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Barton v. Mikelhayes

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT NORTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK


April 14, 2009

TODD DAVID BARTON PLAINTIFF,
v.
PAM MIKELHAYES, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Thomas J. McAVOY, Senior United States District Judge

DECISION & ORDER

On January 20, 2009, Plaintiff commenced a civil action asserting claims of employment discrimination pursuant to Title VII of the Civil rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq. ("Title VII), the Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 12101 et seq. ("ADA"), and 42 U.S.C. § 1983. See Compl. [dkt. # 1]. On April 10, 2009, Plaintiff filed an ex parte application for an Order to Show Cause and for a Temporary Restraining Order seeking to prevent the enforcement of an Order and Judgment of the Schenectady City Court dated October 21, 2008.*fn1 See Motion, dkt. # 12. The matter was assigned to the undersigned at 4:00 p.m. on April 13, 2009, and, because Plaintiff's application did not comply with the applicable federal and local rules, the Court held the matter in abeyance for 24 hours to allow defendants' counsel to respond. See 4/13/09 Order, dkt. # 14. Defense counsel responded today, opposing Plaintiff's application. See dkt. 16.

The Court concludes that the matter of the Order to Show Cause is barred by the Rooker-Feldman doctrine. See Exxon Mobil Corp. v. Saudi Basic Indus. Corp., 544 U.S. 280, 284 (2005)(The Rooker-Feldman doctrine applies when a plaintiff complains in federal court of injuries that are caused by a state-court judgment); Hoblock v. Albany County Bd. of Elections, 422 F.3d 77, 88 (2d Cir. 2005)("A federal suit complains of injury from a state-court judgment . . . when the [complained of] actions are produced by a state-court judgment and not simply ratified, acquiesced in, or left unpunished by it."). The injury complained of by the Order to Show Cause, and which Plaintiff seeks to enjoin, is being evicted from his residence in accordance with the Order and Judgment of the Schenectady City Court. Under the Rooker-Feldman doctrine, "federal district courts lack jurisdiction over suits that are, in substance, appeals from state-court judgments." Hoblock, 422 F.3d at 84 )(citing, inter alia, Exxon Mobil Corp., 544 U.S. 280; Rooker v. Fidelity Trust Co., 263 U.S. 413(1923); District of Columbia Court of Appeals v. Feldman, 460 U.S. 462 (1983)). The Order to Show Cause is, in essence, a last minute appeal from the state court judgment that Plaintiff consented to and which has been in effect for several months.

Further, Plaintiff has not demonstrated irreparable harm in the absence of the sought after injunction. In fact, Plaintiff notified the Court this morning that he has taken up a new residence at 801 Plymouth Avenue, Schenectady, New York. This last fact also arguably moots out the instant application.

Therefore, the application for an Order to Show Cause and an injunction [dkt. # 12] is DENIED.

IT IS SO ORDERED


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