PETERS v. NERONI

No. 13-4772-cv.

KAREN PETERS, Chief Judge, New York State Supreme Court Appellate Division Third Judicial Department, in her official capacity, MONICA A. DUFFY, Chairperson, Committee for Professional Standards, New York State Supreme Court Appellate Division, Third Judicial Department, in her official capacity, Plaintiffs-Appellees, v. TATIANA NERONI, Defendant-Appellant.

United States Court of Appeals, Second Circuit.

March 26, 2015.


Attorney(s) appearing for the Case

Andrew B. Ayers , Denise Ann Hartman , Assistant Solicitors General, of counsel, Barbara D. Underwood , Solicitor General, for Eric T. Schneiderman , Attorney General of the State of New York, Albany, NY, for Plaintiffs-Appellees.

Tatiana Neroni, pro se, Delhi, NY, for Defendant-Appellant.

PRESENT: RALPH K. WINTER, DEBRA ANN LIVINGSTON, DENNY CHIN, Circuit Judges.


SUMMARY ORDER

RULINGS BY SUMMARY ORDER DO NOT HAVE PRECEDENTIAL EFFECT. CITATION TO A SUMMARY ORDER FILED ON OR AFTER JANUARY 1, 2007, IS PERMITTED AND IS GOVERNED BY FEDERAL RULE OF APPELLATE PROCEDURE 32.1 AND THIS COURT'S LOCAL RULE 32.1.1. WHEN CITING A SUMMARY ORDER IN A DOCUMENT FILED WITH THIS COURT, A PARTY MUST CITE EITHER THE FEDERAL APPENDIX OR AN ELECTRONIC DATABASE (WITH THE NOTATION "SUMMARY ORDER"). A PARTY CITING TO A SUMMARY ORDER MUST SERVE A COPY OF IT ON ANY PARTY NOT REPRESENTED BY COUNSEL.

UPON DUE CONSIDERATION, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED, ADJUDGED, AND DECREED that the order of the district court is AFFIRMED.

Appellant Tatiana Neroni, proceeding pro se, appeals the district court's order remanding her state disciplinary proceeding to New York State's Appellate Division based on lack of subject matter jurisdiction, and dismissing her 42 U.S.C. § 1983 claims based on the abstention principle announced in Younger v. Harris, 401 U.S. 37 (1971). We assume the parties' familiarity with the underlying facts, the procedural history of the case, and the issues on appeal.

"We review de novo a district court's decision on a motion to remand." Cuomo v. Crane Co., 771 F.3d 113, 115 (2d Cir. 2014). We also review de novo dismissals based on Younger abstention. Diamond "D" Constr. Corp. v. McGowan, 282 F.3d 191, 197 (2d Cir. 2002).

We affirm for substantially the reasons stated in the district court's thorough and well-reasoned November 18, 2013 opinion. See App'x at 6-10. In light of the Supreme Court's recent holding in Sprint Communications, Inc. v. Jacobs, 134 S.Ct. 584 (2013), however, we briefly revisit the issue of Younger abstention.

In determining that Younger abstention precluded consideration of Appellant's § 1983 claims, the district court applied a three-part test that this Court had previously derived from the Supreme Court's decision in Middlesex County Ethics Committee v. Garden State Bar Association, 457 U.S. 423 (1982). See Cecos Int'l, Inc. v. Jorling, 895 F.2d 66, 70 (2d Cir. 1990). After the district court's ruling, however, the Supreme Court rejected this three-part test in favor of a categorical approach. See Sprint, 134 S. Ct. at 591-94. It clarified that Younger abstention is triggered by only three categories of state court proceedings: (1) "state criminal prosecutions"; (2) "civil enforcement proceedings"; and (3) civil proceedings that "implicate a State's interest in enforcing the orders and judgments of its courts." Id. at 588, 591 (internal quotation marks omitted). State-initiated disciplinary proceedings against lawyers for violation of state ethics rules constitute "civil enforcement proceedings" implicating Younger. Id. at 592 (citing Middlesex, 457 U.S. at 433-34). Accordingly, the district court's conclusion that Appellant's claims were barred by Younger is still correct after Sprint.

We have considered all of Appellant's arguments and find them to be without merit. Accordingly, we AFFIRM the order of the district court.


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