Soto Santini v. Arias Marxuach

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA JEANNETTE SOTO SANTINI, Plaintiff v. Civil Action No. 23-0091 (CKK) RAUL M. ARIAS MARXUACH, et al., Defendants. MEMORANDUM OPINION (January 19, 2023) This matter is before the Court on consideration of Plaintiff’s pro se [1] Complaint. In her Complaint, Plaintiff brings claims against Raul M. Arias Marxuach, S. Silvia Carreno-Coll, and Pedro A. Delgado Hernandez, who are District Judges for the United States District Court for the District of Puerto Rico, and William G. Young, who is a Senior District Judge for the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts (together, “Defendants” or “Judges”). Plaintiff alleges that the “Judges [are] working… to help Bank Popular of Puerto Rico” regarding alleged mortgage fraud. Compl. at 1. Plaintiff then cites to specific civil lawsuits she brought in United States District Court for the District of Puerto Rico before making claims including “Judicial misconduct: BIAS IN COURT. Federal Court of San Juan, Puerto Rico are making prejudices against me.… The Judges are trying to dismiss all three cases.” Id. at 2. Plaintiff later writes that “[a]ll Judges denied orders” and “[t]hey want to dismiss my Case,” among other allegations. Id. at 8. It is difficult to discern what relief Plaintiff seeks; however, the Court reads the Complaint to request both monetary damages1 as well as for this Court to 1 The Complaint states the following: “If William G. Young worked as a PRIVATE, I will seek all money damages. $12,000”, Compl. at 8, and “I have to claim a compensation with all this mess from Puerto Rico”, id. at 9. 1 vacate the Defendants’ decisions in Plaintiff’s civil cases in the District of Puerto Rico.2 Upon review of Plaintiff’s pleadings and the applicable legal standards, the Court dismisses Plaintiff’s Complaint for three reasons. First, the Court concludes that the Defendants named in Plaintiff’s Complaint––Judges Marxuach, Carreno-Coll, Hernandez, and Young––are immune from suit. “Judges enjoy absolute immunity from suits for money damages for all actions taken in the judge’s judicial capacity, unless these acts are taken in the complete absence of all jurisdiction.” Sindram v. Suda, 986 F.2d 1459, 1460 (D.C. Cir. 1993). This immunity extends to any suit challenging past judicial decisions of judges, even if the plaintiff does not seek monetary damages. See Smith v. Scalia, 44 F. Supp. 3d 28, 42 (D.D.C. 2014) (KBJ); Lewis v. Green, 629 F. Supp. 546, 553 (D.D.C. 1986) (Northrop, J.) “([I]mmunity [is] conferred in suits… in which a party seeks an injunction compelling a judge to alter an earlier decision.”); Jenkins v. Kerry, 928 F. Supp. 2d 122, 135 (D.D.C. 2013) (CKK) (“[I]t is well established that judicial immunity bars claims… for retrospective declaratory relief”). Absolute immunity shields judges from suit because “it is a general principle of the highest importance to the proper administration of justice that a judicial officer, in exercising the authority vested in him, shall be free to act upon his own convictions, without apprehension of personal consequences to himself.” …

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