United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle
ORDER ON MOTIONS TO DISMISS
J. PECHMAN UNITED STATES SENIOR DISTRICT JUDGE
above-entitled Court, having received and reviewed:
1. Motion to Dismiss Defendants Channa Copeland, Ermin Ciric,
and Regeimbal, McDonald & Young, PLLC (Dkt. No. 12);
2. Defendant Harborview Medical Center and Dr. Paul
Ramsey's Motion to Dismiss (Dkt. No. 14),
3. Plaintiffs' Combined Response to Motions to Dismiss by
Defendants Copeland, Ciric, Regeimbal PLLC, Dr. Paul Ramsey
and Harborview Medical Center (Dkt. No. 17);
attached declarations and exhibits, and relevant portions of
the record, rules as follows:
ORDERED that the motions are GRANTED. Defendants Copeland,
Ciric, Ramsey, Harborview Medical Center, and Regeimbal,
McDonald & Young, PLLC are dismissed from this lawsuit.
above-entitled matter is the latest in a series of lawsuits
filed by Plaintiffs. The preceding suits (C19-1296 and
C19-1307) have been concerned exclusively with the treatment
of Plaintiffs and their mother, Omana Thankamma, by various
social welfare and medical agencies of the state. The
circumstances of those cases begin with the removal of Ms.
Thankamma from the home of Plaintiff Jayakrishnan Nair, and
cycle downward through the institutionalization of Ms.
Thankamma, the entry of a Vulnerable Adult Protective Order
and the imposition of a guardianship over the elderly woman.
Case No. C19-1307 (an attempt to remove the state
guardianship proceedings to federal court) has been dismissed
for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. Case No. C19-1296 is
ongoing, with a Joint Status Report due from the parties in
mid-January of 2020.
Copeland and Harborview Medical Center
(“Harborview”) are named Defendants in
C19-1296. Defendants Ciric, Ramsey and the law firm
of Regeimbal, McDonald & Young, PLLC are not named
Defendants in any of Plaintiffs' other lawsuits.
operative document in this lawsuit is an Amended Complaint
filed by Plaintiffs on October 29, 2019. Dkt. No. 9. The
factual allegations in that document can be divided into two
categories. The first category concerns a series of events
surrounding real estate owned by Plaintiffs which has been
the subject of foreclosures, trustee sales and other
misadventures which Plaintiffs allege are the result of
malfeasance by a lengthy list of individuals and
institutions. Id. at 1-36, ¶¶ 1-118. The
second category of allegations is a reiteration of the
circumstances described supra concerning Ms.
Thankamma and the family's involvement with the state
social welfare, medical and judicial system. Id. at
37-45, ¶¶ 119-139. The parties who have filed the
motion before the Court are named only in the context of the
second category of allegations.
generally have ‘no right to maintain two separate
actions involving the same subject matter at the same time in
the same court and against the same defendant.'”
Adams v. Calif. Dept. of Health Services, 487 F.3d
684, 688 (9th Cir. 2007)(quoting Walton v. Eaton
Corp., 563 F.2d 66, 70 (3rd Cir. 1977)). The
practice is referred to as “claim splitting” and
is disapproved throughout the federal judicial system. The
test is enunciated in Adams:
“In the claim-splitting context, the appropriate
inquiry is whether, assuming that the first suit were already
final, the second suit could be precluded pursuant to claim
preclusion. [quoting Hartsel Spring Ranch v. Bluegreen
Corp., 296 F.3d 82, 987, n. 1 (10th Cir. 2002)];
Curtis (v. Citibank, N.A.), 226 F.3d at
139-40 (“[T]he normal claim preclusion analysis applies
and the court ...