United States District Court, W.D. Michigan, Southern Division
ORDER ADOPTING R & R
L. MALONEY UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Barry Adams claims that Calhoun County violated his right of
“paternal dominion” under the Fourteenth
Amendment and violated his rights under the Thirteenth
Amendment and Anti-Peonage statute by incarcerating him for a
“failure to pay.” Calhoun County filed a motion
to dismiss and Plaintiff filed a single document that the
Court construes as a response to the motion to dismiss and as
a motion for summary judgment.
February 27, 2018, United States Magistrate Judge Ray Kent
issued an R & R recommending that the complaint be
dismissed for want of jurisdiction pursuant to the
Rooker-Feldman doctrine. The matter is now before
the Court on Plaintiff's objections to the R & R.
Court is required to make a de novo determination of those
portions of the R & R to which specific objections have
been made, and may accept, reject, or modify any or all of
the Magistrate Judge's findings or recommendations. 28
U.S.C. § 636(b)(1); Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b). “[A]
general objection to a magistrate's report, which fails
to specify the issues of contention, does not satisfy the
requirement that an objection be filed. The objections must
be clear enough to enable the district court to discern those
issues that are dispositive and contentious.”
Miller v. Currie, 50 F.3d 373, 380 (6th Cir. 1995).
Simply disagreeing with a Magistrate Judge's conclusions
or summarizing what was already presented is not an
objection. See Brown v. City of Grand Rapids, 2017
WL 4712064 (6th Cir. 2017).
a brief recounting of the facts giving rise to Plaintiffs
claims. In 2007, Plaintiff was convicted of failure to pay
child support as required by a court order, in violation of
MCL § 750.165, and sentenced to 25 to 96 months'
imprisonment by the Calhoun County Circuit Court. Plaintiff
was discharged from MDOC custody on February 28, 2015.
Plaintiffs claims under the Thirteenth Amendment, Fourteenth
Amendment, and 42 U.S.C. § 1994 arise from his
conviction and incarceration under state law.
objections are colorful, to say the least. At various points,
. Accuses Judge Kent of using
“psycho-affective rhetorical sophistry” to
“attempt to overwhelm the capacities of critical lay
cognition . . . .” (ECF No. 50 at PageID.299.)
. Asserts that the R &R evidences
“the lack of judicial temperament that is required to
adjudicate a pro se litigants pleadings . . . .”
(Id. at PageID.301.)
. Asserts that both Calhoun County and Judge
Kent's “disturbing inabilities to accurately
discern, or merely pretend to not discern, the nature of
[his] clearly-presented claims is reflective of an underlying
Court has thoroughly reviewed all of Plaintiffs objections
and finds that only one merits brief mention because it
addresses the dispositive issue-whether the
Rooker-Feldman doctrine applies.
Plaintiff's filing with all liberality, he asserts that
42 U.S.C. § 1994 (the Anti-Peonage statute) renders the
judgments in his state court proceedings “a legal
nullity.” However, this statute renders void “the
voluntary or involuntary service or labor of any persons, as
peons, in liquidation of any debt or obligation . . .
is not the first to attempt to use the Thirteenth Amendment
and Anti-Peonage statute to challenge state-imposed child
support or attempt to avoid the consequences of failing to
pay the same. See, e.g., Maley v. Kansas,
2012 WL 12829188 (D. Kan. 2012); State ex rel. Schmitz v.
Knight, 2006 WL 2126327 (Wash. App. 1st Div. 2006);
Lentz v. Alabama, 2007 WL 2461915 (M.D. Ala. 2007);
Child Support Agency v. Doe, 125 P.3d 461 (Haw.
2005); McKenna v. Steen, 422 So.2d 615 (La.App.
1982) (finding allegations that child support order imposed
on a law student amounted to an imposition of involuntary
servitude by forcing him to continue in his previous
occupation “so ludicrous that they hardly dignify a
response”). Like those before him, Plaintiff's
theory fails. There is no comparison between paying
court-ordered child support and compulsory, involuntary
Plaintiff's claims are in fact barred by the
Rooker-Feldman doctrine. “The pertinent
question . . . is whether the ‘source' of
injury' upon which plaintiff bases his federal claim is
the state court judgment.” In re Cook, 551
F.3d 542, 548 (6th Cir. 2009). Because the source of
Plaintiff seeks review of his conviction for failing to pay
court-ordered child support, the source of his injury is
clearly a state court judgment. See, e.g., Rowe
v. City of Detroit, 2000 WL 1679474 (6th Cir. Nov. 2,
2000) (concluding that claims reflecting dissatisfaction with
state court child support orders were non-justiciable in
federal court pursuant to Rooker-Feldman).
the R &R (ECF No. 49) is ADOPTED as the