Pro Se Chicago's Weblog

December 6, 2008

How to Sue a Judge

The Judicial Doctrine of Immunity:
 “Immunity applies even when the judge is accused of acting maliciously and corruptly.” — United States Supreme Court 
See Harlow v. Fitzgerald, 457 U.S. 800, 815-819 (1982) Pierson v. Ray, 386 U.S., at 554, Mireles v. Waco, 502 U.S. 9, 9-10, 112 S.Ct. 286, 287, 116 L.Ed.2d 9 (1991).

The following is an excerpt from an excellent post on how to sue a judge that I found on the web site

By David C. Grossack, Constitutional Attorney
Common Law Copyright © 1994   All Rights Reserved

“Has a judge violated your constitutional rights? Have you been discriminated against by being treated differently than other people in similar situations by reason of race, religion, national origin, gender, sexual preference or political opinion?  Have you lost certain rights without a meaningful hearing or even an opportunity to be heard?

Have you been deprived of any other constitutional protection? Have you been subject to Court action for the purpose of intimidating you from exercising an opinion, or practicing your faith? Don’t let them get away with it.

Although it is almost impossible to recover monetary damages from a judge (unless you can prove he or she acted ultra-vires beyond his or her legal jurisdiction) it is in fact possible to obtain relief in equity against a judge through civil rights actions. Equitable relief includes:

  • declaratory relief – (rulings by another judge in the form of opinions establishing the constitutionality or lack of constitutionality of another judges actions.)
  • injunctive relief – a command or order to do something or refrain from doing so.

As a general rule, however, judges cannot be held liable for money damages for acts done in the exercise of his judicial function, within the limits of his jurisdiction, no matter how erroneous, illegal or malicious his acts may be. (48A Corpus Juris Secundum §86) A minority of decisions have held that if an inferior judge acts maliciously or corruptly he may incur liability. Kalb v. Luce, 291 N.W. 841, 234, WISC 509.”

For full post see:

Note that judges have absolute judicial immunity against suits for damages as long as they act as judges. If they have no subject-matter or personal jurisdiction however, you can sue them.

This is a rare instance as judges usually can find a way to prove they have either subject-matter or personal jurisdiction.

One instance, which I am presently testing in the courts is when a judge has absolutely no jurisdiction when a fraudulent charge in violation of the Supremacy Clause is brought against a person by a state prosecutor who is prosecuting without any legal or constitutional authority.  This is presently before the Federal District Court of the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division – Case Number 06 C 4259. 

Judges can be prosecuted in criminal courts by the local or federal prosecutor for criminal acts. Judicial immunity does not extend to criminal acts.

For an outstanding discussion of judicial misconduct during trials and judicial discipline see.

Also see my post on this web site concerning legally insufficient indictment.



  1. My question is in administrative court, if a case went sour with a corrupt investigation should the judge have jurisdiction over a case that should never have been brought to the court in the first place?

    Comment by Linda Burleson — November 23, 2011 @ 2:47 am

  2. Why should the administrative court not have heard the case and in detail how did it go sour? What was corrupt about the investigation? It is hard to answer your question without details or background.

    Comment by Linda Shelton — November 23, 2011 @ 8:39 am

  3. The case was a child in need of aid case (interference with parental rights) there is a conspiracy going on in Homer Alaska, the investigation social workers are in conspiracy with the Court and I can and will prove it… the judges lied… there was never any substantial evidence that warranted the removal of my daughter. Every judicial misconduct is on the record. The judge said in a Court one thing and denied saying “it” in the written order. I am preparing to file a 1983 and 9189 claim in federal court and I want to add the judges in this case.

    This case was sour from day one… false statements and fabricated evidence and the judges gave absolute immunity to the department, even when Alaska and U.S.Supreme courts have provided qualified immunity.

    It is my reasoning that the absence of the corrupt investigation that the court would never have had jurisdiction over this case for matter…the subject matter would never have been taken to the court. My daughter’s indigent circumstance was that she needed to be sent to a crisis center for her mental health… due to the death of her therapist in a car accident. I was in the process of securing her treatment and sending her there when the sw interfered.

    I filed motions for the court to set a hearing in order that I could inform him of the corruption. He denied….(by ignoring). Foster children’s custody are given to the Court…not the state. The judges in Alaska gives the state the authority to act and then inform the court… the judge signs his ok’s… without hearing the parent. In cps cases here the parent is non-existent… due process is a “tolerance” they must endure for one hearing… then she is disposed of and becomes invisible… I stayed visible… I fired my attorney and represented myself in order that I could get the discovery in hopes of finding the reason for my daughter’s removal….it never came til now.. there was no substantial evidence to support the charges the used to get to my daughter.

    I was included int the email loops..I have thousands of pages of emails evidence… i have the entire court file and the cps file.. and I have my attorney’s file… I am charging them all with conspiracy to interfere with my right to parent.

    Are you an attorney?

    Comment by Linda Burleson — November 23, 2011 @ 1:02 pm

  4. I am not an attorney. Child custody cases throughout the U.S. have been done without any due process. Children are taken from parents, who are denied equal parenting based on hearsay, without any due process (often no notice, no discovery with blatant violation of law by court appointed child reps and counselors, no chance to present evidence or witnesses, and in Illinois no court reporters and judges who refuse to approve bystander reports – then appellate courts rule that the parent failed to preserve the record). A whole generation is being taught that parents don’t count and you can get what you want materially by accusing your parents of abuse and manipulatig other parent and the courts. It is sick, sick, sick! I encourage all to publicize these situations as much as possible. Don’t be ashamed – the courts should be ashamed. We won’t get relief until the corruption of the courts is exposed publicly.

    Comment by Linda Shelton — November 23, 2011 @ 1:46 pm

  5. AMEN to that!! Few parents have the $$$ to fight to the top…. My case itself in the material facts may not be unique but the uniqueness of my case is how much evidence I have and my legal smarts to represent myself. I informed OCS right away that I did not want any phone calls … only letters… so appointments are in the record… then when I fired my Public Defender I became a member of the email loop…with the ago, gal ocs, daughter’s attorney etc… I have spent five years trying to get to the root of why they interfered with my right to parent …. 24×7… in studying the court records, ocs file and this year I received my PDA file. In my attorney’s handwritten notes I found that she made a note that the department’s demands were so broad that she could not “prepare a defense for my client”…. she never told the judge… I am suing the PDA for not putting up my constitutional shield…and for not informing the court that she had not one fact to support the interference.

    I am in field day.. here… I have in my possession the cd transcripts of every court session… even the representation hearings… judges state that they find me competent to represent myself in court but yet they say that I was incompetent to understand the seriousness of my daughter’s mental health issues…. I was in the process of sending her to crisis center for help…. they took custody of her and did not send her to the hospital until seven days later and on that day she had told the emergency on call therapist that the only thing wrong was that she was not in her own bed…and she was “high” on marijuana…then they sent her….what a mess… I was not allowed to have visitation for two and a half years…she aged out of foster care and is now married… she has a six month old daughter of her own and she told me she would not assist in this suit because she feared retaliation of the state taking her daughter… this fear is generational!!!

    I would love to have a phone chat with you.. if you would be so kind I am in the process of reading the Shelton v Ill attorney…. interesting and informational !!

    Comment by Linda Burleson — November 23, 2011 @ 4:04 pm

  6. Unbelievable this is happening everywhere, myself and so many other families are going through this. I thought the psychosis of my experience in family court with corrupt judge lawyers, and cps/acs was an isolated incident. I filed complaints on everyone and thought my being retaliated against was an intimidation tactic..

    Comment by Aleah — September 18, 2012 @ 10:50 pm

  7. Realizing this is just a big Cash for Kids Business, and destroying families are just part of the process, so dont get so upset! well Im furious. im filing a federal lawsuit, and I am going to the media, and everywhere else at least until this judge is removed off the bench.

    Comment by Aleah — September 18, 2012 @ 10:58 pm

  8. Spread this information far and wide. Try to get the press involved. Make sure to complain in detail to your senators and congressmen.

    Comment by Linda Shelton — November 21, 2012 @ 10:22 am

  9. Good for you! How is it going? If you want to post something on this blog please submit it me at The more people that get their story out to the public the better. Changing entrenched corrupt procedures takes massive grass roots support!

    Comment by Linda Shelton — February 26, 2013 @ 4:42 am

  10. I’m just another victim of the cash for kids scheme on going and I’m looking for justice !!!! Hummm…….. hell no….. more for revenge and i will take any help on action to take against the judges, lawyers or state of Florida.

    Comment by manny — November 14, 2013 @ 4:15 pm

  11. Please read my story on my go fund me page listed above. I have to attend appeal court April 21, 2015 to provide transcripts. I asked the judge from original hearing to recluse herself from the trial as she formed a negative opinion of me from the onset and was embarrassed in my opinion when we had 7 expert witnesses including doctors and psychologists and still removed all my rights to ONE of my 4 children. The older 3 I retained full custody of. Please read my story on te gofund me page as I NEED my story to go viral as my appeal needs to be perfected May 11, 2015. Facebook group shows partial story at “bring Dominic home” thank you!

    Comment by DJs mommy — April 10, 2015 @ 7:58 pm

  12. I would urge you to be realistic. Stories don’t go viral by choice or because you planned it. There are tons of people screwed by the courts in IL daily where the outcome is horrible. Until people get out the vote, get rid of the corrupt politicians and judges, and elect those who make sure that there is draconian oversight over the courts, the system will remain unjust. Just know that you are not alone. I’m sorry the only comfort I can give you is that many have and are going threw the same things that you are going threw and it often does not turn out well.

    Comment by Linda Shelton — April 11, 2015 @ 2:28 pm

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