The opinion of the court was delivered by: PAUL PLUNKETT, Senior District Judge
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Plaintiff Marthe Purmal has brought this suit pro se against
defendants, the Illinois Supreme Court and Alan Greiman, an Illinois
appellate court judge, alleging constitutional violations. Defendants have
filed a motion to dismiss under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure ("Rule")
12(b)(1) and Rule 12(b)(6). For the reasons set forth below, the motion
Many of the allegations of Purmal's complaint refer to certain rules
promulgated by the Illinois Supreme Court ("Illinois Supreme Court Rule")
and their effect on appellate procedure. On a motion to dismiss, we are
required to accept all well-pleaded factual allegations of the complaint
as true and draw reasonable inferences in Purmal's favor. However, we are
not required to credit
unreasonable inferences nor are we required to accept Purmal's
interpretation of certain Illinois Supreme Court Rules. See Mickey v.
O'Bannon, 287 F.3d 656, 658 (7th Cir. 2002). In addition, we may consider
matters that are of public record or taken from sources "whose accuracy
cannot reasonably be questioned." Fed.R.Evid. 201(b); see also General
Elec. Capital Corp. v. Lease Resolution Corp., 128 F.3d 1074, 1084 (7th
Cir. 1997) (discussing judicial notice). Having taken these
considerations into account, the following recitation is drawn from the
Purmal is a Chicago resident. The Illinois Supreme Court is the highest
tribunal in the State of Illinois. Judge Alan Greiman is an Illinois
appellate court judge in the first district. In 2001, Purmal was sued by
the law firm of Robert N. Wadington & Associates ("Wadington Law
Firm") for attorneys' fees stemming from a contingency fee contract
Purmal executed in favor of the Wadington Law Firm. The trial court found
in favor of the Wadington Law Firm and Purmal appealed to the Appellate
Court of Illinois, First Judicial District. The appeal was considered by
Judges Greiman, Hartman and Karnezis. Without oral argument, the
appellate court affirmed the trial court in a December 19, 2002 order
("Appellate Court Order"). Purmal filed a petition for rehearing, arguing
that the order was contrary to the law and facts. The petition for
rehearing was denied. Purmal then sought relief from the Illinois Supreme
Court, which denied her petition for leave to appeal in June 2003.
Purmal then sued two of the Wadington Law Firm lawyers for malpractice
in November 2003. The case was dismissed on the grounds of res judicata;
the Appellate Court Order was used by the two lawyer defendants to
support those grounds. Purmal is now before us, arguing that certain
actions taken by Judge Greiman in deciding her appeal denied her due
process as guaranteed by the U.S. and Illinois constitutions.
Illinois Supreme Court Rule 3 5 2(a) allows the appellate court to
dispense with oral argument if, after the briefs have been filed, the
court determines "no substantial question is presented." 111. Sup.Ct. R.
352(a). Illinois Supreme Court Rules 23(b) & (c) provide that cases
before the appellate court "which do not qualify for disposition by
opinion" may be disposed of by written order or summary order. "Only
opinions of the court will be published" and an unpublished order has no
precedential value, except that it may be cited "to support contentions of
double jeopardy, res judicata, collateral estoppel or law of the case."
Ill. Sup.Ct. R. 23(e). Purmal argues that the application, in the
aggregate, of these rules to her case deprived her of her constitutional
rights. The combination of these rules, asserts Purmal, along with the
fact that the Illinois Supreme Court will not review unpublished orders,
allowed Judge Greiman to make a secret, private ruling which was contrary
to Illinois law.*fn1 She asks that we declare Illinois Supreme Court
Rules 23(b), 23(c) and 3 52(a) unconstitutional and the Appellate Court
Order entered pursuant to those rules unconstitutional and invalid. She
has sued Judge Greiman because he signed the order which dispensed with
oral argument in her case and because he authored the Appellate Court
Defendants have filed a motion to dismiss under Rules 12(b)(1) and
12(b)(6), arguing that the suit is barred by the Eleventh Amendment and
the Rooker-Feldman doctrine*fn2, and that Purmal has failed to state a
claim against either defendant.
Rule 12(b)(1) provides for dismissal of a claim where a court lacks
subject matter jurisdiction. In considering a Rule 12(b)(1) motion to
dismiss, a court accepts the complaint's well-pleaded factual allegations
as true and draws all reasonable inferences in favor of the plaintiff.
See United Tramps. Union v. Gateway Western Ry. Co., 78 F.3d 1208, 1210
(7th Cir. 1996). The plaintiff bears the burden of establishing that the
jurisdictional requirements have been met. United Phosphorus, Ltd. v.
Angus Chem. Co., 322 F.3d 942, 946 (7th Cir. 2003).
On a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, the same standard with respect to
well-pleaded factual allegations applies. Forseth v. Village of Sussex,
199 F.3d 363, 368 (7th Cir. 2000). No claim will be dismissed unless "it
is clear that no relief could be granted under any set of facts that
could be proved consistent with the allegations." Hishon v. King &
Spalding, 467 U.S. 69, 73 (1984).
Defendants assert a number of arguments in support of their motion to
dismiss the complaint: that the claim is barred by the Eleventh Amendment
and does not fall into the Eleventh Amendment immunity exception
identified by the Supreme Court in Ex Porte Young, 209 U.S. 123 (1908);
that the claim is barred by the Rooker-Feldman doctrine*fn3; and that
Purmal has failed to state a claim for
which relief can be granted. Although defendants' arguments raise a host
of interesting issues, we dismiss Purnals claims against the Illinois
Supreme Court and Judge Greiman for lack of standing. See Johnson v.
Allsteel, Inc., 259 F.3d 885, 887 (7th Cir. 2001) (district court may
address issue of standing sua ...