United States District Court, E.D. California
ORDER & FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
CAROLYN K. DELANEY UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
action was removed from state court. Removal jurisdiction
statutes are strictly construed against removal. See
Libhart v. Santa Monica Dairy Co., 592 F.2d 1062, 1064
(9th Cir. 1979). “Federal jurisdiction must be rejected
if there is any doubt as to the right of removal in the first
instance.” Gaus v. Miles, 980 F.2d 564, 566
(9th Cir. 1992). The party invoking removal bears the burden
of establishing federal jurisdiction. Hunter v. Philip
Morris USA, 582 F.3d 1039 (9th Cir. 2009). Where it
appears the district court lacks subject matter jurisdiction,
the case shall be remanded. 28 U.S.C. § 1447(c).
action involves a family law matter that was addressed in a
May 2016 Placer Superior Court decision following a trial on
issues of child custody, child support, and a domestic
violence restraining order. (ECF No. 1., Ex. A.) Defendant
contends the action is properly removed under federal
question subject matter jurisdiction. Removal based on
federal question jurisdiction is proper only when a federal
question is presented on the face of the plaintiff's
properly pleaded complaint. Caterpillar Inc. v.
Williams, 482 U.S. 386, 392 (1987). There is no federal
question presented in this family law matter. Defendant has
failed to meet the burden of establishing federal
jurisdiction, and the case should be remanded. See
generally Singer v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance
Co., 116 F.3d 373, 375-376 (9th Cir. 1997).
family law disputes are domestic relations matters
traditionally within the domain of the state courts, and it
is appropriate for federal district courts to abstain from
hearing such cases, which often involve continued judicial
supervision by the state. See Coats v. Woods, 819
F.2d 236, 237 (9th Cir. 1987). If plaintiff believes that the
superior court judge's orders were erroneous, the proper
recourse is appeal of those orders in the state appellate
courts - not the filing of a new action in federal court.
has also filed a motion to proceed in forma pauperis. As it
lacks the required explanation of income sources during the
past twelve months and is otherwise incomplete, the
application will be denied.
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that defendant's motion to proceed
in forma pauperis (ECF No. 2) is denied.
HEREBY RECOMMENDED that the above-entitled action be
summarily remanded to the Superior Court of California,
County of Placer.
findings and recommendations are submitted to the United
States District Judge assigned to the case, pursuant to the
provisions of 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1). Within fourteen
days after being served with these findings and
recommendations, any party may file written objections with
the court and serve a copy on all parties. Such a document
should be captioned “Objections to Magistrate
Judge's Findings and Recommendations.” Any reply to
the objections shall be served and filed within seven days
after service of the objections. The parties are advised that
failure to file objections within the specified time may
waive the right to appeal the District Court's order.
Martinez v. Ylst 951 F.2d 1153 (9th Cir. 1991).
 Moreover, a federal district court
does not have jurisdiction to review errors in state court
decisions in civil cases. Dist. of Columbia Court of
Appeals v. Feldman, 460 U.S. 462, 476 (1983); Rooker
v. Fidelity Trust Co., 263 U.S. 413, 415 (1923).
“The district court lacks subject matter jurisdiction
either to conduct a direct review of a state court judgment
or to scrutinize the state court's application of various
rules and procedures pertaining to the state case.”
Samuel v. Michaud, 980 F.Supp. 1381, 1411-12 (D.
Idaho 1996), aff'd, 129 F.3d 127 (9th Cir.
1997). See also Branson v. Nott, 62 F.3d 287, 291-92
(9th Cir.1995) (finding no subject matter jurisdiction over
section 1983 claim seeking, inter alia, implicit
reversal of state trial court action); MacKay v.
Pfeil, 827 F.2d 540, 544-45 (9th Cir. 1987) (attacking
state court judgment because substantive defense improper
under Rooker-Feldman). That the federal district
court action alleges the state court's action was
unconstitutional does not change the rule. Feldman,
460 U.S. at 486.
Claims raised in federal district court need not have
been argued in the state judicial proceedings to be barred by
the Rooker-Feldman doctrine. Id. at 483-84
& n.16. If federal claims are “inextricably
intertwined” with a state court judgment, the federal
court may not hear them. Id. “[T]he federal
claim is ‘inextricably intertwined' with the state
court judgment if the federal claim succeeds only to the
extent that the state court wrongly decided the issues before
it.” Pennzoil Co. v. Texaco, Inc., 481 U.S. 1,
25 (1987) (Marshall, J., concurring). In sum, “a state
court's application of its rules and procedures is
unreviewable by a federal district court. The federal
district court only has jurisdiction to hear general
challenges to state rules or claims that are based on the
investigation of a new case arising upon new facts.”
Samuel, 980 F.Supp. at 1412-13.
Plaintiff does not raise a general federal challenge
to state law. See Branson, 62 F.3d at 292. Stripped
to its essence, this action is one for federal court review
of state court proceedings. The court finds the instant
action amounts to an attempt to litigate in federal court
matters that are inextricably intertwined with state court