C&P Files Supreme Court Cert Petition Challenging Alabama Probation Orders Issued Without Judicial Review or Approval

Today Clinton & Peed filed a petition for a writ of certiorari, asking the U.S. Supreme Court to reinstate our clients’ legal challenges to coercive probation orders, issued in Montgomery, Alabama without judicial review or approval. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit held that our clients’ lawsuits were barred by the RookerFeldman doctrine, a judge-made jurisdictional rule barring federal courts from hearing lawsuits challenging state-court judgments.

But the probation orders at issue in this case were issued by private contractors, not by actual state-court judges. Our clients, Linda Thurman and Courtnee Carroll, argued to to the Eleventh Circuit that these contractor-issued orders were not bona fide state-court judgments, and thus not subject to RookerFeldman. A divided panel of the Eleventh Circuit nonetheless upheld the dismissals of their lawsuits. 

The federal appeals courts, however, are split over whether and to what extent RookerFeldman applies to state-court judgments that are void ab initio—nullities from the start. Our petition asks the Court to review the case to resolve this circuit split and reinstate our clients’ claims.

The case is Thurman v. Judicial Correction Services, Inc (No. 18-1291). The cert petition was prepared by our partner Greg Lipper. Co-counsel is Kerri L. Barsh from Greenberg Traurig and W. Lewis Garrison Jr. and Christopher B. Hood from Henninger Garrison Davis.

Gregory Lipper