United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle
ORDER OF DISMISSAL
RICARDO S. MARTINEZ CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter is before the Court sua sponte following consideration
of Plaintiff's Amended Complaint. Dkt. #28. Having
reviewed the Amended Complaint, the Court finds that it lacks
subject matter jurisdiction to consider the action and
dismisses Plaintiff's claims without prejudice.
asserts a variety of tort claims purportedly arising from a
hair treatment she alleges was improperly applied by
Defendant Si Ho Raugh, under the supervision of Defendant
Melody Canty-Basham. Id. at 2. Plaintiff maintains
that the treatment was left on too long, damaging her head,
scalp, and hair. Id. Plaintiff alleges that
Defendants subsequently washed her hair 6-10 times over a
24-hour period, presumably to mitigate damage, but that this
caused further pain and injuries to her neck and back.
Id. at 3. Plaintiff reported Defendants to the
Washington State Department of Licensing, the applicable
state regulatory agency, which subsequently investigated.
Plaintiff maintains that Defendants were dishonest with state
investigators during their investigation and attempted to
interfere with the investigation. Id. at 4.
Plaintiff maintains that the state investigation revealed
violations of several state regulations and relies on these
violations in support of her conclusion that Defendants were
negligent. Id. at 19- 28. Plaintiff seeks damages of
twenty million dollars. Id. at 32.
plaintiff proceeds in forma pauperis, as Plaintiff
does here, the court is to dismiss the action, at any time,
if it fails to state a claim, raises frivolous or malicious
claims, or seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is
immune from such relief. See 28 U.S.C. §
1915(e)(2)(B). Establishing subject matter jurisdiction in
federal courts is paramount. Valdez v. Allstate Ins.
Co., 372 F.3d 1115, 1116 (9th Cir. 2004). “When a
requirement goes to subject-matter jurisdiction, courts are
obligated to consider sua sponte issues that the
parties have disclaimed or have not presented [as] . . .
[s]ubject-matter jurisdiction can never be waived or
forfeited.” Gonzalez v. Thaler, 565 U.S. 134,
141 (2012). Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12 likewise
requires that “[i]f the court determines at any time
that it lacks subject-matter jurisdiction, the court must
dismiss the action.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(h)(3).
federal courts are courts of limited jurisdiction, the
plaintiff bears the burden of establishing that a case is
properly filed in federal court. Kokkonen v. Guardian
Life Ins. Co., 511 U.S. 375, 377 (1994); In re Ford
Motor Co./Citibank (South Dakota), N.A., 264 F.3d 952,
957 (9th Cir. 2001). This burden, at the pleading stage, must
be met by pleading sufficient allegations to show a proper
basis for the federal court to assert subject matter
jurisdiction over the action. McNutt v. General Motors
Acceptance Corp., 298 U.S. 178, 189 (1936). A plaintiff
may establish federal question jurisdiction by pleading a
“colorable claim ‘arising under' the
Constitution or laws of the United States” or diversity
jurisdiction by pleading “a claim between parties of
diverse citizenship that exceeds the required jurisdictional
amount, currently set at $75, 000.” Arbaugh v.
Y&H Corp., 546 U.S. 500, 513 (2006) (citations
omitted); see also, 28 U.S.C. §§ 1331,
does not establish diversity of citizenship between the
parties. In fact, Plaintiff argues that venue is proper
precisely because she is a resident of King County and
“Defendant is believed to be a natural person and
reside in King County.” Dkt. #28 at 12. Because
Plaintiff and Defendants do not have diverse citizenship, no
basis exists for diversity jurisdiction.
also cannot establish federal question jurisdiction.
Plaintiff indicates, in a conclusory manner, her belief that
a federal question provides a basis for jurisdiction, Dkt.
#28 at 10, but the Court is unable to locate a federal
question presented in her Amended Complaint. Plaintiff
continues to assert state tort claims for personal injury,
assault, libel, slander, defamation, fraud, intentional
infliction of harm, and emotional distress. See
generally, id. Likewise, Plaintiff cites only
to state statutes and regulations as having any bearing on
the substance of her claims. Id. at 6, 7, 13, 16-19,
22, 24, and 26-28. Plaintiff makes passing reference to the
Seventh Amendment's preservation of the right to jury
trial and cites to a United States District Court case from
the Middle District of Florida that does not address
jurisdictional issues. Neither establish a basis for federal
question jurisdiction in this case.
dismissing a complaint should freely grant leave to amend
“unless it is absolutely clear that the deficiencies of
the complaint could not be cured by amendment.”
Noll v. Carlson, 809 F.2d 1446, 1448 (9th Cir.
1987); see also DeSoto v. Yellow Freight Sys., Inc.,
957 F.2d 655, 658 (9th Cir. 1992) (“A district court
does not err in denying leave to amend where the amendment
would be futile.”) (citing Reddy v. Litton Indus.,
Inc., 912 F.2d 291, 296 (9th Cir. 1990)). The Court
previously alerted Plaintiff to the lack of any federal
question within her complaint and granted Plaintiff's
request to amend at that time. Dkts. #8 and #26. Even so,
Plaintiff was unable to establish any possible basis for this
Court having subject matter jurisdiction. Given the total
absence of a colorable claim under federal law, the Court
finds that amendment would be futile.
having reviewed Plaintiff's Amended Complaint and the
remainder of the record, the Court finds and ORDERS:
of Plaintiff's claims asserted in the Amended Complaint
(Dkt. #28) are DISMISSED without prejudice
matter is CLOSED.
Clerk shall mail Plaintiff a copy of this Order at: P.O. Box
3388, Federal Way, Washington 98063.