Simes, II v. Arkansas Judicial D. & D. Comm, et al., No. 12-3564 (8th Cir. 2013)Annotate this Case
Plaintiff, the first African-American circuit court judge elected in Phillips County, Arkansas, filed suit under 42 U.S.C. 1983 against the commission and officials during the disciplinary proceedings against him. The district court denied plaintiff's request for a temporary restraining order and stayed proceedings in accordance with the Younger abstention doctrine. The state disciplinary proceedings ended with a decision by the Arkansas Supreme Court. The district court then granted the commission and officials' Rule 12(b) motion to dismiss, finding no justifiable federal controversy. The court concluded that Defendant Stewart, Executive Director of the commission, was entitled to absolute prosecutorial immunity as to plaintiff's claims for damages on the first cause of action; plaintiff had no justiciable claim for damages against any defendant in the second cause of action where plaintiff's allegations amounted to nothing more than a state law defamation claim and the district court did not abuse its discretion; and plaintiff's requests for declaratory and injunctive relief were moot. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment of the district court.