United States District Court, N.D. New York
MEMORANDUM-DECISION AND ORDER
Lawrence E. Kahn Senior U.S. District Judge
plaintiff Errol Richard Dodd brings this complaint against
Judge Patrick O'Sullivan, Magistrate Todd Dexter, the
State of New York, and the Madison County Family Court. Dkt.
No. 1 (“Complaint”). After granting
Plaintiff's motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis
(“IFP”), the Honorable Thérèse
Wiley Dancks, U.S. Magistrate Judge, reviewed the Complaint
under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B) and recommended that the
Court dismiss Plaintiff's claims without leave to amend.
Dkt. No. 8 (“Report-Recommendation”) at 12.
Plaintiff objected. Dkt. No. 9
(“Objections”). For the reasons that follow, the
Court adopts the Report-Recommendation in its entirety.
Judge Dancks noted, Plaintiff's Complaint “is not a
model of clarity.” R. & R. at 2. While Plaintiff
uses a pro se form designed for a civil case alleging
negligence, Compl. at 1, he appears to assert claims stemming
from a family court matter. Specifically, he asserts that his
“civil rights have been violated” because he
“was not proven to be an ‘unfit' parent
before terminating [his] parental rights, without due
process.” Id. at 2. Plaintiff also alleges
that his “children are being denied appropriate
counseling for injuries sustained by these actions by the
court.” Id. He seeks monetary relief and the
restoration of his parental rights. Id. at 4.
Plaintiff also includes in his Complaint a single-spaced,
sixteen-page document that in large part outlines his
proposals to “correct the psychological injury that is
occurring to the child and ensure each and every child is set
on a course of health, wellness and prosperity, ” and
he demands royalties or a payment of $6.66 billion should the
program be implemented. Id. at 14-15.
Dancks recommended dismissing the Complaint for a lack of
subject matter jurisdiction under the Rooker-Feldman
doctrine and the domestic relations exception. R. & R. at
12. She also recommended that, even if there were subject
matter jurisdiction, the Complaint be dismissed under
1915(e)(2)(b)(iii) because all defendants are entitled to
plaintiff seeks to proceed IFP, “the court shall
dismiss the case at any time” if the action: “(i)
is frivolous or malicious; (ii) fails to state a claim on
which relief may be granted; or (iii) seeks monetary relief
against a defendant who is immune from such relief.” 28
U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B). Thus, even if a plaintiff meets
the financial criteria to commence an action IFP, it is the
court's responsibility to determine whether the plaintiff
may properly maintain the complaint before permitting the
Plaintiff to proceed IFP. See id. The Court must
review pro se complaints liberally, see Nance v.
Kelly, 912 F.2d 605, 606 (2d Cir. 1990) (per curiam),
and should exercise “extreme caution . . . in ordering
sua sponte dismissal of a pro se complaint before the adverse
party has been served and both parties (but particularly the
plaintiff) have had an opportunity to respond.”
Anderson v. Coughlin, 700 F.2d 37, 41 (2d Cir. 1983)
(internal citations omitted).
fourteen days after a party has been served with a copy of a
magistrate judge's report-recommendation, the party
“may serve and file specific, written objections to the
proposed findings and recommendations.” Fed.R.Civ.P.
72(b); L.R. 72.1(c). If objections are timely filed, a court
“shall make a de novo determination of those portions
of the report or specified proposed findings or
recommendations to which objection is made.” 28 U.S.C.
§ 636(b). However, if no objections are made, or if an
objection is general, conclusory, perfunctory, or a mere
reiteration of an argument made to the magistrate judge, a
district court need review that aspect of a
report-recommendation only for clear error. Barnes v.
Prack, No. 11-CV-857, 2013 WL 1121353, at *1 (N.D.N.Y.
Mar. 18, 2013); Farid v. Bouey, 554 F.Supp.2d 301,
306-07, 306 n.2 (N.D.N.Y. 2008), abrogated on other
grounds by Widomski v. State Univ. of N.Y. at Orange,
748 F.3d 471 (2d Cir. 2014). “Even a pro se
party's objections to a Report and Recommendation must be
specific and clearly aimed at particular findings in the
magistrate's proposal.” Machicote v.
Ercole, No. 06-CV-13320, 2011 WL 3809920, at *2
(S.D.N.Y. Aug. 25, 2011). “A [district] judge . . . may
accept, reject, or modify, in whole or in part, the findings
or recommendations made by the magistrate judge.”
his Complaint, Plaintiff's Objections are often difficult
to follow, and at times stray from legal argumentation into
something more akin to a manifesto. Liberally construing the
filing, however, Plaintiff does raise specific objections to
Judge Dancks' application of the Rooker-Feldman
doctrine and sovereign immunity. Accordingly, the Court
reviews these aspects of the Report-Recommendation de novo.
Court also addresses additional arguments that Plaintiff
raises in the Objections but were not discussed in the
Rooker-Feldman doctrine precludes federal subject
matter jurisdiction in “cases brought by state-court
losers complaining of injuries caused by state-court
judgments rendered before the federal district court
proceedings commenced and inviting district court review and
rejection of those judgments.” Exxon Mobil Corp. v.
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