Hadzi-Tanovic v. Johnson, No. 21-3373 (7th Cir. 2023)Annotate this Case
In a custody dispute between Hadzi-Tanovic and her former husband, Pavlovich, an Illinois state court ordered that Hadzi-Tanovic’s parenting time with her children be supervised. She filed suit in federal court under 42 U.S.C. 1983 and 1985 against her ex-husband, the children’s guardian ad litem, and the state court judge, alleging they conspired to violate her and her children’s rights to family association and her right to a fair and unbiased trier of fact. The district court dismissed her complaint on abstention grounds.
The Seventh Circuit affirmed. It is well established that federal courts do not have jurisdiction to review such state court decisions. The Rooker-Feldman doctrine imposes a “jurisdictional bar” that prohibits federal courts other than the U.S. Supreme Court from reviewing final state court judgments The state court order at issue is final, so the Rooker-Feldman doctrine’s finality requirement is met. Allegations of state court corruption are not sufficient to avoid the application of the Rooker-Feldman doctrine. Hadzi-Tanovic has not argued that state law or procedures prevented her from raising her federal constitutional issues in state court. Parties may raise procedural and substantive due process challenges to custody orders in Illinois state court.