UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT CENTRAL DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS SPRINGFIELD DIVISION
October 13, 2011
RONALD TATRO, PLAINTIFF,
STATE OF ILLINOIS CRIMINAL COURT, AND SANGAMON COUNTY JUVENILE DIVISION DEFENDANTS.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Sue E. Myerscough, U.S. District Judge:
Thursday, 13 October, 2011 11:43:32 AM
Clerk, U.S. District Court, ILCD
Ronald L. Tatro, proceeding pro se, seeks to file a document (petition) in which he asks this Court to intervene in a state court proceeding to permanently terminate his parental rights. Pending also is a motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis. See d/e 2. For the reasons that follow, Defendant's motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis is DENIED and this action is DISMISSED.
The Court has reviewed Tatro's petition. As stated, his proposed petition concerns a proceeding to terminate parental rights in the Circuit Court for the Seventh Judicial Circuit of Illinois, Sangamon County.
Tatro claims that if the state court terminates his parental rights it would be "a life sentence on [Tatro's] family." Tatro asks this Court "to make a ruling the State of Illinois will have to respect." Accordingly, it appears Tatro is requesting that this Court halt the state court proceedings and assume jurisdiction over the matter.
This action will be dismissed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(i). The Court lacks the authority to grant Tatro's request.
"[V]isitation and the termination of parental rights are beyond the scope of a federal court." Lewis v. Family and Social Services Adminstration, 2005 WL 2562988, at * 1 (N.D. Ind. 2005) (citing Moore v. Sims, 442 U.S. 415 (1979).) Moreover, to the extent Tatro is asking this Court to review any decision of the state court in the termination proceedings, "federal district courts cannot review the merits of decisions made by state courts in civil litigation." See Mannix v. Machnik, 244 F. App'x 37, 39 (7th Cir. 2007). Any relief from an adverse state court decision must be sought through the state appellate system. See id. Accordingly, this Court is unable to entertain Tatro's claim.
THEREFORE, Tatro's motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis (d/e 2) is DENIED. This action is DISMISSED.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
FOR THE COURT:
SUE E. MYERSCOUGH United States District Judge
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