United States District Court, W.D. Missouri, Western Division
ORDER AND OPINION (1) GRANTING DEFENDANT
BREHE-KRUEGER'S MOTION TO DISMISS, (2) DISMISSING
PLAINTIFF'S REMAINING CLAIMS, AND (3) FINDING AS MOOT
PLAINTIFF'S EMERGENCY MOTION FOR TEMPORARY RESTRAINING
ORDER AND PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION
D. SMITH, SENIOR JUDGE
are Plaintiff's Emergency Motion for Temporary
Restraining Order and Preliminary Injunction (Doc. #6), and
Defendant Ada Brehe-Krueger's Motion to Dismiss (Doc.
#9). For the following reasons, Defendant Ada
Brehe-Krueger's Motion to Dismiss is granted, and
Plaintiff's claims against Defendant Ada Brehe-Krueger
are dismissed. The Court also dismisses Plaintiff's
claims against Defendant Cole County Court (and Cole County,
to the extent Plaintiff is attempting to bring claims against
the county). With the Court's dismissal of all claims,
Plaintiff's request for a temporary restraining order and
preliminary injunction is rendered moot.
who is pro se, filed this matter against Judge Ada
Brehe-Krueger and the Circuit Court of Cole County, Missouri,
alleging Defendants violated his civil rights “by
refusing to hear any evidence as it relates to the judgement
(sic) based on fraud on the Court and is no[w] threatening
jail…to enforce the unconstitutional relief.”
Doc. #1, at 2. Plaintiff asks this Court to enjoin Judge
Brehe-Krueger “from executing and acting on any
judgements (sic), orders or mandate issued against
[Plaintiff] in Cole [C]ounty.” Doc. #6, at 2-3.
Plaintiff also asks the Court to order the return of property
taken from him as a result of the allegedly fraudulent
judgement (sic), ” and award him actual and/or punitive
damages. Doc. #1, at 2.
claims arise from two state court matters. First, the 2014
state court matter (Case No. 14AC-FC00740), which was filed
in the Circuit Court of Cole County, pertains to the
dissolution of Plaintiff's marriage to Nicole Lynn
Martin. Doc. #12, at 1-2. Plaintiff appealed the circuit
court's entry of contempt against him as well as the
dissolution judgment to the Missouri Court of Appeals.
Martin v. Martin, Case No. WD79044. The Court of
Appeals dismissed Plaintiff's appeal as it related to the
contempt order because that order was never enforced, and
affirmed the circuit court's dissolution
judgment. Id. Second, the 2016 state court
matter (Case No. 16AC-CC00166), which was also filed in the
Circuit Court of Cole County, is a defamation claim brought
by Plaintiff against Nicole Lynn Martin. That matter remains
open, and Defendant's motion for summary judgment is
December 2016, Plaintiff initiated a civil action in the
Central Division of this Court. Case No. 16-4319-NKL.
Plaintiff alleged Patricia Joyce, a state court judge in the
Circuit Court of Cole County violated his rights under the
Fifth, Seventh, and Fourteenth Amendments when she issued
rulings in state court proceedings. Doc. #1 (Case No.
16-4319). Plaintiff later amended his complaint to include
additional allegations against Judge Joyce related to
decisions she made in the 2014 state court matter and other
matters. Doc. #5, at 5-6 (Case No. 16-4319). He further
amended his complaint to include similar allegations against
two more state court judges: Judge Daniel Richard Green and
Judge Robert D. Schollmeyer. Doc. #8 (Case No. 16-4139).
sought to dismiss that matter. In granting Defendants'
motion to dismiss, Judge Laughrey of this Court found
Defendants were entitled to absolute judicial immunity, and
the Rooker-Feldman and Younger doctrines
applied, and therefore, the matter was dismissed. Doc. #22
(Case No. 16-4319). In her decision, Judge Laughrey noted
Judges Joyce and Schollmeyer recused from the 2014 state
court matter. Id. at 4. But it was then assigned to
Judge Brehe-Krueger, a defendant in this matter. Id.
After Judge Schollmeyer recused from the 2016 state court
matter, Judge Brehe-Krueger was assigned to preside over that
matter. Judge Brehe-Krueger, as of the date of this Order,
still presides over both matters.
Brehe-Krueger seeks to dismiss Plaintiff's claims in this
matter. Doc. #9. Plaintiff opposes Judge Brehe-Krueger's
motion. Doc. #12. The motion is now ripe for consideration.
In addition to Judge Brehe-Krueger's motion, the Court
also considers Plaintiff's claims against the Circuit
Court of Cole County.
Plaintiff's Claims Against Judge
Brehe-Krueger makes several arguments for dismissal of
Plaintiff's claims against her. Among other grounds,
Judge Brehe-Krueger argues the Rooker-Feldman
doctrine applies, and she is protected from suit by judicial
Brehe-Krueger argues the Rooker-Feldman doctrine
precludes the Court from exercising jurisdiction (that is,
legal authority) over Plaintiff's claims. A lower federal
court is generally without jurisdiction to hear
“challenges to state court decisions in particular
cases arising out of judicial proceedings even if those
challenges allege that that state court's action was
unconstitutional.” Dist. of Columbia Court of
Appeals v. Feldman, 460 U.S. 462, 486 (1983). Federal
courts, with the exception of the United States Supreme
Court, do not have jurisdiction over an appeal of a state
appellate court decision. Id.; see also 28
U.S.C. § 1257; Keene Corp. v. Cass, 908 F.2d
293, 296 (8th Cir. 1990). The Eighth Circuit holds the
Rooker-Feldman doctrine precludes jurisdiction over
“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.”
Edwards v. City of Jonesboro, 645 F.3d 1014, 1018
(8th Cir. 2011) (citing Exxon Mobil Corp. v. Saudi Basic
Indus. Corp., 544 U.S. 280, 284 (2005)).
seeks redress with this Court because Judge Brehe-Krueger
allegedly “refus[ed] to hear any evidence” in a
state court proceeding, and “refused to…explain
why [she] ruled” the way she did in a state court
proceeding. Doc. #1, at 2-3. Plaintiff also argues the
judgment entered by Judge Brehe-Krueger in a state court
proceeding was “fraudulent.” Id. at 2.
He asks the Court to “[g]rant an immediate injunction
before the ...