United States District Court, N.D. California
MARK T. ANDREWS, Plaintiff,
CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF CONSUMER AFFAIRS, et al., Defendants.
ORDER GRANTING MOTION TO DISMISS DKT. NOS. 13, 17,
WILLIAM H. ORRICK UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Mark Andrews alleges that his Fourteenth and Fifth Amendment
rights were violated when he was denied an administrative
hearing regarding the suspension of his California
Driver's License and California Bureau of Automotive
Repair License, in connection with Child Support Proceedings
in California Superior Court. He brings § 1983 claims
against the California Department of Consumer Affairs, which
includes the California Bureau of Automotive Repair; the
California Department of Motor Vehicles (“DMV”);
the Sonoma County Department of Child Support Services
(“DCSS”); Kirk Gorman, an attorney for the
Department of Child Support Services, Kathy Simon, a case
worker for Child Support Services, and Superior Court
Commissioner Louise Bayles-Fightmaster. First Amended
Complaint (“FAC”) (Dkt. No. 8). The defendants
have filed four different motions to dismiss his claims on
numerous grounds, including that this court lacks
jurisdiction to hear his claims under the
Rooker-Feldman doctrine. Because I conclude that
Andrews's claims are barred by the
Rooker-Feldman doctrine and this court lacks
jurisdiction to hear them, the defendants' motions to
dismiss are GRANTED.
point prior to May, 2013, Andrews was held in contempt of
court for failure to make court-ordered child support
payments. See FAC ¶¶ 20, 26. On May 19,
2013, he received a notice from the California Bureau of
Automotive Repair (“BAR”), stating that his
license to pursue a private occupation would be suspended,
effective on June 23, 2013, pursuant to Family Code §
17520 and an order from the DCSS. Id. ¶ 17. On
June 14, 2013 he received a notice from the DMV, stating that
his driver's license would be suspended, effective July
14, 2013, pursuant to Family Code § 17520 and a DCSS
order. Id. ¶ 18.
26, 2013, Andrews sent a letter to DCSS, requesting an
administrative hearing regarding the suspensions of his BAR
and DMV licenses. Id. ¶ 19. DCSS refused to
file an appeal with the Office of Administrative Hearings.
Id. ¶ 20. DCSS held multiple hearings to find
Andrews in contempt of court, but no appeal hearing was held
regarding the suspension of his licenses. Id.
September 18, 2013, Andrews asked Commissioner Louise
Bayles-Fightmaster to return his licenses. Id.
¶ 21. She told Andrews that he was not entitled to a
hearing under the child support laws. Id. She
further told him that no one had received a notice of any
request for a hearing. Id. Kirk Gorman, the attorney
for DCSS, did not inform Commissioner Bayles-Fightmaster that
DCSS had received a letter requesting an appeal from Andrews.
Id. ¶ 22. Kathy Simon, a DCSS caseworker, was
also aware of the letter. Id. ¶ 23.
the next six months multiple hearings were held in
Andrews's child support case. Id. ¶ 25.
Kirk Gorman told Andrews and his attorney that “if you
want a hearing on the license suspension, file a
motion.” Id. It appears that Andrews did not
file a motion.
February 19, 2014, Gorman told Andrews that, to get his
licenses back and avoid jail time, he could either pay full
child support arrearage or plead guilty to three counts of
contempt, pay $500 immediately, and agree to pay $125 per
month. Id. ¶ 26. Andrews's attorney,
Wallace Coppock, told Andrews that if he pleaded guilty he
could get his licenses back that day and still “argue
this issue of due process and the fraud upon the court
committed by Commissioner Louise Bayles Fightmaster and
Attorney Kirk Gorman.” Id. ¶ 27. Andrews
alleges that he pleaded guilty “under duress” to
get his licenses back. Id. His licenses were
returned two weeks later, on March 3, 2014. Id.
asserts that his due process rights were violated because his
licenses were not returned to him on September 18, 2013, when
he requested them before Commissioner Bayles-Fightmaster.
Id. ¶ 29. He contends that Bayles-Fightmaster
denied him a fair hearing in violation of his Fourteenth and
Fifth Amendment rights. Id. ¶ 30. He contends
that DCSS similarly violated these rights by refusing to hold
an appeals hearing before taking away his licenses.
Id. ¶ 32. He contends that Kirk Gorman
contributed to his injuries by failing to inform Commissioner
Bayles-Fightmaster that Andrews had submitted a request for
an appeal to DCSS and that Kathy Simon “was complicit
in the intentional damage to Plaintiff” because she was
also aware of the letter. Id. ¶¶ 22, 23.
brings § 1983 claims against the defendants seeking to
redress these injuries. He seeks a declaratory judgment that
he was unconstitutionally denied his due process rights to a
fair hearing, $100 million in damages, and attorney's
fees and costs.
motion to dismiss filed pursuant to Rule 12(b)(1) is a
challenge to the court's subject matter jurisdiction.
See Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(1). “Federal courts
are courts of limited jurisdiction, ” and it is
“presumed that a cause lies outside this limited
jurisdiction.” Kokkonen v. Guardian Life Ins. of
Am., 511 U.S. 375, 377 (1994). The party invoking the
jurisdiction of the federal court bears the burden of
establishing that the court has the requisite subject matter
jurisdiction to grant the relief requested. Id.
challenge pursuant to Rule 12(b)(1) may be facial or factual.
See White v. Lee, 227 F.3d 1214, 1242 (9th Cir.
2000). In a facial attack, the jurisdictional challenge is
confined to the allegations pled in the complaint. See
Wolfe v. Strankman, 392 F.3d 358, 362 (9th Cir. 2004).
The challenger asserts that the allegations in the complaint
are insufficient “on their face” to invoke
federal jurisdiction. See Safe Air for Everyone v.
Meyer, 373 F.3d 1035, 1039 (9th Cir. 2004). To resolve
this challenge, the court assumes that the ...