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No. 06-1237

(District of Colorado)

(D.C. No. 05-CV-02033 WYD-CBS)


Before MURPHY, SEYMOUR, and McCONNELL, Circuit Judges.

After examining appellant's brief and the appellate record, this court has determined unanimously that oral argument would not materially assist the determination of this appeal. See Fed. R. App. P. 34(a)(2); 10th Cir. R. 34.1(G). The case is therefore ordered submitted without oral argument.

Proceeding pro se, David Jackson appeals the district court's sua sponte dismissal of the civil rights complaint he brought against his former wife, Vera Jackson, alleging she colluded with Colorado state judges to deprive him of his federal constitutional rights in proceedings related to the dissolution of their marriage. Jackson sought: (1) an order setting aside the decree of dissolution of marriage entered by the Colorado state court and requiring the defendant to post a $350,000.00 bond, and (2) "emergency review of Colorado Arapahoe District case 2001DR002767 October 14, 2004 ruling."(1) The district court dismissed the suit with prejudice, concluding it lacked subject matter jurisdiction under the Rooker-Feldman doctrine.

Rooker-Feldman is a jurisdictional bar which prohibits federal review of state court decisions. Crutchfield v. Countrywide Home Loans, 389 F.3d 1144, 1147 (10th Cir. 2004). Rooker-Feldman precludes "a party losing in state court . . . 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." Johnson v. De Grandy, 512 U.S. 997, 1005-06 (1994). This court reviews a district court's dismissal for lack of subject matter jurisdiction de novo. Johnson v. Rodrigues, 226 F.3d 1103, 1107 (10th Cir. 2000). A de novo review of the record in this case reveals the district court correctly concluded that, regardless of how his complaint is worded, Jackson is seeking review of state court judgments. Accordingly, Rooker-Feldman bars his claims.(2)

The district court, however, erroneously dismissed Jackson's complaint with prejudice. See Brereton v. Bountiful City Corp., 434 F.3d 1213, 1214 (10th Cir. 2006) ("A longstanding line of cases from this circuit holds that where the district court dismisses an action for lack of jurisdiction, as it did here, the dismissal must be without prejudice."). Accordingly, the judgment of the United States District Court for the District of Colorado is modified to reflect that dismissal of Jackson's claims is without prejudice. As so modified, the judgment is affirmed. Jackson's request to proceed in forma pauperis on appeal is denied.


Michael R. Murphy

Circuit Judge

Click footnote number to return to corresponding location in the text.

*. This order and judgment is not binding precedent, except under the doctrines of law of the case, res judicata and collateral estoppel. The court generally disfavors the citation of orders and judgments; nevertheless, an order and judgment may be cited under the terms and conditions of 10th Cir. R. 36.3.

1.Case 2001DR002767 is a state-court matter initiated by Jackson as Petitioner. In the October 14, 2004 ruling, this matter was resolved in favor of the Respondent.

2.In his appellate brief, Jackson asserts his suit involves questions concerning his right to a writ of habeas corpus. No such claims were raised in Jackson's complaint.

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