United States District Court, N.D. Indiana, South Bend Division
OPINION AND ORDER
P. SIMON JUDGE
Cleveland, a prisoner without a lawyer, is unhappy with how
his criminal case was handled in state court. He has now
filed a civil suit against the Lake County Jail, Judge Samuel
L. Cappas, Prosecutor Veronica M. Gonzalez, Attorney Thomas
Mullins, and Attorney Kristin A. Mulholland. “A
document filed pro se is to be liberally construed,
and a pro se complaint, however inartfully pleaded,
must be held to less stringent standards than formal
pleadings drafted by lawyers.” Erickson v.
Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007). Nevertheless, pursuant
to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, I must review a prisoner complaint
and dismiss it if the action is frivolous or malicious, fails
to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or seeks
monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from such
initial matter, Cleveland has sued the Lake County Jail, but
the jail is a building. It is not a suable entity. Smith
v. Knox County Jail, 666 F.3d 1037, 1040 (7th Cir.
2012). Therefore, he cannot state a claim against the Lake
two of the defendants that Cleveland has named in this
lawsuit, Judge Samuel L. Cappas and Prosecutor Veronica M.
Gonzalez, are immune from suit. “[I]n initiating a
prosecution and in presenting the State’s case, the
prosecutor is immune from a civil suit for damages under
§ 1983.” Imbler v. Pachtman, 424 U.S.
409, 431 (1976). Absolute immunity shields prosecutors even
if they act maliciously, unreasonably, without probable
cause, or even on the basis of false testimony or evidence.
Smith v. Power, 346 F.3d 740, 742 (7th Cir. 2003).
Similarly, “[a] judge has absolute immunity for any
judicial actions unless the judge acted in absence of all
jurisdiction.” Polzin v. Gage, 636 F.3d 834,
838 (7th Cir. 2011). “A judge will not be deprived of
immunity because the action he took was in error, was done
maliciously, or was in excess of his authority; rather, he
will be subject to liability only when he has acted in the
clear absence of all jurisdiction.” Stump v.
Sparkman, 435 U.S. 349, 359 (1978). Because the
doctrines of prosecutorial and judicial immunity apply,
Cleveland cannot proceed on a claim for damages against Judge
Samuel L. Cappas or Prosecutor Veronica M. Gonzalez.
has also sued Thomas Mullins and Kristin A. Mulholland
– the attorneys that represented him in his criminal
case. “In order to state a claim under [42 U.S.C.]
§ 1983 a plaintiff must allege: (1) that defendants
deprived him of a federal constitutional right; and (2) that
the defendants acted under color of state law.”
Savory v. Lyons, 469 F.3d 667, 670 (7th Cir. 2006).
While the conduct of private actors can transform them into
state actors for § 1983 purposes, the facts must permit
an inference that defendant’s actions are “fairly
attributable to the state.” L.P. v. Marian Catholic
High Sch., 852 F.3d 690, 696 (7th Cir. 2017)
(quoting Lugar v. Edmondson Oil Co., 457 U.S. 922,
937 (1982)). In the case of a criminal defense attorney, even
an appointed public defender, the actions of the attorney are
not fairly attributable to the State and the attorney is not
acting under color of state law. Polk County v.
Dodson, 454 U.S. 312, 325 (1981). Thus, Cleveland cannot
state a claim under § 1983 against Attorney Thomas
Mullins or Attorney Kristin A. Mulholland.
to the extent that Cleveland is seeking his immediate release
from prison, that relief is not available to him in an action
brought pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. See Heck v.
Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477, 481 (1994)(“[H]abeas
corpus is the exclusive remedy for a state prisoner who
challenges the fact or duration of his confinement . .
complaint does not state a claim cognizable in federal
court.Although it is usually necessary to permit
a plaintiff the opportunity to file an amended complaint when
a case is dismissed sua sponte, see Luevano v.
Wal-Mart, 722 F.3d 1014 (7th Cir. 2013), that is
unnecessary where the amendment would be futile. Hukic v.
Aurora Loan Servs., 588 F.3d 420, 432 (7th Cir. 2009)
(“[C]ourts have broad discretion to deny leave to amend
where . . . the amendment would be futile.”). Such is
the case here.
the court DISMISSES this case pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
1915A because it does not state a claim.
 To the extent Cleveland may be
attempting to bring a malpractice claim against Attorney
Thomas Mullins or Attorney Kristin A. Mulholland, there is no
basis for exercising ...