United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division
ENTRY DENYING MOTION TO ALTER OR AMEND
WALTON PRATT, JUDGE
action was dismissed for failure to state a claim upon which
relief can be granted. The plaintiffs' motion to alter or
amend the dismissal of this action was filed within 28 days
of the date judgment was entered in this action. It is
therefore treated as a motion to amend judgment pursuant to
Rule 59 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
59(e) allows a court to amend a judgment only if the
petitioner can demonstrate a manifest error of law or present
newly discovered evidence.” Heyde v.
Pittenger, 633 F.3d 512, 521 (7th Cir. 2011) (internal
quotation omitted); United States v. Resnick, 594
F.3d 562, 568 (7th Cir. 2010). “A manifest error is not
demonstrated by the disappointment of the losing party. It is
the wholesale disregard, misapplication, or failure to
recognize controlling precedent.” Oto v.
Metropolitan Life Ins. Co., 224 F.3d 601, 606 (7th Cir.
2000) (internal quotations omitted). “Relief under
Rules 59(e) and 60(b) are extraordinary remedies reserved for
the exceptional case….” Foster v.
DeLuca, 545 F.3d 582, 584 (7th Cir. 2008).
motion to alter or amend has been fully considered. This
action was dismissed because it was brought against state
court judges for actions taken in their judicial capacities.
In such circumstances, judicial officers are entitled to
absolute judicial immunity. See Stump v. Sparkman,
435 U.S. 349, 359 (1978). The plaintiffs assert, among other
things, that this ruling amounted to an error of law and that
the defendants are not entitled to judicial immunity in that
many their actions were taken outside of their judicial
capacity. But a review of the complaint and the motion to set
aside reveals that the claims are related to proceedings in
state court, filings in state court, and proceedings
supplemental. The plaintiffs assert that defendant Mattingly
harassed and threatened them both in and outside of the
courtroom. Even taking these allegations as true and even
assuming that these actions took place outside of court
proceedings, the plaintiffs still have failed to state a
claim. This is because verbal abuse, harassment, and
unprofessional conduct do not rise to the level of a
constitutional violation for which relief may be granted in a
civil rights case. See DeWalt v. Carter, 224 F.3d
607, 612 (7th Cir. 2000) (citing Patton v.
Przybylski, 822 F.2d 697, 700 (7th Cir. 1987). The use
of racially derogatory language, while unprofessional and
deplorable, does not violate the Constitution. Id.
short, the plaintiffs have failed to show that the dismissal
of this action was improper. Accordingly, the motion to alter
or amend judgment [dkt 21] is denied.