How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask socrateaser Your Own Question
socrateaser, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 37821
Experience:  Retired (mostly)
Type Your Legal Question Here...
socrateaser is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I am reading SOCRATEASE'S answers to a questioner asking

Customer Question

I am reading SOCRATEASE'S answers to a questioner asking about filing a civil suit against a judge. I am interested in filing a civil suit against a judge and would be curious to know what an officer of the court thinks.
JA: Because laws vary from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: Yes. I can.
JA: Have you talked to a lawyer yet?
Customer: Several.
JA: Anything else you think the lawyer should know?
Customer: The law and their oath of office.
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  socrateaser replied 2 months ago.


This is the first I've seen of your question, because the userid in the question is missing the "r" at the end ("socratease", should be "socrateaser").

Anyway, it has long been established that judges, whether federal or state, enjoy absolute immunity from civil actions for damages challenging their judicial acts, "even when such acts are in excess of their jurisdiction, and are alleged to have been done maliciously or corruptly." Stump v. Sparkman, 435 U.S. 349, 355-56 (1978)

By contrast, where it can be proved that the judge was acting outside of his/her judicial authority, the judge is subject to civil liability. See Harris v. Harvey, 605 F.2d 330, 336 (7th Cir.1979) ("[A]cts perpetrated outside of [judge's] courtroom and not then a part of his judicial functions were undertaken in the 'absence of all jurisdiction'" and thus subject to civil action). In Harris, the judge waged an out-of-court racially motivated campaign against an individual who successfully sued for the defamatory remarks.

So, the answer to your question is whether or not the judge was in the courtroom when the alleged wrongful acts occurred. If yes, then you have no case -- otherwise, you may have a case.

I hope I've answered your question. Please let me know if you require further clarification. And, please provide a positive feedback rating for my answer (click 3, 4 or 5 stars) -- otherwise, I receive nothing for my efforts in your behalf.

Thanks again for using Justanswer!