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Michael Defeudis v. Nancy Defeudis

January 13, 2011

MICHAEL DEFEUDIS, PLAINTIFF,
v.
NANCY DEFEUDIS, ET AL, DEFENDANTS



The opinion of the court was delivered by: O'toole, D.J.

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER FOR DISMISSAL

For the reasons stated below, this action is DISMISSED sua sponte and Plaintiff is WARNED that further attempts to seek judicial review or intervention concerning child custody, visitation, or support matters arising out of the Middlesex Probate and Family Court may result in the imposition of sanctions against him. Additionally, the Court CERTIFIES that any appeal of this Order would not be taken in good faith.

BACKGROUND

On December 21, 2010, Plaintiff Michael DeFeudis ("DeFeudis"), of Holliston, Massachusetts, filed a self prepared "Emergency Motion for Complaint," along with a number of attachments. DeFeudis sues various individuals, including his ex-wife (Nancy DeFeudis), her attorneys, four judges of the Middlesex Probate and Family Court in Cambridge, Massachusetts ("Family Court"),*fn1 and alleged unidentified co-conspirators John and Jane Does. DeFeudis, apparently aware from his prior unsuccessful attempts to obtain relief from domestic orders of the Family Court in connection with child support, custody, and/or visitation matters,*fn2 contends that the instant action does not raise domestic relations issues. Rather, he attempts to obtain federal court review by alleging the denial of equal access to the courts, equal protection of the law, and gender bias (i.e., alleging that the Family Court favors women over men in child support, custody, and visitation matters).

DeFeudis's pleadings are not organized or entirely coherent. From what can be discerned, he contends that the Family Court rendered a Judgment on December 8, 2010 with respect to his child visitation rights. He alleges that there was no compliance with the Judgment and/or that the Judgment contains errors. He further contends that he made several motions in the Family Court for expedited relief to allow him to reunite with his two sons, but he has been refused a hearing in the Family Court and neither the judges nor the clerks would respond to his motions. He asserts that he has been denied "equal time" to establish his complaint; and that this is not an isolated incident, but rather the violations began in 2006 and at various times thereafter. While not entirely clear, it appears that DeFeudis also complains of the state court's actions with respect to his arrest on contempt (occurring at the Family Court) for violation of a domestic abuse/-§ 209A restraining order, and charges for resisting arrest.*fn3

DeFeudis seeks compensation for the time lost with his sons in the amount of $95,000.00 per year for each child, for every year since 2006 (when Judge Stearns remanded DeFeudis v. DeFeudis, C.A. 06-11451-RGS). He also seeks to have fines assessed to the judges of the Family Court and its employees.

Along with his Emergency Complaint (Docket No. 1), DeFeudis filed a Motion for Contempt (Docket No. 3), and a Motion for Leave to Proceed in forma pauperis (Docket No. 4). The Motion for Contempt (Docket No. 3) appears to be styled as a Complaint as well, and seeks an Order that all child support arrearages be "erased" and that he be reimbursed for payments. He also contends that he has not received any collateral representing his share of the family assets and "is considering civil suit upon all those who prevent him from enjoying family assets he assisted in amassing during his 15 year marriage 2 year cohabitation." Motion for Contempt (Docket No. 3 at 2). He further argues that his ex-wife has made no attempts to provide schedules or availability of the children, and therefore she is in violation of the Judgment for Visitation issued December 8, 2010. He argues that it is the responsibility of the Court to provide his children to him for visitation rights and seeks an Order from this Court rectifying this situation immediately.

On December 22, 2010, this Court entered an Electronic Order denying DeFeudis's Emergency Motion (Docket No. 1) and Denying his Motion for Contempt (Docket No. 3). This Court granted DeFeudis's Motion for Leave to Proceed in forma pauperis (Docket No. 4), but directed that no summonses would issue pending preliminary screening of this action pursuant to 28 U.S.C. -§ 1915(e)(2).

On January 5, 2011, DeFeudis filed a number of Exhibits, including the Family Court docket sheet concerning his divorce proceedings and related matters, Family Court pleadings, and the Memorandum of Law in connection with his request for Further Appellate Review of his criminal conviction for contempt and resisting arrest.

DISCUSSION

I. Preliminary Screening of the Complaint

Because DeFeudis is proceeding in forma pauperis, his Complaint is subject to screening under 28 U.S.C. -§ 1915(e)(2). This statute authorizes federal courts to dismiss actions in which a plaintiff seeks to proceed without prepayment of fees if the action is malicious, frivolous, fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from such relief. See 28 U.S.C. -§ 1915(e)(2); Denton v. Hernandez, 504 U.S. 25, 32-33 (1992); Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 325 (1989). Complaints filed in forma pauperis may be dismissed sua sponte and without notice under -§1915 if the claim is based on an indisputably meritless legal theory or factual allegations that are clearly baseless. See Denton, 504 U.S. at 32-33. In addition to the statutory screening requirements under -§ 1915, this Court has an independent obligation to inquire, sua sponte, into its own subject matter jurisdiction.*fn4

In conducting this review, the court liberally construes DeFeudis's Complaint because he is proceeding pro se. See Hughes v. Rowe, 449 U.S. 5, 9 (1980); Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520 (1972); Instituto de Educacion Universal Corp. v. U.S. Dept. of Education, 209 F.3d 18, 23 (1st Cir. 2000).

Upon review of DeFeudis's allegations, however, this court finds that this action must be dismissed sua sponte for the reasons set forth below.

II. Lack of Good Faith in Filing Suit, and Absolute Judicial Immunity as Bar to Claims Against Judges Although DeFeudis couches his Complaint in terms of the denial of due process by the state courts, denial of equal access, and other phrases of this ilk, this case essentially boils down to his challenges to the Family Court proceedings with respect not only to his visitation rights, but to past Orders in connection with child support and distribution of marital assets. It is crystal clear here that DeFeudis's allegations are hyperbolic, conclusory, and vexatious in nature, and are not based on any underlying facts in support. His resort to this Court to obtain relief he cannot get in the Family Court cannot be sanctioned.

The Court considers that there was no bona fide basis in the assertions of constitutional violations at the time of filing of this action, as is evidenced by the Order on DeFeudis's Motion for Reconsideration issued on December 20, 2010 by Justice William F. McSweeny III of the Family Court, entered the day before the filing of the instant action, thus belying any assertion that the Family Court refuses to hear his complaints. That Order addresses documents filed by DeFeudis as a request ...


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