United States District Court, D. Nebraska
ERIC M. ROBINSON, Plaintiff,
STATE OF NEBRASKA, Defendant.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
RICHARD G. KOPF SENIOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Eric M. Robinson (“Robinson”) filed a Complaint
(filing no. 1) which is captioned as an “In
Pro Se Motion for a Special Pleading ‘Complaint'
(Special Hearing)” and was docketed as an action under 42
U.S.C. § 1983. He has also filed additional motions and
supplemental materials. (Filing Nos. 7, 17,
19, 21, 22, &
24-34.) The court granted Robinson leave to
proceed in forma pauperis. (Filing No. 16.) The
court now conducts an initial review of Robinson's
pleadings to determine whether summary dismissal is
appropriate. See28 U.S.C. § 1915(e).
SUMMARY OF COMPLAINT AND ADDITIONAL PLEADINGS
filed his Complaint in this action against the State of
Nebraska on February 16, 2018. The Complaint itself is a
seven-page handwritten document in which Robinson alleges
Judge Acton of the Lancaster County Court of Nebraska forged
a document in Case Number CR14-9536 and this document is the
“genesis of all prior pleadings and arguments bound to
Robinson's unlawful incarceration and conviction from
2014 to current day.” (Filing No. 1 at CM/ECF p.
2.) The document at issue, attached to the Complaint as
“Exhibit 1, ” is Judge Acton's handwritten
entry in the “Case Action Summary” of CR14-9536
dated September 16, 2014, which states “Motion to
Withdraw sustained. Bill Chapin appointed to represent
defendant.” (Id. at CM/ECF p. 9.) Robinson
alleges that Judge Acton did not adjudicate matters of
withdrawal and appointment of counsel on September 16, 2014,
but rather a different judge, Judge Foster, adjudicated such
matters at a formal hearings conference on September 15,
2014, at which Robinson appeared. (Id. at CM/ECF pp.
3-4.) Robinson alleges no order was entered at that
formal hearings conference appointing replacement counsel and
he did not learn of Judge Acton's “forged”
Case Action Summary until he received a copy of the document
in November 2017. (Id. at CM/ECF pp. 4-5.) Robinson
alleges the forged document “‘contaminates'
all grievance matters with its ‘forged' poisonous
tree applications from 2014 till present day.” (Id.
at CM/ECF p. 3.) Robinson asks the court to sustain his
motion “for a formal hearings conference record,
collecting these ‘forged' and ‘fraud'
matters at discussion.” (Id. at CM/ECF p. 7.)
to Robinson's Complaint are four exhibits totaling 76
pages consisting of various state county and district court
records from Robinson's criminal proceedings in those
courts along with Robinson's handwritten commentary. In
addition, Robinson has filed two supplements (filing nos.
7 & 25) and fourteen motions for
supplemental filings (filing nos. 17, 19,
21, 22, 24, & 26-
34) totaling approximately 667 pages and
consisting of state court records from Robinson's various
county and district court proceedings along with
Robinson's handwritten or typed commentary, ramblings,
and frustrations related to those proceedings. As best the
court can decipher from the plethora of pleadings, Robinson
claims Judge Acton committed fraud when he entered the
September 16, 2014 Case Action Summary tying Bill Chapin to
Robinson's criminal action at ¶ 14-9536, and once
Bill Chapin was in the picture, the Lancaster County Court
and District Court were bound to provide Robinson with his
“counsel of choice” (Chapin) and their failure to
do so violates his Sixth and Fourteenth Amendment rights and
voids all his criminal prosecutions from 2014 to the present.
(See, e.g., Filing No. 21 at CM/ECF p. 18;
Filing No. 22 at CM/ECF pp. 2-5, 36.)
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 8:18CV111 (§ 1983
action), 4:18CV3154 (§ 2241 habeas), 8:19CV42 (§
2241 habeas), and 8:19CV43 (§ 2254 habeas).
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).
Complaint with its hundreds of pages of additional motions
and supplemental materials does not comply with Federal Rule
of Civil Procedure 8, which states that a pleading must
contain “a short and plain statement of the claim
showing that the pleader is entitled to relief.”
(emphasis added) The court has warned Robinson in his
previous litigation in this court that he must comply with
Rule 8 in any complaint he files against state officials.
(See, e.g., Filing No. 28, No. 8:17CV204.)
In addition to this basic pleading deficiency, the most
liberal construction of Robinson's pleadings fails to
suggest that he is entitled to relief.
Robinson has sued the State of Nebraska. To the extent
Robinson seeks redress for violations of his constitutional
rights under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, a suit may be brought
under § 1983 only against a “person” who
acted under color of state law. A state is not a
“person” as that term is used in § 1983 and
is not suable under the statute. Hilton v. South Carolina
Pub. Railways Comm'n, 502 U.S. 197, 200-01 (1991).
Thus, § 1983 does not create a cause of action against
the State of Nebraska.
alleges that he has been unlawfully convicted and/or
incarcerated in several state court criminal cases because of
the alleged forged document entered by Judge Acton in the
Lancaster County Court of Nebraska. Indeed, he even seeks to
“vacate judgment for all mentioned and effected cases
adjudged void, procured by said fraud upon the court,
pursuant to Rule 60 of the Federal Rules of Civil