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Susheelkumar v. Siems

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

December 27, 2019

RAJAKUMARI SUSHEELKUMAR o/b/o OMANA AMMA THANKAMMA, Petitioner,
v.
JASON SIMS, et al., Respondent.

          ORDER STRIKING PETITIONER'S REQUEST FOR A TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDER

          MICHELLE L. PETERSON UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         I. INTRODUCTION

         This matter comes before the Court upon Petitioner's response to the Court's order to show cause, which includes a request for a temporary restraining order in this habeas petition brought pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241. (Dkt. # 7.) Rajakumari Susheelkumar brought this petition on behalf of an elderly and disabled woman, Omana Thankamma, although Ms. Thankamma has a state court-appointed guardian. (Dkt. # 1.) Petitioner alleges that Ms. Thankamma is being confined in Harborview Medical Center (“Harborview”) and has been denied contact with her family and friends for nearly five months. (Id. at 1.) King County Superior Court apparently appointed Ms. Thankamma a state court-appointed guardian, Channa Copeland, in November 2018. (Id. at 2.) For the reasons discussed below, the Court strikes Petitioner's request for a temporary restraining order.

         II. DISCUSSION

         Petitioner submitted her habeas petition on November 19, 2019. (Dkt. # 1.) On November 27, 2019, the Court ordered Petitioner to show cause by December 27, 2019 why this matter should not be dismissed for a number of apparent deficiencies. (Dkt. # 5.) First, it does not appear Ms. Thankamma is in custody following a criminal conviction, or that Petitioner is challenging the validity of any such conviction or sentence, as required for 28 U.S.C. § 2241 petitions. (Id. at 2.) Second, it appears that Petitioner is attempting to challenge Harborview's failure to grant Ms. Thankamma's relatives access to her due to a state court order appointing guardianship, which would be more appropriately brought in the related case, Jayakrishnan Nair, et al. v. Channa Copeland, et al., No. C19-1296-MJP, which involves challenges to the guardianship and includes Rajakumari Susheelkumar as a named Plaintiff and Harborview as a named Defendant. (Id. at 2-3.) Lastly, it is not clear that Petitioner has standing to sue on Ms. Thankamma's behalf as it appears her affairs are being handled under a guardianship order with a duly-appointed guardian. (Id. at 3.)

         On December 27, 2019, Petitioner submitted a response to the Court's order to show cause. (Dkt. # 7.) In her response, Petitioner reasserts the allegations regarding Ms. Thankamma from her habeas petition. (Id.) Petitioner seeks to make arrangements to return Ms. Thankamma to India to be reunited with her family and friends, and to free her from alleged illegal solitary confinement. (Id. at 3.) Petitioner alleges that without a temporary restraining order, she faces serious, irreversible harm of Ms. Thankamma's impending death as a result of her alleged isolation and lack of care from her family. (Id. at 35.)

         The standard for issuing a temporary restraining order is the same as that for a preliminary injunction. Stuhlbarg Int'll Sales Co. v. John D. Brush & Co., 240 F.3d 832, 839 n.7 (9th Cir. 2001). “A plaintiff seeking a preliminary injunction must establish that he is likely to succeed on the merits, that he is likely to suffer irreparable harm in the absence of preliminary relief, that the balance of equities tips in his favor, and that an injunction is in the public interest.” Winter v. Nat. Res. Def. Council, Inc., 555 U.S. 7, 20 (2008). A plaintiff may also qualify for a preliminary injunction by showing that there are serious questions going to the merits of his claim and that the balance of hardships tips sharply in his favor, so long as the irreparable harm and the public interest factors in Winter are also met. Alliance for the Wild Rockies v. Cottrell, 632 F.3d 1127, 1134-35 (9th Cir. 2011).

         While the Court is sympathetic to the allegations in Petitioner's pleadings, the response fails to correct any of the deficiencies identified in the Court's order to show cause. Therefore, there is no viable habeas petition in this matter and Petitioner cannot establish she is likely to succeed on the merits. The Court notes that Petitioner filed a nearly identical request for a temporary restraining order in the civil rights matter in Jayakrishnan Nair, et al. v. Channa Copeland, et al., No. C19-1296-MJP on the same day she submitted the response to the Court's order to show cause. That request for a temporary restraining order contains the same statement of issues and legal analysis. (Compare (Dkt. # 7 at 12-13, 14-30) with (Jayakrishnan Nair, et al. v. Channa Copeland, et al., No. C19-1296-MJP Dkt. # 40 at 9-10, 10-28).)

         III. CONCLUSION

         Accordingly, the request for a temporary restraining order which was appended to Petitioner's response to the Court's order to show cause (dkt. # 7) is stricken.

         The Clerk is directed to send copies of this Order to the parties and to ...


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