Jones v. Crenshaw, No. 3:2022cv00045 - Document 23 (M.D. Tenn. 2022)

Court Description: MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER: Plaintiff's motion to extend his deadline, though timely filed, is nevertheless DENIED. Given the Court's finding that the relief sought in this action is improper, it would be futile to reopen this case and allow Plaintiff an extension of his fee-payment deadline. As mentioned above, the Court's dismissal with prejudice rested on two separate grounds. In light of Plaintiff's timely filing of a motion to extend his deadline to pay the filin g fee, the dismissal Order (Doc. No. 22 ), to the extent it rested on grounds of failure to prosecute, is VACATED IN PART. The dismissal with prejudice of this action and the assessment and collection in installments of the full filing fee (to w hich Plaintiff waived any objection by filing the complaint, McGore v. Wrigglesworth, 114 F.3d 601, 605 (6th Cir. 1997)) thus remains proper and valid irrespective of Plaintiff's timely attempt to obtain relief from the deadline for prepayment of the fee. Accordingly, for the reasons given here and in the Court's prior Order, this case will remain closed. This is the final order in this action. The Clerk SHALL enter judgment. Fed. R. Civ. P. 58(b)(1). IT IS SO ORDERED. Signed by District Judge Eli J. Richardson on 5/6/2022. (xc:Pro se party by regular mail. ) (DOCKET TEXT SUMMARY ONLY-ATTORNEYS MUST OPEN THE PDF AND READ THE ORDER.)(hb)
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Jones v. Crenshaw Doc. 23 IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE MIDDLE DISTRICT OF TENNESSEE NASHVILLE DIVISION CEDRIC JONES, Plaintiff, v. WAVERLY D. CRENSHAW, JR., et al., Defendants. ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) NO. 3:22-cv-00045 JUDGE RICHARDSON MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER On May 3, 2022, the Court ordered the dismissal of this case with prejudice based on (1) Plaintiff’s failure to pay the filing fee or seek an extension of time to do so by April 24, 2022, and (2) “the plainly improper purpose of this suit––to stage an end-run around Judge Crenshaw’s refusal to recuse himself in Plaintiff’s pending habeas case, in order to have that case decided by a judge Plaintiff deems more desirable.” (Doc. No. 21 at 1–2.) The case was dismissed with prejudice so that Plaintiff would not be encouraged to further pursue his frivolous claim seeking transfer of his habeas case from Judge Crenshaw’s docket, a claim that “is contrary to the interests of justice, improper, and incapable of being made proper through an amended complaint.” (Id. at 3.) Unbeknownst to the Court prior to the entry of its dismissal order, Plaintiff had timely filed a motion to extend his April 24 deadline for paying the filing fee (Doc. No. 22), which was received in the prison mailroom and deposited in the mail on April 19, but not stamped received in the Clerk’s Office until May 2, 2022. (See id. at 4.) Case 3:22-cv-00045 Document 23 Filed 05/06/22 Page 1 of 3 PageID #: 136 Dockets.Justia.com Plaintiff’s motion to extend his deadline, though timely filed, is nevertheless DENIED. Given the Court’s finding that the relief sought in this action is improper, it would be futile to reopen this case and allow Plaintiff an extension of his fee-payment deadline. As mentioned above, the Court’s dismissal with prejudice rested on two separate grounds. In light of Plaintiff’s timely filing of a motion to extend his deadline to pay the filing fee, the dismissal Order (Doc. No. 22), to the extent it rested on grounds of failure to prosecute, is VACATED IN PART. However, the second ground upon which dismissal was ordered—the frivolousness of Plaintiff’s attempt to have his habeas case moved to the docket of a different judge of this Court via a new civil action—is unaffected by Plaintiff’s continued prosecution of the case and is a proper, independent ground for dismissal at the outset of the case, see 28 U.S.C. § 1915A and 42 U.S.C. § 1997e(c)(2), or at any time thereafter. See Apple v. Glenn, 183 F.3d 477, 479 (6th Cir. 1999) (“[A] district court may, at any time, sua sponte dismiss a complaint for lack of subject matter jurisdiction . . . when the allegations of a complaint are totally implausible, attenuated, unsubstantial, frivolous, devoid of merit, or no longer open to discussion.”); see also McGee v. United States Gov’t, No. CV 13-116-GW(JCX), 2013 WL 12130579, at *2 (C.D. Cal. Mar. 18, 2013) (citing cases for the proposition that courts must prevent “judge-shopping” by litigants seeking to force recusal of a judge “by simply bringing a civil action against him,” as such actions are frivolous and “should not be permitted to frustrate the administration of justice”); Hughes v. Berryhill, No. CV 16-352-ART, 2017 WL 3000035, at *1 (E.D. Ky. Feb. 21, 2017) (quoting Hernandez v. City of El Monte, 138 F.3d 393, 399 (9th Cir. 1998)) (“Judge-shopping clearly constitutes ‘conduct which abuses the judicial process.’ The district court’s inherent power to 2 Case 3:22-cv-00045 Document 23 Filed 05/06/22 Page 2 of 3 PageID #: 137 impose dismissal or other appropriate sanctions therefore must include the authority to dismiss a case for judge-shopping.”)). The dismissal with prejudice of this action and the assessment and collection in installments of the full filing fee (to which Plaintiff waived any objection by filing the complaint, McGore v. Wrigglesworth, 114 F.3d 601, 605 (6th Cir. 1997)) thus remains proper and valid irrespective of Plaintiff’s timely attempt to obtain relief from the deadline for prepayment of the fee. Accordingly, for the reasons given here and in the Court’s prior Order, this case will remain closed. This is the final order in this action. The Clerk SHALL enter judgment. Fed. R. Civ. P. 58(b)(1). IT IS SO ORDERED. ELI RICHARDSON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE 3 Case 3:22-cv-00045 Document 23 Filed 05/06/22 Page 3 of 3 PageID #: 138