 226-27 (1988)
(“If judges were personally liable for erroneous
decisions, the resulting avalanche of suits, most of them
frivolous but vexatious, would provide powerful incentives
for judges to avoid rendering decisions likely to provoke
such suits.”); Hamilton v. Murray, 648 Fed.
App'x 344 (4th Cir. 2016) (unpublished) (“Judges
possess absolute immunity for their judicial acts and are
subject to liability only in the ‘clear absence of all
jurisdiction.'” (quoting Stump v.
Sparkman, 435 U.S. 349, 356-57 (1978)). The doctrine of
judicial immunity shields judges from monetary claims against
them in both their official and individual capacities.
Mireles v. Waco, 502 U.S. 9, 9-10 (1991) (per
curiam). Judicial immunity is absolute immunity; it protects
a judge from suit for damages entirely. Id. at 11.
An act is still judicial, and immunity applies, even if the
judge commits “‘grave procedural
errors.'” Id. (quoting Stump, 435
U.S. at 359). Accordingly, the court will dismiss all claims
for damages against Judges Long and Beachley.
Camuti and Hansen, as state prosecutors, are quasi-judicial
officers who enjoy absolute immunity when performing
prosecutorial functions, as opposed to investigative or
administrative ones. See Imbler v. Pachtman, 424
U.S. 409, 422-23 (1976); see also Kalina v.
Fletcher, 522 U.S. 118, 127 (1997); Buckley v.
Fitzsimmons, 509 U.S. 259, 273 (1993); Nero v.
Mosby, 890 F.3d 106, 117 (4th Cir. 2018); Springmen
v. Williams, 122 F.3d 211 (4th Cir. 1997). The inquiry
focuses on whether a prosecutor's actions are closely
associated with judicial process. See Burns, 500
U.S. at 479 (citing Imbler, 424 U.S. at 422-23). The
Court must use a “functional approach” to
“determine whether a particular act is
‘intimately associated with the judicial
phase.'” Nero, 890 F.3d at 117-18 (quoting
Imbler, 424 U.S. at 430). The Fourth Circuit stated
in Nero, 890 F.3d at 118:
A prosecutor acts as an advocate when she professionally
evaluates evidence assembled by the police, Buckley,
509 U.S. at 273, decides to seek an arrest warrant,
Kalina, 522 U.S. at 130, prepares and files charging
documents, id., participates in a probable cause
hearing, Burns, 500 U.S. at 493, and presents
evidence at trial, Imbler, 424 U.S. at 431.
about whether, when or how to prosecute are part of the role
of an assistant state's attorney. Mr. Weeks alleges that
Ms. Camuti withheld exculpatory evidence (a video of a sex
act between him and Ms. Taylor during her
“employment” with Agent Hook and Ms. Camuti), Ms
Camuti and Ms. Hansen were in court when Taylor admitted
using narcotics while “employed” by Agent Hook,
Ms. Hansen “lied in an e-mail” to defense counsel
that Mr. Weeks had no community ties, and on April 28, 2016,
Ms. Camuti referred to the YouTube video Mr. Weeks had
posted. ECF No. 1 ¶¶ 16, 22, 23, 28.
allegations do not show categorically that quasi-judicial
immunity applies to the claims against Ms. Camuti and Ms.
Hansen. However, Mr. Weeks' claims against Ms. Camuti and
Ms. Hansen, the claims against Detective Barnhart and Agent
Hook, and any prospective claims against Judges Long and
Beachley for declaratory or injunctive must be dismissed
pursuant to the Supreme Court's decision in Heck v.
Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477, 486-77 (1974), which held that
in order to recover damages for an alleged unconstitutional
conviction or imprisonment or for harm caused by unlawful
actions that would render a conviction or sentence invalid, a
§ 1983 plaintiff must prove the “conviction or
sentence has been reversed on direct appeal, expunged by
executive order, declared invalid by a state tribunal
authorized to make such determination, or called into
question by a federal court's issuance of a writ of
habeas corpus.” The rule in Heck likewise bars
declaratory and injunctive relief if a judgment in the
plaintiff's favor would necessarily imply the invalidity
of the conviction. See Edwards v. Balisok, 520 U.S.
641, 648 (1997) (holding Heck bars declaratory
judgment action challenging validity of state criminal
conviction); Harvey v. Horan, 278 F.3d 370, 375 (4th
Cir. 2002) (applying Heck to claims for injunctive
relief), abrogated on other grounds by Skinner
v. Switzer, 131 S.Ct. 1289, 1298-1300 (2011).
Plaintiff's contention that he was unfairly singled out
for prosecution based on race asserts a claim of selective
prosecution, which would be a defense to the crime. If the
claim is asserted successfully, it would imply the invalidity
of the conviction. Kramer v. Village of North Fond du
Lac, 384 F.3d 856, 862 (7th Cir. 2004). Thus, the bar of
Heck requires dismissal of Plaintiff's
§1983 claim. Because the only claim over which this
court has jurisdiction is being dismissed, the court declines
to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over the state tort
claims and they will be dismissed without prejudice pursuant
to 28 U.S.C. § 1367(c)(3) and United Mine Workers v.
Gibbs, 383 U.S. 715, 726 (1966)
reasons set forth above, the court will dismiss by separate
Order Mr. Weeks' monetary claims against Judge Beachley
and Judge Long. All other claims against Defendants are
dismissed without prejudice. Having determined the claims
presented must be dismissed, the court finds no cause to
grant the motion for appointment of counsel.
 The docket will be corrected to show
the correct spelling of Judge Beachley's and Judge
 Mr. Weeks does not allege that he has
received any threats, been the victim of unlawful retaliation
from Defendants, or explain why he ...