UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT CENTRAL DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
September 17, 2012
TITLE MICHAEL J. HOLLAND
COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES, ET AL.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: The Honorable Andrew J. Guilford
CIVIL MINUTES - GENERAL
Present: The Honorable ANDREW J. GUILFORD
Lisa Bredahl Not Present
Deputy Clerk Court Reporter / Recorder Tape No.
Attorneys Present for Plaintiffs: Attorneys Present for Defendants:
Proceedings: [IN CHAMBERS] ORDER DISMISSING CASE FOR
FAILURE TO SHOW CAUSE REGARDING FEDERAL JURISDICTION
Plaintiff has sued the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services, and some of its employees (collectively, "DCFS"). Plaintiff has previously brought two similar actions in pro per, and in one named five judicial officers as defendants. Both actions were dismissed with prejudice.
Plaintiff is upset, among other things, about a ruling regarding the custody of his children. The custody battle has indeed been acrimonious, as might be expected given that Plaintiff wrote a book entitled Why Husbands Kill Their Wives and Boyfriends Beat Their Girlfriends.
Because federal courts are courts of limited jurisdiction, it is "presumed that a cause lies outside this limited jurisdiction, and the burden of establishing the contrary rests upon the party asserting jurisdiction." Vacek v. United States Postal Serv., 447 F.3d 1248, 1250 (9th Cir. 2006) (quoting Kokkonen v. Guardian Life Ins. Co. of Am., 511 U.S. 375, 377 (1994) (citations omitted)). At oral argument, Plaintiff's counsel made reference to a child custody order, and in general, child custody is the province of state courts, and state law on child custody is best decided by state courts.
As such, the Court issued an Order to Show Cause as to why jurisdiction exists over this case. The parties fully briefed the topic. Numerous possible defenses exist, such as res judicata and collateral estoppel. Also, at oral argument, the Court did not get a satisfying answer to its concerns about federal courts being flooded with cases such as this one. But after a thorough review, the Court finds that under the Rooker-Feldman doctrine it may not hear this case. Rooker v. Fidelity Trust Co., 263 U.S. 413 (1923); District of Columbia Court of Appeals v. Feldman, 460 U.S. 462 (1983).
IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED that the First Amended Complaint is dismissed. Defendants shall submit a short judgment reflecting that judgment is entered against the Plaintiff and for all the Defendants.
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