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IN RE LUMUMBA

July 28, 2004.

IN RE: TIYE AMINA LUMUMBA, aka TIYE LUMUMBA, aka BABY GIRL CLARK.


The opinion of the court was delivered by: JAN DuBOIS, District Judge

ORDER AND MEMORANDUM

ORDER

AND NOW, this 28th day of July, 2004, upon consideration of pro se plaintiff Ali Abu Lumumba's Praecipe to Proceed In Forma Pauperis with Affidavit for Filing Without Costs (Document No. 1, filed November 5, 2003), IT IS ORDERED as follows:

  1. Leave to proceed In Forma Pauperis is GRANTED pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915; and,

  2. Plaintiff's claims are DISMISSED AS LEGALLY FRIVOLOUS pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(b)(i) on the ground that the Court does not have subject matter jurisdiction over this case under the Rooker-Feldman doctrine because the claims are inextricably intertwined with custody and related decisions in a state judicial proceeding, and the relief sought by plaintiff is a reversal of orders issued by the Common Pleas Court of Philadelphia County covering custody, dependency and related issues involving Tiye Amina Lumumba, a/k/a "Tiye Lumumba," a/k/a "Baby Girl Clark."

  IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the Clerk of Court shall MARK the case CLOSED FOR STATISTICAL PURPOSES.

  MEMORANDUM

  I. BACKGROUND

  The Complaint in this case was filed on November 5, 2003, and identified Tiye Amina Lumumba, a/k/a "Tiye Lumumba," a/k/a "Baby Girl Clark," as the only party. At or about the same time, two additional Complaints involving the same minor, identical in all material respects excepting only the identification of the parties, were filed-Civil Action No. 03-5837 and Civil Action No. 03-6065. In Civil Action No. 03-5837, Ali Abu Lumumba was identified as plaintiff, and the City of Philadelphia, Bethanna Children Agency ("Bethanna"), Rachel Nafziger, LFW, and Christine Trago, FCSW, were identified as defendants; in Civil Action No. 03-6065, Tiye A. Lumumba, a minor, Nicol Y. Gant and Ali A. Lumumba were identified as plaintiffs, and Bethanna, Christine Trago and Rachel Nafziger were identified as defendants.

  The Complaint is a compendium of general statements and documents issued in state court custody and dependency proceedings involving minor plaintiff. In the Complaint, it is alleged that, in removing the child from plaintiff's custody, Bethanna committed the following acts: conspiracy to obstruct justice, abuse of power and misconduct, withholding information, violation of the First Amendment, and wrongful use of civil process.

  According to the Complaint, the Department of Human Services obtained a restraining order when they learned that Ms. Clark gave birth to a baby girl, Tiye, on 4/2/02, and that both Ms. Clark and Tiye tested positive for cocaine. The Complaint also states that when Tiye was ready for discharge from the hospital on April 9, 2002, Ms. Clark was unable to provide a verifiable address and there were no family members available as a placement resource or willing to care for Tiye. As a result, on April 9, 2002, Tiye was placed in a therapeutic foster home through Bethanna.

  Attached to the Complaint is a copy of a Post-Adjudication Hearing and Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County dated July 29, 2003. In that Order, the Court directed that placement of the child was to continue with the Department of Human Services ("DHS"), and provided that commitment to DHS "stands." Supervised visits by plaintiff and the child's mother were to be based on the agreement of the parties. The Common Pleas Court further found in the Order dated July 29, 2003, that DHS "has made reasonable efforts to reunify the child with his/her family," or to make and finalize an alternate permanent placement." Other documents appended to the Complaint state that "Tiye's father, Ali Lumumba, was unable to care for Tiye due to inadequate housing conditions," and that "reunification [with Mr. Lumumba] is not possible because he has not fully complied with the FSP [Family Service Plan] and ISP [Individual Service Plan] goals and objectives. Mr. Lumumba has not participated in parenting classes to address Tiye's numerous medical conditions and he has not visited Tiye on a regular basis."

  II. DISCUSSION

  A. The Court Lacks Jurisdiction Over Plaintiff's Claims Under the ...


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