March v. Division of Social Services
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER - IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that plaintiffs motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis [ECF No. 2 ] is granted. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that plaintiffs motion for leave to file an amended complaint [ECF No. 5 ] is granted. A separate Order of Dismissal will be filed contemporaneously. Signed by District Judge Carol E. Jackson on 9/23/13. (KJS)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI
DIVISION OF SOCIAL SERVICES,
No. 4:13CV1439 CEJ
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
On August 20, 2013, the Court ordered plaintiff to show cause why this action
should not be dismissed for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. Plaintiff has responded
by filing a motion for leave to file an amended complaint, a proposed amended
complaint, and a response to the show cause order.
Under Rule 15(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, plaintiff has the right
to file an amended complaint. Therefore, the motion to amend will be granted, and the
Court will consider the allegations in the amended complaint.
Rule 12(h)(3) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure requires a court to dismiss
a complaint if it determines, at any time, that subject matter jurisdiction is lacking. In
the original and amended complaints, plaintiff seeks review of a state court decision
denying his motion to vacate or set aside an administrative order entered by the
Missouri Family Support Division requiring him to pay child support. See Johnson v.
March, 376 S.W.3d 26, 27 (Mo. Ct. App. 2012). Federal district courts are courts of
original jurisdiction; they lack subject matter jurisdiction to engage in appellate review
of state court decisions. Postma v. First Fed. Sav. & Loan, 74 F.3d 160, 162 (8th Cir.
1996). “Review of state court decisions may be had only in the Supreme Court.” Id.
This Court has no authority to review a decision made by the state court. Moreover,
this Court lacks jurisdiction over child support actions. Kahn v. Kahn, 21 F.3d 859, 861
(8th Cir. 1994) (“The domestic relations exception . . . divests the federal courts of
jurisdiction over any action for which the subject is a divorce, allowance of alimony, or
child custody.”); Lannan v. Maul, 979 F.2d 627, 631 (8th Cir. 1992) (“child support
obligations [are] within the domestic relations exception domain”). Thus, the amended
complaint must be dismissed.
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that plaintiff’s motion for leave to proceed in forma
pauperis [ECF No. 2] is granted.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that plaintiff’s motion for leave to file an amended
complaint [ECF No. 5] is granted.
A separate Order of Dismissal will be filed contemporaneously.
Dated this 23rd day of September, 2013.
CAROL E. JACKSON
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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