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How Judicial Immunity Works


6 Factor Analysis

Available for:
  ✓ Administrative Law Judges
  ✓ Federal Hearing Examiners
  ✓ Federal Officials
  ✓ Federal Prosecutors
  ✓ Government Officials
  ✓ Grand Jurors
  ✓ Immigration Judges
  ✓ Law Clerk
  ✓ Parole Board
  ✓ Police Officers
  ✓ Postmaster General
  ✓ President's Cabinet
  ✓ School Board Members
  ✓ State Court Judges
  ✓ State Governor (+ aides)
  ✓ State Officials
  ✓ State Prison Officials
  ✓ State Prosecutors
  ✓ Testifying Witnesses
  ✓ US President

2-Part Test

Available for:
  ✓ Administrative Law Judges
  ✓ Federal Hearing Examiners
  ✓ Federal Prosecutors
  ✓ Immigration Judges
  ✓ Law Clerk
  ✓ Parole Board
  ✓ State Court Judges
  ✓ State Prosecutors

I. Definitions

"right of exemption from a duty or penalty; benefit granted in exception to the general rule. Immunity from prosecution may be granted a witness to compel answers he or she might otherwise withhold because of the constitutional privilege to avoid self-incrimination." Judicial Immunity
"the immunity of a judge from civil liability for any acts performed in the judge's official capacity. The immunity is absolute provided only that the judge is acting within his or her jurisdiction. The scope of the judge's jurisdiction must be construed broadly to protect the court's independence; therefore, the judge will not be deprived of immunity because the action taken was in error, was done maliciously, or was in excess of the judge's authority; rather, the judge will be subject to liabilty only when the action taken was in clear absence of all jurisdiction. Where the relief sought is injunctive or declaratory and not money damages, immunity is not provided under the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and state courts may be sued for such relief."

II. Legal Citations

42 USC §1983 | Civil Action for Deprivation of Rights
"Every person who, under color of any statute, ordinance, regulation, custom, or usage, of any State or Territory or the District of Columbia, subjects, or causes to be subjected, any citizen of the United States or other person within the jurisdiction thereof to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution and laws, shall be liable to the party injured in an action at law, suit in equity, or other proper proceeding for redress, except that in any action brought against a judicial officer for an act or omission taken in such officer’s judicial capacity, injunctive relief shall not be granted unless a declaratory decree was violated or declaratory relief was unavailable. For the purposes of this section, any Act of Congress applicable exclusively to the District of Columbia shall be considered to be a statute of the District of Columbia." 42 USC §2000d-7 | Civil Rights Remedies Equalization
(a) General provision
(1) A State shall not be immune under the Eleventh Amendment of the Constitution of the United States from suit in Federal court for a violation of section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 [29 U.S.C. 794], title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 [20 U.S.C. 1681 et seq.], the Age Discrimination Act of 1975 [42 U.S.C. 6101 et seq.], title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 [42 U.S.C. 2000d et seq.], or the provisions of any other Federal statute prohibiting discrimination by recipients of Federal financial assistance.
Art I §6 US Constitution | Compensation
"[Congressmen] shall in all Cases, except Treason, Felony and Breach of the Peace, be privileged from Arrest during their Attendance at the Session of their respective Houses, and in going to and returning from the same; and for any Speech or Debate in either House, they shall not be questioned in any other Place." 11th Amendment US Constitution | Judicial Limits
"The Judicial power of the United States shall not be construed to extend to any suit in law or equity, commenced or prosecuted against one of the United States by Citizens of another State, or by Citizens or Subjects of any Foreign State." 14th Amendment US Constitution (Section 5 ) | Citizenship Rights
"5. The Congress shall have power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article."

III. Case Law

# Case Comments
1Brady v FisherUSSC | 1871 | Attorney vs Judge; Excess Authority vs Lack of Authority
2Butz v EconomouUSSC | 1978 | Federal Officials get treated like State Officials | Quasi
3Ex Parte VirginiaUSSC | 1880 | Judge put in jail. Habeas Corpus. Look at the nature of the act
4Jackson v BellsouthCA11 | 2004 | RICO, Attorney Malpractice; Litigation Privilege
5King v SimpsonCA02 | 1998 | Parole Officer, Nunc Pro Tunc Release date; premature dismissal
6Mireles v WacoUSSC | 1991 | Judicial Immunity is a type of qualified immunity
7Mitchell v ForsythUSSC | 1985 | Wiretaps; Quasi-Judicial Functions get immunity; Pro-Litigant
8Montero v TravisCA02 | 1999 | Parole board; Quasi-Judicial
9Oliva v HellerUSNYSD | 1988 | Law Clerk, Bank Robber; Judicial Immunity for Law Clerks
10Pierson v RayUSSC | 1967 | Bus boycott in MS; Judges; Police Officers
11Scotto v AlmenasCA02 | 1998 | Parolee; Official's fabrication; private party (conspired)
12Simmons v CongerCA11 | 1996 | Injunctive Relief
13Smith v ShookCA11 | 2001 | ALJ, State Bar, Corrections Officer; Absolute Immunity Test
14Stevens v OsunaCA11 | 2017 Individual Capacity; Injunctive; Declaratory
15Stump v SparkmanUSSC | 1978 | Mother Sterilized Daughter; Judge Charged
16Turner v RaynesCA05 | 1980 | Non-existent Crime; Peace Officer; Vertical vs Horizontal
17Young v SelskyCA02 | 1994 | Inmate; Hearing Officer; Methodical Application of Immunity

IV. Quick Commentary

IV. Additional Notes

V. Additional Resources

Congratulations! You're now booked up on how Judicial Immunity works!

Please get the justice you deserve.


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