Reed v. Collier et al
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that plaintiff's motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis is GRANTED. [Doc. 2] IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the Clerk shall not issue process or cause process to issue upon the complaint, because this Court lacks jurisdiction over the subject matter of this case. A separate Order of Dismissal will be filed with this Memorandum and Order. Signed by District Judge Charles A. Shaw on 2/6/2014. (NCL)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI
VINCENT E. REED,
LINDA COLLIER, et al.,
No. 4:13-CV-2565 CAS
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
This matter is before the Court on the motion of Vincent E. Reed for leave to commence this
action without payment of the required filing fee. Upon consideration of the financial information
provided with the motion, the Court finds that plaintiff is financially unable to pay the filing fee, and
therefore the motion will be granted.
Pursuant to Rule 12(h)(3) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, the Court must review a
complaint when it is filed and dismiss it if subject matter jurisdiction is lacking. Moreover, a
complaint filed in forma pauperis must be dismissed if it is frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a
claim upon which relief can be granted. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915. Having reviewed the complaint in
this case, the Court finds that it must be summarily dismissed for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.
Plaintiff brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against “Missouri Department of
Social Services Child Support,” Linda Collier (an Authorized representative of the Director of Child
Support Enforcement), and Gwendolyn Belton (an Authorized representative of the Director of
Child Support Enforcement). Plaintiff’s claims arise out of a Missouri child support dispute.
Liberally construing the complaint,1 plaintiff is alleging that defendants are violating his
constitutional rights by enforcing Missouri’s child support laws against him and by failing to
respond to a “Constructive Notice of Conditional Acceptance,” “Affidavit of Response,” “Record
of Presentment,” “Notice of Fault in Dishonor Opportunity to Cure,” “Notice of Default in Dishonor
Consent to Judgment” and other documents that he sent to the defendants in August 2013.2 Plaintiff
asks this Court to enforce his own self-imposed default judgment against the defendants and dismiss
the state child support case against him for lack of jurisdiction. In addition, plaintiff asks this Court
to “[s]top these abuses of the colorable authority by child support enforcement as it pertains to
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. Thus, to the extent that plaintiff is seeking review and dismissal of the Missouri child support
case in which he is presently involved, this Court lacks jurisdiction to entertain plaintiff’s claims.
Moreover, the Court lacks jurisdiction over the subject matter of this case, i.e., child support.
See Kahn v. Kahn, 21 F.3d 859, 861 (8th Cir. 1994) (“The domestic relations exception . . . divests
The Court takes judicial notice of Reed v. Missouri Child Support Enforcement, No. 4:12CV-1391 CAS (E.D. Mo.), a case similar to the instant action that plaintiff filed in this Court on
August 2, 2012. The case was dismissed for lack of subject matter jurisdiction on September 5,
2012. On December 14, 2012, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit summarily
affirmed the judgment; the mandate issued on January 24, 2013.
Plaintiff was convicted of felony non-support in the St. Louis County Circuit Court, State
of Missouri. See Reed v. Missouri Child Support Enforcement, No. 4:12-CV-1391 CAS (E.D. Mo.).
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”). For these reasons, the Court
must dismiss this action for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that plaintiff’s motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis
is GRANTED. [Doc. 2]
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the Clerk shall not issue process or cause process to
issue upon the complaint, because this Court lacks jurisdiction over the subject matter of this case.
A separate Order of Dismissal will be filed with this Memorandum and Order.
CHARLES A. SHAW
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Dated this 6th day of February, 2014.
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