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Onishi v. Chapleau

United States District Court, N.D. Indiana, South Bend Division

December 3, 2019

TOSHISADA ONISHI, Plaintiff,
v.
DAVID CHARLES CHAPLEAU et al., Defendants.

          OPINION & ORDER

          Damon R. Leichty Judge

         Plaintiff Toshisada Onishi has filed several motions and amended motions for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction seeking to enjoin the Indiana Court of Appeals from pursuing its legal proceedings regarding the custody of his minor child. For the following reasons, the court DENIES Mr. Onishi's motions.

         BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff Toshisada Onishi met Rachel House on September 11, 2011 in Tokyo, Japan. ECF 1 at 12. They married in Japan in 2012 and have one minor son. Id. Three years later, they moved together to New Jersey. Id. Rachel House and her son, however, moved to Indiana later that year; and Ms. House subsequently initiated a dissolution proceeding in St. Joseph Superior Court. Id.

         Judge David Chapleau, named a defendant in this case, entered a final dissolution of their marriage on February 5, 2019. Id. at 13. Judge Chapleau's decree did not award Mr. Onishi primary physical custody of his child. Id. Mr. Onishi claims that Judge Chapleau's findings in the matter were erroneous. Id. Mr. Onishi contends that various other named defendants (cited in his brief) took part in implementing the state court order.

         Mr. Onishi alleges that he filed multiple complaints on February 15, 2019 and February 25, 2019 against Judge Chapleau along with motions for change of judge, but that Judge Chapleau issued an order denying such motions. Id. Mr. Onishi claims to have filed a motion to enjoin or stay Judge Chapleau's ruling, but the state court denied that motion as well. Id. On February 26, 2019, Mr. Onishi orally stated his grievance against Judge Chapleau, but relief was not granted. Id.

         On February 28, 2019, Mr. Onishi contacted Ms. Adrienne Meiring of the Indiana Commission on Judicial Qualification (ICJQ)-a defendant in this case-to file his grievance against Judge Chapleau. This grievance was also dismissed. Id. On August 8, 2019, Mr. Onishi filed a motion to dismiss with the ICJQ, which issued a letter dismissing Mr. Onishi's complaint against Judge Chapleau. Id. at 14.

         Mr. Onishi then alleges that other defendants refused to produce material evidence that warranted his primary physical custody of his minor child. Id. A few weeks later, Judge Jenny Manier dismissed Mr. Onishi's petition to modify the February 5, 2019 order. Id.

         The case proceeded on appeal. On October 22, 2019, Mr. Onishi filed a motion for leave of court to toll the time limitations for a petition for rehearing with the Indiana Court of Appeals, but this motion was denied. Id. at 15. On November 4, 2019, Mr. Onishi also submitted a grievance and request for an investigation regarding judicial misconduct committed by other defendants, but the ICJQ has not yet responded to the motion. Id.

         Mr. Onishi challenges various Indiana statutes on the ground that they are unconstitutional and violate his constitutional rights. Id. at 5-12. He requested that the Indiana Court of Appeals stay any further state court proceedings concerning his appeal of Judge Chapleau's order pending the resolution of the constitutionality of the Indiana statutes in federal district court. His motion to stay proceedings was denied by the Indiana Court of Appeals through an order signed by Chief Judge Nancy Vaidik. Id. at 15. She is now a defendant in this case as well.

         Mr. Onishi has filed a request for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction, amended several times, asking this court to stay any further proceedings in state court pending resolution of his claims in this court. His amendments have varied slightly, but materially they all share the singular and immediate concern of the state court's action, denial of his stay in state court, and an appellate brief deadline of December 14 (or 16), 2019. Id. at 40; ECF 19 at 2, 20 at 1-3, 30 at 2.

         PLAINTIFF'S CONDUCT AND OTHER PENDING MOTIONS

         Before addressing the merits of Mr. Onishi's motions for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction, the court will address various other motions and matters concerning this proceeding. Within approximately two weeks, and in many cases before parties were served or appeared, Mr. Onishi accomplished approximately thirty separate filings. Mr. Onishi has been granted permission to appear pro hac vice in this case, so he must comply with the federal and local rules that govern this proceeding.

         In a matter of two weeks, Mr. Onishi has violated applicable rules multiple times, which disrupt the orderly management of this proceeding, create delays in ruling, and otherwise interfere with the timely ...


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