United States District Court, N.D. Florida, Tallahassee Division
ADA A. GONZALEZ, Plaintiff,
U.S. BANK TRUST NATIONAL ASSOCIATION, etc. Defendants.
ORDER and REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
CHARLES A. STAMPELOS UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
proceeding pro se, initiated this case by filing an
“emergency complaint for declaratory judgment.”
ECF No. 1. Plaintiff submitted an in forma pauperis motion at
the time of case initiation which is generally sufficient to
support the motion. ECF No. 2. Plaintiff's motion is
granted and Plaintiff is not required to pay the filing fee
for this case.
is seeking to “enforce her” constitutional rights
which she alleges were violated because the Eighteenth
Judicial Circuit Court in Seminole County, Florida, and the
Florida Fifth District Court of Appeals “failed to
adhere to the requirements at law” and denied her equal
protection of the law. ECF No. 1 at 1-2. Plaintiff contends
“the State of Florida Court has obstructed the due
course of justice on Plaintiff's righteous legal
cases” by issuing an order that enjoined Plaintiff
“from filing as pro se litigant in all her
legal maters . . . .” Id. at 2.
relief, Plaintiff seeks injunctive relief and to stay
proceedings in state court. Id. at 2. In particular,
Plaintiff requests that this Court “restore Plaintiff
access to the court as pro se litigant and or to
force the State of Florida Court to accept Plaintiff's
motions and pleadings as pro se litigant in all her
legal matters.” Id. at 11. Plaintiff also
seeks a declaratory judgment. Id.
are numerous deficiencies with Plaintiff's complaint, not
the least of which include an inconsistent and vague listing
of Defendants, and insufficient facts to support
Plaintiff's conclusory allegations. Notwithstanding,
there are several more fatal deficiencies. First, Plaintiff
is once again attempting to prevent or, at this point,
overturn a state foreclosure action. This is not the first
case Plaintiff has initiated in this Court which is an
attempt to block the foreclosure of property in Seminole
County, Florida. See case # 4:19cv128-MW-CAS
(dismissed on June 11, 2019), and case # 4:17cv502-WS-CAS
(stayed pursuant to the Colorado River
abstention pending resolution of the underlying state
foreclosure action). Plaintiff has already been advised that
this Court cannot be used as a means to invalidate state
court orders. See ECF No. 8 of case # 4:19cv128.
Plaintiff has been informed that pursuant to the
Rooker-Feldman doctrine, a federal district court
lacks authority to review state court judgments which cause
injury to a plaintiff. Id.
Rooker-Feldman doctrine is a jurisdictional rule
that precludes federal district courts from reviewing
‘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, 125 S.Ct. 1517, 1521-22, 161 L.Ed.2d 454
(2005) (quoted in Macleod v. Bexley, 730 Fed.Appx.
845, 847 (11th Cir. 2018)); see also Rooker v. Fidelity
Trust Co., 263 U.S. 413, 44 S.Ct. 149, 68 L.Ed. 362
(1923); District of Columbia Court of Appeals v.
Feldman, 460 U.S. 462, 103 S.Ct. 1303, 75 L.Ed.2d 206
(1983). Here, according to Plaintiff, state courts in Florida
have issued orders which are unlawful. ECF No. 1 at 5-8.
Plaintiff seeks to overturn those judgments and orders, and,
in particular, she wants this Court to permit her to
“defend and to sue for the redressable harm inflicted
upon her . . . .” Id. at 8. This Court lacks
jurisdiction to do so. Having lost in state court,
Plaintiff's avenue of relief is to pursue appeals through
the state court system and then to the United States Supreme
Court. This Court does not, however, have jurisdiction to sit
as an appellate court and review orders entered by state
to the degree Plaintiff's complaint could be read as
challenging a state court order which enjoined her from
filing pro se matters, Plaintiff is advised that prohibiting
a vexatious litigant from filing documents pro se does not
violated the Equal Protection Clause. Smith v.
Bondi, No. 4:14cv606-RH/CAS, 2015 WL 3843860, at *3
(N.D. Fla. June 22, 2015), aff'd sub nom. Smith v.
Attorney Gen., 637 Fed.Appx. 574 (11th Cir. 2016)
(finding “[t]here is a rational basis for the
imposition of additional burdens on vexatious litigants who
often impose burdens on both courts and defendants”).
The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeal has “repeatedly
has held that federal courts have the power to manage their
dockets and curb vexations litigation.” Woodroffe
v. Attorney Gen., No. 8:08-CV-1838- T-30EAJ, 2009 WL
320863, at *2 (M.D. Fla. Feb. 9, 2009) (quoting May v.
Maass, 2005 WL 2298296, *3 (11th Cir. Sept. 22,
also true that a “vexatious litigant does not have a
First Amendment right to abuse official processes with
baseless filings in order to harass someone to the point of
distraction or capitulation.” Riccard v. Prudential
Ins. Co., 307 F.3d 1277, 1298 (11th Cir. 2002)
(affirming injunction which prohibited the filing of any
action without first obtaining leave of court did not violate
the First Amendment).
“As noted by the United States Supreme Court,
‘[e]very paper filed with the Clerk of this Court, no
matter how repetitious or frivolous, requires some portion of
the institution's limited resources. A part of the
Court's responsibility is to see that these resources are
allocated in a way that promotes the interests of
justice.'” In re McDonald, 489 U.S. 180,
184, 109 S.Ct. 993, 103 L.Ed.2d 158 (1989) (quoted in
May, 934 So.2d at 1187)). There is a compelling
interest in providing justice to litigants and enabling
courts to work efficiently without the burden on judicial
resources of processing frivolous or repetitious filings.
Smith, 2015 WL 3843860, at *2. Thus, Plaintiff is
advised that a court may impose requirements upon litigants
as deemed appropriate to prevent abuse of the judicial
process. Doing so is not, per se, unconstitutional.
Accordingly, despite the fact that this Court lacks authority
to review Plaintiff's state court proceedings, a
challenge to an order which requires a litigant to be
represented by counsel and prohibits continued pro se filings
would lack merit.
this Court lacks jurisdiction to review state court
proceedings, this case should be summarily dismissed.
1. Plaintiff's motion requesting leave to proceed in
forma pauperis, ECF ...