United States District Court, D. New Mexico
DAVID A. SPENCER, Plaintiff,
STATE OF NEW MEXICO, ET AL., Defendants.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER OF DISMISSAL
CHRISTINA ARMIJO, CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
MATTER comes before the Court on the Eleventh
Judicial District Court and Honorable Sandra Price's
Amended Motion to Dismiss, Doc. 32, filed May 12, 2017. For
the reasons stated below, the Court will
GRANT the Motion.
Amended Complaint names the State of New Mexico, the Eleventh
Judicial District Court, and State District Court Judge
Sandra Price, individually and in her official capacity, and
others as defendants. See Doc. 8. The Amended
Complaint asserts claims under federal law for violation of
an automatic bankruptcy stay, violations of constitutional
rights and conspiracy, and under state law for malicious
prosecution, tortious interference with business practices,
and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
Eleventh Judicial District Court and the Honorable Sandra
Price seek dismissal of the Amended Complaint as against them
on jurisdictional and judicial immunity grounds. Plaintiff
has not filed a response opposing the motion.
lists the State of New Mexico as a defendant in the caption
of his Amended Complaint, but does not list the State of New
Mexico in the section of the Amended Complaint titled
“The Parties and Jurisdiction.” Amended Complaint
at 2-3. There are very few allegations which mention the
“State of New Mexico.” See Amended
Complaint at 17 (Plaintiff “prays for Judgment against
. . . The State of New Mexico”), ¶ 133 at 19
(stating Defendant Price “was a State of New Mexico . .
. employee”). Although the Eleventh Judicial District
Court and Honorable Sandra Price's Amended Motion to
Dismiss does not seek dismissal of the Amended Complaint as
against the State of New Mexico, the Court will address
whether it has jurisdiction over the claims against the State
of New Mexico because the State of New Mexico is listed as a
defendant in the caption of the Amended Complaint. See
Oklahoma Turnpike Authority v. Bruner, 259 F.3d 1236,
1241 (10th Cir. 2001) (“[i]f the parties do not raise
the question of lack of jurisdiction, it is the duty of the
federal court to determine the matter sua
sponte”) (quoting Basso v. Utah Power &
Light Co., 495 F.2d 906, 909 (10th Cir.1974)).
of Bankruptcy Stay Claim
State of New Mexico San Juan County District Judge Sandra
Price blatantly violated the Federal code 11 U.S.C. §
362 Stay of proceedings by incarcerating [Plaintiff] on civil
Contempt after the Bankruptcy was filed on March 12, 2015,
for not paying a debt listed in his bankruptcy thus violating
the Plaintiff's Federal and Constitutional Rights.
Amended Complaint ¶ 112 at 16.
District of New Mexico has referred “all cases under
Title 11 and all proceedings arising under Title 11 or
arising in or related to a case under Title 11 . . . to the
bankruptcy judges for the district to the extent permitted by
law.” In the Matter of Reference to Bankruptcy
Judges and Local Bankruptcy Rules, Admin.
Order, Misc. No. 84-0324 (D.N.M. March 19, 1992) (Burciaga,
C.J.). The Court will dismiss Plaintiff's violation of
bankruptcy stay claim and grant Plaintiff leave to seek
relief in the Bankruptcy Court. See Lester v. United
States, 208 F.3d 226, *2 (10th Cir. 2000) (dismissal of
plaintiff's . . . violation of bankruptcy stay claim
[arising under Title 11] with leave to seek relief in the
bankruptcy court was not an abuse of the district court's
party seeking to invoke the jurisdiction of this Court,
Plaintiff bears the burden of alleging facts that support
jurisdiction. See Dutcher v. Matheson, 733 F.3d 980,
985 (10th Cir. 2013) (“Since federal courts are courts
of limited jurisdiction, we presume no jurisdiction exists
absent an adequate showing by the party invoking federal
Court does not have jurisdiction over this matter with
respect to Defendant State of New Mexico. With certain
limited exceptions, the Eleventh Amendment prohibits a
citizen from filing suit against a state in federal
court.” Ruiz v. McDonnell, 299 F.3d 1173, 1180
(10th Cir. 2002). States enjoy sovereign immunity ...