McGhee et al v. Little Company of Mary Hospital et al
MEMORANDUM Order Signed by the Honorable Milton I. Shadur on 2/27/2017.Mailed notice(mjc, )
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS
FRANK H. McGHEE and
LITTLE COMPANY OF MARY
HOSPITAL, et al.,
Case No. 17 C 1435
Frank McGhee ("McGhee") has used the Clerk's-Office-supplied form "Complaint for
Violation of Constitutional Rights" to file a pro se lawsuit against Little Company of Mary
Hospital, the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services ("Department") and the
Circuit Court of Cook County for the asserted violation of his rights relating to the infant boy of
whom McGhee is the father and Ashley Lombardo ("Lombardo") is the mother. 1 This sua
sponte memorandum order, which dismisses both the Complaint and this action, is called for by
the obvious (and incurable) deficiencies in the Complaint in federal subject matter terms.
Here in Complaint ¶ 7, copied verbatim, is McGhee's thumbnail description of his
Although McGhee has also listed Lombardo in the caption of the Complaint and she
has signed an affidavit identifying him as the biological father of the infant, McGhee's extended
narrative in the Complaint seeks relief only on his own behalf, not on Lombardo's. But as the
ensuing text of this memorandum order makes plain, the result here would be the same even if
Lombardo had joined and sought relief for herself.
This case is concering kidnapping of my son Frank H. Lombardo premeditated to
do so from the Hospital to the Juvenile court room becaues my son was injured by
But the several pages of factual narrative that follow in Complaint ¶ 10 are devoted in substantial
part to McGhee's efforts -- originally unsuccessful but ultimately successful -- to allow him to
sign the infant's birth certificate. That plainly does not state an actionable federal claim.
As for what McGhee labels a "kidnapping," on that score that he complains of
Department's proper exercise of its statutory responsibility, under the circumstances before it, to
bring the matter before a state court judge to determine what the child's best interests called for
in terms of original custodial arrangements. And not incidentally, McGhee participated in that
state court hearing through counsel, whom he describes as having "put up a half way decent
argument on my behalf in the court room."
Despite what McGhee seems to think (a misinformed view that is shared by too many
persons lacking a background in basic civics), federal district courts (or for that matter federal
appellate courts) do not sit in some type of appellate review capacity over state courts -- that is
the function of the appellate courts in the state judicial system. What McGhee has attempted
here is a collateral attack on the state court decision, and a federal court -- whose judicial powers
are limited to those conferred upon it by congressional enactment -- has not been empowered to
play that role.
Accordingly both the Complaint and this action are dismissed sua sponte for a lack of
subject matter jurisdiction, as is expressly authorized by Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(i). Because the
Complaint and any related filings have not yet surfaced in docket entries, this memorandum
order may have to be supplemented if McGhee has posed issues relating to payment of the filing
fee or has filed a motion for designation of counsel to represent him.
Milton I. Shadur
Senior United States District Judge
Date: February 27, 2017
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