United States District Court, D. Connecticut
MICHAEL A. LANTERI, Plaintiff,
STATE OF CONNECTICUT, Defendant.
MEMORANDUM OF DECISION ON MOTION TO DISMISS [DKT.
Vanessa L. Bryant United States District Judge.
Michael Lanteri seeks monetary damages for the State of
Connecticut's alleged violations under 42 U.S.C. §
1983. Plaintiff makes various claims that appear to have
occurred while his divorce, alimony, and child custody issues
took place. Defendant State of Connecticut has moved to
dismiss Plaintiff's Complaint for failure to establish
subject matter jurisdiction under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(1). For
the following reasons, the Court GRANTS Defendant's
motion and dismisses Plaintiff's Complaint.
was married to Nicole Lanteri when he was 39 years old, and
their marriage lasted for 11 years. [Dkt. 1 (Compl.) at 6 of
PDF]. Nicole is alleged to have mental health issues.
Id. at 6, 10 of PDF. The Lanteris began divorce
proceedings in June of 2013. As a result of the proceedings,
Plaintiff believes that risk of injury to a minor, parental
alienation, and spousal abuse were “not held up by
Connecticut.” Id. ¶¶ 2, 4, 5.
Plaintiff believes the State of Connecticut did not uphold
the Constitution, violated his due process and civil rights,
and violated the First Amendment by “usi[ing] a
religious ceremony to take [his] assets.” Id.
¶ 15. He also believes he has the constitutional right
to the pursuit of happiness, which the state court took away
from him. Id. ¶ 28.
divorce proceedings culminated in a trial upon which
dissolution was then entered on October 22, 2014.
See [Dkt. 13 (Mot. Dismiss) at 1]; see also
Lanteri v. Lanteri, docket 230.00, docket number
KNO-FA13-4121693-S. As part of the judgment, Plaintiff lost
the right to his property, which he believes violates due
process because “[t]he only way to take a person's
property according to the Constitution is through Eminent
Domain.” Id. ¶ 16. The state court also
required Plaintiff to provide spousal support. See
Id. ¶ 27. Plaintiff believes this is
unconstitutional as he has “the right to divorce a
spouse and never have to support a spouse again.”
Id. Plaintiff believes his ex-wife “commited
crimes against [him] (perjury, child abuse, obstruction of
justice, deformation [sic] of character, parent
alienation)” and that “[r]ewarding a criminal is
not a fair trial.” Id. He also does not think
he should have to pay for his son's college education
because, after losing all his assets as a result of the
proceeding, he “could possibly have to sell the family
home to do so.” Id. ¶ 29. Ultimately, the
total costs involving the divorce cost Plaintiff over $450,
000.00. Id. at 6 of PDF.
the judgment, his ex-wife's attorneys, Terry and Jeremiah
Donovan, filed a Motion for Contempt Post-Judgment, alleging
Plaintiff failed to pay his fifty percent share of the costs
of preparing two QDROs and failed to cooperate with Attorney
Elizabeth McMahon. [Dkt. 13-6 (Mot. Dismiss Ex. C (State
Court Mot. Contempt) at 1]. The Superior Court held a hearing
and found Plaintiff in contempt. See [Dkt. 1 ¶
6]. Plaintiff contends that the state court judge did not
allow him to speak at the hearing. Id. ¶ 7.
believes “the [S]tate of Connecticut (DCF)”
witnessed child abuse but did not prosecute these crimes.
Id. at 6 of PDF. Plaintiff claims issues of child
abuse are ongoing as his ex-wife is turning his son against
him. Id. He also believes the State of Connecticut
threatened to take away his son without due process.
Id. ¶ 21. He believes the law was not upheld
regarding his premarital assets. Id. ¶ 26. He
also contends that the State of Connecticut violated his
civil rights as a parent because a judge failed to uphold
decisions he and his wife made as parents. Id.
¶ 25. Plaintiff avers that Connecticut denied his
ability to use three years of digital recordings as evidence.
Id. ¶ 1. He also takes issue with the fact that
the State of Connecticut would not release the names of the
judges on the grievance counsel despite his use of the
Freedom of Information Act. Id. ¶ 32.
has filed multiple grievances. The first is against Lori
Hellum, Esq., who he believes unlawfully discussed the
outcome of a criminal case with his ex-wife's divorce
attorney. See Id. ¶ 2. The second is against
Judge Pinkus for circumstances involving the divorce
proceedings. Id. ¶¶ 30, 33. He believes
Judge Pinkus has “left [his] son in an abusive
situation” by giving his ex-wife custody half of the
week, even after listening “to testimony of the GAL and
the Forensic psychiatrist.” Id. ¶¶
10, 33. The third is against Judge Carbonneau due to his
handling of the contempt hearing. Id. at 7 of PDF.
The fourth is against Harry Gould, his former attorney, for
an unspecified reason. See Id. ¶ 33; see
also [Dkt. 17 (Opp'n Mot. Dismiss) at 4]. The fifth
is against Terry and Jeremiah Donovan, his ex-wife's
attorneys, for actions they took during the divorce
proceedings for their own financial gain. See Id.
¶¶ 18, 33-35. He believes the Donovans committed
perjury regarding their client's assests, child care, and
mental condition. Id. ¶ 14. They also allegedly
prompted the case to carry on for a longer period of time
than necessary for their personal gain. Id. ¶
18-19. Plaintiff takes issue with the Donovan's alleged
$94, 000 attorneys' fees. Id. ¶ 35. In
addition to the issues surrounding the divorce proceedings,
he believes Jeremiah Donovan falsely reported a recording to
the Navy, which cost him his security clearance and job.
Id. ¶ 13.
also claims that Connecticut ignored Plaintiff's
extortion issues arising from his “Secret Security
clearance with the Federal Government.” Id.
courts are courts of limited jurisdiction. . . .”
Gunn v. Minton, 568 U.S. 251, 256 (2013). Subject
matter jurisdiction is not waivable, and a lack of subject
matter jurisdiction may be raised at any time, by a party or
the court sua sponte. See Gonzalez v.
Thaler, 565 U.S. 134, 141 (2012); see also Sebelius
v. Auburn Reg'l Med. Ctr., 568 U.S. 145, 153 (2013)
(“Objections to a tribunal's jurisdiction can be
raised at any time, even by a party that once conceded the
tribunal's subject-matter jurisdiction over the
controversy.”). If a court lacks subject matter
jurisdiction, it must dismiss the action. See Fed.
R. Civ. P. 12(h)(3).
“district court must take all uncontroverted facts in
the complaint [ ] as true, and draw all reasonable inferences
in favor of the party asserting jurisdiction.”
Tandon v. Captain's Cove Marina of Bridgeport,
Inc., 752 F.3d 239, 243 (2d Cir. 2014). However,
“where jurisdictional facts are placed in dispute, the
court has the power and obligation to decide issues of fact
by reference to evidence outside the pleadings. . . .”
Id. “In that case, the party asserting subject
matter jurisdiction has the burden of proving by a
preponderance of the evidence that it exists.”
has filed suit against the State of Connecticut without
identifying any other culpable party. Defendant argues that
this suit should be dismissed in its entirety because the
Eleventh Amendment bars suit against Defendant unless it
waives such immunity. [Dkt. 13 at 3]. Defendant also requests
that the Court decline to exercise supplemental jurisdiction
over state claims. Id. at 5. Plaintiff, however,
contends that the Eleventh ...