United States District Court, E.D. Wisconsin
DECISION AND ORDER DISMISSING COMPLAINT (DKT. NO. 1)
AND DENYING THE plaintiff's MOTION FOR LEAVE TO PROCEED
WITHOUT PAYING THE FILING FEE (DKT. NO. 2)
PEPPER United States District Judge
Mary Ann Nawrocki filed a complaint against Jon Sanfillippo,
clerk of court at the United States District Court for the
Eastern District of Wisconsin. Dkt. No. 1. The complaint
alleges that Sanfilippo (whom the plaintiff appears to
believe is a clerk for Judge J. P. Stadtmueller, one of the
judges in the Eastern District) dismissed a case that she had
filed. Id. at 2. She explains in detail the claims
she raised in that complaint. Id. at 2-8. She
alleges that she had a preliminary hearing in front of Judge
Stadtmueller on October 18, 2016, at which time she asked to
speak to Judge Stadtmueller personally. Id. at 5, 9.
After the hearing was over, the plaintiff says, she asked
someone in the courtroom if Judge Stadtmueller would be
hearing any other cases that day. Id. at 9. At this
point, she says, Sanfilippo came over to her, and she asked
him the same question. She indicated that she wanted to speak
with Judge Stadtmueller, and that if she couldn't speak
with him that day, she would come back another day.
Id. She indicates that Sanfilippo seemed reluctant
to answer her question about when Judge Stadtmueller would
next be holding hearings, and he asked the plaintiff her
name. Id. When she answered, Sanfilippo seemed to
know her. Id. Sanfilippo told the plaintiff that she
could not speak with Judge Stadmtueller at that time, told
her to put her question in writing, and became upset with her
when she asked him questions. Id. The plaintiff
alleges that on that same day, after she had the hearing with
Judge Stadtmueller, Sanfilippo himself dismissed her claims.
Id. at 5, 8. She alleges that Sanfilippo dismissed
her claims by falsely stating that her disability brief and
appeal were late, when they were not. Id. at 8.
plaintiff indicates that she had five previous cases reviewed
and dismissed by Judge Stadtmueller. (The plaintiff is
correct: Judge Stadtmueller presided over Nawrocki v. Target
Corporation Stores, Case No. 16-cv-198, dismissed on May 13,
2016; Nawrocki v. Commissioner of the Social Security
Administration, Case No. 16-cv-275, dismissed on October
18, 2016; Nawrocki v. Marx, Case No. 16-cv-936,
dismissed on July 26, 2016; Nawrocki v. Rindfleisch,
Case No. 16-cv-1266, dismissed on September 30, 2016; and
Nawrocki v. Brown Deer Public Library, et al., Case
No. 16-cv-1267, dismissed on September 30, 2016.)
Consequently, the plaintiff requested a new judge for this
current case. Dkt. No. 1 at 14. She also asks this court: (1)
to review her Social Security claim again and to grant it,
id. at 6; (2) to review all of the motions she
submitted; id. at 14, and (3) to admonish
and fire Jon Sanfilippo because she alleges that he saw her
at Judge Stadtmueller's hearing on October 18, 2016 and
dismissed her cases because she asked him questions.
Id. at 14-15.
is no relief that this court can provide to the plaintiff.
The court has reviewed the case that the plaintiff had before
Judge Stadtmueller in October 2016, Mary Ann Nawrocki v.
Commissioner of the Social Security Administration,
16-cv-275. She is correct that the case was dismissed. But it
was not Jon Sanfilippo who dismissed the case-it was Judge
Stadtmueller. The dismissal order appears at Dkt. No. 17. It
is signed by J.P. Stadtmueller, U.S. District Judge.
Id. at 2. Judge Stadtmueller said in the order that
he dismissed the plaintiff's case because she did not
file her opening brief by the deadline he set. Id.
at 1. Only a federal judge can dismiss a federal case. Jon
Sanfilippo is not a federal judge; he does not have the
authority to dismiss cases.
court does not have the power to reverse Judge
Stadtmueller's order dismissing the case, or to review
the Social Security claim that he dismissed. Under 28 U.S.C.
§1291, only the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals has the
authority to reverse a decision made by a district court
judge such as Judge Stadtmueller. The docket in the case
shows that the plaintiff did not appeal Judge
Stadtmueller's order to the Seventh Circuit.
Sanfilippo is not employed by Judge Stadtmueller. Jon
Sanfilippo is the clerk of court for the Eastern District of
Wisconsin; he is the administrator in charge of the
clerk's office. He was not appointed by Judge
Stadtmueller; he was appointed by all of the district court
judges on the court. No single judge, including the
undersigned, can fire Mr. Sanfilippo. He can be fired only if
all of the district court judges agree that he should be
taking the plaintiff's allegations about what happened on
October 18, 2016 as true, Mr. Sanfilippo did not do anything
that would cause the judges of the Eastern District to fire
him. As the court indicated above, Mr. Sanfilippo did not
dismiss the plaintiff's case. Assuming Mr. Sanfilippo
told the plaintiff that she could not speak with Judge
Stadtmueller, he was correct. Canon 3 of the Code of Conduct
for United States Judges prohibits judges from having
“ex parte” communications with parties. An
“ex parte” communication happens when the judge
talks to, or hears from, one party to the case without having
the other party present. Assuming Mr. Sanfilippo told the
plaintiff to put her request to speak to Judge Stadtmueller
in writing, that was the appropriate thing for him to have
done. If a party makes a request in writing, the clerk puts
that request on the docket, and then all of the parties to
the case can see it (avoiding an ex parte contact).
federal courts decide cases involving violations of federal
laws, or cases between citizens of different states. The
plaintiff and Mr. Sanfilippo are not citizens of different
states, and none of the actions that the plaintiff alleges
that Mr. Sanfilippo took violated either federal laws or the
allegations in a complaint have “no possibility of the
court having authority to provide relief to the plaintiff,
” then the case does not belong in federal court.
Carter v. Homeward Residential Inc., 794 F.3d 806, 807 (7th
Cir. 2015)(citations omitted). The court must dismiss the
court notes that the plaintiff also filed a Non-Prisoner
Request to Proceed in District Court Without Paying the
Filing Fee. Dkt. No. 2. Because the court cannot allow the
plaintiff to proceed in district court, the court will deny
the plaintiffs request as moot.
court ORDERS that this complaint is
DISMISSED for lack of subject matter
jurisdiction. Dkt. No. 1. The court DIRECTS
the clerk to enter a judgment dismissing the complaint.
court further ORDERS that the plaintiffs
motion for leave to proceed without prepayment of the filing
fee is DENIED as moot. Dkt. No. 3.