United States District Court, W.D. Virginia, Harrisonburg Division
MICHAEL F. URBANSKI CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
David Savas, proceeding pro se, filed this petition
for "Writ of Error -Order to Rescind Order - Void
Judgement, " challenging an unspecified order issued by
Judge Rupen R. Shah of the General District Court of Augusta
County. Although he also names Attorney John Hooe, III, and
Darci D. Oberly as defendants, it is unclear what claims, if
any, Savas alleges against them. Savas seeks leave to proceed
in forma pauperis. Because he appears indigent, the
court will GRANT Savas' motion to
proceed in forma pauperis. However, after reviewing
the complaint, the court will DISMISS this
action pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B).
28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B), district courts have a duty
to screen initial filings and dismiss a complaint filed in
forma pauperis at any time if the court determines
that the action "(i) is frivolous or malicious; (ii)
fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted;
or (iii) seeks monetary relief against a defendant
who is immune from such relief." It is unclear from the
face of the complaint what exacdy Savas is asserting in this
action, but it appears he takes issue with an order issued by
Judge Shah, which order he believes should be rescinded. The
court is mindful of its obligation to construe pro se filings
liberally. Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94
(2007). Nevertheless, this liberal construction requirement
does not mean the court can ignore a clear failure to allege
facts setting forth a cognizable claim. See Weller v.
Dep't of Soc. Serv.. 901 F.2d 387, 391 (4th Or.
1990) ("The 'special judicial solicitude' with
which a district court should view such pro se
complaints does not transform the court into an advocate.
Only those questions which are squarely presented to a court
may be properly addressed."). "A complaint must
contain sufficient factual matter, ' accepted as true, to
'state a claim of relief that is plausible on its
face.'" Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662,
678 (2009) (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly. 550
U.S. 544, 570 (2007)); see generally id. at 684-87
(outlining pleading requirements under Rule 8 of the Federal
Rules of Civil Procedure for "all civil actions").
asserts no basis for this federal court's jurisdiction
over this matter. See Kokkonen v. Guardian Life Ins. Co.
of Am.. 511 U.S. 375, 377 (1994) ("Federal courts
are courts of limited jurisdiction. They possess only that
power authorized by Constitution and statute, which is not to
be expanded by judicial decree." (internal citations
omitted)); see also Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a) (a pleading
that state a claim for relief must contain a short a plain
statement of the grounds for the court's jurisdiction).
The face of the complaint alleges no constitutional violation
or violation of federal statute that would give rise to
federal question jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1331.
Nor are the few facts alleged suggestive of any other viable
claim for relief, to the extent diversity jurisdiction may be
inferred under § 1332.
event, Savas has not alleged a claim upon which relief can be
granted. The court has few details of the state court order
with which Savas takes issue, and it has no insight
whatsoever into nature of the underlying state court action
in which that order was entered. However, the
Rooker-Feldman doctrine generally prohibits lower
federal courts from reviewing state court decisions.
Friedman's. Inc. v. Dunlap, 290 F.3d 191, 196
(4th Cir. 2002).
Under the Rooker-Feldman doctrine, lower federal
courts may not consider either "issues actually
presented to and decided by a state court" or
"constitutional claims that are inextricably intertwined
with questions ruled upon by a state court." [Plyler
v. Moore. 129 F.3d 728. 731 n.6 (4th Cir. 1997)]
(internal quotation marks omitted). Federal courts are
divested of jurisdiction "where entertaining the federal
claim should be the equivalent of an appellate review of the
state court order." Jordahl [v. Democratic Party of
Va.]. 122 F.3d [192, ] at 202 [4th Cir. 1997]
(alterations and internal quotation marks omitted).
Rooker-Feldman applies when the federal action
"essentially amounts to nothing more than an attempt to
seek review of [the state court's] decision by a lower
federal court." Plyler. 129 F.3d at 733. Thus,
"when a party sues in federal district court to
readjudicate the same issues decided in the state court
proceedings, that action is in essence an attempt to obtain
direct review of the state court decision ... in
contravention of Rooker-Feldman." Brown
& Root[. Inc. v. Breckenridge]. 211 F.3d [194, ] at
201 [(4th Cir. 2000)]. The label attached to the federal
court action will rarely, if ever, be important, since a
party that is seeking in federal court to readjudicate an
issue decided in state court is unlikely to say so.
Id. Additionally, while he names "Attorney John
Hooe III" and Darci D. Oberly as defendants, Savas
states no claim for relief against these individuals or even
mentions them by name in the body of his complaint.
the court finds no ground upon which it could grant
Savas' petition and, therefore, dismisses this action. An
appropriate Order will be entered.
 The civil cover sheet that accompanies
Savas' complaint cites the basis for jurisdiction as
"U.S. Government, plaintiff." ECF No. 2-1. But the
U.S. Government does not appear to be ...