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Kasali v. FBI

United States District Court, S.D. Texas, Houston Division

December 12, 2017

BIOLA R KASALI, Plaintiff,
FBI, Defendant.



         Pending before the Court in the above referenced cause, seeking relief from alleged harms inflicted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), is Defendant FBI's Motion to Substitute the United States of America as the proper defendant and the United States of America's Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff Biola R. Kasali's (“Kasali”) Original Complaint, Doc. 3 (collectively, “Motions”), under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1) because Kasali did not exhaust her administrative remedies and under Rule 12(b)(6) because Kasali does not state a claim upon which relief may be granted. Kasali did not to respond to the motion. Having considered the filings, record, and law, the Court is of the opinion that the Motions should be granted.

         Kasali filed suit, as a pauper, against the “Shadow Gov't (FBI)” in the 127th Harris County District Court under the heading “Defamation of Character, ” under cause no. 2017-6564. Docs. 1-2 at 1, 1-6. Kasali alleged that she has been “under investigation since 2007, ” and that she and her family have suffered a laundry list of harm at the FBI's hands, such as “online” “stalking, ” “carbon monoxide poison, ” “heart” damage to her son, “liver” damage to one daughter, and “cancer” to another daughter. Id. at 1-2. Because Kasali is pro se, we construe her claims to be personal injury claims under the Federal Torts Claim Act (“FTCA”). 28 U.S.C. § 2674.

         The FBI removed this case from the Harris County District Court to this Court on November 7, 2017 under 28 U.S.C. § 1442. Doc. 1. On November 14, 2017, the FBI filed this Motion to substitute and the United States filed to dismiss the case. Doc. 3.

         I. Legal Standard

         A. Pro Se

         The district court is to construe liberally the briefs of pro se litigants and to apply less stringent standards to them than to parties represented by counsel. Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007) (reciting the long-established rule that documents filed pro se are to be liberally construed and “however inartfully pleaded, must be held to less stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers”); Andrade v. Gonzales, 459 F.3d 538, 543 (5th Cir. 2006); Grant v. Cuellar, 59 F.3d 523, 524 (5th Cir. 1995). But "pro se litigants are still expected to brief the issues and reasonably comply with the requirements of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure." Bivins v. Miss. Reg'/ Hous. Auth. VIII, No. 15-60484, 2016 WL 612069, at *1 (5th Cir. Feb. 15, 2016) (per curiam) (unpublished) (citing Grant, 59 F.3d at 524); E.E.O.C. v. Simbaki, Ltd, 767 F.3d 475, 484 (5th Cir. 2014), as revised (Sept. 18, 2014).

         B. Rule 12(b)(1)

         “When a Rule 12(b)(1) motion is filed in conjunction with other Rule 12 motions, the court should consider the Rule 12(b)(1) jurisdictional attack before addressing any attack on the merits.” Randall D. Wolcott, MD, PA v. Sebelius, 635 F.3d 757, 762 (5th Cir. 2011)(citing Ramming v. United States, 281 F.3d 158, 161 (5th Cir. 2001)); Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(h)(3).

         Rule 12(b)(1) allows a party to move for dismissal of an action for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. The party asserting that subject matter exists, here Kasali, must bear the burden of proof for a 12(b)(1) motion. Ramming, 281 F.3d at 161. In reviewing a motion under 12(b)(1) the court may consider (1) the complaint alone; (2) the complaint supplemented by undisputed facts evidenced in the record; or (3) the complaint supplemented by undisputed facts plus the court's resolution of disputed facts. Williamson v. Tucker, 645 F.2d 404, 413 (5th Cir. 1981).

         A motion to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction under Rule 12(b)(1) is characterized as either a “facial” attack, i.e., the allegations in the complaint are insufficient to invoke federal jurisdiction, or as a “factual” attack, i.e., the facts in the complaint supporting subject matter jurisdiction are questioned. Blue Water Endeavors, LLC v. AC & Sons, Inc. (In re Blue Water Endeavors, LLC), Ch. 11 Case No. 08-10466, Adv. No. 10-1015, 2011 WL 52525, *3 (E.D. Tex. Jan. 6, 2011) (citing Rodriguez v. Texas Comm'n of Arts, 992 F.Supp. 876, 878- 79 (N.D. Tex. 1998), aff'd, 199 F.3d 199 (5th Cir. 2000)). A facial attack happens when a defendant files a Rule 12(b)(1) motion without accompanying evidence. Paterson v. Weinberger, 644 F.2d 521, 523 (5th Cir. 1981). In a facial attack, allegations in the complaint are taken as true. Blue Water, 2011 WL 52525 at *3 (citing Saraw Partnership v. United States, 67 F.3d 567, 569 (5th Cir. 1995)).

         Alternatively, for a factual attack, the Court may consider any evidence (affidavits, testimony, documents, etc.) submitted by the parties that is relevant to the issue of jurisdiction. Id. (citing Irwin v. Veterans Admin., 874 F.2d 1092, 1096 (5th Cir. 1989)). A defendant making a factual attack on a complaint may provide supporting affidavits, testimony or other admissible evidence. Paterson, 644 F.3d at 523. The plaintiff, to satisfy her burden of proof, may also submit evidence to show by a preponderance of the evidence that subject matter jurisdiction exists. Id. The court's consideration of such matters outside the pleadings does not convert the motion to one for summary judgment under Rule 56(c). Robinson v. Paulson, No. H-06-4083, 2008 WL 4692392, *10 (S.D. Tex. Oct. 22, 2008) (citing Garcia v. Copenhaver, Bell & Assocs., 104 F.3d 1256, 1261 (11th Cir. 1997)). In resolving a factual attack on subject matter jurisdiction under Rule 12(b)(1), the district court, which does not address the merits of the suit, [1] has significant authority “to weigh the evidence and satisfy itself as to the existence of its power to hear the case.” Robinson, 2008 WL 4692392 at *10 (quoting Garcia, 104 F.3d at 1261 and citing Clark v. Tarrant County, 798 F.2d 736, 741 (5th Cir. 1986)).

         C. Federal Tort Claims Act

         The FTCA is the exclusive means for recovery of money damages against the United States in tort, allowing a limited waiver of sovereign immunity, and imposes liability on the United States for personal injuries, death, or injuries to or loss of property caused by the negligent or wrongful act or omission of any government employee while acting within the scope of her office or employment. Ross v. Runyon, 858 F.Supp. 630, 634-35 (S.D. Tex. 1994); 28 U.S.C. § 2674. And the exclusive defendant under the FTCA is the United States. Galvin v. Occupational ...

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