United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Southeastern Division
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
STEPHEN N. LIMBAUGH, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Tanya Renee Robbins brings this state law negligence action
on behalf of two of her minor children. This matter is before
the Court upon the Motions to Dismiss of Defendants Ginger
Joyner and Kevin Kinnard. (Docs. 10, 13.)
filed her pro se Complaint on April 10, 2017, in
which she alleges that various individuals failed to protect
her children while they were in foster care. (Doc. 1.) She
has also named Edward Gassell and Joseph Robbins as
Plaintiffs. Robbins alleges diversity of citizenship
as a basis of jurisdiction.
Order dated April 17, 2017 (Doc. 3), the Court advised
Robbins that she may not represent her children in federal
court. See Osei-Afriyie by Osei-Afriyie v. Medical
College of Pennsylvania, 937 F.2d 876, 882-83 (3d
Cir. 1991) ("[A] non-attorney parent must be represented
by counsel in bringing an action on behalf of his or her
child"). The Court gave Robbins thirty days, until May
12, 2017, to obtain representation in this matter. To date,
no attorney has entered his or her appearance on behalf of
the minor children.
23, 2017, Defendant Ginger K. Joyner filed a Motion to
Dismiss Pursuant to Rule 12(b)(1) and 12(b)(6). (Doc. 10.)
Joyner is an attorney who was appointed guardian ad litem in
the state court proceedings to remove Robbins' minor
children and place them in protective custody. She argues
that Robbins' claims should be dismissed because this
Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction in that Plaintiff and
Defendant Joyner are both citizens of the State of Missouri;
the Complaint fails to state a claim against Joyner; Robbins
purports to bring claims on behalf of her minor children but
has failed to comply with this Court's order to obtain an
attorney; and this action is duplicative of another pending
action involving the same parties, Case No. 1:17CV54-ACL.
Jerome K. Kinnard filed a Motion to Dismiss on May 25, 2017,
in which he argues that Robbins' claims should be
dismissed for the following reasons: this Court lacks subject
matter jurisdiction; Robbins has failed to state a claim
against Defendant Kinnard; Robbins has not complied with this
Court's previous order to obtain counsel to represent the
minor children; and Defendant Kinnard is entitled to official
immunity. (Doc. 13.)
has not responded to Defendants' Motions.
courts are courts of limited jurisdiction; they possess only
that power authorized by Constitution and statute.
Kokkonen v. Guardian Life Ins. Co. of America, 511
U.S. 375, 377 (1994). The court is obligated to dismiss any
action over which it does not have subject matter
jurisdiction. "In order to properly dismiss for lack of
subject matter jurisdiction under Rule 12(b)(1), the
complaint must be successfully challenged on its face or on
the factual truthfulness of its averments." Titus v.
Sullivan, 4 F.3d 590, 593 (8th Cir. 1993) (citing
Osbom v. United States, 918 F.2d 724, 729 n. 6 (8th
Cir. 1990)). In a facial challenge to jurisdiction, all of
the factual allegations concerning jurisdiction are presumed
to be true and the motion is successful if the plaintiff
fails to allege an element necessary for subject matter
jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1332 requires an amount
in controversy greater than $75, 000 and complete diversity
of citizenship among the litigants. 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a).
"Complete diversity of citizenship exists where no
defendant holds citizenship in the same state where any
plaintiff holds citizenship." OnePoint Solutions,
LLC v. Borchert, 486 F.3d 342, 346 (8th Cir. 2007).
case, Robbins alleges that she and all the other Plaintiffs
whom she seeks to represent are citizens of Missouri. (Doc. 1
at p. 2, 6.) Robbins does not allege that any of the named
Defendants are residents of a different state. Rather, she
lists the Missouri Division of Family Services as a corporate
defendant, and provides Missouri addresses for all the other
named Defendants with known addresses. Id. at 3-6.
In addition, Defendant Joyner has provided an Affidavit in
which she states that she is a citizen of the State of
Missouri. (Doc. 11-1.) Because complete diversity of the
parties does not exist, the Court lacks subject-matter
jurisdiction and the case must be dismissed.
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that this case is DISMISSED without
prejudice. A separate Order of ...