United States District Court, E.D. California
FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
M. KELLISON UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
who are proceeding pro se, bring this civil action. Pending
before the court is defendants’ unopposed motion to
dismiss (Doc. 4).
initiated this action in the Butte County Superior Court
against the United States Bankruptcy Court, Bankruptcy Judge
Christopher Klein, and Bankruptcy Trustee John Regar
(“federal defendants”), as well as the California
State Board of Equalization. Following dismissal of Regar by
the state court, the remaining federal defendants removed the
case to this court pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1442(a)(1)
and now seek dismissal from the action.
outset, the court observes that it is virtually impossible to
discern the bases of plaintiffs’ claims in this case
because the complaint fails to satisfy Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 8. The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure require
that complaints contain a “. . . short and plain
statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled
to relief.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). This means that
claims must be stated simply, concisely, and directly.
See McHenry v. Renne, 84 F.3d 1172, 1177 (9th Cir.
1996) (referring to Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(e)(1)). Plaintiffs’
105-page complaint fails to satisfy this standard.
the complaint is far from a model of clarity, it appears that
plaintiffs’ claims arise from plaintiffs’
bankruptcy proceedings, which began in April 2012 and
concluded in March 2015. Plaintiffs’ case was assigned
to defendant Bankruptcy Judge Klein. Judges are absolutely
immune from damage actions for judicial acts taken within the
jurisdiction of their courts. See Schucker v.
Rockwood, 846 F.2d 1202, 1204 (9th Cir. 1988) (per
curiam). This immunity is lost only when the judge acts in
the clear absence of all jurisdiction or performs an act that
is not judicial in nature. See id. Judges retain
their immunity even when they are accused of acting
maliciously or corruptly, see Mireles v. Waco, 502
U.S. 9, 11 (1991) (per curiam); Stump v. Sparkman,
435 U.S. 349, 356-57 (1978), and when they are accused of
acting in error, see Meek v. County of Riverside,
183 F.3d 962, 965 (9th Cir. 1999). Judicial immunity applies
to Bankruptcy Court judges. See Mullis v. U.S. Bankruptcy
Court for Dist. Of Nevada, 828 F.2d 1385 (9th Cir.
court agrees with the moving defendants that
plaintiffs’ complaint fails to pierce the shield of
judicial immunity. Specifically, plaintiffs have not pleaded
any facts indicating that Judge Klein acted in the clear
absence of all jurisdiction or acted in a way that was not
judicial in nature. To the contrary, as best as can be
gleaned from the complaint, all of the allegations against
Judge Klein arise from his handling of plaintiffs’
bankruptcy case. Judge Klein should be dismissed with
moving defendants also argue that the court lacks
jurisdiction to entertain any claims against the United
States Bankruptcy Court. The court agrees. Plaintiffs appear to
present three categories of claims against the United States
- breach-of-contract claims, tort claims, and non-tort
claims. As to breach-of-contract claims, defendants correctly
note that such claims may only be brought in the Court of
Federal Claims where, as here, the amount sought exceeds $10,
000.00. See 28 U.S.C. § 1491; Tritz v. U.S.
Postal Service, 721 F.3d 1133 (9th Cir. 2013). As to
non-tort claims (e.g., claims based on alleged constitutional
violations, claims of treason, etc.), the United States has
not waived its sovereign immunity. See FDIC v.
Meyer, 510 U.S. 471 (1994); see also Owyhee Grazing
Ass’n, Inc. v. Field, 637 F.2d 694 (9th Cir.
1981). Finally, as to plaintiffs’ claims which appear
to sound in tort law, plaintiffs have not alleged compliance
with the Federal Tort Claims Act, which is a prerequisite for
the limited waiver of the United States’ sovereign
immunity to apply. See Munns v. Kerry, 782 F.3d 402
(9th Cir. 2015).
on the foregoing, the undersigned recommends that:
Defendants’ unopposed motion to dismiss (Doc. 4) be
granted; and 2. Judge Klein and the United States be
dismissed, with prejudice, as defendants to this action,
which shall proceed as against the California State Board of
Equalization as the only remaining defendant.
findings and recommendations are submitted to the United
States District Judge assigned to the case, pursuant to the
provisions of 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(l). Within 14 days
after being served with these findings and recommendations,
any party may file written objections with the court.
Responses to objections shall be filed within 14 days after
service of objections. Failure to file objections within the
specified time may waive the right to appeal. See
Martinez v. Ylst, 951 F.2d 1153 (9th Cir. 1991).
 As against the United States
Bankruptcy Court, plaintiffs’ claims necessarily fail
because the United States’ sovereign immunity applies
to federal agencies. See Hodge v. Dalton, 107 F.3d
705 (9th Cir. 1997). Plaintiffs’ claims, therefore,
will be construed as against the ...