McNutt v. Tax Lien Servicing, LLC et al
MEMORANDUM AND OPINION by Senior Judge Thomas B. Russell on 11/20/2012; an appropriate order shall entercc:counsel (KJA)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
WESTERN DISTRICT OF KENTUCKY
JESSE R. MCNUTT
MISCELLANEOUS ACTION NO. 5:12MC-2-R
TAX LIEN SERVICING, LLC
STEPHEN COOK SANDERS
Jesse R. McNutt initiated this action by filing a pro se “Notice of Appeal to the United
States District Court From a Judgment & Order of the Kentucky Supreme Court File No. :11-CI00291.” In the caption of the “Notice of Appeal,” McNutt designates himself as “Movent/
Appellant”; designates Tax Lien Servicing, LLC as Appellee; and designates Stephen Cook
Sanders as Intervening Defendant. He does not attach a copy of the Judgment and Order from
which he attempts to appeal and does not indicate the subject matter of the state action. He
attaches a “Notice of Understanding and Intent Claim of Right and Independence,” but the Court
is unable to garner what the notice has to do with the appeal.
Under Rule 12(h)(3) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, “[i]f the court determines at
any time that it lacks subject-matter jurisdiction, the court must dismiss the action.” Upon
consideration of the matter, the Court concludes that it is without jurisdiction to review the
judgment of the Kentucky Supreme Court pursuant to the Rocker-Feldman doctrine. District of
Columbia Court of Appeals v. Feldman, 460 U.S. 462 (1983); Rooker v. Fidelity Trust Co., 263
U.S. 413 (1923).
That doctrine, a combination of the abstention and res judicata doctrines, stands for
the proposition that a federal district court may not hear an appeal of a case already
litigated in state court. A party raising a federal question must appeal a state court
decision through the state system and then directly to the Supreme Court of the
United States v. Owens, 54 F.3d 271, 274 (6th Cir. 1995); Johnson v. Ohio Supreme Court, 156
F. App’x 779, 781 (6th Cir. 2005) (“The Rooker-Feldman doctrine maintains the jurisdictional
distribution in the federal courts by insuring that the federal district courts exercise only original
jurisdiction.”); Howard v. Whitbeck, 382 F.3d 633, 638 (6th Cir. 2004) (“The Rooker-Feldman
doctrine . . . bars attempts by a federal plaintiff to receive appellate review of a state-court
decision in a federal district court.”).
Because “[f]ederal jurisdiction over appeals from state courts is vested exclusively in the
United States Supreme Court by 28 U.S.C. § 1257,” Johnson, 156 F. App’x at 781, Plaintiff’s
appeal to this Court of a Judgment and Order of the Kentucky Supreme Court must be dismissed
for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction.
The Court will enter an Order consistent with this Memorandum Opinion.
Date: November 20, 2012
Movant/Appellant, pro se
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