United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle
ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE AND DENYING MOTION FOR A
TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDER
L. ROBART UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
the court are pro se Plaintiffs Yekaterina
Malevannaya and Liliya Volodkov's (collectively,
“Plaintiffs”) motion to proceed in forma
pauperis (“IFP”), complaint, and
“emergency” motion for a temporary restraining
order (“TRO”) against Defendant T-Mobile. (IFP
Mot. (Dkt. # 1); Compl. (Dkt. # 1-1); TRO Mot. (Dkt. # 1-2).)
The court has considered the motions and complaint,
relevant portions of the record, and the applicable law.
Being fully advised,  the court DENIES Plaintiffs' motions
for the reasons set forth below and ORDERS Plaintiffs to show
cause why this matter should not be dismissed for lack of
subject matter jurisdiction.
15, 2018, Plaintiffs filed this case against T-Mobile and
simultaneously moved for a TRO. (See Compl.; TRO
Mot.) Plaintiffs' complaint contains no factual
allegations, aside from listing Ms. Malevannaya's
domicile and the principal place of business for T-Mobile.
(See generally Compl.; see Id. at 4.) Both
Ms. Malevannaya's domicile and T-Mobile's principal
place of business are in Washington. (Id. at 4.)
with their complaint, Plaintiffs filed two motions: (1) a
motion to proceed IFP, and (2) a motion for a TRO.
(See IFP Mot.; TRO Mot.) The IFP motion appears to
contain only Ms. Malevannaya's information and is signed
only by her. (See IFP Mot.) Ms. Volodkov neither
signed the IFP motion nor paid the required filing fee.
their motion for a TRO, Plaintiffs state that Ms. Malevannaya
is the “account holder of [an] Integrity Business
account of T-Mobile, ” and that they have experienced
“unfair treatment of [the] executive response team . .
., harrasing [sic] behavior, unproffesional [sic] vulgar
language, fraudulant [sic] transactions, and unreasonable
termination of [their] account without explanation.”
(TRO Mot. at 1-2.) They further state that a T-Mobile
representative told them they “have untill [sic] Monday
to transfer [their] lines, ” and that they are not
allowed in any T-Mobile retail stores or to obtain service
from T-Mobile or “its affiliates” in the future.
(Id. at 2.) Based on the foregoing events,
Plaintiffs seek a TRO to “stop termination of service,
which will occur on June 18, 2018.” (Id. at
1.) The court now addresses Plaintiffs' motions.
to Local Civil Rule 3(c), each plaintiff must sufficiently
answer all of the questions on the IFP affidavit approved for
use in this District. See Local Rules W.D. Wash. LCR
3(c). That information is necessary for the court to
determine whether plaintiffs financially qualify to bring
their action without paying the applicable filing fee.
See Id. Here, only Ms. Malevannaya provided her
financial information and signed the IFP application.
(See IFP Mot.) Because Plaintiffs provided no
information for Ms. Volodkov, the court denies
Plaintiffs' IFP motion without prejudice. To correct the
deficiency, Ms. Volodkov must file a signed IFP application
containing her financial information no later than Monday,
July 2, 2018. Ms. Malevannaya may, but is not required to,
file an updated application by the same deadline.
standards governing the issuance of TROs are
“substantially identical” to those governing the
issuance of preliminary injunctions. Stuhlbarg Int'l
Sales Co., Inc. v. John D. Brushy & Co.,
Inc., 240 F.3d 832, 839 n.7 (9th Cir. 2011).
Accordingly, Plaintiffs must establish that (1) they are
likely to succeed on the merits, (2) they are likely to
suffer irreparable harm in the absence of preliminary relief,
(3) the balance of equities tips in their favor, and (4) an
injunction is in the public interest. Winter v. Natural
Res. Def. Council, Inc., 555 U.S. 7, 20 (2008). In
addition, a TRO is appropriate if Plaintiffs demonstrate
“serious questions going to the merits” and that
“the balance of hardships tips sharply” in their
favor, provided that Plaintiffs also demonstrate irreparable
harm and that the injunction is in the public interest.
Alliance for the Wild Rockies v. Cottrell, 632 F.3d
1127, 1134-35 (9th Cir. 2011). District courts in the Ninth
Circuit treat a lack of subject matter jurisdiction as a
failure to show a likelihood of success on the merits.
See, e.g., Diaz v. Gaura, No. 16-00036
JMS-BMK, 2016 WL 447446, at *4 (D. Haw. Feb. 3, 2016)
(“[B]ecause the court lacks subject matter jurisdiction
over this action, it necessarily is powerless to grant the
Second Motion for TRO-at minimum, there is no likelihood of
success.”); Rojas v. Green Tree, No. CV
13-06206 GAF (Ex), 2013 WL 12114481, at *1 (C.D. Cal. Aug.
23, 2013) (denying the motion for a TRO and ordering the
plaintiff to show cause regarding subject matter jurisdiction
because the plaintiff had “provided no evidentiary or
factual support regarding the likelihood of success”).
district courts are “courts of limited
jurisdiction” that “possess only that power
authorized by Constitution and statute.” Exxon
Mobil Corp. v. Allapattah Servs., Inc., 545 U.S. 546,
552 (2005) (internal quotation marks omitted) (quoting
Kokkonen v. Guardian Life Ins. Co. of Am., 511 U.S.
375, 377 (1994)). The court must sua sponte raise
the issue of subject matter jurisdiction. See Snell v.
Cleveland, Inc., 316 F.3d 822, 826 (9th Cir. 2002).
Although the court liberally construes Plaintiffs'
pro se complaint, see Eldridge v. Block,
832 F.2d 1132, 1137 (9th Cir. 1987), Plaintiffs nonetheless
“must allege facts that establish the court's
subject matter jurisdiction, ” Lujan v. Defenders
of Wildlife, 504 U.S. 555, 560-61 (1992). In general,
federal jurisdiction exists when either (1) a claim arises
under the Constitution or laws of the United States (federal
question jurisdiction), or (2) a suit arises between citizens
of different states and the amount in controversy exceeds
$75, 000.00 (diversity jurisdiction). See 28 U.S.C.
§§ 1331, 1332. If a federal court determines that
it lacks subject matter jurisdiction at any time during a
dispute, the court must dismiss the action. See Fed.
R. Civ. P. 12(h)(3).
court assumes Plaintiffs intend to allege diversity
jurisdiction because that is the only section of their
complaint that they partially completed. (See
Compl. at 4; see generally id.) Section 1332
provides that the district courts “shall have original
jurisdiction of all civil actions where the matter in
controversy exceeds the sum or value of $75, 000 . . . and is
between citizens of different states.” 28 U.S.C. §
1332(a)(1). Diversity jurisdiction requires complete
diversity of citizenship between the parties, which means
that each of the plaintiffs must be a citizen of a different
state than each of the defendants. See Morris v. Princess
Cruises, Inc., 236 F.3d 1061, 1067 (9th Cir. 2001)
(“Section 1332 requires complete diversity of
citizenship; each of the plaintiffs must be a citizen of a
different state than each of the ...