Yates et al v. State of Louisiana Department of Children and Family services
ORDER denying 7 Motion for Temporary Restraining Order and for Preliminary Injunction. ORDERED that the Complaint (Doc. 1) in the matter is DISMISSED WITHOUT PREJUDICE pursuant to the doctrine espoused by the United States Supreme Court in Younger v. Harris, 401 U.S. 37 (1971).Signed by Chief Judge Brian A. Jackson on 08/25/2017. (ELW)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
MIDDLE DISTRICT OF LOUISIANA
TERESA YATES ET AL. CIVIL ACTION
STATE OF LOUISIANA NO.: 17-00330-BAJ-EWD
DEPARTMENT OF CHILDREN
AND FAMILY SERVICES ET AL.
Before the Court is the Motion for Ex Parte Temporary Restraining
Order, Declaratory Judgment, Preliminary Injunction and Other Injunctive
Relief (Doc. 7) filed by Plaintiffs. Plaintiffs specifically seek a temporary restraining
order enjoining (1) Defendant State of Louisiana Department of Children and Family
Services to return Plaintiffs P.J. and S.J. immediately to the custody of their natural
mother, Plaintiff Teresa Yates; (2) Defendants from participating in a pending statecourt custody proceeding; (3) the presiding judge in the state-court custody
proceeding from continuing to preside over that matter; and (4) the state court from
appointing a specific attorney to represent Plaintiffs P.J. and S.J. in the state-court
The Court must abstain from this case pursuant to the principles espoused by
the United States Supreme Court in Younger v. Harris, 401 U.S. 37 (1971). "The
Younger doctrine, which counsels federal-court abstention when there is a pending
state proceeding, reflects a strong policy against federal intervention in state judicial
processes in the absence of great and immediate irreparable injury to the federal
plaintiff." Moore v. Sims, 442 U.S. 415, 423 (1979). Although the Younger doctrine
was established by the Supreme Court in reference to state criminal prosecutions,
the Younger doctrine is "fully applicable to civil proceedings in which important state
interests are involved." Id. (citing Huffman v. Pursue, Ltd., 420 U.S. 592 (1975)). The
Supreme Court has held that when a state is a party to a state-court civil proceeding
and the subject matter of the state-court civil proceeding is "in aid of and closely
related to criminal statutes," the Younger doctrine bars the federal courts from
adjudicating the federal claims that relate to the state-court civil proceeding. Id.
(quoting Huffman, 420 U.S. at 604).
The Younger doctrine nonetheless permits federal courts to intervene in statecourt proceedings under "well-established circumstances": "where the District Court
properly finds that the state proceeding is motivated by a desire to harass or is
conducted in bad faith, or where the challenged statute is flagrantly and patently
violative of express constitutional prohibitions in every clause, sentence and
paragraph, and in whatever manner and against whomever an effort might be made
to apply it." Id. at 424 (quoting Huffman, 420 U.S. at 611) (internal quotation marks
In this case, the State of Louisiana is a party to the state-court civil proceeding,
which involves the determination of the custody of Plaintiffs P.J. and S.J., through
the State of Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services, and Plaintiffs
P.J. and S.J. were removed from the custody of their mother due to allegations of
abuse - a subject matter thai the Supreme Court has held "is ... 'in aid of and closely
related to criminal statutes/" Id. at 423 (quoting Huffman, 420 U.S. at 604)
( [TJemporary removal of a child in a child-abuse context is ...
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?