United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana
the Court is “Plaintiff's Ex Parte Motion for
Vacation/Set Aside Judgment Due to Judicial Conduct/Prevent
Manifest Injustice.” Rec. Doc. 35. Plaintiff Ora Price
and various members of her family have been involved in
several suits in this Court during the past six years. A
brief review of those cases will provide the appropriate
HISTORY IN THIS COURT
CIVIL ACTION 01-3156, CONSOLIDATED WITH 01-3180,
Area Resident, v. Housing Auth of NO, , CV-01-3156,
Section “S, ” was a class action suit filed by
members of the Desire Housing Development; both Ora Price and
her son, Stanley, were listed as Plaintiffs. The original
petition and amended complaint alleged that the Housing
Authority of New Orleans (“HANO”) failed to
comply with United States Department of Housing and Urban
Development (“HUD”) regulations and the
requirements of federal HOPE VI grant guidelines. Rec. Doc.
99 at 2. A settlement agreement, ultimately approved by the
Court, committed HANO to funding programs and activities for
Desire residents at a minimum of three million dollars.
Id. at 8. Stanley Price appealed the dismissal of
his claims under Federal Rule of 12(b)(6) (Rec. Doc. 100),
but the Fifth Circuit granted the Defendants' motion to
dismiss the appeal and affirmed the district court's
dismissal of Stanley Price's claims (Rec. Docs. 103-04).
CIVIL ACTION 11-114
Ora Price, v. Michaels Group, LLC, , CV-11-114,
Section “J” (2), Ora, Leonard, and Darryl Price
asserted claims against Michaels Group, LLC, Michaels
Development Company (collectively
“Michael's”), Interstate Management Company
(“IMC, ” incorrectly named as Interstate Realty
Management), Calisha Jolla (“Jolla”), and Connie
Abdul (“Abdul”). Defendants IMC, Jolla, and Abdul
were represented by James Ryan, III (“Ryan”) of
James Ryan III & Associates, LLC (“Ryan &
Associates”), Jeffrey A. Clayman
(“Clayman”), and Timothy Roniger
(“Roniger”). Plaintiffs essentially claimed that
they were defamed and were being threatened with wrongful
eviction. Rec. Doc. 1. Thereafter, Plaintiffs sought a
declaratory judgment, preliminary and permanent injunctions,
and a temporary restraining order. Rec. Doc. 9. On March 10,
2011, Judge Carl Barbier denied the motion after a conference
in which it was discovered that Plaintiffs allegedly violated
their lease, but no eviction proceedings were currently set;
the court further noted that when eviction proceedings were
set, “Plaintiffs will have another opportunity to
contest those proceedings in state court.” Rec. Doc.
IMC, Jolla, and Abdul filed a motion to dismiss pursuant to
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1) and (6). Rec. Doc.
24. After a hearing, with a ruling in open court, Judge
Barbier granted the motion to dismiss and entered judgment in
favor of all of the Defendants and against Plaintiffs. Rec.
Docs. 36-37. Plaintiffs appealed. Rec. Doc. 38. On February
23, 2012, the Fifth Circuit affirmed finding that
“[a]lthough they allege in general terms that appellees
have violated federal law and their constitutional rights,
they do not present any facts that would support these
claims” and “if and when eviction proceedings
actually come to pass in this case, the appellants will have
the ‘opportunity to contest those proceedings in state
court.'” Rec. Doc. 44 at 3-4.
CIVIL ACTION 12-992
than two months after the Fifth Circuit's judgment, Ora,
Leonard, and Darryl Price filed Ora Price, v. Housing
Authority of New Orleans, , CV-12-992, Section
“B” (2). They asserted claims against HANO,
Michael's, IMC, Treasure Village Associates, LP
(“Treasure Village”), Jolla, Ryan, Clayman,
Roniger, Ryan & Associates, Rhonda Brown, First Choice
Security, Kevin Johnson, Joseph C. Hensley, Robin Maxfield,
and Judge Veronica Henry (“Judge Henry”).
Essentially, they sued the defendants from the earlier suit,
those defendants' lawyers, HANO, and the state court
judge presiding over their eviction proceedings. They again
moved for a temporary restraining order and preliminary
injunction. Rec. Docs. 8, 10. This Court denied the motion,
noting the “longstanding precedent against federal
court interference with the state court system where that
system affords available relief on asserted claims and there
is a pending writ in the state appellate system to obtain
such relief” and that federal district courts
“cannot sit as appellate courts in review of state
court judgments.” Rec. Doc. 11 at 1-2 (citing
Matter of Gober, 100 F.3d 1195, 1206 (5th Cir.
1996)) (quoting De Spain v. Johnston, 731 F.2d 1171,
1176 (5th Cir. 1984); Weekly v. Morrow, 204 F.3d
613, 615 (5th Cir. 2000)). Plaintiffs filed motions for entry
of default against Defendants Hensley, Johnson, First Choice
Security, Maxfield, Jolla, IMC, Michael's, Treasure
Village, and Brown. Rec. Docs. 38-40, 48-53. These motions
were either dismissed as moot or denied. Rec. Docs. 65-68.
Defendants Ryan, Ryan & Associates, Judge Henry, HANO,
IMC, Michael's, Treasure Village, Brown, Maxfield,
Roniger, Jolla, and Clayman filed motions to dismiss under
Rules 12(b)(1) and (6). Rec. Docs. 12, 31-32, 41, 54, 76.
Court first granted the motion to dismiss filed by Ryan and
Ryan & Associates, finding that there was “nothing
in the record to show that Defendants, as retained counsel
for a private entity, acted under color of law with public
actors, ” “Plaintiffs have cited no federal law
that would allow them, third parties, a cause of action
against Defendants, as the retained counsel for [IMC] in
filing the Rule to Evict, ” that “[e]ven
liberally construed, it is difficult to ascertain any
possible federal claim against Defendants that would not
facially flow from state law, ” and ultimately that
“Plaintiffs have failed to meet their burden in showing
that federal subject matter jurisdiction exists for this
Court.” Rec. Doc. 44 at 5-6.
Court then granted the motion to dismiss filed by Judge
Henry. Rec. Doc. 58. We found that there was “nothing
in the record to show that Defendant's conduct was
improper or outside of her judicial role in issuing a ruling
in an eviction proceeding, ” that “[e]ven if
Plaintiffs were able to state a claim against Defendant, a
judge acting within her judicial capacity is immune from suit
for actions performed within that judicial capacity, ”
“[t]o the extent that any of these claims have already
been raised and litigated in state court, they may be
considered barred under res judicata, ” and
“the Rooker-Feldman doctrine does not allow
for district courts to entertain collateral attacks on state
court judgments, which is precisely what Plaintiffs urge in
this case.” Id. at 8-10.
Court then granted the motion to dismiss filed by HANO,
finding that Plaintiffs merely alleged that HANO revoked
their Section 8 voucher, not that it was involved in the
eviction. Rec. Doc. 60 at 7-8. Under the law, HANO must
revoke such a voucher when a family is evicted for a serious
violation of the lease. Id. at 8 (citing 24 C.F.R.
§ 982.552(b)(2)). “Given the state court findings
in the eviction proceeding that Plaintiffs were in violation
of several of these obligations, there does not appear to be
anything improper about Defendant's action in revoking
Plaintiffs' Section 8 voucher.” Id. at
8-9. This Court again noted that “the
Rooker-Feldman doctrine does not allow for district
courts to entertain collateral attacks on state court
judgments, which is precisely what Plaintiffs urge in this
case.” Id. at 9 (citations omitted).
sought to disqualify the undersigned Judge (Rec. Doc. 69),
but this motion was dismissed as frivolous (Rec. Doc. 74).
Plus, the Fifth Circuit denied Plaintiffs' petition for a
writ of mandamus/recusal because they “failed to show
the exceptional circumstances necessary to invoke the writ of
mandamus.” Rec. Doc. 84 at 2.
this Court granted the motions to dismiss filed by IMC,
Michael's, Treasure Village, Brown, Maxfield, and Roniger
(Rec. Doc. 63), by Jolla (Rec. Doc. 73), and by Clayman (Rec.
Doc. 86) for the same reasons stated in the previous orders
(see Rec. Docs. 44, 58, and 60). Accordingly, the
case was dismissed without prejudice. Rec. Doc. 87.
than a year later, Plaintiffs hired counsel (Rec. Doc. 91)
who moved to reopen the case (Rec. Doc. 90). In denying the
motion to reopen, this Court noted that twelve of the
original sixteen Defendants were dismissed for lack of
subject matter jurisdiction, “Plaintiffs repeatedly
failed to comply with this Court's orders regarding their
attempts at garnering default judgments against the four
remaining Defendants, ” the motion to reopen
“fail[ed] to follow this Court's rules for citation
of authorities, and, as a result, it has proven a ...