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McKnight v. Bryant

November 2, 2009

LEROY MCKNIGHT, PLAINTIFF,
v.
ARLENE PIERRE BRYANT AND NAN S. FAMULAR: DEFENDANTS.



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

OPINION

Plaintiff, Leroy McKnight, a pro se litigant, brings this civil rights and tort action against defendants Arlene Pierre-Bryant and the Honorable Nan S. Famular, a Superior Court Judge in New Jersey. Plaintiff alleges that, as part of a legal action in New Jersey, Pierre-Bryant lied and misrepresented facts to the state court about her relationship and interactions with plaintiff. In addition, plaintiff alleges that Judge Famular committed several constitutional and procedural errors during the state court action, effectively depriving plaintiff of due process and other legal rights.

This Court, sua sponte, dismisses, with prejudice, plaintiff's complaint against Judge Famular on the grounds of the Rooker-Feldman doctrine and judicial immunity. Moreover, this Court will not exercise supplemental jurisdiction over plaintiff's remaining claims against Pierre-Bryant, which appear to primarily implicate causes of action arising under only New Jersey tort law. Therefore, plaintiff's complaint is dismissed entirely.

I. JURISDICTION

Plaintiff has brought his claims pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, as well as New Jersey state law.*fn1 At issue is whether this Court has jurisdiction over plaintiff's federal claims under 28 U.S.C. § 1331 and supplemental jurisdiction over plaintiff's state law claims under 28 U.S.C. § 1367.

II. BACKGROUND

As best may be gleaned from plaintiff's complaint, plaintiff and Pierre-Bryant were neighbors who became involved in a personal, and at times sexual, relationship, which eventually soured. During their time together, plaintiff visited Pierre-Bryant at her apartment where they played cards, imbibed drinks, and engaged in sexual activity. According to plaintiff, upon leaving Pierre-Bryant's apartment, he experienced strange sensations which left him feeling ill and which he seemingly attributes to Pierre-Bryant poisoning him or infecting him with an illness. Plaintiff avers that, after their relationship ended, Pierre-Bryant continuously bothered him in spite of his preference to be left alone.

In July 2009, Pierre-Bryant filed her own complaint in New Jersey Superior Court seeking a restraining order against plaintiff. In her complaint, Pierre-Bryant alleged that plaintiff harassed her and threatened to inform others, including Pierre-Bryant's son and members of her congregation, that plaintiff had contracted a disease by having unprotected sexual intercourse with her. Pierre-Bryant's complaint, says plaintiff, was littered with deceitful statements, such as falsely accusing him of harassing and disturbing her even though, plaintiff asserts, it was Pierre-Bryant who was harassing and disturbing him. As a result of Pierre-Bryant's state court action, a restraining order was issued against plaintiff on July 28, 2009, prohibiting him from communicating with Pierre-Bryant or from visiting her apartment or the church they attended. The order also prohibited plaintiff from possessing any weapons, resulting in the removal of his guns.

On October 5, 2009, plaintiff filed a pro se complaint against defendants Pierre-Bryant and Judge Famular in this Court. Lengthy and convoluted, plaintiff's complaint seemingly alleges that, as part of the state court action, Pierre-Bryant filed an untruthful complaint and lied during a hearing. Moreover, plaintiff alleges that, in adjudicating the matter, the state court, namely Judge Famular, committed several constitutional and procedural violations, which effectively deprived plaintiff of his due process rights, his right to bear arms, and his right to freedom of religion.

In relief for the alleged violations, plaintiff seeks $1,000 from Pierre-Bryant and $50,000 from Judge Famular, as well as the return of his weapons.

The Court has granted plaintiff in forma pauperis status. Moreover, the Court, having reviewed and considered plaintiff's complaint, addresses several issues sua sponte.

III. DISCUSSION

Plaintiff's pro se complaint apparently alleges claims for violations of Section 1983 and New Jersey statutory and common law against Judge Famular and Pierre-Bryant, respectively. The Court, sua sponte, considers whether it has jurisdiction over these ...


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