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Todd L. Gookins v. Timothy A. Roulan

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT NORTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK


April 29, 2011

TODD L. GOOKINS PLAINTIFF,
v.
TIMOTHY A. ROULAN, INDIVIDUALLY & OFFICIAL CAPACITY; AND NEW YORK STATE, EMPLOYER, DEFENDANTS.

MEMORANDUM-DECISION AND ORDER

Now pending before the Court are several requests for relief filed by pro se Plaintiff Todd L. Gookins ("Plaintiff") in this action, including a Motion for a temporary restraining order ("TRO") and preliminary injunction (Dkt. No. 8) ("Emergency Motion"), as well as a Motion for the issuance of subpoenas to the named Defendants (Dkt. No. 3). Plaintiff originally filed this civil rights lawsuit on April 18, 2011, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, see Dkt. No. 1 ("Complaint"), along with an Application toproceed in forma pauperis (Dkt. No. 2) ("Application"). Before the Court completed its review and made a determination with regard to those submissions, Plaintiff submitted his Motion for the issuance of subpoenas and paid the required filing fee of three hundred and fifty dollars ($350.00) three days later, on April 21, 2011, at which time he also filed his Emergency Motion. As a result, the Clerk has issued Summonses for the Plaintiff to serve upon the named Defendants, Dkt. Nos. 5 and 6, although it appears that the Defendants have yet to be served.

Plaintiff apparently seeks redress for alleged violations of his constitutional rights, in addition to asserting pendent state law claims in his Complaint, including claims of defamation, fraud, and negligence. See Dkt. No. 1. Plaintiff's Complaint reveals that it arises out of a pending proceeding in New York State Family Court, Herkimer County, relating to the custody of his daughter. See id. The named Defendants are the State of New York and the attorney Timothy A. Roulan ("Defendant Roulan"), also known as a law guardian, appointed by that court to represent the child at issue in that proceeding. See id. In his Emergency Motion, Plaintiff seeks an order of this Court that 1) essentially directs Defendant Roulan to "stay away" from him and not to violate his constitutional rights; 2) directs Defendant Roulan to respond to the Plaintiff's proposed subpoenas; and 3) prohibits the Defendant Roulan from engaging in ex parte communications with the assigned New York State Family Court Judge and Judicial Hearing Officer ("JHO"). See Dkt. No. 8 at 1-2.

On April 5, 2011, Plaintiff filed a related lawsuit in this Court against the assigned family court judge as well as the JHO, also alleging violations of his of his constitutional rights. Gookins v. Garramone, No. 6:11-CV-0373 (N.D.N.Y. Apr. 22, 2011). As in this lawsuit, Plaintiff originally sought leave to proceed in forma pauperis, subsequently paid the filing fee, and filed motions for the issuance of subpoenas to the Defendants and for a TRO and preliminary injunction restraining the Family Court from enforcing three orders issued by that court. See id. By Memorandum-Decision and Order dated April 22, 2011, familiarity with which will be assumed, the Court denied all of the Plaintiff's Motions filed in Gookins v. Garramone, and dismissed that lawsuit. Finding that the defendants were absolutely immune from suit and that the Court lacked jurisdiction to interfere with the Family Court proceeding under the Rooker-Feldman doctrine*fn1 , the Court ordered judgment be entered in favor of the defendants in the action. Gookins v. Garramone, No. 6:11-CV-00373, Dkt. Nos. 9 and 10.

For substantially the same reasons set forth in this Court's Memorandum-Decision and Order issued in Gookins v. Garramone, Plaintiff's Motions herein are denied, and the action is dismissed.*fn2

Accordingly, it is hereby:

ORDERED, that Plaintiff's Complaint (Dkt. No. 1) is DISMISSED in its entirety; and it is further

ORDERED, that the Plaintiff's Application for leave to proceed in forma pauperis (Dkt. No. 2) is DENIED as moot; and it is further

ORDERED, that the Plaintiff's Motion for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction (Dkt. No. 8) is DENIED; and it is further

ORDERED, that the Plaintiff's Motion for the issuance of subpoenas (Dkt. No. 3) is DENIED; and it is further

ORDERED, that the Clerk serve a copy of this order on Plaintiff in accordance with the Court's Local Rules.

IT IS SO ORDERED.

Albany, New York


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