Stewart v. Perry et al
ORDER denying Plaintiff Tanya Denise Stewart's motion 26 for default judgment against Defendant Johnnie Mae Perry, and dismissing Perry for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. Signed by District Judge Walter J. Gex III on September 16, 2008. (Gex, Walter)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF MISSISSIPPI SOUTHERN DIVISION
TANYA DENISE STEWART VERSUS JOHNNIE MAE PERRY; JACKSON COUNTY, MISSISSIPPI; SINGING RIVER HOSPITAL SYSTEMS; SINGING RIVER HOSPITAL; OCEAN SPRINGS HOSPITAL; JOSEPH P. VICE, M.D.; GREGORY HORN, M.D.; DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, JACKSON COUNTY; HARRISON COUNTY, MISSISSIPPI; DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, HARRISON COUNTY; FAMILY AND CHILDREN SERVICES; DEANNA CHASE; LANA M. HODA; BILOXI POLICE DEPARTMENT; HARRISON COUNTY YOUTH COURT, MISSISSIPPI; FAMILY COURT, YOUTH COURT OF HARRISON COUNTY, MISSISSIPPI; MICHAEL H. WARD, YOUTH COURT JUDGE; HERBERT WILSON, YOUTH COURT PROSECUTOR; ANGELIQUE WHITE, GUARDIAN AD LITEM ORDER
PLAINTIFF CIVIL ACTION NO. 1:07cv1270WJG-JMR
THIS MATTER comes before the Court the motion  of the Plaintiff, Tanya Denise Stewart, for entry of default against Johnnie Mae Perry. Stewart seeks an entry of default against Perry and "request custody of my child, Brendon Francis Perry, rendered invalid, and full custody of said child returned to his birth mother, Tanya Denise Stewart." (Ct. R., Doc. 26.)
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The federal courts have a long standing policy of abstaining from the exercise of jurisdiction in cases involving child custody under the domestic relations exception which deprives this Court of subject matter jurisdiction over that claim. See Ankenbrandt v. Richards, 504 US. 689 (1992) (domestic relations exception divests federal courts of power to issue divorce, alimony and child custody decrees); Congleton v. Holy Cross Child Placement Agency, Inc., 919 F.2d 1077 (5th Cir. 1990). Accordingly, the Court will refrain from ordering an entry of default against Perry in light of the fact that Stewart is seeking to gain custody of her child from Perry. The Court will dismiss any claims against Perry without prejudice because the domestic relations exception divests this Court of subject matter jurisdiction over that claim. It is therefore, ORDERED AND ADJUDGED that the motion for entry of default  be, and is hereby, denied. It is further, ORDERED AND ADJUDGED that all claims advanced by Plaintiff against Johnnie Mae Perry be, and are hereby, dismissed with prejudice. It is further, ORDERED AND ADJUDGED that each party bear their respective costs associated with this motion. SO ORDERED AND ADJUDGED, this the 16th day of September, 2008.
UNITED STATES SENIOR DISTRICT JUDGE
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