United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle
ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO
S. Lasnik United States District Judge.
matter comes before the Court on the motion to remand or
dismiss of defendants Safeway, Inc., Mike Lagrange, Sue
Bonnett, Ken Barnes, and Daniel P. Hurley (the “Safeway
Defendants”). Dkt. # 8. Proceeding pro se,
plaintiff filed a complaint alleging various tort causes of
action arising from an earlier employment discrimination
lawsuit that plaintiff filed several years ago. Dkt. # 1.
Specifically, plaintiff sues her former attorney, the
opposing party's attorney, and various defendants from
that earlier case for “fraud, mistake, conditions
precedent, official documents, special damage.”
Plaintiff's complaint also alleges discrimination by a
number of Washington State Supreme Court clerks, apparently
due to their failure to print certain
Court, having reviewed the record as a whole under the
standards articulated in 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B) and
having construed the allegations of the complaint liberally,
see Bernhardt v. Los Angeles County, 339 F.3d 920,
925 (9th Cir. 2003), found that plaintiff's complaint was
deficient because it did not contain allegations sufficient
to establish federal subject-matter jurisdiction over this
case. Accordingly, the Court ordered plaintiff to file an
amended complaint within 28 days, remedying the
jurisdictional deficiencies that the Court had identified.
See Dkt. # 5. To date, though plaintiff has not
filed an amended complaint, she has filed numerous other
documents elaborating on her claims against the various
defendants. See Dkt. ## 10, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17,
18, 19, 20, 21, 23, 28, 29, 30.
the Safeway Defendants filed the motion now before the Court,
categorizing plaintiff's complaint as an attempt at
removal and asking the Court to remand the case to King
County Superior Court, or in the alternative to dismiss the
case with prejudice. Dkt. # 8. Citing plaintiff's history
of filing frivolous claims and appeals in Washington state
courts and the volume of filings in this case, the Safeway
Defendants ask the Court to award attorney's fees and to
enjoin plaintiff from filing any further actions against the
Safeway Defendants without prior approval of the Court. Dkt.
# 8 at 10.
it does appear that plaintiff intended to
“remove” her state case to federal district
court, see Dkt. # 24, as plaintiff in that case, she
lacked the power to do so. See 28 U.S.C. §
1441(a) (providing that a civil action brought in a state
court may be removed “by the defendant or the
defendants”). Plaintiff initiated a new case in federal
court by filing her complaint here, see Dkt. # 1,
and this Court lacks the authority to remand a case that
originated in federal court. See 28 U.S.C. §
1447. Accordingly, the Court declines the Safeway
Defendants' invitation to remand.
the Court concludes that plaintiff's claims against the
Safeway Defendants should be dismissed with prejudice for
lack of subject-matter jurisdiction. When filing this case in
federal court, plaintiff asserted federal diversity
jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a). See
Dkt. # 1-1. As plaintiff's claims against the Safeway
Defendants are all state-law claims, this is the only
jurisdictional ground available to her. For this Court to
exercise diversity jurisdiction, however, the parties must be
citizens of different states and the amount in controversy
must exceed $75, 000. 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a) (establishing
that the federal court's basic diversity jurisdiction
extends to “all civil actions where the matter in
controversy exceeds . . . $75, 000 . . . and is between . . .
citizens of different States”). The Safeway Defendants
assert, and plaintiff does not dispute, that complete
diversity does not exist between plaintiff and the Safeway
Defendants. See Dkt. # 1-1. Neither does the Court
have jurisdiction over plaintiff's claims against her
former attorney, Matthew Bean. Id. Accordingly, this
Court lacks jurisdiction over the claims against the Safeway
Defendants and Mr. Bean, and they must be dismissed with
claims against the Washington state supreme court clerks are
dismissed without prejudice. While plaintiff's complaint
fails to allege facts supporting a plausible Constitutional
claim against those individuals, see Bell Atl. Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007), this Court would have
federal question jurisdiction over those claims were they
sufficiently pled. See 28 U.S.C. § 1331.
Accordingly, those claims are dismissed without prejudice.
Court declines to award the Safeway Defendants their
attorney's fees and costs. Because the Court declines to
treat plaintiff's complaint as a removal, fees under 28
U.S.C. § 1447(c) are not appropriate. Neither will the
Court enjoin plaintiff from filing further actions against
the Safeway Defendants without a showing of merit. While
plaintiff's filings in this case are certainly plentiful,
they do not warrant an order limiting plaintiff's access
to this federal forum at this time.
foregoing reasons, defendants' motion (Dkt. # 8) is
DENIED in part and GRANTED in part. Plaintiff's claims
against defendants Safeway Inc., Mike Lagrange, Sue Bonnett,
Ken Barnes, Daniel P. Hurley, and Matthew Bean are dismissed
with prejudice. Plaintiff's other claims are dismissed
without prejudice. The Court's order to show cause (Dkt.
# 6) is hereby VACATED. Plaintiff's “motion to
strike affirmative defense” (Dkt. # 15), motion to add
defendants (Dkt. # 22), and second motion to strike (Dkt. #
24) are DENIED as moot. The Clerk of Court is directed to
enter judgment against plaintiff and in favor of defendants
Safeway Inc., Mike Lagrange, Sue Bonnett, Ken Barnes, Daniel
P. Hurley, and Matthew Bean.
 Plaintiff did not initially name those
court clerks as defendants, but has since requested leave to
add them as ...