United States District Court, D. Massachusetts
BENNETH O. AMADI, Plaintiff,
GARRETT McMANUS, THE DCF, COMMISSIONER LINDA S. SPEARS and SEAN A. BERNARD, Defendants.
MEMORANDUM & ORDER
NATHANIEL M. GORTON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
case arises from an ongoing custody proceeding in state
juvenile court involving Benneth Amadi ("Amadi" or
"plaintiff") and his four minor children. Amadi
claims that a state court judge, a Massachusetts state agency
and two of its officials violated his constitutional and
civil rights in the course of that custody proceeding.
before the Court is plaintiff's motion for a preliminary
injunction and defendants' motion to dismiss the
complaint which this Court will treat as a motion to dismiss
the amended complaint. For the reasons that follow, the
motion to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction will be allowed
and the motion for injunctive relief will be denied as moot.
Amadi is the father of four children, all under the age of
16, and a resident of Massachusetts. He is an attorney who
appears in this case pro se.
Garrett McManus ("Judge McManus") is the state
court judge presiding over the state custody proceeding in
the Lynn Session of the Essex County Juvenile Court
("the Juvenile Court").
Massachusetts Department of Children and Families ("the
DCF") is the party civilly prosecuting Amadi in the
state custody proceeding.
Linda Spears ("Commissioner Spears") is the
Commissioner of the DCF.
Sean Bernard ("Attorney Bernard") is the DCF
attorney representing the DCF in the state custody
The alleged conduct
July, 2013, the Massachusetts Probate and Family Court
("the Probate Court"), which has jurisdiction over
divorce proceedings in Massachusetts, entered a temporary
order granting Amadi sole legal and physical custody of his
January, 2014, the DCF commenced a separate
"care-and-protection proceeding" in the Juvenile
Court and removed the children from Amadi's custody.
Amadi alleges that the DCF did so based on his gender and
"because [he] is a man". The DCF defendants claim
that they commenced the proceeding and removed the children
in response to "reports that Amadi had abused and/or
neglected his children". The Juvenile Court convened a
temporary custody hearing, also known as a "72-hour
hearing", shortly thereafter and transferred custody of
the children to their mother. Amadi asserts that
representatives of the DCF intentionally lied to and
defrauded the Juvenile Court during the 72-hour hearing.
declares that Attorney Bernard "unambiguously"
informed Judge McManus during a subsequent pretrial hearing
in the Juvenile Court that "the DCF ha[d] no case"
and that the issues should instead be adjudicated in the
Probate Court. Amadi characterizes Attorney Bernard's
statement as a "judicial admission" that ...