United States District Court, E.D. Pennsylvania
Wilson-Johnson filed this pro se civil action
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against Kioshia M. Walker,
Administrative Judge Margaret T. Murphy, Custody Master
Samantha Margras, and Conference Officer Timothy Gerard,
asserting claims arising from custody proceedings that
occurred in the Family Court Division of the Court of Common
Pleas for Philadelphia. He has also filed a motion to proceed
in forma pauperis. For the reasons set forth below,
the Court will grant Wilson-Johnson leave to proceed in
forma pauperis and will dismiss his Complaint.
February 20, 2018, Wilson-Johnson, as a "free indigenous
[A]merican man, " was "ordered against [his] will
to appear in Philadelphia Family [C]ourt without being
charged with a crime or breach of the [peace]." (Compl.
at 6.) He alleges that he was told that if he did not appear,
he would be "threaten[ed] with arrest and unfair wage
garnishment by Margaret T. Murphy and Timothy Gerard."
Wilson-Johnson arrived "under threat of arrest, duress
and coercion" at the hearing, he "instantly handed
Timothy Gerard a signed, dated and [n]otarized Notice of
Understanding and Intent and Claim of Right."
(Id. at 7.) He also "proceeded to document all
statement being made in the open court proceeding."
(Id.) When Gerard observed this, he "call[ed] a
sheriff in the room to stop [Wilson-Johnson] from
documenting." (Id.) Wilson-Johnson then
requested that a stenographer be present, and Gerard replied
"we don't do that at this level."
(Id.) Gerard then "stop[ped] the hearing and
ordered the sheriff to rush [Wilson-Johnson] out as [he] was
being unlawfully remove[d] from a public office."
(Id.) Gerard told Wilson-Johnson's son's
mother that "he had everything he needed to move forward
without [his] consent." (Id.)
March 9, 2018, Wilson-Johnson "received two letters in
the mail ordering [him] to pay a monthly fine of $117.70 and
ordered to pay for forced health insurance to cover [his]
son." (Id.) The letters stated that he could
request a hearing, but that the deadline to do so was March
12, 2018, "leaving [Wilson-Johnson] no time to exercise
the right." (Id.) On March 12, 2018,
Wilson-Johnson "was ordered back into court under threat
of arrest, duress and coercion again by Margaret T. Murphy
and Samantha Magras to continue to violate [his] right by
ordering [him] to give Kioshia M. Walker sole physical and
sole legal custody of [his] son . . . against [his] will and
without [his] consent." (Id.)
contends that throughout custody proceedings, Murphy, Magras,
and Gerard had the "responsibility to respect and
protect [him] from violation of federal constitutional
rights." (Id. at 6.) He alleges that all
Defendants "received notice of [his] right to remain a
private [A]merican and all willfully ignore[d] [his] request,
and continued to enter unlawful orders without [his] consent
and/or knowledge." (Id.) He contends that he is
in constant fear of being falsely arrested and jailed.
relief, Wilson-Johnson asks the Court to "uphold [its]
oath to the [C]onstitution and dismiss all cases pertaining
to [him] and [his] son." (Id.) He requests that
the Court order the Philadelphia Family Court "and all
other government agencies to remove [his] name from any and
all [U]nited [S]tates government documents that would in the
future pull [him] back into . . . court." (Id.)
Wilson-Johnson also asks "to be left alone to live as a
free indigenous [A]merican." (Id.)
STANDARD OF REVIEW
Court will grant Wilson-Johnson leave to proceed in forma
pauperis because it appears that he is not capable of
prepaying the fees to commence this action. Accordingly, 28
U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii) applies to
Wilson-Johnson's Complaint. That statute requires the
Court to dismiss the Complaint if it fails to state a claim.
Whether a complaint fails to state a claim under §
1915(e)(2)(B)(ii) is governed by the same standard applicable
to motions to dismiss under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
12(b)(6), see Tourscher v. McCullough, 184 F.3d 236,
240 (3d Cir. 1999), which requires the Court to determine
whether the complaint contains "sufficient factual
matter, accepted as true, to state a claim to relief that is
plausible on its face." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556
U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quotations omitted). Conclusory
statements and naked assertions will not suffice.
Id. The Court may also dismiss claims based on an
affirmative defense if the affirmative defense is obvious
from the face of the complaint. See Ray v. Kertes,
285 F.3d 287, 297 (3d Cir. 2002); see also McPherson v.
United States, 392 Fed.Appx. 938, 943 (3d Cir. 2010).
Furthermore, the Court may also consider matters of public
record. Buck v. Hampton Twp. Sch. Dist., 452 F.3d
256, 260 (3d Cir. 2006). As Wilson-Johnson is proceeding
pro se, the Court construes his allegations
liberally. Higgs v. Att'y Gen., 655 F.3d 333,
339 (3d Cir. 2011).
Request for Dismissal of State Case
noted above, Wilson-Johnson requests that this Court
"dismiss all cases pertaining to [him] and [his]
son." (Compl. at 6.) Pursuant to the
Rooker-Feldman doctrine, however, "federal
district courts lack jurisdiction over suits that are
essentially appeals from state-court judgments."
Great W. Mining & Mineral Co. v. Fox Rothschild
LLP, 615 F.3d 159, 165 (3d Cir. 2010). Based on that
principle, the Rooker-Feldman doctrine deprives a
federal district court of 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." Id. at 166
(quotations omitted). Accordingly, to the extent
Wilson-Johnson seeks review and reversal of any of the orders
entered by the Family Court in his custody matter, the Court
lacks jurisdiction to do so.
Claims Under ...