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Butt v. Sessions

United States District Court, S.D. Ohio, Eastern Division

July 8, 2019

SELENA JEAN COOPER BUTT, ex rel Q.T.R., Plaintiff,
v.
JEFFERSON B. SESSIONS, III, et al., Defendants.

          Chelsey M. Vascura Magistrate Judge.

          OPINION AND ORDER

          SARAH D. MORRISON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         This matter is before the Court on the Defendants' Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Jurisdiction and Failure to State a Claim (ECF No. 24). Plaintiff did not file a response. For the reasons set forth below, Defendants' Motion is hereby GRANTED.

         I. BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff initiated this matter on April 25, 2018, alleging violations of his constitutional rights and violations of certain treaties. (ECF No. 1, amended at ECF No. 3). According to the Amended Complaint, Plaintiff's father is a Pakastani citizen who had been a legal permanent resident of the United States before being removed to Pakistan pursuant to an order of the Immigration Court in Cleveland, Ohio. (Id. at ¶ 5). Plaintiff is a minor so he brought the action through his next friend and guardian.

         Plaintiff alleges that the removal of his father violates his rights under the Equal Protection Clause (Id. at ¶¶ 6, 7, 10, 12), the Ninth Amendment to the United States Constitution (Id. at ¶ 14), the Due Process Clause (Id. at ¶¶ 14, 15), and the principles of various international treaties (Id. at ¶ 16). Defendants move to dismiss the Amended Complaint under Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1) and 12(b)(6). (ECF No. 24).

         II. STANDARD OF REVIEW

         Pursuant to Rule 12(b)(1), an action may be dismissed for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. “Plaintiffs have the burden of proving jurisdiction in order to survive a Rule 12(b)(1) motion . . . .” Weaver v. Univ. of Cincinnati, 758 F.Supp. 446, 448 (S.D. Ohio 1991) (citing Moir v. Greater Cleveland Reg'l. Transit Auth., 895 F.2d 266, 269 (6th Cir. 1990)); see also Rapier v. Union City Non-Ferrous, Inc., 197 F.Supp.2d 1008, 1012 (S.D. Ohio 2002) (“The plaintiff bears the burden of establishing, by a preponderance of the evidence, the existence of federal subject matter jurisdiction.”). Moreover, this Court may resolve any factual disputes when adjudicating a defendant's jurisdictional challenge. See Moir, 895 F.2d at 269.

         “Federal courts are courts of limited jurisdiction.” Kokkonen v. Guardian Life Ins. Co., 511 U.S. 375, 377 (1994). Federal courts have subject matter jurisdiction in civil actions only if: 1) the action arises under federal law, 28 U.S.C. § 1331 (federal-question jurisdiction); or 2) the action is between citizens of different states where the amount in controversy exceeds $75, 000, 28 U.S.C. § 1332 (diversity jurisdiction).

         In contrast, Rule 12(b)(6) challenges the legal sufficiency of the allegations in the complaint. A claim survives a motion to dismiss pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) if it “contain[s] sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (internal quotations omitted). A complaint's “[f]actual allegations must be enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative level, on the assumption that all of the complaint's allegations are true.” Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007) (internal citations omitted). A court must also “construe the complaint in the light most favorable to the plaintiff.” Inge v. Rock Fin. Corp., 281 F.3d 613, 619 (6th Cir. 2002). In doing so, however, a plaintiff must provide “more than labels and conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do.” Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555.

         III. ANALYSIS

         A. The Court is without subject matter jurisdiction over claims brought under international treaties.

         Defendants first argue that the Court is without subject matter jurisdiction over some of the claims alleged in the Amended Complaint. In paragraph 16 of the Amended Complaint, Plaintiff alleges that his separation from his father violates the “principals of international treaties.” (ECF No. 3). However, treaties are not self-executing and, as such, are not judicially enforceable. See Thap v. Mukasey, 544 F.3d 674, 676 (6th Cir. 2008). To become judicially enforceable, legislation must be enacted to carry out the details and intent of the treaties. Accordingly, Defendants' Motion is GRANTED as to Plaintiff's claims of violations of international treaties.

         B. Plaintiff has failed to state ...


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