The opinion of the court was delivered by: Anita B. Brody, District Judge.
Now before me are two motions to dismiss. One motion dismiss
was filed by defendants City of Philadelphia, Police Commissioner
John Timoney, Police Commissioner Richard Neal, Police Officer
Brock, Detective Angelucci, Mark Jones, John J. Norris, Chief
Inspector John Maxwell, Police Officer McCreery, Sergeant
Schwartzl, Police Officer Nardo and Gerry Ross (collectively
"City defendants"). The other motion to dismiss was filed by
Defendant Lynne Abraham, the District Attorney of Philadelphia
County ("District Attorney's Office").*fn1 The City defendants
and the District Attorney's Office move to dismiss plaintiff's
pro se complaint pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
12(b)(6). I will dismiss the amended complaint, sua sponte,
because the court lacks subject matter jurisdiction.
The following facts are taken from the plaintiff's second
amended complaint and presented in the light most favorable to
Plaintiff alleges that the "Philadelphia Police Department,
District Attorney, and the City of Philadelphia have acted in
concert to unlawfully arrest me and harass me because of
presumptions about the behavior of my gender (male), and to
deprive me of my home and contact with my children."
Pl.Sec.Am.Comp. at 1. Plaintiff contends that "[e]ven if these
persons and entities did not act consciously to deprive me of my
rights due to gender, the policies of these persons and entities
have this effect. Petitioner believes, however, that these
persons and entities agree with each other that males in general
present a grave danger to females and that these persons and
entities conspire to discriminate on the basis of gender." Id.
Plaintiff asserts that in November 1996 he was evicted from the
home he shared with his wife and children (the "marital home")
and separated from his children when his wife filed a Protection
from Abuse ("PFA") petition. While the PFA restraining order was
in effect, plaintiff was arrested twice by the Philadelphia
Police. First, on January 6, 1997, he was arrested when he was
near the marital home, for the purpose of having police officers
serve contempt of custody papers on his wife. Plaintiff called
the police when he was two blocks from the marital home and was
told to meet the police on a corner near the marital home. When
plaintiff reached this corner, he was arrested for contempt of
the PFA restraining order. Plaintiff also alleges that after this
arrest he was held for 24 hours in "horrid" conditions, "[t]here
were no blankets and meals were cheese sandwiches (no condiments)
and ice tea." Id. at 2. Plaintiff asserts that he was later
found not guilty on this charge.
Plaintiff alleges that the PFA act was adopted upon the
assumption that men are more dangerous than woman in domestic
situations. Plaintiff quotes certain statistics that he suggests
support his theory that men are not more dangerous in domestic
situations then woman. Plaintiff contends that "[t]his system has
resulted in an egregious deterioration of the principles of due
process, equal protection and the right to be deemed innocent
until proven guilty." Pl.Sec.Am.Comp. at 3. Specifically,
plaintiff claims that the City of Philadelphia "violated his
rights under the due process and equal protection provisions of
the U.S. Constitution, the corresponding sections of the
Pennsylvania Constitution, the Civil Rights Act of 1871, and the
Pennsylvania Human Relations Act." Id. at 3.
Plaintiff requests the following relief: (1) judicial review of
the PFA act in terms of its consistency with the U.S.
Constitution; (2) a general overhaul of the condition of holding
cells in Philadelphia; (3) open court hearings for domestic
relations hearings in Philadelphia; (4) judicial review of the
procedure for investigating citizens complaints in Philadelphia;
(5) judicial review of the procedures of the District Attorney
for investigating charges leveled against women by men compared
to the procedures for investigating charges leveled against men
by women; and (6) an amount appropriate under the circumstances.
A federal district court has limited subject matter
jurisdiction. Lack of subject matter jurisdiction may be raised
at any time by the court sua sponte. See Employers Ins. of
Wausau v. Crown Cork & Seal Co., Inc., 905 F.2d 42, 45 (3rd Cir.
1990); see also Liakakos v. CIGNA Corp., 704 F. Supp. 583, 584
n. 1 (E.D.Pa. 1988). A proper motion for defendants to file would
have been a motion pursuant to Rule 12(b)(1), challenging subject
matter jurisdiction. Neither the City defendants nor the District
Attorney's Office requests dismissal of this case for lack of
subject matter jurisdiction pursuant to Rule 12(b)(1). Rule
12(b)(1), however, will be used as a guide for the court's sua
sponte determination of lack of subject matter jurisdiction.
A Rule 12(b)(1) challenge may be either a factual or facial
challenge to the complaint. See Mortensen v. First Fed. Sav. &
Loan Ass'n, 549 F.2d 884, 891 (3rd Cir. 1977). In the case of a
factual challenge, the court is free to consider and weigh
evidence outside the pleadings to resolve factual issues bearing
on jurisdiction and to satisfy itself as to the existence of its
power to hear the case. See id. Therefore, "no presumptive
truthfulness attaches to plaintiff's allegations, and the
existence of disputed material facts will not preclude the trial
court from evaluating for itself the merits of jurisdictional
claims." See id. The plaintiff has the
burden of proving that jurisdiction exists. See Mortensen, 549
F.2d at 891.
Under the Rooker-Feldman doctrine a federal district court
does not have subject matter jurisdiction over challenges to
state court decisions. See 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). A federal claim is an impermissible
challenge to a state court decision under the Rooker Feldman
doctrine when entertaining the federal claim would be equivalent
to an appellate review of the state court order. See FOCUS v.
Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas, 75 F.3d 834, 840 (3rd
Cir. 1996). The Third Circuit explained that "federal district
courts lack subject matter jurisdiction to review final
adjudications of a state's highest court or to evaluate
constitutional claims that are "inextricably intertwined with the
state court's [decision] in a judicial proceeding.'" Blake v.
Papadakos, 953 F.2d 68, 71 (3rd Cir. 1992) (quoting Feldman,
460 U.S. at 483 n. 16, 103 S.Ct. 1303).*fn3 Additionally, the
doctrine applies not only to claims that were actually
adjudicated in state court, but also to claims that could have
been raised in state court. See Valenti v. Mitchell,
962 F.2d 288, 296 (3rd Cir. 1992) (stating that "[w]e reject . . .
[plaintiffs] argument that since they never raised, and the . . .
[state court] never considered, their . . . [constitutional]
challenges, Rooker-Feldman cannot bar them from pursuing these
claims in federal court."). Therefore, any federal action in
which the requested relief would reverse or nullify the ruling of
a state court decision is barred under the Rooker-Feldman
doctrine.*fn4 See FOCUS, 75 F.3d at 840.
On February 19, 1998, the Family Court Division of the Court of
Common Pleas for the County of Philadelphia ("Court of Common
Pleas") issued a final protection order in Daily v. Daily,
stating in part that "defendant, Louis G. Daily, shall refrain
from abusing, harassing, and/or threatening the plaintiff
Madeline G. Daily or placing her . . . in fear of abuse in any
place where she . . . may be found."*fn5 Daily v. Daily, 8351
Jan. Term 1998 (Phila.CCP, Feb. 19, 1998) (Robinson, J.). The
Court of Common Pleas also ordered that "defendant is enjoined
and prohibited from living at, entering, attempting to enter or
visit the residence [of Madeline G. Daily] . . . and the
plaintiff [Madeline G. Daily] is granted exclusive possession and
control of the premises." Id. The order also provided for
additional relief in that defendant (Louis Daily) was to ...