Pat Schottler v. State of Wisconsin, et al
Filed Nonprecedential Disposition PER CURIAM. The judgment of the district court dismissing Schottler's complaint is AFFIRMED and Schottler's motions to file a supplemental brief and memorandum are DENIED. Joel M. Flaum, Circuit Judge; Ilana Diamond Rovner, Circuit Judge and Ann Claire Williams, Circuit Judge. [6831165-2] [6831167-2] [6834255-1]  [16-4087]
To be cited only in accordance with Fed. R. App. P. 32.1
United States Court of Appeals
For the Seventh Circuit
Chicago, Illinois 60604
Submitted April 13, 2017*
Decided April 14, 2017
JOEL M. FLAUM, Circuit Judge
ILANA DIAMOND ROVNER, Circuit Judge
ANN CLAIRE WILLIAMS, Circuit Judge
STATE OF WISCONSIN, et al.,
Appeal from the United States District
Court for the Western District of Wisconsin.
James D. Peterson,
O R D E R
Pat Schottler appeals the dismissal of his complaint alleging that his First
Amendment right to free speech was violated when a librarian whom he sought to date
obtained a “harassment injunction” against him in Wisconsin state court. The district
court determined that the Rooker–Feldman doctrine barred the suit and dismissed the
case. We affirm.
* We have agreed to decide the case without oral argument because the briefs and
record adequately present the facts and legal arguments, and oral argument would not
significantly aid the court. FED. R. APP. P. 34(a)(2)(C).
According to Schottler’s complaint, a librarian at a public library twice turned
him down for a date. He continued to visit the library and wrote to the local newspaper
about the rejection. The newspaper forwarded his letter to the librarian, who hired an
attorney and obtained from a Wisconsin state court an injunction that prohibited
Schottler from contacting her or causing anyone to contact her. The injunction, Schottler
believes, restricts him from speaking to the press about the state court’s proceedings.
Schottler unsuccessfully appealed through the state courts to the Supreme Court of
Wisconsin, which denied review. Rickard v. Schottler, 887 N.W.2d 895 (Wis. 2016).
Schottler then filed this suit against the librarian, her attorney, and the State of
Wisconsin, contending that all three violated the First Amendment by restricting his
free‐speech rights. He sought an order that would (1) uphold his “constitutional right to
ask a girl out on a date or write the newspaper” and (2) declare the injunction “null and
void.” The district court concluded that Schottler’s suit was barred by the Rooker‐Feldman
doctrine, see D.C. Court of Appeals v. Feldman, 460 U.S. 462 (1983); Rooker v. Fid. Tr. Co., 263
U.S. 413 (1923).
On appeal Schottler generally challenges the district court’s dismissal. The court,
however, properly dismissed his complaint based on Rooker‐Feldman. That doctrine bars
federal district courts from exercising jurisdiction over cases like Schottler’s that are
brought by state‐court losers complaining of injuries caused by state‐court judgments
rendered before the district court proceedings commenced. See Exxon‐Mobil Corp. v.
Saudi Basic Indus. Corp., 544 U.S. 280, 284 (2005); Sykes v. Cook Cty. Circuit Court Prob. Div.,
837 F.3d 736, 742 (7th Cir. 2016). Schottler now disclaims asking the district court to
review the state court’s injunction, but the source of his alleged injuries is the
injunction’s prohibition against speaking to the librarian and the press, and he may not
circumvent the effect of Rooker‐Feldman by casting his complaint as a federal civil‐rights
action. Remer v. Burlington Area Sch. Dist., 205 F.3d 990, 997 (7th Cir. 2000).
We have considered Schottler’s remaining arguments and conclude that none has
merit. The judgment of the district court dismissing Schottler’s complaint is AFFIRMED,
and Schottler’s motions to file a supplemental brief and memorandum are DENIED.
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