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Griffin v. Baker

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT CENTRAL DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS URBANA DIVISION


December 8, 2009

DWAYNE GRIFFIN, PLAINTIFF,
v.
HAROLD A. BAKER, DEFENDANT.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Michael P. McCUSKEY Chief U.S. District Judge

OPINION

On December 4, 2009, Plaintiff, Dwayne Griffin, filed a pro se Complaint (#1) against United States Senior District Judge Harold A. Baker. Plaintiff's Complaint, while somewhat difficult to understand, appears to relate solely to an Order entered by Judge Baker dismissing cases previously filed by Plaintiff. This case was assigned to Judge Baker, who entered an order recusing himself. The case was referred to this court for reassignment. The case is hereby assigned to this court and dismissed.

This court concludes that Judge Baker is entitled to absolute immunity from a lawsuit based upon his judicial act of dismissing Plaintiff's previous cases. The doctrine of judicial immunity has been embraced "for centuries." Dawson v. Newman, 419 F.3d 656, 660 (7th Cir. 2005), quoting Lowe v. Letsinger, 772 F.2d 308, 311 (7th Cir. 1985). "Judicial immunity extends to acts performed by the judge 'in the judge's judicial capacity and "confers complete immunity from suit, not just a mere defense to liability." Dawson, 419 F.3d at 660-61, quoting Dellenbach v. Letsinger, 889 F.2d 755, 758-59 (7th Cir. 1989) (emphasis in original). The doctrine protects judges from the fear of litigation brought by disgruntled litigants unhappy with judicial decision-making. See Forrester v. White, 484 U.S. 219, 226-27 (1988). Accordingly, a suit complaining about a judicial act taken by a judge is appropriately dismissed with prejudice. See Dawson, 419 F.3d at 660.

IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED THAT:

(1) This case is hereby assigned to this court.

(2) This case is dismissed with prejudice because it is barred by judicial immunity.

(3) This case is terminated.

ENTERED this 7th day of December, 2009

20091208

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