United States District Court, D. Kansas
CHRISTOPHER W. PARRISH, Plaintiff,
DAVID J. KAUFMAN and STATE OF KANSAS, Defendants.
Crow, U.S. District Senior Judge
case is before the court to screen plaintiff's pro
se complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A.
Pro se standards “
pro se litigant's pleadings are to be construed
liberally and held to a less stringent standard than formal
pleadings drafted by lawyers.” Hall v.
Bellmon, 935 F.2d 1106, 1110 (10th Cir. 1991). A pro
se litigant, however, is not relieved from following the
same rules of procedure as any other litigant. See Green
v. Dorrell, 969 F.2d 915, 917 (10th Cir. 1992),
cert. denied, 507 U.S. 940 (1993). A district court
should not “assume the role of advocate for the pro
se litigant.” Hall, supra. Nor
is the court to “supply additional factual allegations
to round out a plaintiff's complaint.” Whitney
v. State of New Mexico, 113 F.3d 1170, 1173-74 (10th
28 United State Code Section 1915A requires the court to
review cases filed by prisoners seeking redress from a
governmental entity or employee to determine whether the
complaint is frivolous, malicious or fails to state a claim
upon which relief may be granted. When deciding whether
plaintiff's complaint “fails to state a claim upon
which relief may be granted, ” the court must determine
whether the complaint contains “sufficient factual
matter, accepted as true, to ‘state a claim for relief
that is plausible on its face.'” Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009)(quoting Bell Atl.
Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)).
The plausibility standard is not akin to a probability
requirement, but it asks for more than a sheer possibility
that a defendant has acted unlawfully. Where a complaint
pleads facts that are merely consistent with a
defendant's liability, it stops short of the line between
possibility and plausibility of entitlement to relief.
Id. A plausibility analysis is a context-specific
task depending on a host of considerations, including
judicial experience, common sense and the strength of
competing explanations for the defendant's conduct. See
id. at 679; Twombly, 550 U.S. at 567.
court accepts the plaintiff's well-pled factual
allegations as true and views them in the light most
favorable to the plaintiff. United States v. Smith,
561 F.3d 1090, 1098 (10th Cir. 2009). The court, however, is
not required to accept legal conclusions alleged in the
complaint as true. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678
has written his complaint using forms for a civil rights
complaint pursuant to the jurisdictional provisions of 28
U.S.C. § 1331. He lists three counts. Counts 1 and 3
appear to be directed at defendant Kaufman. Kaufman is a
state district court judge in Sedgwick County, Kansas who has
presided over No. 16-CR-608 and who is presiding over No.
18-CR-1297. Count 1 alleges that defendant Kaufman
unconstitutionally convicted plaintiff of violating state
statutes and imposed an unconstitutionally severe sentence in
No. 16-CR-608. A review of the electronic docket of No.
16-CR-608 indicates that plaintiff had his probation revoked
on or about March 20, 2019 and that he has filed a state
court appeal. Count 3 alleges that defendant Kaufman has made
improper evidentiary rulings in No. 18-CR-1297. Count 2
appears to be directed at defendant State of Kansas.
Plaintiff alleges that the State of Kansas is bringing
criminal charges against plaintiff for conduct protected by
the First Amendment. This appears related to No. 18-CR-1297.
A review of the electronic docket in that case indicates that
the charges are still pending.
last page of the complaint form, under “REQUEST FOR
RELIEF”, plaintiff writes that he seeks reversal of a
conviction in No. 16-CR-608 and “removal from”
the Kansas Offenders Registration Act (KORA) and deletion of
all information from the KORA database. The “REQUEST
FOR RELIEF” does not appear to be related to Count 2
because the charges in No. 18-CR-1297 do not allege a
violation of KORA requirements. IV. The Younger doctrine
and Rooker-Feldman doctrine Under the Younger
doctrine,  the court must abstain from exercising
jurisdiction over suits for declaratory or injunctive relief
against pending state criminal proceedings in the absence of
most exceptional circumstances. Goings v. Sumner County
Dist. Attorney's Office, 571 Fed.Appx. 634, 637
(10th Cir. 2014)(quoting Phelps v.
Hamilton, 122 F.3d 885, 889 (10th Cir.
1997)). Plaintiff is seeking injunctive relief in the form of
a “reversal of a conviction.” If plaintiff means
the parole revocation judgment in No. 16-CR-608 entered on or
about March 20, 2019, then the court must not exercise
jurisdiction over that claim. If plaintiff is seeking an
injunction against the prosecution pending in No. 18-CR-1297
and/or the evidentiary rulings made by defendant Kaufman,
those claims must also be dismissed under the
pursuant to the Younger doctrine is warranted when
there are: 1) ongoing state criminal proceedings; 2) the
state court offers an adequate forum to hear plaintiff's
federal claims; 3) and the state proceedings involve
important state interests. Goings, supra,
quoting Taylor v. Jaquez, 126 F.3d 1294, 1297
(10thCir. 1997). These conditions are present
regarding plaintiff's claims for injunctive relief
against pending state court criminal proceedings.
plaintiff is seeking a reversal of his original conviction in
No. 16-CR-608, jurisdiction over that claim is barred by the
Rooker-Feldman doctrine. The doctrine also applies to
bar jurisdiction over plaintiff's challenge to the
application of KORA by the state court. See E.B. v.
Verniero, 119 F.3d 1077, 1090-92 (3rd Cir.
1997)(applying Rooker-Feldman doctrine to action
challenging offender registration provisions in New Jersey);
Denoma v. Kasich, 2015 WL 9906255 *11 (S.D.Ohio
11/2/2015)(applying doctrine to claim challenging state court
reclassification of plaintiff as a sexual offender subject to
registration requirements); Zuneska v. Cuomo, 2013
WL 431826 *3-5 (E.D.N.Y. 2/1/2013)(applying doctrine against
claim seeking to bar opposition to plaintiff's
declassification as a sexual offender); Skaggs v.
Sanky, 2012 WL 243329 *2 (D.Nebr. 1/25/2012)(same
seeking removal from sex offender registry). Under the
Rooker-Feldman doctrine, a federal district court
does not have jurisdiction to review a final state court
judgment. See Bear v. Patton, 451 F.3d 639, 641
(10th Cir. 2006). Only the Supreme Court has
jurisdiction to hear appeals from final state court
judgments. Id. Thus, recently in Cowan v.
Hunter, 2019 WL 413745 *1 (10th Cir.
2/1/2019), the Tenth Circuit held that, pursuant to the
Rooker-Feldman doctrine, the court did not have
jurisdiction to vacate a judgment ...