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Hill v. Conway, Town of

Citation: 30 ELR 20124
No. No. 99-1019, 193 F.3d 33/(1st Cir., 10/04/1999)

The court affirms a district court dismissal of a property owner's 42 U.S.C. § 1983 suit, which alleged a New Hampshire town effectuated an uncompensated taking of the owner's property, for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. Before seeking relief in federal court, the owner initiated two lawsuits in the state court contesting the legality of the town's actions and was unsuccessful in both. The relief for which the owner prayed, an award of damages to fairly compensate the alleged taking, would, if granted, effectively void the state court's judgment. The court first holds that the Rooker-Feldman doctrine precludes federal subject matter jurisdiction where, as here, a claim is inextricably intertwined with a claim adjudicated in state court. The court additionally holds that because the U.S. Supreme Court had exclusive appellate jurisdiction to review the final judgment of the state court, no other federal court had jurisdiction to entertain the owner's federal claim.

Counsel for Plaintiffs
Randall F. Cooper
Cooper, Deans & Cargill
92 Pine St., N. Conway NH 03860
(603) 356-5439

Counsel for Defendant
Russell F. Hilliard
Upton, Sanders & Smith
10 Centre St., Concord NH 03302
(603) 224-7791

Before Selya and Coffin, JJ.