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Washington v. Deline

United States District Court, D. Maryland

April 1, 2015

GEORGE WOLO WASHINGTON, Plaintiff,
v.
ROSE M. DELINE, Defendant.

MEMORANDUM

ELLEN L. HOLLANDER, District Judge.

On March 23, 2015, George Wolo Washington, who is self-represented, filed a fee-paid complaint against his ex-wife, Rose M. Deline. ECF 1. He has appended numerous exhibits to his suit. See ECF 1-1. Both parties are residents of Maryland.

In reviewing the complaint, it is apparent that plaintiff is challenging decisions of the Circuit Court for Howard County involving custody and visitation. Plaintiff claims subject matter jurisdiction based on federal question jurisdiction. The suit must be dismissed.

A. Factual Background

Plaintiff seems to take issue with decisions of the Circuit Court for Howard County, Maryland denying him visitation with respect to his thirteen-year-old son. Plaintiff claims he is "being discriminated against and [his] rights abused" by that court. ECF 1 at 2.[1] He asks this Court to intercede, given his alleged lack of "a fair trial/hearing" to "resolve this matter...." Id.

According to plaintiff, his ex-wife, Ms. Deline, "is an illegal alien" and has "no work permit...." He is in fear that his son, who was born in the United States, "might be taken out of this country along side with her, if [she is] deported." Id. at 3. Plaintiff claims that Ms. Deline "has continuously been filing false accusations against [him] to destroy [his] life...." Id. at 4. For example, plaintiff alleges that he "was falsely accused for domestic violence, handcuffed, and arrested... [and] lost [his] civilian job..., " but was "later found innocent... of all charges...." Id. at 3.

Further, Washington asserts that his former wife became "very angry" when she learned that he is involved with someone else, and she filed "a trespassing order" to prevent his "communication." Id. at 4. Thereafter, he sought help from the Circuit Court for Howard County, which "punished" him by "conditioning" his visitation involvement with a "therapist...." Id. at 4.

Plaintiff explains that he had agreed to give defendant "full custody of all the children"[2] because he is in a military combat unit, but he had expected visitation. Id. Moreover, he insists that Ms. Deline is "in contempt of all court orders...." Id. at 4.

Plaintiff concludes: "[I]t is still an ongoing problem communicating with the therapist. I've not spoken to my son... in two years. This has to stop.... I'm simply a loving father to all my children and want to be involved in their lives." Id. He seeks visitation with or custody of his son, and asks this Court to "stop the discrimination and fix what the State of Maryland Circuit Court of Howard County fail [sic] to do." Id. at 7.

The exhibits that plaintiff attached to the suit indicate that the parties became involved in litigation in 2007. In 2009, plaintiff obtained a Judgment of Absolute Divorce from defendant, awarded by the Circuit Court for Howard County. ECF 1-1 at 8. Ms. Deline was awarded sole legal and physical custody of the parties' three children, but plaintiff was granted reasonable visitation. Id. The son is now the only remaining minor child of the parties. ECF 1-1 at 13.

A custody evaluation was conducted in September 2014. ECF 1-1 at 14. The report, dated December 1, 2014 (ECF 1-1 at 14-19), reflects that the child is "scared" of his father. Id. at 16. In an Order issued by the Circuit Court for Howard County dated February 6, 2015, docketed February 12, 2015, the plaintiff's access to the parties' son "shall be as recommended by the child's therapist, " and plaintiff was ordered to participate in the child's therapy as deemed appropriate by the therapist. ECF 1-1 at 13.

According to the Docket, a copy of which is appended hereto, plaintiff did not note an appeal from that ruling to the Maryland Court of Special Appeals. Instead, he filed suit in this Court.

B. Discussion

Federal district courts are courts of limited jurisdiction. See Exxon Mobil Corp. v. Allapattach Servs., Inc., 545 U.S. 546, 552 (2005); United States ex rel. Voyyuru v. Jadhav, 555 F.3d 337, 347 (4th Cir. 2009). "They possess only the jurisdiction authorized them by the United States Constitution and by federal ...


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