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Moseley v. Young

United States District Court, D. Maryland

December 13, 2017

STEPHANY YOUNG et al., Respondents



         I. Petition for Mandamus

         Petitioner Steven Moseley initiated this pro se litigation, which sought a writ of mandamus "for revisory review of fraud, perjury, abuse of discretion and orders exceeding jurisdiction." (Pet., ECF No. 1.) Specifically. Moseley requested a review of Case Number 13C11087194 in the Circuit Court for Howard County, Maryland. (Id. 1.) He claimed that his federal due process rights were violated by the state court through the conduct of Circuit Court Judge Richard S. Bernhardt, who allegedly denied Moseley a hearing in his state court case involving child support. (Id. 1-2.)

         Moseley alleged he did not receive a notice via first-class mail of a hearing before an appointed master on the question of child support until after the March 8, 2012, hearing. (Id. 4.) On March 22, 2012, he filed an exception to the master's recommendation and requested a hearing because his lack of employment and "other evidence relevant to the case . . . would have resulted in a major difference in the calculation of the child support award." (Id.) The plaintiff in the state court case-apparently, the child's mother and a respondent in the instant federal case-filed a response to Moseley's exception on March 27, 2012, and a motion to dismiss exceptions on March 29, 2012. (id.) Moseley filed his opposition to the motion to dismiss exceptions on April 6, 2012, and again requested a hearing on the matter. (Id.) Judge Bernhardt did not rule on Moseley's exception, instead entering an order for child support on April 9, 2012. (Id. 5.) Because Judge Bernhardt did not rule on Moseley's exception. Moseley contended in this case that the judge operated outside of Maryland law, specifically, Maryland Rule 9-208(h)(1)(A), which then provided that "the court shall not direct the entry of an order or judgment based upon the master's recommendations until the expiration of the time for filing exceptions, and if exceptions are timely filed, until the court rules on the exceptions."[1] (Pet. 5.) Moseley alleged that Judge Bernhardt also ignored Maryland Rule 9-208(i)(2), which states, "A hearing on exceptions, if timely requested, shall be held within 60 days after the filing of the exceptions unless the parties otherwise agree in writing." (Pet. 6.) By not following these rules and by not giving Moseley the hearing he requested, the state court, Moseley alleged, denied him due process, thereby making the state court's judgment void. (Id.)

         Moseley further alleged that the state court dismissed his exception on April 18, 2012, "without a formal written reason." (Id. 7.) Then, on April 24, 2012, Moseley filed a motion to vacate the child support order, which Moseley, confusingly, alleges was denied on April 18, 2012. (Id.) His appeal to the Maryland Court of Special Appeals was unsuccessful based on that court's ruling that the violation of Maryland Rule 9-208(h)(1)(A) was harmless. (Id.)

         Moseley requested this Court order the following types of relief:

1. Issue an Emergency Preliminary Injunction against the enforcement and collection of the void judgment to avoid further irreparable harm of the inferior court while [the] case is being reviewed by this court.
2. That the court issue a peremptory writ commanding respondents to vacate the order issued against petitioner.
3. Issue a Declaratory Judgement that the process used by the lower court was invalid and other appropriate for [sic] relief.
4. Issue an order to remove Maryland State driving restrictions. Credit Reporting Agency restrictions, and remove the petitioner's name from all databases that restrict liberties imposed on the petitioner due to inability to pay.
5. All other relief deemed just and proper in the premises. Suit pending decision.

(Id. 15.)

         II. Procedural History

         In response to Moseley's petition, this Court granted him in forma pauperis status but dismissed his petition. (ECF Nos. 3, 4.) The Court determined the petition did not state a claim upon which relief may be granted. (Mem. 2, Jan. 25, 2017. ECF No. 3.) The basis for that decision was that the Court does not have original subject-matter jurisdiction over paternity, child support, or child custody matters. (Id.) That is true even if the moving party establishes diversity jurisdiction. (Id.) Moreover, the Court lacks mandamus jurisdiction over state employees, such as the judge and the county prosecutor (the latter of whom, apparently, being the one to have brought the child support enforcement action against Moseley). (Id. 3.) Finally, the Court regarded Moseley's requests for relief as ones barred by the Rooker-Feldmun ...

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