United States District Court, District of Columbia
SUSAN CARRILLO, Plaintiff, Pro se, Washington, DC.
OSCAR CARRILLO, SR., Defendant, Pro se, Silver Spring, MD.
For ALICE DVOSKIN, Dr., Defendant: Edward Anthony Gonsalves, LEAD ATTORNEY, ARMSTRONG,DONOHUE, CEPPOS & VAUGHAN, Rockville, MD.
ELLEN SEGAL HUVELLE, United States District Judge.
Plaintiff Susan Carrillo, proceeding pro se, has filed suit against defendants Oscar Carrillo, her former husband, and Dr. Alice Dvoskin, alleging injuries relating to a child custody dispute between the Carrillos in which Dr. Dvoskin served as a court-appointed expert. ( See Compl., Apr. 3, 2013 [ECF No. 1].) The Court will grant defendants' motions to dismiss  because plaintiff has not established personal jurisdiction over Dr. Dvoskin, and because the doctrine of collateral estoppel bars plaintiff's claims against both defendants.
On December 5, 2012, Susan and Oscar Carrillo appeared before Judge Anne K. Albright in the Circuit Court for Montgomery County, Maryland, for a Modification of Custody Hearing. ( See Compl., Ex. 3 (Tr. of 12/5/2012 Custody Modification Hrg.), at 2-74 (" Tr." ) .) Prior to the hearing, Judge Albright had appointed Dr. Dvoskin to complete a custody evaluation and submit her findings to the court for the purposes of the hearing. (Dvoskin Mot. at 2.) Dr. Dvoskin, after conducting several interviews with and psychological tests of both Carrillos, interviewing their children, and speaking with several individuals familiar with the children, concluded that until plaintiff's " psychiatric condition is addressed and her behavior normalized, her access to the boys must be restricted." (Dvoskin Reply, Ex. B. (" Custody " Eval." ), at 16, Jul. 18, 2013 [ECF No. 18-2]; see generally id. at 1-17.)
Susan Carrillo filed two motions prior to the hearing in Montgomery County Circuit
Court challenging Dr. Dvoskin's evaluation, one on the ground that Dr. Dvoskin's report and testimony was inadmissible under the Maryland Rules of Evidence, and the other alleging that Dr. Dvoskin " had been bias [sic] in favor of [Oscar Carrillo], had been negligent in her conduct of the evaluation, and had not abided by court ordered stipulations." ( See Compl. at 14-15.) Judge Albright denied both motions. (Dvoskin Mot. at 3.) At the hearing, despite Susan Carrillo's objections to Dr. Dvoskin's report and testimony, Judge Albright accepted them both, finding that Dr. Dvoskin's opinion was well-supported, consistent with the other evidence in the case, and credible. ( See Tr. at 7-12, 60.) Based on Dr. Dvoskin's opinion and the rest of the evidence in the record, Judge Albright found that Susan Carrillo's mental health treatment regimen had been ineffective. ( Id. at 45.) She ordered that it would be in the best interests of the two children for Oscar Carrillo to continue to have sole legal and physical custody, id. at 45, 71, but that Susan Carillo be allowed supervised visitation with her children. ( Id. at 60.) The Court of Special Appeals of Maryland upheld the Circuit Court's decision on June 6, 2013, finding that the court did not err in accepting Dr. Dvoskin as a credible witness, and that Ms. Carrillo's challenges to the decision lacked merit. (Dvoskin Reply, Ex. C (Md. Appellate Court Decision), at 9-10 (" App. Ct. Decision" ).)
Susan Carrillo filed the above case on April 3, 2013. She alleges that Dr. Dvoskin has committed medical malpractice or caused personal injury to plaintiff and that Oscar Carrillo has caused personal injury to plaintiff and committed civil rights violations. (Pl.'s Opp. to Dvoskin Mot. at 2, July 10, 2013 [ECF No. 16]; Pl.'s Opp. to Carrillo's Mot. at 25, Jul. 15 2013 [ECF No. 17]). Before the Court are Oscar Carrillo's pro ...