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Jarvis v. District of Columbia

United States District Court, District of Columbia

January 30, 2014

Derek N. Jarvis, Plaintiff,
v.
The District of Columbia et al., Defendants.

MEMORANDUM OPINION

This matter is before the Court on review of the plaintiff s, pro se complaint and application to proceed in forma pauperis. The Court will grant the plaintiffs application to proceed in forma pauperis and will dismiss this action for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(h)(3) (requiring the court to dismiss an action "at any time" it determines that subject matter jurisdiction is wanting).

In this action captioned "Complaint for Relief of: Reckless Government Mismanagement Neglect, Conspiracy to Deprive Rights, Violation of Equal Rights Under the Law, Government Sanctioned Fraud, 42 U.S.C. and Failure to Prevent Act(s), " the plaintiff sues the District of Columbia for equitable relief and monetary damages exceeding $1 million. The "dispute arises out of how the D.C. Superior Court handled the administration of the Estate of [the plaintiffs father]." Compl. at 2.

Jurisdiction is wanting because a federal district court is not a reviewing court and thus, as a general rule applicable here, lacks subject matter jurisdiction to review the decisions of a state court. See 28 U.S.C. §§ 1331, 1332 (general jurisdictional provisions); Fleming v. United States, 847 F.Supp. 170, 172 (D.D.C. 1994), cert, denied 513 U.S. 1150 (1995) (citing District of Columbia Court of Appeals v. Feldman, 460 U.S. 462, 482 (1983); Rooker v. Fidelity Trust Co., 263 U.S. 413, 415, 416 (1923)). Because the instant complaint essentially seeks review of the local probate court's rulings, it will be dismissed. See Chen v Raz, 172 F.3d 918 (D.C. Cir. 1999) ("Because appellant's complaint seeks review of the Superior Court's decisions in the probate of his late wife's estate, the district court lacked subject matter jurisdiction.") (citations omitted). A separate order accompanies this Memorandum Opinion.


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