Huot v. Montana State Department of Child and Family Services, et al

Filing 9

Judge William G. Young: ORDER entered. MEMORANDUM AND ORDER(PSSA, 5)

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UNITED STATES DISTRICT DISTRICT COURT OF MASSACHUSETTS SAFRON HUOT, Plaintiff, CIVIL V. NO. MONTANA STATE DEPARTMENT ACTION 17-11275-WGY OF CHILD AND FAMILY SERVICES, MONTANA SUPREME COURT, LODGE COUNTY DISTRICT DEER COURT OF MONTANA, JUDGE RAY DAYTON, CAL BOYAL, CINDY JOHNSON, DEER LODGE MEDICAL CENTER, M.D. WAYNE MARTIN, SUSANNE M. CLAQUE, BEN KRAKOWKA, SUSAN DAY, DAVE FENCHAK, MARY JO FORTNER and ROGER FORTNER, Defendants. YOUNG, October^^ 2017 D.J. MEMORANDUM & ORDER For the reasons set forth below, this action is dismissed for lack of subject matter jurisdiction pursuant to Rule 12(h)(3) the I. Federal Rules of Civil of Procedure, BACKGROUND On July 11, Anaconda, 2017, Montana, the Plaintiff Safron Huot, filed a a resident of complaint seeking review of a Montana family court proceeding in which her parent rights were terminated. Complaint ("Compl.")/ ECF No. 1. With the complaint, Huot filed a motion for leave to proceed ^ motion to appoint jurisdiction, counsel, ECF No. 4; ECF forma pauperis, No. 3; a ECF No. motion a motion for service, to 2; consent ECF No. 5, a to and a motion to set aside adoption and reinstate full parental rights, ECF No. 6. The case caption of the complaint states that she is filing in the federal courts for ^^the District of Columbia and all fifty states." to the See Compl. The case caption for each motion is identical complaint's Judiciary's Public case caption. Access to A Court search of federal Records Electronic the (PACER) service reveals that plaintiff filed 44 cases against the Montana State Department district courts. of Child and Family Services in 38 federal Plaintiff clearly intended to file her complaint in all of these districts simultaneously. The 14 named institutions defendants apparently involved matter. The named defendants private attorney, specialist, a a are family various in Plaintiff's include a doctor, clinical psychologist, individuals a family and court prosecutor, a a development family medical center, judge, a a state social service agency and two state courts, all located in Montana. The complaint does not contain a action, but rather a list of grievances. from the defendants and various forms specific legal of Plaintiff seeks damages of injunctive including the reinstatement of her parental rights. [2] cause relief, II. LEGAL STANDARD A court has an obligation to inquire sua sponte into its own subject matter jurisdiction. See McCulloch v. Velez, 5 (1st Cir. 2004). Federal courts are ^courts 364 F.3d 1, of limited jurisdiction.'" Picciotto v. Cont'l Cas. Co., 512 F.3d 9, 17 (1st Cir. 2008) (quoting Kokkonen v. Guardian Life Ins. Co. of Am., 511 U.S. 375, 377 (1994)). Such courts may adjudicate only those cases authorized by the Constitution and by Congress. Kokkonen, 511 U.S. at 377. '^MT]he party invoking the jurisdiction of a federal court carries the burden of proving its existence." Calderon-Serra V. Wilmington Trust Co., 715 F.3d 14, 17 (1st Cir. 2013) Murphy v. United States, 45 F.3d 520, 522 (1st Cir. 1995) (quoting (internal quotation marks omitted)). ^^If the court determines at any time that it lacks subject- matter jurisdiction, the court must dismiss the action." Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(h)(3); see Spooner v. EEN, Cir. 2011) Inc., 644 F.3d 62, 67 (1st ("A court is duty-bound to notice, and act upon, defects in its subject matter jurisdiction sua sponte."). In reviewing the complaint, the Court recognizes that pro se pleadings are read with "an extra degree of solicitude," Rodi v. Ventetuolo, 941 F.2d 22, 23 (1st Cir.1991), due to plaintiff's pro se status, see id.; see also Strahan v. Coxe, 127 F.3d 155, 158 n. 1 (1st Cir. 1997) liberally) (noting obligation to construe pro se pleadings (citing Haines v. Kerner, [3] 404 U.S. 519, 520 (1972)). Generally, a a pro se plaintiff is afforded an opportunity to cure deficient complaint. However, when "it is crystal clear that the plaintiff cannot prevail and that amending the complaint would be futile," a dismissal sua sponte is appropriate. Garayalde-Rijos V. Municipality of Carolina, 747 F.3d 15, 23, (1st Cir. 2014) (citations and internal quotation marks omitted). III. l^ALYSIS The instant case is subject to summary dismissal because the Plaintiff matter. fails to demonstrate federal jurisdiction over this There is no diversity of citizenship as required by the diversity statute, 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a), because all of the parties are Montana residents or entities. As to federal question jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1331, the allegations do not assert that the defendants violated a federal statute or constitutional provision, nor is any source of federal question jurisdiction otherwise evident from the face of the complaint. Even if this Court had jurisdiction, any request for this Court to interfere with an ongoing state proceeding is precluded under Younger v. under the 586 401 U.S. Rooker-Feldman jurisdiction to Nichols, Harris, review a F.3d 53, 59 37, doctrine, state court (1st Cir. [4] 46 (1971). this Additionally, Court judgment. is without See Miller v. 2009) (affirming dismissal of action relating to custody of child for lack of subject matter jurisdiction under Rooker-Feldman doctrine). IV CONCLUSION For the foregoing reasons, 1. This action is dismissed without prejudice pursuant to Rule 12(h)(3) 2. a final i t is hereby ORDERED: for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. The Clerk shall terminate the pending motions and enter order of dismissal. SO ORDERED. WILLIAM DISTRICT [5] G. Y JUD

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