Judge Charles Siragusa
Kunego is a town justice in the Town of Bergen. In July 2010, Wik was prosecuted on traffic violations and a misdemeanor charge before Kunego. Wik, pro se, then sued Kunego under 42 USC §1983 for allegedly failing to provide him with documents pertaining to his case. His complaint asserted 13 causes of action alleging constitutional violations. The court summarily dismissed Wik’s lawsuit under the doctrine of absolute judicial immunity. In so doing the court noted that an affidavit from the town clerk put to rest any issue that Kunego was not a duly elected town court justice. Nor did Wik present admissable evidence rebutting county records showing Kunego a duly appointed town justice. Citing the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1978 and 1982 rulings in Butz v. Economou and Harlow v. Fitzgerald, district court further observed that Wik misstated the present state of law when arguing that judicial immunity does not apply when a suit is brought directly under the U.S. Constitution, as opposed to under 42 USC §1983. Citing the Second Circuit’s decision in Ferranti v. Heineman, the court noted that Kunego’s right to absolute immunity does not turn on whether Wik’s suit was brought under §1983, or somehow directly under the Constitution.