Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Nair v. Copeland

United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle

September 24, 2019

JAYAKRISHNAN K NAIR, et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
CHANNA COPELAND, et al., Defendants.

          ORDER OF DISMISSAL: LACK OF SUBJECT MATTER JURISDICTION

          Marsha J. Pechman, United States Senior District Judge.

[F]ederal courts have an independent obligation to ensure that they do not exceed the scope of their jurisdiction, and therefore they must raise and decide jurisdictional questions that the parties either overlook or elect not to press.

Henderson v. Shinseki, 562 U.S. 428, 434 (2011).

         This matter was originally filed on August 16, 2019. Since its inception, the Court has had misgivings about whether jurisdiction existed, but awaited the service of Defendants and their appearance in the matter in hopes that the issue would be raised and addressed by briefing on both sides. While not all Defendants have been served, a sufficient number of parties have made their appearance without the filing of a motion to dismiss or otherwise address the jurisdictional flaws of this litigation, and the Court feels that further delay would only do a disservice to all concerned.

         Having reviewed the record thoroughly, including all pleadings, declarations, and exhibits which have been filed up to this date, the Court rules sua sponte as follows:

         IT IS ORDERED that this matter is DISMISSED with prejudice for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.

         Background

         This litigation commenced with the filing of a motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis, accompanied by a complaint and ex parte application for temporary restraining order. Dkt. No. 1. The IFP motion was denied (Dkt. No. 3), and a filing fee was paid. The application for an ex parte TRO was also denied and Plaintiffs were ordered to serve Defendants then meet and confer on a briefing schedule for their request for injunctive relief. Dkt. No. 5.

         Plaintiffs responded by filing a “Petition to Terminate Guardianship.” Dkt. No. 8. Plaintiffs also filed a second ex parte application for a TRO (Dkt. No. 11), which was denied with the same admonition as before. Dkt. No. 16. Following the filing by Plaintiffs of a Motion for Sanctions (Dkt. No. 22), the Court ordered a moratorium on further motions practice until the jurisdictional issue could be addressed. Dkt. No. 23.

         A brief summary of the allegations of Plaintiffs’ complaint is in order:

         Plaintiffs are the children of Omana Thankamma, and the complaint asserts that the whole family are citizens of India – Plaintiffs reside both in the United States and in India; Omana, a resident of India, became disabled in 2014 while visiting in the U.S. In 2016, after suffering a stroke, she came under the full-time care of her son, Plaintiff Jayakrishnan. In 2018, following an investigation triggered by a suspected abuse report from a neighbor, Defendant Department of Social and Health Services (“DSHS”) removed Omana from the home and initiated guardianship proceedings. The proceedings resulted in a guardian (Defendant Channa Copeland) being appointed for Omana[1], and a Vulnerable Adult Protection Order (VAPO) being entered against Plaintiff Jayakrishnan which, while it did not exclude him from visitation, forbade him to remove his mother from any facility.

         The complaint is a lengthy, 143-page document containing a highly detailed factual background with allegations of abuse, neglect, harassment, retaliation and malfeasance on the part of Defendants, culminating in 50 separate causes of action ranging from battery to racial discrimination to international treaty violations. The Court will not go into any of those details since they ultimately are irrelevant to the issue of whether jurisdiction exists in federal court to adjudicate Plaintiffs’ complaints, a foundational question which must be answered in the negative.

         Discussion

         The allegations of this lawsuit fall squarely within the ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.