McCullough v. Finley, No. 17-11554 (11th Cir. 2018)Annotate this Case
Plaintiffs, residents of Montgomery who were sentenced by the municipal court for traffic violations, filed suit against city officials for allegedly operating a scheme to raise revenue by jailing indigent offenders for their failures to pay fines and court costs. Plaintiffs alleged that the current and former presiding municipal-court judges, the mayor, and the current and former chiefs of police oversaw this scheme.
The Eleventh Circuit reversed the district court's denial of the judges, mayor, and chiefs' claims for immunities and motions to dismiss. The court held that absolute judicial immunity barred plaintiffs' claims against the judges. In this case, not a single act that plaintiffs alleged that the judges performed fell outside the ordinary judicial functions. The court also held that plaintiffs' complaint failed to state a claim that overcame the qualified and state agent immunity of the mayor and chiefs. Accordingly, the court remanded for further proceedings.