366 F.Supp.2d 96 (2005) | Cited 1 time | D. Maine | February 4, 2005


This case arises from Plaintiff's ongoing challenge to allegedlyunlawful actions taken by Defendants in the course of Maine State Bardisciplinary proceedings against him. Now before the Court is the lateststrand of a twisted web of filings made in this Court, the Maine LawCourt, the District of Massachusetts, and the United States Court ofAppeals for the First Circuit. A complete recitation of the facts andposture giving rise to this case is available in this Court's OrderGranting in Part Plaintiff's Motion (Pro Se) to Extend Time For Serviceof Process Against the Defendants (Docket Item No. 37).Page 2

For purposes of the present motion, the Court recites only thefollowing relevant procedural history. A single justice of the Law Courtentered a judgment disbarring Plaintiff on April 8, 2004. Plaintiffappealed that judgment to the Law Court, and on April 20, 2004, moved fora new trial and a stay of state court proceedings. The single justicedenied both requests on May 3, 2004. Immediately thereafter, the Clerk ofthe Law Court established a briefing schedule for Plaintiff's appeal ofhis disbarment. Plaintiff filed this federal suit on May 10, 2004,challenging the state court disbarment proceedings. This Court dismissedthe federal action, pursuant to the doctrine of Younger v. Harris,401 U.S. 37, 91 S. Ct. 746, 27 L. Ed. 2d 669 (1971), on June 25, 2004(Docket Item No. 12), in reliance on the opinion and holding of the FirstCircuit Court of Appeals in Plaintiff's prior, similar case challenginghis temporary suspension from the practice of law. See Williams v.Saufley, Civ. No. 02-204-P-C, Judgment of June 11, 2003 (Unreported)(Docket Item No. 59), at 1-2. Five days later, the Chief Justice of theLaw Court entered, on Plaintiff's own motion, an Order staying the stateappellate proceedings until the earlier of (a) the resolution of thepresent federal litigation, or (b) such time as the Law Court ordersotherwise. As a result of the stay entered in state court, this Courtvacated its Order of Dismissal (Docket Item No. 13).

Plaintiff has now served Defendants with process in this action, as hewas ordered to do by this Court (Docket Item No. 37). Defendants havemoved to dismiss pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(1) (Docket Item No. 42).Plaintiff suggests that because the Law Court has now stayed itsproceedings, Younger is no longer applicable. This Court does not agree.First, the Younger test looks to the status of state court proceedings atthe time the federal complaint is filed. See Maymo-Melendez v.Alvarez-Ramirez, 364 F.3d 27, 32Page 3(1st Cir. 2004). Plaintiff filed his federal complaint before the LawCourt issued a stay in its proceedings. Second, Younger and its progenyspecifically provide that "a party may not procure federal intervention byterminating the state judicial process prematurely — forgoing the stateappeal to attack the trial court's judgment in federal court." New OrleansPub. Serv., Inc. v. Council of New Orleans, 491 U.S. 350, 369,109 S. Ct. 2506, 105 L. Ed. 2d 298 (1989). Furthermore, "once a statejudicial proceeding . . . [has] begun, the exhaustion of state judicialremedies . . . [is] required by Younger." Maymo-Melendez, 364 F.3d at 34(1st Cir. 2004). It is abundantly clear that Plaintiff has not exhaustedhis state court remedies in the present action.1 As a result,Younger and its progeny command this Court to continue to abstain frominvolvement in the present litigation until final resolution of theproceedings before the Law Court.2

It is ORDERED that Defendants' Motion to Dismiss be, and it is hereby,GRANTED,3 and the Complaint herein is hereby DISMISSED withoutprejudice.4

1. Moreover, the Court notes that the stay of state court proceedingswas entered at Plaintiff's request, and the Law Court's order explicitlystates that it may lift the stay at any time.

2. Although Plaintiff alleges racial bias on the part of the SingleJustice, this Court finds no "concrete evidence" of bias sufficient toinvoke any exception under Younger. See, e.g., Brooks v. N.H. SupremeCourt, 80 F.3d 633, 640 (1st Cir. 1996).

3. This application of Younger obviates the need for this Court topresently consider the impact of the Rooker-Feldman doctrine, see Rookerv. Fidelity Trust Co., 263 U.S. 413, 44 S. Ct. 149, 68 L. Ed. 362 (1923),and D.C. Court of Appeals v. Feldman, 460 U.S. 462, 103 S. Ct. 1303,75 L. Ed. 2d 206 (1983), upon subject matter jurisdiction in this case.

4. To the extent Plaintiff contends that any factual allegations setforth in his articulated federal claims assert claims under Maine law,the Court declines to exercise supplemental jurisdiction. See28 U.S.C. § 1367(c)(3) (expressly authorizing a district court to declinethe exercise of supplemental jurisdiction when it "has dismissed allclaims over which it has original jurisdiction").Page 1

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