Huot v. Montana State Department of Child and Family Services et al
ORDER ADOPTING FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS. IT IS ORDERED that Judge Lynch's Findings and Recommendations is ADOPTED IN FULL. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that this matter is dismissed for lack of jurisdiction. (Copy mailed to Huot) Signed by Judge Brian Morris on 11/15/2017. (ELL)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF MONTANA
ORDER ADOPTING FINDINGS AND
MONTANA STATE DEPARTMENT
OF CHILD AND FAMILY
SERVICES; et al.,
Plaintiff Safron Huot’s complaint reflects that she seeks to challenge in this
federal forum the termination of her parental rights by the courts of the state of
Montana. (Doc. 10 at 1-2.) Ms. Huot’s complaint indicates that she has filed an
identical complaint in numerous United States District Courts throughout the
All events giving rise to Ms. Huot’s complaint occurred in the state of
Montana, and, therefore, venue is proper in this District. 28 U.S.C. § 1391(b). Ms.
Huot advances a claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for injunctive and monetary relief.
This claim invokes federal question jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1331. The Court
must analyze whether it may assert federal question jurisdiction over Ms. Huot’s
United States Magistrate Judge Jeremiah Lynch entered Findings and
Recommendations in this matter on October 11, 2017. (Doc. 10.) Ms. Huot filed a
timely objection on October 23, 2017. (Doc. 11.) Ms. Huot argues that it would be
a conflict of interest for this issue to be presented before the Montana Supreme
Court. Id. at 2. Ms. Huot has previously appealed the Montana Supreme Court’s
decision in her case three times. Id.
The Court reviews de novo findings and recommendations to which
objections are made. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(C). Portions of findings and
recommendations to which no party specifically objects are reviewed for clear
error. McDonnell Douglas Corp. v. Commodore Bus. Mach., Inc., 656 F.2d 1309,
1313 (9th Cir. 1981). Where a party's objections, however, constitute perfunctory
responses argued in an attempt to engage the district court in a relitigation of the
same arguments set forth in the original response, the Court will review for clear
error the applicable portions of the findings and recommendations. Rosling v.
Kirkegard, 2014 WL 693315 *3 (D. Mont. Feb. 21, 2014) (internal citations
Judge Lynch determined that Ms. Huot’s claim stems from the underlying
case terminating the parental rights to her twin children. The termination of Ms.
Huot’s parental rights are extensively detailed in two Montana Supreme Court
decisions. (Doc. 10 at 2.) In this case, Ms. Huot names as defendants the Montana
Department of Health and Human Services (“DPHHS”), the Montana Supreme
Court, the Third Judicial District Court, District Judge Dayton, numerous attorneys
who represented the DPHHS and Anaconda Deer Lodge County, and a variety of
trial witnesses. Id. at 4.
Judge Lynch determined that this Court is precluded from exercising
jurisdiction over Ms. Huot’s claim by the “Rooker-Feldman doctrine.” Id. The
Rooker-Feldman doctrine dictates that a federal district court lacks jurisdiction to
review a state court judgment. Ms. Huot seeks to have this Court review the
judgment of the Montana Supreme Court affirming the trial court’s termination of
her parental rights. Judge Lynch recommends that this action should be dismissed
for lack of jurisdiction. Id. at 5.
Ms. Huot’s objection constitutes an attempt to engage the district court in a
relitigation of the same arguments set forth in the original complaint. The Court
has reviewed Judge Lynch’s Findings and Recommendations for clear error. The
Court finds no error in Judge Lynch’s Findings and Recommendations.
IT IS ORDERED that Judge Lynch’s Findings and Recommendations
(Doc. 10), is ADOPTED IN FULL.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that this matter is dismissed for lack of
DATED this 15th day of November, 2017.
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