United States District Court, N.D. Alabama, Northeastern Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
LOVELACE BLACKBURN, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
case is presently pending before on Motion for Expungement of
Conviction and Related Arrest Record filed by defendant
Fabian Roel Garcia. (Doc. 3.) For the reasons set forth below,
the court finds that it lacks jurisdiction to consider
Garcia's Motion. Therefore, the Motion for Expungement of
Conviction and Related Arrest Records, (doc. 3), is DENIED.
asks the court to expunge the record of his criminal
conviction on purely equitable grounds. (See generally
id.) On February 21, 1992, Garcia pled guilty to a
four-count Information and received probation. (Id.
¶¶ 2-3; see also docs. 1 and 2.) In his
Motion, Garcia alleges:
5. Defendant has not been convicted of any charges in
subsequent to this conviction, and there is no proceeding
involving any crime which is presently pending or being
instituted against the Defendant.
6. Since being charged and convicted, the Defendant moved to
the State of Texas, found work and has continued to remain a
productive member of society.
7. That having such a conviction on the Defendant's
record has limited him on the types of jobs he is able to
work and has made it difficult to advance in his career.
8. The Defendant is not a threat to the public at large and
has demonstrated this by obeying the laws since his
conviction which occurred over [twenty-four (24)] years ago.
9. The circumstances and behavior of the Defendant warrant
expungement, and the expungement is consistent with the
public welfare and to preserve his basic legal and human
rights. As of the date this Motion for expungement is filed,
there are no criminal or traffic charges pending in any court
or jurisdiction against the Defendant.
(Doc. 3 ¶¶ 5-9.) Garcia does not challenge the
validity of his arrest or conviction.
every case, “the first and fundamental question is that
of jurisdiction . . . . This question the court is bound to
ask and answer for itself, even when not otherwise suggested,
and without respect to the relation of the parties to
it.” Steel Co. v. Citizens for a Better
Env't, 523 U.S. 83, 94 (1998)(quoting Great
Southern Fire Proof Hotel Co. v. Jones, 177 U.S. 449,
453 (1900)). “The requirement that jurisdiction be
established as a threshold matter ‘spring[s] from the
nature and limits of the judicial power of the United
States' and is ‘inflexible and without
exception.'” Id. at 94-95 (quoting
Mansfield, C. & L.M.R. Co. v. Swan, 111 U.S.
379, 382 (1884)). “Without jurisdiction the court
cannot proceed at all in any cause. Jurisdiction is power to
declare the law, and when it ceases to exist, the only
function remaining to the court is that of announcing the
fact and dismissing the cause.” Id. at 94
(quoting Ex parte McCardle, 7 Wall. 506, 514
case, Garcia alleges that this court has ancillary
jurisdiction over his Motion for Expungement of Conviction
and Related Arrest Records because the Motion is
“closely related to the criminal action.”
(See id. ¶¶ 10-11.) “Ancillary
jurisdiction exists in two circumstances: ‘(1) to
permit disposition by a single court of claims that are, in
varying respects and degrees, factually interdependent; and
(2) to enable a court to function successfully, that is, to
manage its proceedings, vindicate its authority, and
effectuate its decrees.'” Nat'l Mar.
Servs., Inc. v. Straub, 776 F.3d 783, 786 (11th Cir.
2015)(quoting Peacock v. Thomas, 516 U.S. 349, 354
(1996)(quoting Kokkonen v. Guardian Life Ins. Co.,
511 U.S. 375, 379-80 (1994))). The Eleventh Circuit has not
yet addressed whether a district court has ancillary
jurisdiction over a Motion to Expunge a conviction on purely
other Circuit Courts and district courts within this
Circuit have held that the district court does not
have ancillary jurisdiction to decide a motion for
expungement based on purely equitable grounds following the