Cooper v. Ramos, et al, No. 11-57144 (9th Cir. 2012)Annotate this Case
Plaintiff was convicted of four counts of first-degree murder and sentenced to death in 1995. Plaintiff filed suit in federal district court in California challenging a state court's denial of his request to obtain additional DNA testing pursuant to a state statute. Plaintiff alleged that he was the target of a conspiracy involving members of the county sheriff's department and others. The district court dismissed on the basis that it lacked subject matter jurisdiction under the Rooker-Feldman doctrine. Under that doctrine, the federal courts lacked subject matter jurisdiction over his first claim, which sought federal relief from the state court's determination in the DNA proceeding, and over his second and third claims, which were inextricably intertwined with the first. Therefore, the court agreed with the district court that his complaint was properly dismissed. The court also held that the district court did not err in implicitly denying plaintiff's request to amend his complaint.