Kowalski v. Boliker

Plaintiff filed suit under 42 U.S.C. 1983 and 1985, alleging that several state judges and officials have been unfair to him in divorce and child custody proceedings. The Seventh Circuit affirmed the dismissal of the action and held that, to the extent plaintiff's suit implicated its own subject matter jurisdiction, the court was free to entertain his appeal; the Rooker-Feldman doctrine did not bar this case; even if Rooker‐Feldman applied to interlocutory orders, the doctrine still would have no bearing on plaintiff's appeal because he has not asked the court to reject any such order; and the domestic-relations exception to federal jurisdiction was not applicable. The court held that the district court should not have dismissed plaintiff's complaint before the date it had set for him to respond to the sheriff's motion to dismiss the claims against them, but the error was harmless. On the merits, the court held that Judge Boliker could not claim the protection of judicial immunity where she acted in the clear absence of jurisdiction, but that Judge Dickler's alleged actions fell within its scope; plaintiff has not alleged that he suffered any adverse consequences to his parental (or other) rights as a result of his allegedly prejudiced judge and thus his section 1983 claim failed; and section 1985 did not apply to plaintiff's case. View "Kowalski v. Boliker" on Justia Law