Douris v. State, 100212 FED3, 12-1010

Docket Nº:12-1010
Opinion Judge:PER CURIAM
Party Name:JAMES GEORGE DOURIS, Appellant v. STATE OF NEW JERSEY
Judge Panel:Before: AMBRO, JORDAN AND VANASKIE, Circuit Judges
Case Date:October 02, 2012
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
 
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JAMES GEORGE DOURIS, Appellant

v.

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

No. 12-1010

United States Court of Appeals, Third Circuit

October 2, 2012

         NOT PRECEDENTIAL

          Submitted for Possible Summary Action Pursuant to Third Circuit LAR 27.4 and I.O.P. 10.6 September 13, 2012

         On Appeal from the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey (D.C. Civil No. 10-cv-02836) District Judge: Honorable Peter G. Sheridan

          Before: AMBRO, JORDAN AND VANASKIE, Circuit Judges

          OPINION

          PER CURIAM

         James George Douris appeals from an order or orders1 of the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey. Because no substantial question is presented by his appeal, we will summarily affirm the District Court's orders.

         I.

         Because the parties are familiar with the facts of the case, we will set forth only those facts necessary to understanding the appeal. Douris, who alleges a number of disabilities, filed a complaint against the State of New Jersey ("the State") with claims stemming from an incident in which he was ticketed in May 2008 for failure to wear a seat belt. Before the State answered, Douris filed a First Amended Complaint. In that complaint, Douris alleged that he was injured at the Hopewell Township Municipal Court and at the Lawrence Township Municipal Court when he tried to access those courts in order to contest his ticket. He alleged that the courts were not compliant with Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 ("ADA"), 42 U.S.C. § 12132. Douris's complaint also alleged that the New Jersey Superior Court in Trenton was not ADA compliant, because the court papers were in small type. In paragraph 20 of the amended complaint, Douris alleged that he was denied access to viewing a criminal trial at the Superior Court of New Jersey in New Brunswick, in violation of the ADA.

         The State filed a motion to dismiss the amended complaint, arguing that Douris could not relitigate the propriety of his seat-belt ticket, due to the Rooker-Feldman doctrine, 2 and that Douris's other claims should be dismissed for failure to state a claim under Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure ("Fed. R. Civ. P."). After a hearing, the District Court agreed, and dismissed the amended complaint with prejudice, with the exception of the allegations in paragraph 20 of the complaint, which the District Court dismissed without prejudice, as the allegations were unrelated to the remainder of the complaint. The Court explained in its ruling that Douris could bring the claims raised in paragraph 20 in a new complaint, if he desired.

         About a week later, Douris filed a "Motion to the Court to File a Second Amended Complaint." The motion argued that the District Court erred by dismissing his complaint without giving him an opportunity to file another amended complaint. Douris attached a proposed Second Amended Complaint. A magistrate judge denied the motion as moot, stating that the matter was closed and that Douris had not sought leave to reopen. Less than a week later, Douris filed a document titled, "Plaintiff's Motion as the Court Allowed Plaintiff the Right to Amend the First Amended Complaint with no Time Limit to Amend." The District Court then entered an order denying Douris's motion to file a second amended complaint, and stated that any claims he would like to raise related to paragraph 20 of the complaint "must be filed as a new complaint, rather than an amended complaint, to initiate a new case under a separate docket number." Douris appealed two days later.

         II.

         We construe Douris's "Motion to the Court to File a Second Amended Complaint"[3] and his "Motion as the Court Allowed Plaintiff the Right to Amend the First Amended Complaint with no Time Limit to Amend" as motions to reconsider the District Court's November 7, 2011 order dismissing his complaint. Ahmed v. Dragovich, 297 F.3d 201, 208 (3d Cir. 2002) (courts may consider post-judgment motions as motions filed pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. Rule 59(e) or Rule 60(b)). As each motion was filed within 28 days of the November 7th order, the time to appeal that order began to run "from the entry of the order disposing of the last [of the two] motion[s]."...

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