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Stauffer v. Blair

United States District Court, D. Colorado

January 15, 2015

HANNAH SHELBY STAUFFER, COLORADO MEDICAL BILLING CORPORATION, STAUFFER SCHOOLS, INC. and KIDS CAMPS, INC. (nonprofit corp.), Plaintiffs,
v.
JOLENE C. BLAIR, DANIEL KAUP, KAREN E. HAYES, D.O., A WOMAN'S PLACE OF FORT COLLINS, P.L.L.P., PETER DUSBABEK, TODD VRIESMAN, MONTGOMERGY, KOLODNY, AMATUZIO & DUSABEK, L.L.P., J. BRADFORD MARCH, III, MARCH, OLIVE, & PHARRIS, L.L.P., CHERYL TRINE, CHERYL TRINE LAW FIRM, LLC, CHRISTINE SKORBERT, and A WOMAN'S HEALING CENTER, LLC., Defendants.

ORDER ADOPTING RECOMMENDATIONS (ECF No. 8) AND OVERRULING PLAINTIFFS' OBJECTIONS (ECF Nos. 9, 11, 12, 17, 18, & 19)

RAYMOND P. MOORE, Judge.

This matter is before the Court on United States Magistrate Judge Michael J. Watanabe's recommendation (the "Recommendation") (ECF No. 8) that this Court deny Plaintiffs' Fed.R.Civ.P. Rule 60(b)(4) Motion Collaterally Attacking Void Colorado State Court Judgment for Lack of Jurisdiction Over Plaintiffs (ECF No. 3); that Plaintiffs' Complaint be dismissed sua sponte, and final judgment enter dismissing this action and all claims therein with prejudice; and that the Court consider imposing a sanction upon the Plaintiffs pursuant to Rule 11 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. ( Id. ). Plaintiffs have filed numerous documents containing objections to Judge Watanabe's Recommendation. (ECF Nos. 9, 11, 12, & 17) (collectively, the "Objections"). For the reasons below, the Objections are OVERRULED and the Recommendation is ADOPTED.

I. LEGAL STANDARD

A. Review of Magistrate's Report and Recommendation

When a magistrate judge issues a recommendation on a dispositive matter, Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 72(b)(3) requires that the district court judge "determine de novo any part of the magistrate judge's [recommendation] that has been properly objected to." In conducting its review, "[t]he district judge may accept, reject, or modify the recommended disposition; receive further evidence; or return the matter to the magistrate judge with instructions." Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b)(3). An objection is proper if it is filed timely in accordance with the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and specific enough to let the "district judge...focus attention on those issues- factual and legal-that are at the heart of the parties' dispute." United States v. 2121 E. 30th St., 73 F.3d 1057, 1059 (10th Cir. 1996) (quoting Thomas v. Arn, 474 U.S. 140, 147 (1985)).

B. Pro se plaintiff standard

Plaintiffs are proceeding pro se; thus, the Court must liberally construe their pleadings. Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520-21 (1972). The Court, however, cannot act as advocate for Plaintiffs, who must still comply with the fundamental requirements of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. See Hall v. Bellmon, 935 F.2d 1106, 1110 (10th Cir. 1991).

C. Res judicata bars the re-litigation of cases dismissed with prejudice

A dismissal with prejudice is a decision on the merits and is a bar to a further action under the doctrine of res judicata. Mars v. McDougal, 40 F.2d 247, 249 (10th Cir. 1930).

D. Rooker-Feldman doctrine

The Rooker-Feldman doctrine is a jurisdictional prohibition based on 28 U.S.C. ยง 1257 which holds that federal review of state court judgments may be obtained only in the United States Supreme Court. See Rooker v. Fidelity Trust Co., 263 U.S. 413 (1923); Dist. of Columbia Court of Appeals v. Feldman, 460 U.S. 462 (1983). The Rooker-Feldman doctrine applies to bar "a party losing in state court... from seeking what in substance would be appellate review of the state judgment in a United States district court, based on the losing party's claim that the state judgment itself violates the loser's federal rights." Johnson v. DeGrandy, 512 U.S. 997, 1005-06 (1994). In other words, it applies to "cases brought by state-court losers complaining of injuries caused by state court judgments rendered before the district court proceedings commenced and inviting district court review and rejection of those judgments. Exxon Mobil Corp. v. Saudi Basic Indus. Corp., 544 U.S. 280, 284 (2005).

II. PROCEDURAL HISTORY AND ANALYSIS

On November 29, 2013, Plaintiffs filed "Fed. R. Civ. P. Rule 60(b)(4) Motion Collaterally Attacking Void Colorado State Court Judgment for Lack of Jurisdiction Over Plaintiffs." (ECF No. 3). In that motion, Plaintiffs state they are collaterally attacking a state court judgment dated December 19, 2007, in District Case No. 03-cv-1729 in Larimer County. They assert, among other things, that the Rooker-Feldman doctrine (hereinafter, " Rooker-Feldman ") is inapplicable "to this and all other actions by Plaintiffs/Nonparties" and that the doctrine of res judicata is also inapplicable. (See ECF No. 8 at 2). In addition, they contend that two prior actions in this court, civil action Nos. 12-cv-01702-WYD-MJW and 11-cv-02389-WYD-MJW, are null and void. ( Id ). Judge Watanabe recommended denying this Motion.

Since Judge Watanabe issued his recommendation, Plaintiffs have filed six documents that one can interpret as stating objections: a corrected motion collaterally attacking void Colorado State Court judgment (ECF No. 9); the objection to the Recommendation filed by Plaintiff Hannah Shelby Stauffer (ECF No. 11); the objection the Recommendation filed by John Stauffer (ECF No. 12); the objection to the Recommendation filed by Plaintiffs Hannah Shelby Stauffer, John Stauffer (ECF No. 17); the Request for a Ruling from Judge Moore on the motion collaterally attacking void Colorado State Court judgment (ECF No. 9) by Plaintiffs Hannah Shelby Stauffer, John Stauffer (ECF No. 18); the supplement/amendment to the motion collaterally attacking void Colorado State Court judgment (ECF No. 9) for Order by Plaintiffs Hannah Shelby Stauffer. (ECF No. 19). Plaintiffs set forth their objections comprehensively and most intelligibly in John ...


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