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Ulrich v. Butler

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT CENTRAL DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS


June 23, 2009

STEPHEN ULRICH, PLAINTIFF,
v.
DAVID W. BUTLER, INDIVIDUALLY, AND IN HIS OFFICIAL CAPACITY AS ASSOCIATE JUDGE OF THE ELEVENTH CIRCUIT OF ILLINOIS, WOODFORD COUNTY DEFENDANT.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Michael M. Mihm United States District Judge

ORDER

Before the Court is Plaintiff's Motion for Leave to Appeal In Forma Pauperis ("IFP") [#11].

Before granting Plaintiff's IFP, this Court must determine whether his appeal is in good faith. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(3). To find that the appeal is in good faith, this Court must find that a reasonable person could suppose that the appeal has some merit, while bad faith means merely to sue on the basis of a frivolous claim. Lee v. Clinton, 209 F.3d 1025, 1026 (7th Cir. 2000).

Plaintiff filed a Complaint against Defendant Judge David W. Butler, alleging that "under color of law in his capacity as a Judge in the Eleventh Judicial Circuit of Illinois", Defendant violated his rights under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 by refusing to have a court reporter present at each and every hearing; not allowing motions and petitions to be heard in the case; refusing to hold a hearing on Plaintiff's Petition for a Change of Place of Trial; and sentencing Plaintiff to be incarcerated until the contested judgment was paid in full, stating that if compliance was not made that Plaintiff could spend the rest of his life in prison. In a May 4, 2009, Order, this Court dismissed Plaintiff's action. The Court reasoned that judges performing judicial functions enjoy absolute immunity against parties complaining about their alleged judicial misconduct. See Loubser v. Thacker, 440 F.3d 439, 442 (7th Cir. 2006) citing John v. Barron, 897 F.2d 1387, 1391-92 (7th Cir.1990); J.B. v. Washington County, 127 F.3d 919, 925 (10th Cir.1997), see also Dawson v. Newman, 419 F.3d 656, 660-61 (7th Cir. 2005). The Court found that Plaintiff pleaded himself out of court because he alleged that atall times materially relevant to his Complaint, Judge Butler was acting within his jurisdiction as a judge. In a June 4, 2009, Order, this Court denied Plaintiff's Motion to Reconsider.

Because Plaintiff has no cognizable claim, this Court cannot find that Plaintiff brought his appeal in good faith.

CONCLUSION

For the reasons set forth above, Plaintiff's Motion for Leave to Appeal In Forma Pauperis [#11] is DENIED.

ENTERED this 22nd day of June, 2009.

20090623

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