United States District Court, D. Nebraska
ERIC M. ROBINSON, Plaintiff,
THE LANCASTER COUNTY COURT, Court Rep. for State of Neb; THE LANCASTER COUNTY DISTRICT COURT, Court Rep. for State of Neb.; NEBRASKA COURT OF APPEALS, Court Rep. for the State of Neb.; and THE NEBRASKA SUPREME COURT, Court Rep. for the State of Neb; Defendants.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
RICHARD G. KOPF SENIOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Eric M. Robinson (“Robinson”) filed a Complaint
(filing no. 1) under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. He has
also filed additional motions and supplemental materials.
(Filing Nos. 16, 18, 20,
21, & 23-27.) The court
granted Robinson leave to proceed in forma pauperis.
(Filing No. 15.) The court now conducts an initial
review of Robinson's pleadings to determine whether
summary dismissal is appropriate. See28 U.S.C.
SUMMARY OF COMPLAINT AND ADDITIONAL PLEADINGS
filed his Complaint on March 7, 2018, seeking relief pursuant
to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the Lancaster County and
District Courts of Nebraska, the Nebraska Court of Appeals,
and the Nebraska Supreme Court (collectively “the
Nebraska state courts”). In his 65-page Complaint,
Robinson alleges that the Nebraska state courts have violated
his “First Amendment right to petition the government
for a redress of grievance by intentionally neglecting said
courts' obligation to Article I, Section 13 of the
Nebraska State Constitution to, without delay, remedy matters
of [Robinson's] violated 6th and 14th Amendment right to
effective counsel in order to secure the right to due process
of law fair trial resources” for overturning
Robinson's unlawful convictions. (Filing No. 1 at
CM/ECF pp. 4-5.)
also claims he was unlawfully incarcerated as a result of
various state court criminal proceedings and the Nebraska
state courts have acted to deny him the “defense
owed.” (See id. at CM/ECF pp. 12-13,
15, 20.) In particular, Robinson asserts
that Judge Acton of the Lancaster County Court “forged
. . . a CR14-9536 Case Action Summary” on September 16,
2014, “to fraud the satisfaction of attorney
withdraw[al] matters that were not adjudged by Judge Acton in
concerns with Sandford Pollack's withdraw[al] . . . on
[September 13, ] 2014, that Judge Foster sustained at a
formal hearings conference on [September 15, ] 2014, ”
at which Robinson appeared. (Id. at CM/ECF pp.
21-22.) Robinson alleges Judge Acton's
“forgery” appointed Bill Chapin when no motion
for substitute counsel or order appointing replacement
counsel had been made at the September 15, 2014 formal
hearings conference and thereby denied Robinson's right
to proceed pro se. (Id. at CM/ECF p. 22.) However,
Robinson also alleges that Chapin was bound to Robinson as
his “counsel of choice” in Lancaster County Court
Case CR15-13365 and asserts he was owed the counsel of his
choice in his other state criminal proceedings. (Id. at
CM/ECF pp. 27-33.)
alleges he has suffered a “broad spectrum” of
injuries based on Judge Acton's “malfeasance that
recruited and redirected [Robinson's] counsel of his
choice at court cost, Bill Chapin.” (Id. at CM/ECF
p. 38.) As relief, Robinson seeks to have “all of
[his] criminal convictions attached to Judge Acton, . . .
Judge Phillips, . . . Judge Yardley, [and] Judge Otte from
2014 [until] now . . . abolished and counsel of choice at
whatever the cost to the state . . . awarded
immediately.” (Id. at CM/ECF pp. 43-44.)
Robinson also requests damages in the amount of the
“daily per diem to cover my living expenses, equivalent
to the daily unlawful incarceration pay rate while [he is]
pursuing damages from the State of Nebraska.” (Id.
at CM/ECF pp. 44-45.)
to Robinson's Complaint are approximately 26 pages
consisting of various state county, district, and appellate
court records from Robinson's criminal proceedings in
those courts along with Robinson's handwritten
commentary. (Id. at CM/ECF pp. 66-92.) In addition,
Robinson has filed a supplement (filing no. 23) and
eight motions for supplemental filings (filing nos.
16, 18, 20, 21, &
24-27)totaling approximately 342 pages and
consisting of various state court records from Robinson's
county, district, and appellate court proceedings along with
Robinson's handwritten or typed commentary, ramblings,
and frustrations related to those various proceedings. With
the exception of one motion (filing no. 20), all of
Robinson's supplemental pleadings and motions are
identical to pleadings filed by Robinson in his other civil
action at Case Number 8:18CV73, in which Robinson raised
claims similar to those here. The court recently dismissed
Robinson's action at 8:18CV73 without prejudice because,
inter alia, Robinson's claims were barred under
Heck v. Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477 (1994). (Filing
No. 37, No. 8:18CV73.)
additional background, the court notes that Robinson
previously filed an action in this court at Case Number
8:17CV204 seeking a writ of mandamus related to his state
criminal proceedings which the court dismissed without
prejudice. (See Filing Nos. 28 &
29, No. 8:17CV204.) Robinson also currently has
other pending cases in this court related to his state
criminal proceedings. See 4:18CV3154 (§ 2241
habeas), 8:19CV42 (§ 2241 habeas), and 8:19CV43 (§
APPLICABLE STANDARDS OF REVIEW
court is required to review in forma pauperis complaints to
determine whether summary dismissal is appropriate.
See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e). The court must dismiss
a complaint or any portion of it that states a frivolous or
malicious claim, that fails to state a claim upon which
relief may be granted, or that seeks monetary relief from a
defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. §
plaintiffs must set forth enough factual allegations to
“nudge their claims across the line from conceivable
to plausible, ” or “their complaint must be
dismissed.” Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly,
550 U.S. 544, 569-70 (2007); see also Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (“A claim has
facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content
that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that
the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.”).
essential function of a complaint under the Federal Rules of
Civil Procedure is to give the opposing party ‘fair
notice of the nature and basis or grounds for a claim, and a
general indication of the type of litigation
involved.'” Topchian v. JPMorgan Chase Bank,
N.A., 760 F.3d 843, 848 (8th Cir. 2014) (quoting
Hopkins v. Saunders, 199 F.3d 968, 973 (8th Cir.
1999)). However, “[a] pro se complaint must be
liberally construed, and pro se litigants are held to a
lesser pleading standard than other parties.”
Topchian, 760 F.3d at 849 (internal quotation marks
and citations omitted).
construed, Robinson alleges federal constitutional claims. To
state a claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, a plaintiff must
allege a violation of rights protected by the United States
Constitution or created by federal statute and also must show
that the alleged deprivation was caused by conduct of a
person acting under color of state law. West v.
Atkins, 487 U.S. 42, 48 (1988); Buckley v.
Barlow, 997 F.2d 494, 495 (8th Cir. 1993).