United States District Court, S.D. Texas, Brownsville Division
Rolaffdo Olvera United States District Judge
present case arises from the Social Security
Administration's (hereafter "Administration")
denial of Alma Patricia Martinez's (hereafter
"Plaintiff) application for a social security card.
Plaintiff seeks relief pursuant to 8 U.S.C. § 1503(a)
and the Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. §§ 2201
and 2202. Before the court is the "Magistrate
Judge's Report and Recommendation" (hereafter
"R&R") (Docket No. 23). For the reasons stated
below, the R&R is ADOPTED.
has two birth certificates. Plaintiffs Texas Birth
Certificate lists Plaintiffs birth as occurring September 21,
1993, in Brownsville, Texas. Plaintiffs Baptism Certificate
confirms said birth date and location. Plaintiffs Mexican
Birth Certificate lists Plaintiffs birth as occurring on the
same date in Pachuca, Mexico.
previously sued the federal government. On October 19, 2009,
the Department of State (hereafter "DOS") denied
Plaintiffs United States passport application. On May 24,
2013, Plaintiff filed suit in federal court challenging said
denial and seeking a declaration of United States
citizenship. Prior to the start of the trial, DOS issued
Plaintiff a passport and the District Court dismissed the
case as moot.
to said dismissal, Plaintiff applied for a social security
card. On June 22, 2016, the Administration denied Plaintiffs
application because Plaintiff did not file the appropriate
documents to "show age, " and Plaintiffs Texas
Birth Certificate had a "lock" placed on it by the
Texas Bureau of Vital Statistics. On June 23, 2016, Plaintiff
sued the Administration. On November 11, 2016, the
Administration issued Plaintiff a social security card.
23, 2016, Plaintiff filed her "Complaint for Declaratory
and Injunctive Relief (Docket No. 1). On June 30, 2016,
Plaintiff filed her "First Amended Complaint for
Declaratory and Injunctive Relief (Docket No. 4). On November
30, 2016, Defendants filed "Defendants' Motion to
Dismiss Pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of
Civil Procedure" (Docket No. 17). On December 21, 2016,
Plaintiff filed "Plaintiffs Opposition to
Defendants' Motion to Dismiss the Instant Action as
Moot" (Docket No. 22).
19, 2017, the Magistrate Judge issued the "Magistrate
Judge's Report and Recommendation" (Docket No. 23).
On June 17, 2017, Plaintiff filed "Plaintiffs Objections
to the Report and Recommendation of the United States
Magistrate" (Docket No. 26). On August 1, 2017, the
Court issued an "Order" (Docket No. 27), ordering
the parties to supplement the record. On August 11, 2017,
Defendants filed "Defendants' Supplemental Response
Brief (Docket No. 28). Plaintiff did not respond to the
complaint may be dismissed for "failure to state a claim
upon which relief can be granted." Fed.R.Civ.P.
12(b)(6). "To survive a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss,
the plaintiff must plead 'enough facts to state a claim
to relief that is plausible on its face.'" In re
Katrina Canal Breaches Litig., 495 F.3d 191, 205 (5th
Cir. 2007) (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550
U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). Courts accept "all well-pleaded
facts as true, viewing them in the light most favorable to
the plaintiff." Martin K. Eby Const. Co. v. Dallas
Area Rapid Transit, 369 F.3d 464, 467 (5th Cir. 2004)
(quoting Jones v. Greninger, 188 F.3d 322, 324 (5th
Cir. 1999)). "[C]onclusory allegations or legal
conclusions masquerading as factual conclusions will not
suffice to prevent a motion to dismiss."
Fernandez-Montes v. Allied Pilots Ass 'n, 987
F.2d 278, 284 (5th Cir. 1993).
R&R recommends dismissing Plaintiffs 8 U.S.C. §
1503(a) claim as moot. Docket No. 23 at 9. According to the
R&R, the Administration's issuance of a social
security card to Plaintiff renders her case moot, and the
voluntary cessation exception to the mootness doctrine does
not salvage her claim. Id. at 5, 8-9.
mootness doctrine is a limit to federal jurisdiction.
Iron Arrow Honor Society v. Heckler,464 U.S. 67, 70
(1983) (citing DeFunis v. Odegaard,416 U.S. 312,
316 (1974)). "[A] case is moot when the issues
presented are no longer 'live' or the parties lack a
legally cognizable interest in the outcome." Powell
v. McCormack,395 U.S. 486, 496 (1969). Mootness is
"the doctrine of standing set in a time frame: The
requisite personal interest that must exist at the
commencement of the litigation (standing) must continue
throughout its existence (mootness)." Friends of the
Earth, Inc. v. Laidlaw Envtl. Servs. (TOC), Inc., 528
U.S. 167, 189 (2000) (quoting Arizonans for Official
English v. Arizona,520 U.S. 43, 68 n.22 (1997)).
"Generally, any set of circumstances ...