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White v. Coleman

United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division

March 27, 2015

William Sylvester White, Plaintiff,
v.
Judge Alicia Jones Coleman, et al., Defendants.

ORDER GRANTING APPLICATION TO PROCEED IN FORMA PAUPERIS AND DISMISSING COMPLAINT FOR LACK OF JURISDICTION

SEAN F. COX, District Judge.

Acting pro se, Plaintiff William Sylvester White ("Plaintiff") filed this action against Defendants Judge Alicia Jones-Coleman, Pensco Trust Company, Angelo S. Dimeo, Metro Mortgage, and ASD, LLC (collectively "Defendants") on March 26, 2015. Along with Plaintiff's complaint (Docket Entry No 1), Plaintiff also filed an "Emergency Motion To Stay Proceedings" (Docket Entry No. 2).

Indigent litigants may request a waiver of filing fees under 28 U.S.C. § 1915, but such requests must be accompanied by an "affidavit that includes a statement of all assets." 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(1). Plaintiff has provided such an affidavit and, having reviewed Plaintiff's application to proceed in forma pauperis, the Court hereby GRANTS Plaintiff's application to proceed in forma pauperis in this action.

Because Plaintiff is proceeding in forma pauperis, the applicable statute requires this Court to dismiss this case, at any time, if it fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(2) ("the court shall dismiss the case at any time if the court determines that" the action "fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted."). In addition, even where a plaintiff has paid the filing fee, "a district court may, at any time, sua sponte dismiss a complaint for lack of subject matter jurisdiction pursuant to Rule 12(b)(1) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure when the allegations of a complaint are totally implausible, attenuated, unsubstantial, frivolous, devoid of merit, or no longer open to discussion." Apple v. Glenn, 183 F.3d. 477, 479 (6th Cir. 1999).

Having reviewed Plaintiff's pro se Complaint and Motion, this Court concludes that the Rooker-Feldman doctrine precludes this Court from exercising subject matter jurisdiction over this action because Plaintiff is effectively attempting to appeal from a state-court order and judgment granting possession to real property.

"The Rooker-Feldman doctrine provides that inferior federal courts lack jurisdiction to review the final judgments of state courts." Hutcherson v. Lauderdale Cty., Tennessee, 326 F.3d 747, 755 (6th Cir.2003) (citing D.C. Court of Appeals v. Feldman, 460 U.S. 462, 103 S.Ct. 1303, 75 L.Ed.2d 206 (1983) and Rooker v. Fidelity Trust Co., 263 U.S. 413, 44 S.Ct. 149, 68 L.Ed. 362 (1923)). This is because "[f]ederal district courts do not stand as appellate courts for decisions of state courts." Hall v. Callahan, 727 F.3d 450, 453 (6th Cir.2013) .

The Rooker-Feldman doctrine is "designed to prohibit end-runs around state court judgments that might occur when parties go into federal court essentially seeking a review of a state-court decision." Kovacic v. Cuyahoga Cty. Dept. of Children and Family Svs., 606 F.3d 301, 308 (6th Cir.2010). The application of the doctrine is "confined to cases brought by statecourt losers complaining of injuries caused by state-court judgments rendered before the district court proceedings commenced and inviting district court review and rejection of those judgments.'" Givens v. Homecomings Financial, 278 Fed.App'x. 607, 609 (6th Cir.2008).

Here, it is clear from Plaintiff's complaint and motion that the source of his alleged injuries is a state-court possession order pertaining to certain real property, that was issued in Michigan's 36th District Court. Notably, the relief that Plaintiff requests in his complaint is for this Court to vacate the state-court judgment, release an escrow account to Plaintiff, and restore title to the property to Plaintiff. As such, the claims asserted in this action are barred by the Rooker-Feldman doctrine. Givens v. Homecomings Financial, 278 F.Appx. 607 (6th Cir. 2008); see also Dickow v. JP Morgan Chase Bank, N.A., 2013 WL 6051018 at *6-8 (E.D. Mich. Nov. 15, 2013).

Accordingly, the Court hereby DISMISSES Plaintiff's Complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii) and Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(1).

It is FURTHER ORDERED that Plaintiff's Request for Service by the United States Marshal is DENIED AS MOOT.

IT IS SO ORDERED.


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