Rankin v. Howard, 633 F. 2d 844 (1980)



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Rankin v. Howard, 633 F.2d 844 (1980)













KeyCite Red Flag - Severe Negative Treatment

Overruled by ASHELMAN V. POPE, 9th Cir.(Ariz.), July 8, 1986

633 F.2d 844

United States Court of Appeals,

Ninth Circuit.

Marcus W. RANKIN, Plaintiff-Appellant,

v.

Wayne HOWARD and Jane Doe Howard, his wife; Joseph Alexander, Sr. and Esther Alexander, his wife et al., Defendants-Appellees.



No. 78-3216. | Argued Sept. 8, 1980. | Submitted Sept. 22, 1980. | Decided Dec. 5, 1980.

Son, whose parents instituted temporary guardianship proceedings for purpose of having him “deprogrammed” from the Unification Church, sued his parents, Kansas judge who issued ex parte guardianship papers and others alleging a conspiracy to deprive him of his civil rights, as well as commission of common-law torts. The United States District Court for the District of Arizona, C. A. Muecke, Chief Judge, 457 F.Supp. 70, rendered summary judgment for the state judge and rendered partial summary judgment for two other defendants, and son appealed. The Court of Appeals, Eugene A. Wright, Circuit Judge, held that: (1) if the judge had agreed in advance to rule favorably on the guardianship petition, such an agreement would not be a judicial act for which the judge would be cloaked with judicial immunity; (2) a judge who acts in the clear and complete absence of personal jurisdiction loses his judicial immunity; (3) if the state judge knew the jurisdictional allegations to be fraudulent or that a valid Kansas statute expressly foreclosed personal jurisdiction in ex parte proceedings, the judge would have acted in clear and complete absence of personal jurisdiction; (4) even if the judge was immune such did not automatically immunize alleged coconspirators; and (5) material fact issues existed, precluding summary judgment.

Reversed and remanded.

West Headnotes (15)





[1]

Federal Courts

Multiple claims or parties





170BFederal Courts

170BVIIICourts of Appeals

170BVIII(C)Decisions Reviewable

170BVIII(C)2Finality of Determination

170Bk598Determination of Controversy as Affecting Finality

170Bk599Multiple claims or parties





Appeal from partial summary judgment for two defendants on claim under one civil rights statute was not interlocutory notwithstanding that claims under two other statutes and state law tort claims remained to be adjudicated, where district court made the required determinations that there was no just reason for delay in entry of final judgment on the claims involved and directed entry of such and in doing so did not abuse its discretion. 42 U.S.C.A. §§ 1983, 1985, 1986; Fed.Rules Civ.Proc. Rule 54(b), 28 U.S.C.A.

1 Cases that cite this headnote






[2]

Judges

Liabilities for official acts





227Judges

227IIIRights, Powers, Duties, and Liabilities

227k36Liabilities for official acts





Purpose of judicial immunity is to protect principled and fearless decision–making.

3 Cases that cite this headnote






[3]

Judges

Liabilities for official acts





227Judges

227IIIRights, Powers, Duties, and Liabilities

227k36Liabilities for official acts





A judge’s private, prior agreement to decide in favor of one party is not a “judicial act” for purpose of judicial immunity.

8 Cases that cite this headnote






[4]

Judges

Liabilities for official acts





227Judges

227IIIRights, Powers, Duties, and Liabilities

227k36Liabilities for official acts





If state judge had agreed in advance to rule favorably on petition for guardianship of son, a church member sought to be “deprogrammed,” and if any such agreement manifested judge’s participation in alleged conspiracy to deprive son of his civil rights, proof of the agreement could form the basis of liability whether or not the judge was immune from liability for subsequent judicial acts. 42 U.S.C.A. §§ 1983, 1985, 1986.

2 Cases that cite this headnote






[5]

Courts

Jurisdiction of Cause of Action

Courts

Jurisdiction of the Person in General





106Courts

106INature, Extent, and Exercise of Jurisdiction in General

106I(A)In General

106k3Jurisdiction of Cause of Action

106k4In general

106Courts

106INature, Extent, and Exercise of Jurisdiction in General

106I(A)In General

106k10Jurisdiction of the Person in General

106k11In general





Requirements of subject matter and personal jurisdiction are conjunctional, as both must be met before a court has authority to adjudicate rights of parties to a dispute.

1 Cases that cite this headnote






[6]

Courts

Scope and Extent of Jurisdiction in General





106Courts

106INature, Extent, and Exercise of Jurisdiction in General

106I(A)In General

106k26Scope and Extent of Jurisdiction in General

106k26(1)In general

(Formerly 106k11)







If a court lacks jurisdiction over a party, then it lacks all jurisdiction to adjudicate the party’s rights, whether or not the subject matter is properly before it.

2 Cases that cite this headnote






[7]

Judges

Liabilities for official acts





227Judges

227IIIRights, Powers, Duties, and Liabilities

227k36Liabilities for official acts





A judge who acts in the clear and complete absence of personal jurisdiction loses his judicial immunity.

3 Cases that cite this headnote






[8]

Judges

Liabilities for official acts





227Judges

227IIIRights, Powers, Duties, and Liabilities

227k36Liabilities for official acts





Although a court may lack personal jurisdiction such of itself is not sufficient to strip the judge of his cloak of judicial immunity; since jurisdictional issues are often difficult to resolve, judges are entitled to decide such issues without fear of reprisal should they exceed the precise limits of their authority.

1 Cases that cite this headnote






[9]

Judges

Liabilities for official acts





227Judges

227IIIRights, Powers, Duties, and Liabilities

227k36Liabilities for official acts





Judges of courts of general jurisdiction are not liable for judicial acts merely in excess of their jurisdiction, even when the acts are alleged to have been done maliciously or corruptly.





[10]

Judges

Liabilities for official acts





227Judges

227IIIRights, Powers, Duties, and Liabilities

227k36Liabilities for official acts





When a judge knows that he lacks jurisdiction, or acts in the face of clearly valid statutes or case law expressly depriving him of jurisdiction, judicial immunity is lost.

9 Cases that cite this headnote






[11]

Civil Rights

Judges, courts, and judicial officers





78Civil Rights

78IIIFederal Remedies in General

78k1372Privilege or Immunity;  Good Faith and Probable Cause

78k1376Government Agencies and Officers

78k1376(8)Judges, courts, and judicial officers

(Formerly 78k214(8), 78k13.8(5))







If Kansas judge who issued ex parte guardianship papers knew the jurisdictional allegations to be fraudulent or that valid Kansas statutes expressly foreclosed personal jurisdiction over proposed ward in ex parte proceeding for temporary guardianship, the judge would have acted in clear and complete absence of personal jurisdiction and he would have been stripped of cloak of judicial immunity, and if his acts were part of a conspiracy he would be held properly liable under civil rights acts for consequences thereof. 42 U.S.C.A. §§ 1983, 1985, 1986; Fed.Rules Civ.Proc. Rule 54(b), 28 U.S.C.A.; K.S.A. 59–3012, 59–3013; U.S.C.A.Const. Amends. 5, 14.

20 Cases that cite this headnote






[12]

Federal Civil Procedure

Civil rights cases in general





170AFederal Civil Procedure

170AXVIIJudgment

170AXVII(C)Summary Judgment

170AXVII(C)2Particular Cases

170Ak2491.5Civil rights cases in general





Material fact issues existed whether Kansas probate judge had agreed in advance to rule favorably on parents’ petition for temporary guardianship of son and/or whether in issuing ex parte orders the judge acted in clear and complete absence of personal jurisdiction, so as to remove cloak of judicial immunity, precluding summary judgment in civil rights action. 42 U.S.C.A. §§ 1983, 1985, 1986; K.S.A. 59–3005, 59–3012, 59–3013; Fed.Rules Civ.Proc. Rule 56(c), 28 U.S.C.A.

4 Cases that cite this headnote






[13]

Conspiracy

Persons Liable





91Conspiracy

91IICriminal Responsibility

91II(A)Offenses

91k39Persons Liable

91k40In general





An immune judge’s private coconspirators do not enjoy derivative immunity. 42 U.S.C.A. § 1983.





[14]

Civil Rights

Attorneys, jurors, and witnesses;  public defenders

Civil Rights

Judges, courts, and judicial officers





78Civil Rights

78IIIFederal Remedies in General

78k1372Privilege or Immunity;  Good Faith and Probable Cause

78k1375Attorneys, jurors, and witnesses;  public defenders

(Formerly 78k213, 78k13.8(1))



78Civil Rights

78IIIFederal Remedies in General

78k1372Privilege or Immunity;  Good Faith and Probable Cause

78k1376Government Agencies and Officers

78k1376(8)Judges, courts, and judicial officers

(Formerly 78k214(8), 78k13.8(5))







Even if state judge who issued guardianship papers ex parte were immune from Civil Rights Act liability to the ward, the attorney who instituted the guardianship proceedings and individual who allegedly participated in “deprogramming” of the ward, who was taken into custody pursuant to guardianship papers and confined in motel room, were not thereby immune; however, ward was required to prove a conspiracy involving state action to deprive him of rights secured by the Constitution or federal law and it was not sufficient that the nonjurist defendants carried out a judicial order. 42 U.S.C.A. §§ 1983, 1985, 1986; K.S.A. 59–3005, 59–3012, 59–3013.

7 Cases that cite this headnote






[15]

Federal Civil Procedure

Civil rights cases in general





170AFederal Civil Procedure

170AXVIIJudgment

170AXVII(C)Summary Judgment

170AXVII(C)2Particular Cases

170Ak2491.5Civil rights cases in general





Material fact issues existed whether attorney who instituted guardianship proceeding and individual who allegedly participated in “deprogramming” of the ward, who was confined pursuant to the ex parte guardianship papers, induced the judge to abandon his impartiality and fraudulently alleged ward’s residence to create a semblance of jurisdiction, precluding summary judgment on civil rights claims. Fed.Rules Civ.Proc. Rule 56(c), 28 U.S.C.A.; 42 U.S.C.A. § 1983.

1 Cases that cite this headnote




Attorneys and Law Firms

*845 Peter D. Baird, Lewis & Roca, Phoenix, Ariz., for plaintiff-appellant.

Albert R. Vermeire, Phoenix, Ariz., Gilmore F. Diekmann, Jr., Bronson, Bronson & McKinnon, San Francisco, Cal., on brief; Bruce E. Miller, Deputy Atty. Gen., Topeka, Kan., for defendants-appellees.

On Appeal from the United States District Court for the District of Arizona.

*846 Before WRIGHT and FERGUSON, Circuit Judges, and BROWN, Senior District Judge.*

Opinion

EUGENE A. WRIGHT, Circuit Judge:


The parents of 22 year old Marcus Rankin, a member of the Unification Church, sought to have him “deprogrammed.”1 They retained Howard, an Arizona lawyer, to institute a guardianship proceeding.


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