United States District Court, D. Minnesota
Marie Radabaugh, pro se.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER ADOPTING THE REPORT AND
RECOMMENDATION OF THE MAGISTRATE JUDGE
R. TUNHEIM, CHIEF JUDGE.
Dawn Marie Radabaugh filed a Complaint under various
common-law theories arising from the termination of her
parental rights over her child S.M.R.K. This matter is now
before the Court on Radabaugh's objections to the Report
and Recommendation (“R&R”) of United States
Magistrate Judge Becky R. Thorson. The Court has conducted a de
novo review of Radabaugh's objections pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 636(b)(1). For the reasons set forth below, the
Court will overrule Radabaugh's objections and adopt the
March 2015, Hennepin County (the “County”)
petitioned the Hennepin County District Court to terminate
Radabaugh's parental rights. In re Welfare of Child
of D.M.R., No. A15-0494, 2015 WL 6113511, at *1
(Minn.Ct.App. Oct. 19, 2015). The County alleged that
Radabaugh abandoned S.M.R.K. and “failed to satisfy the
duties of the parent-child relationship.” Id.
The court held a termination trial that spanned two months
and ultimately “ruled that termination of
[Radabaugh's] parental rights [was] in [S.M.R.K.'s]
best interests.” Id. at *2; (see also
Compl. ¶ 69, May 10, 2017, Docket No. 1 (noting the
trial dates)). Radabaugh appealed to the Minnesota Court of
Appeals, who affirmed the state district court in October
2015. Id. at *1.
10, 2017, Radabaugh filed the Complaint in this Court
asserting claims against the State of Minnesota, certain
state-government agencies, divisions of Hennepin County
District Court, the American Bar Association
(“ABA”), the Minnesota Bar Association
(“MSBA”), Corporation Trust Company, and a list
of individuals who were involved in the termination
proceedings. (Compl. ¶ 1.) Radabaugh's claims are
titled “Trespass” or “Trespass on the Case,
” but are largely framed as Constitutional violations
for wrongful termination of parental rights. (See
Id. ¶¶ 24-88.)
magistrate judge submitted an R&R on May 22, 2017.
(R&R, May 22, 2017, Docket No. 2.) The magistrate judge
recommended the Court dismiss the Complaint sua
sponte on three grounds: (1) some claims are barred by
the Rooker-Feldman doctrine; (2) some claims are
barred by the doctrine of prosecutorial and judicial
immunity; and (3) the remaining claims are wholly frivolous.
(Id. at 2-3.) Radabaugh filed timely objections to
the R&R. (Obj. to R&R, May 31, 2017, Docket No. 7.)
STANDARD OF REVIEW
magistrate judge files an R&R, a party may file
“specific written objections to the proposed findings
and recommendations.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b)(2);
accord D. Minn. LR 72.2(b)(1). “The objections
should specify the portions of the magistrate judge's
report and recommendation to which objections are made and
provide a basis for those objections.” Mayer v.
Walvatne, No. 07-1958, 2008 WL 4527774, at *2 (D. Minn.
Sept. 28, 2008). For dispositive motions, the Court reviews
de novo a “properly objected to” portion
of an R&R. Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b)(3); accord D.
Minn. LR 72.2(b)(3). “Objections which are not specific
but merely repeat arguments presented to and considered by a
magistrate judge are not entitled to de novo review,
but rather are reviewed for clear error.”
Montgomery v. Compass Airlines, LLC, 98 F.Supp.3d
1012, 1017 (D. Minn. 2015).
OBJECTIONS TO R&R
first objects to the magistrate judge's recommendation
that the Rooker-Feldman doctrine bars some of her
claims. Under the Rooker-Feldman doctrine, federal
courts do not have subject-matter jurisdiction over
challenges to state-court decisions. See Exxon Mobil
Corp. v. Saudi Basic Indus. Corp., 544 U.S. 280, 283-84
(2005). The doctrine is narrow and 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.” Riehm v.
Engelking, 538 F.3d 952, 964 (8th Cir. 2008)
(quoting Exxon Mobil Corp., 544 U.S. at 284). The
magistrate judge found that, to the extent the Complaint asks
the Court to find the state courts lacked jurisdiction over
the custody proceedings or erred in its conclusion regarding
the termination of Radabaugh's parental rights, the
claims were barred by the Rooker-Feldman doctrine.
claims the Rooker-Feldman doctrine does not apply to
her claims because the state courts were acting outside the
scope of their jurisdiction. But, to the extent Radabaugh
asks the Court to “overturn various state court orders,
” the Rooker-Feldman doctrine precludes review
even if Radabaugh challenges the state court's
jurisdiction. Cassell v. Cty. of Ramsey, No.
10-4981, 2012 WL 928242, at *1-2, 4 (D. Minn. Mar. 19, 2012),
aff'd, 490 F. App'x 842 (8th Cir.
2012). For this reason, the Court will overrule
Radabaugh's objection and adopt the R&R's