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Schumacker v. State

United States District Court, Western District of Washington, Tacoma

January 22, 2015

TIFFANY SCHUMACKER and BRANDON SCHUMACKER, Petitioners,
v.
STATE OF WASHINGTON, et al., Respondents.

ORDER DISMISSING PETITION AND DENYING AS MOOT PETITIONERS’ MOTION FOR A PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION

BENJAMIN H. SETTLE, United States District Judge.

This matter comes before the Court on Petitioners Tiffany and Brandon Schumacker’s (“Schumackers”) second motion for a preliminary injunction (Dkt. 10). The Court has considered the pleadings filed in support of and in opposition to the motion, oral arguments, and the remainder of the file and hereby dismisses the Schumackers’ petition and denies the motion as moot for the reasons stated herein.

I. PROCEDURAL HISTORY

On December 10, 2014, the Schumackers filed a petition against the State of Washington (“State”), the Department of Social and Health Services (“DSHS”), Carlos Ramirez (“Mr. Ramirez”), and Courtney Ramirez (collectively “Respondents”). Dkt. 1. The Schumackers allege the following claims: (1) violation of the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (“UCCJEA”);[1] (2) violation of the Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act (“PKPA”); and (3) violation of due process rights under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, 42 U.S.C. § 1985, and the Fourteenth Amendment. Id. at 3–4. The Schumackers seek injunctive and declaratory relief. Id. at 16–17.

On the same day they filed their petition, the Schumackers moved for a temporary restraining order and a preliminary injunction. Dkt. 2. The Court denied the Schumackers’ motion. Dkt. 6. The Court, however, noted in its order that the Schumackers could renew their request for a preliminary injunction hearing after filing proof of service of process on Respondents. Id.

On December 15, 2014, the Schumackers filed a supplemental memorandum in which they renewed their request for a preliminary injunction. Dkt. 7. The Court set a hearing for January 13, 2015. Dkt. 8.

On December 23, 2014, the Schumackers filed a second motion for a preliminary injunction. Dkt. 10. On January 6, 2015, the State and DSHS responded. Dkt. 12. That same day, the Schumackers filed a supplemental memorandum. Dkt. 13.

On January 13, 2015, the Court held a hearing. Dkt. 18.

II. FACTUAL BACKGROUND

In December 2002, Tiffany Schumacker (“Ms. Schumacker”) married Mr. Ramirez. Dkt. 1, Declaration of Tiffany Schumacker (“Schumacker Dec.”) ¶ 1. Ms. Schumacker and Mr. Ramirez had three children: NR, MR, and BR. Id.

In June 2010, Ms. Schumacker and Mr. Ramirez divorced. Id. Following their divorce, Ms. Schumacker and Mr. Ramirez entered into a parenting plan. Dkt. 1, Affidavit of Lloyd Tatum (“Tatum Aff.”) ¶ 5. Under this parenting plan, the children resided with Ms. Schumacker in Washington. Id.

On October 1, 2014, DSHS received a referral regarding Ms. Schumacker’s treatment of NR. Dkt. 12, Declaration of Stacy Johnson (“Johnson Dec.”), Ex. A at 7. The following day, DSHS received another referral regarding Ms. Schumacker’s treatment of NR. Id. at 8. In light of these referrals, Child Protective Services initiated an investigation into possible mistreatment. Johnson Dec. ¶ 4.

On October 16, 2014, Mr. Ramirez obtained a protective custody order from a Tennessee state court. Dkt. 1, Ex. A. This temporary custody order placed the children with Mr. Ramirez. Id. That same day, military policy on Fort Lewis placed the children in protective custody. Johnson Dec., Ex. A at 12.

On October 17, 2014, Mr. Ramirez came to Washington. Johnson Dec., Ex. A at 13. The children were released from protective ...


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