Johnson v. State of Arizona

Filing 6

ORDER- IT IS ORDERED that Plaintiff's 3 Motion for Leave to Proceed in forma pauperis is granted. FURTHER ORDERED that Plaintiff's 5 Motion for emergency temporary injunction is denied. FURTHER ORDERED that the complaint 1 and amended complaint 4 are dismissed with prejudice. Signed by Judge Mary H Murguia on 8/2/06. (SAT)

Download PDF
Johnson v. State of Arizona Doc. 6 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 WO IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF ARIZONA Robert L. Johnson, Plaintiff, vs. State of Arizona, Defendant. ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) No. CV 06-1825-PHX-MHM ORDER On July 24, 2006, Plaintiff, proceeding pro se, filed a complaint and a motion to proceed in forma pauperis (Doc. 1 & 3). On July 25, 2006, Plaintiff filed an amended complaint. (Doc. 4). On July 26, 2006, Plaintiff filed a motion for emergency temporary injunction. (Doc. 5). Plaintiff's motion to proceed in forma pauperis contains the relevant information for purposes of in forma pauperis status required by LRCiv 3.3, Local Rules of Practice of the District of Arizona. Plaintiff's motion to proceed in forma pauperis (Doc. 3) is granted. The motion for in forma pauperis requires the Court to screen the complaint. See 28 U.S.C. 1915(a) and (e)(2). In screening a complaint filed with a request to proceed in forma pauperis, the Court must dismiss the complaint at any time if it is "frivolous" or if it fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted. See 28 U.S.C. 1915(e)(2)(B)(i), (ii). Case 2:06-cv-01825-MHM Document 6 Filed 08/04/2006 Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 Plaintiff pro se has filed a typewritten complaint and a handwritten amended complaint. The Court has considered both documents in an effort to ascertain the basis of Plaintiff's claim for relief. Plaintiff's cause of action appears to involve a child custody matter that was heard in the Superior Court of Maricopa County, State of Arizona, in or about January 2005. In his complaint, Plaintiff alleges that he did not receive counsel until October 6, 2005 after he had appealed certain orders and judgments issued by the Superior Court. Plaintiff contends that Defendant has violated his constitutional rights under the fifth, sixth and seventh amendments. In his emergency motion for temporary injunction, Plaintiff requests that Defendant be prohibited from taking any action in the matter of the custody action until his claim is heard in this Court. Courts have a duty to construe pro se pleadings liberally, affording the pro se plaintiff the benefit of any doubt. Bernhardt v. Los Angeles County, 339 F.3d 920, 925 (9th Cir. 2003). To the extent that Plaintiff is seeking review or appeal of the state court's decision in this Court, his lawsuit is prohibited by the Rooker-Feldman doctrine. The Rooker-Feldman doctrine recognizes that 28 U.S.C. 1331 is a grant of original jurisdiction and does not authorize district courts to exercise appellate review over state court judgments. See Verizon Maryland. Inc. v. Public Service Commission of Maryland, 535 U.S. 635, 644 n. 3, 122 S.Ct. 1753, 1759 n.3 (2002). In Bianchi v. Rylaarsdam, 334 F.3d 895, 898 (9th Cir. 2003), cert. denied, 540 U.S. 1213 (2004), the Ninth Circuit observed in the context of the RookerFeldman doctrine that the federal district court, as a court of original jurisdiction, has no authority to review the final determinations of a state court in judicial proceedings, stating as follows: Rooker-Feldman is a powerful doctrine that prevents federal courts from second-guessing state court decisions by barring the lower federal courts from hearing de facto appeals from statecourt judgments: If claims raised in the federal court action are 'inextricably intertwined' with the state court's decision such that the adjudication of the federal claims would undercut the state ruling or require the district court to interpret the application of state laws or procedural rules, then the federal complaint must be dismissed for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. ... -2Case 2:06-cv-01825-MHM Document 6 Filed 08/04/2006 Page 2 of 3 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 The Rooker-Feldman doctrine is not limited to claims that were actually decided by the state courts. Review is precluded of all state court decisions in particular cases arising out of judicial proceedings even if those challenges allege that the state court's action was unconstitutional. Bianchi, 334 F.3d at 901. Plaintiff essentially is asking this Court to review the State Courts' judgments and orders with respect to the custody matter and determine that they are in error and should be vacated. The Rooker-Feldman doctrine provides a jurisdictional bar to this Court conducting such review. Pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(h)(3), whenever it appears that the Court lacks jurisdiction of the subject matter, the court shall dismiss the action. See Rosales v. United States, 824 F.2d 799, 803 n. 4 (9th Cir. 1987)(lack of subject matter jurisdiction may be raised at any time and it is the Court's duty to address the issue sua sponte whenever it is perceived). Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED that Plaintiff's motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis (Doc. 3) is granted. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Plaintiff's motion for emergency temporary injunction (Doc. 5) is denied. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the complaint (Doc. 1) and amended complaint (Doc. 4) are dismissed with prejudice. DATED this 2nd day of August, 2006. -3Case 2:06-cv-01825-MHM Document 6 Filed 08/04/2006 Page 3 of 3

Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.

Why Is My Information Online?