United States District Court, W.D. Texas, San Antonio Division
T. ANTHONY GUAJARDO, Plaintiff,
STATE BAR OF TEXAS, STATE BAR OF ARIZONA, ARIZONA SUPREME COURT, SCOTT BALES, CHIEF JUSTICE, In His Official Capacity, STATE BAR OF ARIZONA, Defendants.
RODRIGUEZ UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
the Court are Defendants' Motions to Dismiss (docket no.
4; docket no. 7; docket no. 11), filed on January 11, 2019,
January 16, 2019, and January 29, 2019 respectively. After
careful consideration, the Court grants Defendants'
Anthony Guajardo sued the State of Arizona, the State Bars of
Texas and Arizona, as well as the Arizona Supreme Court, and
Chief Justice Scott Bales of the Arizona Supreme Court in his
official capacity on December 18, 2019. (docket no. 1 at 1)
Plaintiff alleges numerous due process claims against the
defendants arising out of a disciplinary proceeding against
him in Arizona that ultimately led to his disbarment there on
February 2, 2017. (docket no. 1 at 1-5) The disbarment in
Arizona also led to spill-over effects in Texas, namely,
Plaintiff was disbarred here on August 7, 2017. (docket no.
4-2 at 5)
seeks injunctive relief to the effect that the judgment of
disbarment in Arizona should be invalidated and the
disbarment in Texas vacated on the grounds that it was based
on the aforementioned judgment and independent constitutional
violations. (docket no. 1 at 49) Plaintiff also prays this
Court grant declaratory judgment that the disciplinary
regimen administered by the State Bar of Arizona is
unconstitutional under the law of Arizona. Id.
Lastly, Plaintiff alleges various theories of damages against
the State of Arizona, the State Bar of Arizona, the Arizona
Supreme Court, and Chief Justice Bales. Id. at
10, 2015, the Arizona Supreme Court Attorney Discipline
Probable Cause Committee reviewed an Arizona State Bar's
investigatory report into Plaintiff's alleged misconduct
by failure to appear in court on multiple occasions. On July
27, 2015, it found probable cause for the State Bar to file a
complaint against Plaintiff. (docket no. 1 at exhibit 6) The
following year, the same Committee reviewed a reported
perjury violation on April 10, 2016. Id. The
Committee again found probable cause for the Arizona State
Bar to file another charge against Plaintiff. Id. On
May 12, 2016 the State Bar of Arizona filed its complaint
alleging Plaintiff committed perjury and failed to appear in
court on multiple occasions despite warnings by the presiding
judge. (docket no.1 at exhibit 6) On November 1, 2016, the
State Bar of Arizona suspended Plaintiff's law license
for one year and ordered him to undergo a mental health
evaluation. (docket no. 4-1 at 1)
elected to settle his case with the Arizona State Bar by
consenting to his disbarment on January 31, 2017. (docket no.
4-2 at 2) On February 2, 2017, the presiding disciplinary
judge accepted Plaintiff's consent to disbarment.
Id. Word of Plaintiff's disbarment quickly
reached the Texas State Bar, which soon began reciprocal
disciplinary proceedings. (docket no. 4-3 at 1) A hearing was
held before the Texas Board of Disciplinary Appeals for April
28, 2017. Id. Plaintiff informed the Board that he
sent a notice of intent to appeal the disbarment in Arizona
two days earlier on April 26, 2017. Id. Accordingly,
the Board issued an order abating the disciplinary proceeding
in Texas in the interim. Id. Plaintiff moved for an
extension of time to file an appeal with the Arizona Board of
Disciplinary Appeals on May 5, 2017, and on June 7, 2017, the
presiding disciplinary judge struck Plaintiff's motion
for extension of time and notice of appeal. (docket no. 4-1
at 1, 4) The Texas proceedings resumed, and the Texas Board
of Disciplinary Appeals heard evidence and argument on August
4, 2017. (docket no. 4-2 at 1) On August 7, 2017 the Texas
Board of Disciplinary Appeals formally disbarred Plaintiff.
Id. Plaintiff did not file an appeal in the Texas
Supreme Court. Plaintiff now seeks relief from these
judgments against him. (docket no. 1)
State Bar of Texas, State of Arizona, Arizona Supreme Court,
Chief Justice Scott Bales, and the State Bar of Arizona
assert numerous Rule 12(b) defenses. However, it suffices for
the Court to only address the 12(b)(1) and 12(b)(6) defenses.
Most of the claims presented are outside of the Court's
subject matter jurisdiction. A motion to dismiss for lack of
subject matter jurisdiction may be evaluated on the face of
the complaint alone, the complaint plus undisputed facts in
the record, or the complaint plus undisputed facts in the
record and the court's resolution of disputed facts.
Williamson v. Tucker, 645 F.2d 404, 413 (5th Cir.
1981). On the other hand, a Rule 12(b)(6) defense must be
evaluated on the face of the complaint alone. See Bell
Atlantic Corporation v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570
preliminary matter, the Court finds that Plaintiff's
complaint violates Rules 8(a)(2) by not providing a short and
plain statement of the grounds for the relief sought.
Plaintiff presents thirty-five pages of facts, legal issues,
and legal arguments before reaching his claims for relief.
Most of his complaints center around the Presiding
Disciplinary Judge William J. O'Neil, who conducted the
disciplinary proceedings in Arizona. In his first claim for
relief, Plaintiff alleges denial of due process and equal
protection in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1983 based on
numerous issues, including the alleged unconstitutional
appointment of O'Neill, his lack of an oath of office,
the unconstitutional delegation of prosecutorial authority to
the State Bar of Arizona, lack of impartiality and due
process violations in the underlying Arizona disbarment
proceedings, and the fact that the State Bar of Texas failed
to provide an appropriate level of due process protections in
its disbarment proceeding.
second cause of action, Plaintiff alleges a denial of the
right to work and denial of First Amendment rights under the
Arizona and U.S. Constitutions. In his third cause of action,
he alleges that he was intentionally discriminated against
based on his age and national origin. This claim appears to
be focused on the underlying disciplinary proceedings and
requests damages. Plaintiff's fourth cause of action
alleges a “fraudulent scheme by Defendants with
accompanying mail fraud, ” which challenges
O'Neil's authority to act as a judge and the validity
of his judgments, and asserts mail fraud based on the mailing
of his judgments. Plaintiff complains that Chief Justice of
the Arizona Supreme Court Scott Bales breached his
administrative duty to supervise O'Neil, knew or should
have know that he is a “fake judge” who is not
constitutionally seated, and breached fiduciary duties.
Plaintiff requests monetary damages and injunctive relief
“enjoining Defendants from continuing to perpetuate
their fraud and abuse of power” and asks the Court to
refer O'Neil to the FBI for falsely impersonating a
Justice of the Supreme Court of Arizona.
prayer for relief, Plaintiff asks for various relief,
including: (1) a declaratory judgment that (a) appointment of
a Presiding Disciplinary Judge pursuant to Rule 51 of the
Arizona Supreme Court is unconstitutional, invalid, and void,
(b) that the delegation authority to the State Bar of Arizona
(a 501(c)(6) corporation with no prosecutorial authority) is
unconstitutional, null, and void, (c) that Plaintiff's
disbarment in Texas by the State Bar of Texas is null and
void because it was based upon an invalid judgment of
disbarment in Arizona; (2) preliminary and permanent
injunctive relief restraining Defendants “from further
implementing the system of disciplinary action through the
use of the Presiding Disciplinary Judge (Judge William J.
O'Neil) and the delegation of prosecutorial authority to
the State Bar of Arizona; (3) monetary damages; and (4)
punitive damages for intentionally violating the Americans
with Disabilities Act. Thus, Plaintiff primarily seeks to set
aside his Texas disbarment and to have the Court invalidate
the Arizona disbarment through a broad attack on
Arizona's disciplinary system, in addition to seeking
monetary damages for violations of the ADA and § 1983.
State Bar of Arizona moves for dismissal on various grounds,
including that this Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction
over Plaintiff's constitutional attacks on his disbarment
and on Arizona's system of attorney discipline under the
Rooker-Feldman doctrine, lack of personal
jurisdiction, improper venue, and Eleventh Amendment
immunity. Docket no. 7. The State of Arizona, the Arizona
Supreme Court, and Chief Justice Scott Bales also assert
Eleventh Amendment immunity and the Rooker-Feldman
doctrine, lack of personal jurisdiction, ...