Bowman v. Cortellessa et al

Filing 3

MEMORANDUM OPINION & ORDER: (1) Plaintiff's 2 MOTION for Leave to Proceed in forma pauperis is GRANTED. (2) Bowman's 1 Complaint is DISMISSED for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. (3) The Court will enter an appropriate Judgment. Signed by Judge Joseph M. Hood on February 21, 2012. (AWD)cc: Plaintiff via US Mail

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UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT EASTERN DISTRICT OF KENTUCKY CENTRAL DIVISION at LEXINGTON V. JANET BOWMAN, ) ) Plaintiff, ) ) vs. ) ) ROBERT E. CORTELLESSA, et al., ) ) ) Defendants. ) ***** Civil Action No. 12-47-JMH MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER ***** ***** V. Janet Bowman, the pro se plaintiff, has filed a civil complaint against her former spouse, Robert E. Cortellessa, and Robert S. Silverthorn, the attorney who represented Bowman in the 1984 divorce proceeding, Cortellessa v. Cortellessa, Woodford Circuit Court Case No. 84-CI-191. to proceed in forma pauperis. Bowman has also filed a motion In her Complaint, Bowman challenges the division of marital property ordered in that 1984 Woodford Circuit Court divorce proceeding. The Court will grant Bowman’s motion to proceed in forma pauperis but will dismiss her Complaint for lack of subject matter jurisdiction and enter Judgment in favor of the defendants. FED. R. CIV. P 12(h)(3). See Under the Rooker-Feldman doctrine,1 a federal court lacks subject matter jurisdiction to entertain a 1 See District of Columbia Court of Appeals v. Feldman, 460 U.S. 462, 486, 103 S.Ct. 1303(1983), and Rooker v. Fid. Trust Co., 263 U.S. 413, 416, 44 S.Ct. 149 (1923). collateral challenge to a state court divorce proceeding. See Evans v. Franklin County Court of Common Pleas, Div. of Domestic Relations, 66 F. App’x. 586,588 (6th Cir. 2003). Bowman’s current allegations against Cortellessa and Silverthorn stem from her dissatisfaction with the outcome of her Kentucky state court divorce proceeding, and amount to nothing more than an effort to challenge, overturn, or effectively appeal the decision(s) rendered in that divorce proceeding. the Court must dismiss Bowman’s Complaint. For that reason, See Doscher v. Menifee Circuit Court, 75 F. App’x 996, 997 (6th Cir. 2003) (affirming sua sponte dismissal of complaint for lack of subject matter jurisdiction under the Rooker-Feldman doctrine). Conclusion Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED that: 1. Plaintiff V. Janet Bowman’s motion to proceed in forma pauperis, [R. 2], is GRANTED; 2. Bowman’s Complaint, [R. 1], is DISMISSED for lack of subject matter jurisdiction; and 3. The Court will enter an appropriate Judgment. This the 21st day of February, 2012. 2

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