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Philip L. Stimac v. Richard Wieking

March 29, 2011


The opinion of the court was delivered by: King, Judge


Plaintiff Philip Stimac brings this case against Richard Wieking, the Clerk of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California (the "District Court" and the "District"); Melinda Haag and Joseph Russoniello, the current and former United States Attorneys for the District; the (unnamed) judges of the District; and the District Court. Before the court are Defendants' Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Subject Matter Jurisdiction and for Failure to State a Claim upon which Relief may be Granted (#22) and Defendants' Motion for an Order Declaring Plaintiff a Vexatious Litigant and Subjecting Plaintiff to Certain Pre-filing Restrictions (#28). The motions are brought by defendants Wieking, Russoniello, and Haag in their official capacities. Counsel for those three defendants also presents arguments concerning the claims against the judges and the District Court, but counsel has not appeared for those defendants. Stimac also asks to amend his Complaint. For the reasons below, I dismiss the action as to all defendants with prejudice.


I. Request for Judicial Notice

Defendants ask me to take judicial notice of District Court records, United States District Court for the Southern District of California records, Ninth Circuit records, and California State Bar membership and status records. Federal Rule of Evidence 201(b) states: "A judicially noticed fact must be one not subject to reasonable dispute in that it is either (1) generally known within the territorial jurisdiction of the trial court or (2) capable of accurate and ready determination by resort to sources whose accuracy cannot reasonably be questioned."

Stimac objects to me taking judicial notice of these documents because his case asks this court and a federal grand jury to review the State Bar records to ensure they are not "bogus" and meet federal due process standards. Compl. ¶ 12. Similarly, Stimac contends that the court records are part of a scheme to blacklist him through fraudulent and bogus rulings, stolen pleadings, and phantom disbarrment witnesses. In brief, Stimac argues the records are inaccurate.

Stimac demonizes the very records on which the judicial system and the legal profession rely. He brings no proof of his inflammatory allegations. The records are all appropriate for judicial notice. See White v. Martel, 601 F.3d 882, 885 (9th Cir.) (court docket sheets and state bar records of disciplinary proceedings are appropriate for judicial notice), cert. denied, 131 S. Ct. 332 (2010). I grant the request and take judicial notice of all records provided by defendants.

II. Motion to Dismiss

In this case, Stimac alleges three claims. In the First Claim for mandamus, Stimac alleges that the Clerk of the District Court refused to issue an Order to Show Cause, as is mandated by In re Kramer, 193 F.3d 1131 (9th Cir. 1999), concerning his disbarrment from the federal court.

Stimac seeks an order compelling the Clerk to issue the Order to Show Cause and to coordinate a full and fair investigation of Stimac's bogus disbarrment at the state level.

In the Second Claim for mandamus, Stimac seeks an order compelling Haag, the current U.S. Attorney for the District, to present evidence to the federal grand jury concerning criminal conduct in connection with the adjudication of Stimac v. Russoniello.

In the Third Claim, Stimac seeks damages from the judges of the District Court, the District Court itself, and Russoniello, the former U.S. Attorney for the District, for violating his First Amendment rights exercised when he formerly practiced civil rights law before the District Court, prior to his disbarrment there, and in connection with his filing of Stimac v. Russoniello.

Defendants contend that Stimac's Complaint repeats the same arguments for which he was sanctioned and disbarred. They ask me to dismiss the claims because the government has not waived immunity, the claims have been decided before, and the claims do not state a basis on which relief can be granted.

A. Claims Against the Judges

Defendants argue that the judges of the District Court are protected by absolute immunity. "Few doctrines were more solidly established at common law than the immunity of judges from liability for damages for acts committed within their judicial jurisdiction." Harvey v. Waldron, 210 F.3d 1008, 1012 (9th Cir. 2000) (quoting Pierson v. Ray, 386 U.S. 547, 553-54 (1967)). A judge is not immune for action taken outside of the judge's judicial capacity or for judicial actions taken in the complete absence of all jurisdiction. If the judge has jurisdiction to perform the "general act" in question, the judge is immune if the act is erroneous, if the act has consequences that injure the plaintiff, and irrespective of the judge's motivation. Id. Judicial immunity is not lost by allegations that a judge conspired with one party to rule against another party. Moore v. Brewster, 96 F.3d 1240, 1244 (9th Cir. 1996).

At the oral argument, Stimac moved to dismiss Claim Three alleged against the judges. That is the only claim against them. I ...

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