Valdez v. Goodman
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATIONS re 1 Complaint filed by Fabian Marc Valdez. Objections to R&R due by 11/6/2006. Signed by Judge Beverly Stites Jones on 10/17/06. (ct)
Valdez v. Goodman
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IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT W E S T E R N DISTRICT OF ARKANSAS H A R R IS O N DIVISION
F A B IA N MARC VALDEZ, in his own righ t and on behalf of, SEBASTIAN B E N JA M IN VALDEZ GOODMAN, a/k /a SEBASTIAN AGUIRRE, a/k/a S E B A S T IA N OSBAN v. LORETTA GOODMAN, a/k /a AGUIRRE, a/k/a OSBAN C iv il No. 06-3064
R E P O R T AND RECOMMENDATION OF THE MAGISTRATE JUDGE P lain tiff, Fabian Marc Valdez, filed this action in his own right and on behalf of his minor s o n . He proceeds pro se and in forma pauperis. The complaint is before the undersigned for a determ ination of whether it should be served on the defendant. BACKGROUND V ald ez brings this action seeking enforcement of the child custody determination made by the State of California as well as immediate custody of his minor child under the Uniform Child C u sto d y Jurisdiction Enforcement Act, Ark. Code. Ann. § 9-19-101 et seq., and the Parental K id n ap in g Prevention Act, 28 U.S.C. § 1738A. Valdez indicates he was determined to be the m in o r child's natural father through DNA testing. Valdez was given sole custody of his minor son by the Superior Court of California and an order was issued by that court for the District Attorney o f Santa Cruz County to take all necessary actions to locate and return the minor child to the custod y of Valdez.
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V ald ez alleges Loretta Goodman has interfered with his custody and frustrated all visitation sin ce 1999. According to Valdez, Goodman is currently in violation of her probation for contempt an d failing to appear at numerous hearings in Santa Cruz County Superior Court. V ald ez alleges that on two occasions Goodman has attempted to transfer jurisdiction in the cu sto d y case to Arkansas but Arkansas has refused jurisdiction ruling that under the UCCJEA C alifo rn ia is the minor child's home state. On October 24, 2000, Valdez indicates the California S u p er ior Court ordered the district attorney's investigator, Steven Davies, to pick the child up in M o u n ta in Home, Arkansas. However, when Davies arrived the child had been abducted and co n cealed again by Goodman and her boyfriend. DISCUSSION T h is case is subject to dismissal prior to service of process. Federal courts are courts of lim ited jurisdiction. See e.g., Godfrey v. Pulitzer Publishing Co., 161 F.3d 1137, 1141 (8th Cir. 19 98 ). Generally, the federal district courts may only exercise jurisdiction over cases in which diversity of citizenship exists and the requisite amount in controversy is involved and those cases in which a federal question is presented; in other words, those cases involving violations of federal c o n s titu tion al or statutory law. See e.g., Southwestern Bell Telephone Co. v. Connect
C o m m u n ica tio n s Corp., 225 F.3d 942, 945 (8th Cir. 2000). "The requirement that jurisdiction be estab lish ed as a threshold matter 'spring[s] from the nature and limits of the judicial power of the U nited States' and is 'inflexible and without exception.'" Steel Co. v. Citizens for a Better Env't, 52 3 U.S. 83, 118 S. Ct. 1003, 1012, 140 L. Ed. 2d 210 (1998)(quoting Mansfield, C. & L.M.R. Co. v. Swan, 111 U.S. 379, 382, 4 S. Ct. 510, 28 L. Ed. 462 (1884)) (alteration in original)). T he Federal Parental Kidnaping Prevention Act (PKPA), 28 U.S.C. § 1738A, provides that th e authorities of every State shall give full faith and credit to child custody determinations. The
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P KP A was designed to combat parental kidnaping motivated by child custody "forum shopping." T h o m p so n v. Thompson, 484 U.S. 174, 108 S. Ct. 513, 98 L. Ed. 2d 512 (1988). The PKPA
con fers no federal cause of action. Thompson v. Thompson, 484 U.S. 174, 108 S. Ct. 513, 98 L. E d . 2d 512 (1988); Cahill v. Kendall, 202 F. Supp. 2d 1322 (D. Ala. 2002). T he Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) has been ad o p ted by Arkansas, Ark. Code Ann. § 9-19-101 et seq. "The UCCJEA is the exclusive method for determining the proper state for jurisdictional purposes in child-custody proceedings which inv olve other jurisdictions." West v. West, 364 Ark. 73, ___ (2005). "One purpose of the U C C JE A is to avoid relitigation of child-custody determinations in other states." Bridges v. B ridg es, 93 Ark. App. 358, ___ (2005). The UCCJEA does not confer federal jurisdiction. See e.g ., Cahill v. Kendall, 202 F. Supp. 2d 1322 (D. Ala. 2002) CONCLUSION I therefore recommend the case be dismissed on the grounds the no claims are stated over w h ich federal court jurisdiction exists. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(i)-(iii)(IFP action, or any po rtion thereof, may be dismissed on such grounds at any time). Valdez has ten days from receipt of this report and recommendation in which to file w ritten objections pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1). The failure to file timely objections m a y result in waiver of the right to appeal questions of fact. Valdez is reminded that o b j ec tio n s must be both timely and specific to trigger de novo review by the district court. D A T E D this 18th day of October 2006.
/s/ Beverly Stites Jones UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE -3 -
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