United States District Court, W.D. Texas, Austin Division
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION OF THE UNITED STATES
W. AUSTIN, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
HONORABLE LEE YEAKEL, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
the Court are Federal Defendants' Motion to Dismiss (Dkt.
No. 7); Travis County's Motion to Dismiss (Dkt. No. 10);
Plaintiff's Motion for Leave to Proceed In Forma Pauperis
(Dkt. No. 11); Plaintiff's Motion to Dismiss Notice of
Removal (Dkt. No. 12); Plaintiff's Motion to Stay All
Court Proceedings (Dkt. No. 13); Federal Defendants'
Response to Motion to Dismiss Notice of Removal (Dkt. No.
14); and Federal Defendants' Response to Motion to Stay
(Dkt. No. 15). The District Court referred the above motions
to the undersigned Magistrate Judge for report and
recommendation pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(A),
Fed.R.Civ.P. 72, and Rule 1(c) of Appendix C of the Local
Caroline Morgan brings this action against the Federal Bureau
of Investigation (FBI), Office of the Clerk for the U.S.
District Court Western District of Texas, District Judge Sam
Sparks, the United States Marshal Service, Office of the
Clerk for the U.S. Court of Appeals Fifth Circuit, Circuit
Judge Edith Brown Clement, Circuit Judge Edward C. Prado,
Circuit Judge Leslie H. Southwick, Office of the Clerk for
the Supreme Court of the United States (collectively Federal
Defendants), Travis County Clerk's Office, Travis County
Sheriff, and the UPS Store #1671. Morgan originally filed
this suit in Travis County to enjoin the defendants
“from colluding against [Morgan] when she goes to file
court documents, when she files court documents, when
judgment is ruled on court documents, and when she receives
court documents.” Dkt. No. 1-1 at 10. Specifically,
Morgan argues that she was “stalled in her security
screening process by U.S. Marshals and Travis County
Sheriff” and was “denied local court rules,
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Federal Rules of Appellate
Procedure, Supreme Court Rules, and Judicial rules” in
violation of her rights. Id. at 10-11.
removed the case pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1442(a), and
the Federal Defendants immediately moved to dismiss all
claims. The Federal Defendants argue that this Court does not
have jurisdiction over Morgan's claims, or in the
alternative, that she has failed to state a claim upon which
relief may be granted. Travis County likewise moves to
dismiss all claims against the Sheriff and the County
Clerk's office. Morgan filed a motion to dismiss the
notice of removal by the FBI, but has not responded to either
motion to dismiss.
Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1) allows a party to assert
lack of subject-matter jurisdiction as a defense to suit.
Federal district courts are courts of limited jurisdiction,
and may only exercise such jurisdiction as is expressly
conferred by the Constitution and federal statutes.
Kokkonen v. Guardian Life Ins. Co. of Am., 511 U.S.
375, 377 (1994). A federal court properly dismisses a case
for lack of subject matter jurisdiction when it lacks the
statutory or constitutional power to adjudicate the case.
Home Builders Assn. of Miss., Inc. v. City of
Madison, 143 F.3d 1006, 1010 (5th Cir. 1998). “The
burden of proof for a Rule 12(b)(1) motion to dismiss is on
the party asserting jurisdiction.” Ramming v.
United States, 281 F.3d 158, 161 (5th Cir. 2001),
cert. denied, 536 U.S. 960 (2002).
“Accordingly, the plaintiff constantly bears the burden
of proof that jurisdiction does in fact exist.”
Id. In ruling on a Rule 12(b)(1) motion, the court
may consider any one of the following: (1) the complaint
alone; (2) the complaint plus undisputed facts evidenced in
the record; or (3) the complaint, undisputed facts, and the
court's resolution of disputed facts. Lane v.
Halliburton, 529 F.3d 548, 557 (5th Cir. 2008)
seeks to enjoin the defendants from colluding to prevent her
from exercising her constitutional rights. The defendants
first allege that this Court does not have jurisdiction over
Morgan's claims under the doctrine of derivative
jurisdiction. Both the Federal Defendants and Travis County
Defendants contend that they are immune from suit in Texas
state courts. In the alternative, the defendants argue that
Morgan has failed to state a claim upon which relief may be
Federal Defendants move to dismiss Morgan's claims on the
basis of the doctrine of derivative jurisdiction. This
doctrine states that “when a case is removed from state
to federal court, the jurisdiction of the federal court is
derived from the state court's jurisdiction.”
Lopez v. Sentrillon Corp., 749 F.3d 347, 350 (5th
Cir. 2014); see also Colonial Cty. Mutual Ins. Co. v.
United States, No. SA-15-CV-917, 2015 WL 7454698, *2
(W.D. Tex. Nov. 23, 2015); Schlorff v. Dig. Eng'g
& Imaging, Inc., No. 16-11016, 2016 WL
6276882, *2 (E.D. La. Oct. 27, 2016). In Lopez, the court
found that because the United States had not waived sovereign
immunity in state court for claims under the Federal Tort
Claims Act, removal to federal court did not cure the state
court's lack of subject matter jurisdiction. Id.
at 351. Thus, even if the federal court would have had
original jurisdiction over the claims, the district
court's subject matter jurisdiction after removal is
limited to that of the state court's. Id. at
350. While the doctrine of derivative jurisdiction no longer
applies to removal under 28 U.S.C. § 1441, the Fifth
Circuit still applies the doctrine to removal under Section
1442. Id. Here, the FBI removed this case pursuant
to Section 1442(a), which allows for removal for any claims
against a federal official or agency. 28 U.S.C. §
1442(a). Thus, this Court would not have jurisdiction over
any claims that could not have been brought against the
Federal Defendants in state court.
state court petition, Morgan requests injunctive relief
against the Federal Defendants for a number of alleged
actions. However, Morgan failed to identify a waiver of
sovereign immunity for the relief sought in state court.
See F.D.I.C. v. Meyer, 510 U.S. 471, 475 (1994)
(“Absent a waiver, sovereign immunity shields the
Federal Government and its agencies from suit.”);
cf. Lopez, 749 F.3d at 351 (finding that even though
the United States waived its sovereign immunity under the
Federal Tort Claims Act, it granted exclusive jurisdiction to
federal courts). Accordingly, the state court was without
jurisdiction to ...