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Rossman v. United States

United States District Court, District of Columbia

December 30, 2014

BRUD ROSSMAN, Plaintiff,
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, et al., Defendants.

MEMORANDUM OPINION

KETANJI BROWN JACKSON, District Judge.

It appears that plaintiff has been charged with a misdemeanor offense, and the matter is pending in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. He now seeks to remove the criminal matter to this federal district court.

"[A] federal court may dismiss an action when there is a direct conflict between the exercise of federal and state jurisdiction and considerations of comity and federalism dictate that the federal court should defer to the state proceedings." Hoai v. Sun Refining and Marketing Co., Inc., 866 F.2d 1515, 1517 (D.C. Cir. 1989) (citing Younger v. Harris, 401 U.S. 37, 43-45 (1971)). This is such an action. See Miranda v. Gonzales, 173 F.Appx. 840 (D.C. Cir.) (per curiam) ("It is well-settled... that a court will not act to restrain a criminal prosecution if the moving party has an adequate remedy at law and will not suffer irreparable injury if denied equitable relief.") (citation omitted), cert. denied, 549 U.S. 889 (2006); see Smith v. Holder, No. 14-131, 2014 WL 414292, at *1 (D.D.C. Jan. 30, 2014), aff'd, 561 F.Appx. 12 (D.C. Cir. June 16, 2014) (per curiam) (noting appellant's failure to "show[] that the district court erred in dismissing his challenge to pending District of Columbia criminal proceedings under the abstention doctrine of Younger v. Harris "). Plaintiff may raise any constitutional claim he believes he has in the Superior Court; if he is dissatisfied, he may pursue an appeal to the District of Columbia Court of Appeals, and from there an appeal to the Supreme Court of the United States. See JMM Corp. v. District of Columbia, 378 F.3d 1117, 1121 (D.C. Cir. 2004) (footnotes omitted).

Given "the fundamental policy against federal interference with state criminal prosecutions" Younger, 401 U.S. at 46, the Court will dismiss this action. An Order accompanies this Memorandum Opinion.


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