United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle
ORDER OF DISMISSAL: NO SUBJECT MATTER
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).
matter was originally filed on August 19, 2019. Since its
inception, the Court has had misgivings about whether
jurisdiction existed, but awaited the service of the opposing
parties and their appearance in the matter in hopes that the
issue would be raised and addressed by briefing on both
sides. While only Interested Party Channa Copeland has
appeared via counsel to date, the Court feels that further
delay would only do a disservice to all concerned.
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:
ORDERED that this matter is DISMISSED with prejudice for lack
of subject matter jurisdiction.
litigation commenced with the filing of a motion for leave to
proceed in forma pauperis, accompanied by a proposed
Notice of Removal. Dkt. No. 1. The IFP motion was denied on
September 10, 2019 (Dkt. No. 6); as of this date, no filing
fee has been paid and it is the Court’s intention that
the filing of this sua sponte dismissal will prevent
the filing parties from the further unnecessary expenditure
of their funds.
summary of the history of this litigation is in order:
are the children of Omana Thankamma and are citizens of India
– Respondents reside in the United States; 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, Respondent Jayakrishnan. In
2018, following an investigation triggered by a suspected
abuse report from a neighbor, Petitioner Department of Social
and Health Services (“DSHS”) removed Omana from
the home and initiated guardianship proceedings. The
proceedings resulted in a guardian (Interested Party Channa
Copeland) being appointed for Omana, and a Vulnerable Adult
Protection Order (VAPO) being entered against Respondent
Jayakrishnan which, while it did not exclude him from
visitation, forbade him to remove his mother from any
the foregoing is the subject of a separate lawsuit: Nair
et al. v. Copeland et al., C19-1296MJP. The complaint in
that matter 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 Petitioners, culminating in 50 separate causes of action
ranging from battery to racial discrimination to
international treaty violations. C19-1296MJP, Dkt. No. 1-1.
instant matter purports to be the “removal” to
federal court of the guardianship petition which was entered
in King County Superior Court on August 23, 2018. Dkt. No.
1-2. The removing parties (Jayakrishnan Nair and Rajakumari
Susheelkumar) allege diversity jurisdiction, international
treaty violations and deprivation of constitutional rights.
Dkt. No. 1-1.
allegations of this lawsuit fall squarely within the