United States District Court, W.D. Oklahoma
KRIS K. AGRAWAL, et al., Plaintiffs,
RICHARD V. OGDEN, et al., Defendants.
TIMOTHY D. DeGIUSTI UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
January 4, 2016, Plaintiff brought suit against several
officials with the Oklahoma Department of Labor (ODOL),
Christopher Holland, and others, asking the Court to overturn
an adverse ruling made by ODOL in a wage dispute brought by
Holland. The Court dismissed Plaintiff's action on the
grounds his claims were barred under the
Rooker-Feldman doctrine in that Plaintiff
impermissibly sought judicial review of a fully adjudicated
state court judgment. See Agrawal v. Okla. Dep't of
Labor, No. CIV-16-3-D, 2016 WL 7324089, at *2 (W.D.
Okla. Dec. 15, 2016). The Court also found Plaintiff's
claims were barred by the doctrines of res judicata and/or
claim preclusion because Plaintiff's suit essentially
constituted an attempt to relitigate the state court action.
See id. at *3.
Plaintiff filed a new cause of action for declaratory and
injunctive relief against ODOL, the Board of County
Commissioners for Oklahoma County, Holland, and Oklahoma
County District Judge Richard Ogden [Doc. No. 1]. Even a
cursory review of the Complaint shows that, again, the crux
of Plaintiff's suit is his dissatisfaction with the state
court proceedings. For example, Plaintiff argues he is
entitled to injunctive relief because Holland allegedly
deceived him in obtaining employment. See Compl.
¶¶12-13. He describes Holland's wage claims as
“fictitious.” Id. ¶ 15. As before,
Plaintiff disputes Holland's status as an employee,
id. ¶¶ 18, 30, and contends he (Plaintiff)
was not afforded an opportunity to be heard and defend his
case. Id. ¶ 36. Plaintiff contends the
ODOL's judgment is “void.” Id.
¶ 19. Plaintiff requests an injunction “to
maintain the status [q]uo until the Petitions to Vacate
Judgments have been heard by the District Court by a
different Judge with open mind and reach a final resolution
of the Labor Department and Holland's evergreen tree of
money grab.” Id. ¶ 8. Plaintiff also
seeks to enjoin the state court's presumptive award of
attorney's fees to Holland. Id. at ¶¶
2, 24. In sum, Plaintiff asks “that Christopher Holland
be enjoined from collecting any money from any of the false
non-employers, and Honorable Richard Ogden be enjoined to
take any action in awarding money to Holland until Petitions
to Vacate Judgments have run its [sic] [c]ourse thru the
[c]ourt system.” Id. at 20.
the Court are motions to dismiss filed by ODOL [Doc. No. 10],
Judge Ogden [Doc. No. 13], and the Board of County
Commissioners [Doc. No. 15]. Although the defendants'
reasons for dismissal vary in some respects, they all agree
dismissal is appropriate for (1) lack of subject matter
jurisdiction under Rooker-Feldman and (2) failure to
state a claim upon which relief can be granted. Fed.R.Civ.P.
rationale underlying the Court's December 2016 ruling
applies equally here. As stated in that order, under the
Rooker-Feldman doctrine, “a party losing in
state court is barred from seeking what in substance would be
appellate review of the state judgment in a United States
district court, based on the losing party's claim that
the state judgment itself violates the loser's federal
rights.” Knox v. Bland, 632 F.3d 1290, 1291
(10th Cir. 2011). In 2005, the Supreme Court narrowed the
scope of the doctrine by mandating that it be applied only to
“cases brought by state-court losers complaining of
injuries caused by state-court judgments rendered before the
district court proceedings commenced and inviting district
court review and rejection of those judgments.”
Exxon Mobil Corp. v. Saudi Basic Indus. Corp., 544
U.S. 280, 284 (2005).
again, application of Rooker-Feldman leads to the
conclusion that the Court is without jurisdiction to provide
the relief sought by Plaintiff. The form of relief relates
directly to the state-court proceedings and Plaintiff's
claim depends on, and attacks, the state court rulings made
below. This plainly implicates the preclusive effect of
Rooker-Feldman and subject matter jurisdiction is
the Anti-Injunction Act forbids federal courts from issuing
injunctions to stay proceedings in state courts unless one of
three enumerated exceptions applies: (1) an injunction is
expressly authorized by an act of Congress, (2) an injunction
is necessary to aid the federal court's jurisdiction, or
(3) an injunction is necessary to protect or effectuate the
federal court's judgments. 28 U.S.C. § 2283.
Plaintiff has not made any persuasive showing that the Court
has the power to enjoin the state court proceedings.
Moreover, the Court's independent analysis of the case
law does not reveal any legal authority or doctrine allowing
an injunction under the circumstances presented here.
Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction over Plaintiff's
Complaint. Accordingly, Defendants' Motions to Dismiss
[Doc. Nos. 10, 13, and 15] are GRANTED as
set forth herein. Plaintiff's Complaint is hereby
DISMISSED WITHOUT PREJUDICE. See
Brereton v. Bountiful City Corp., 434 F.3d 1213, 1218
(10th Cir. 2006) (“[D]ismissals for lack of
jurisdiction should be without prejudice because the court,
having determined that it lacks jurisdiction over the action,
is incapable of reaching a disposition on the merits of the
underlying claims”) (citations omitted).
IS FURTHER ORDERED that Plaintiffs Motion to Strike,
Motion for Summary Judgment, Motion for Declaratory Ruling
[Doc. Nos. 17, 20, 26], and Defendant ODOL's Motion to
Strike [Doc. No. 21] are deemed moot by this Order. A
judgment shall be issued forthwith.
IS SO ORDERED.
 The contested award was upheld by the
Oklahoma County District Court and subsequently affirmed by
the Oklahoma Supreme Court. See Agrawal v. Okla.
Dep't of Labor, 2015 OK 67, 364 P.3d 618.
 Indeed, the verbose title of
Plaintiff's Complaint contends the state court
proceedings constitute “deprivation of due process
rights guaranteed by 5th and 14th Amendments of