United States District Court, N.D. Texas, Dallas Division
ZAESLIV H. OBAMA a/k/a Shanta Y. Claiborne, Plaintiff,
UNITED STATES, Defendant.
SUPERSEDING FINDINGS, CONCLUSIONS, AND RECOMMENDATION
OF THE UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
L. HORAN UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Zaesliv H. Obama a/k/a Shanta Y. Claiborne (“Ms.
Claiborne”) initially filed a pro se civil
rights complaint against Defendant United States, implicating
prison conditions and claiming that she was tortured by the
United States. See Dkt. No. 3. Her action was
referred to the undersigned United States magistrate judge
for pretrial management under 28 U.S.C. Â§ 636(b) and a
standing order of reference from Senior United States
District Judge Sam R. Cummings.
February 20, 2019, the Court granted her leave to proceed
in forma pauperis, see Dkt. Nos. 5 & 6,
and entered a notice of deficiency (the “NOD”),
The pro se complaint as presently submitted is
subject to summary dismissal because Ms. Claiborne has not
plausibly alleged how the sole named defendant is subject to
suit. See FDIC v. Meyer, 510 U.S. 471, 475 (1994)
(“Absent a waiver, sovereign immunity shields the
Federal Government and its agencies from suit.”);
Garland v. U.S. Attorney for the N. Dist. of Tex.,
No. 3:03-cv-2658-D, 2005 WL 910605, at *2 (N.D. Tex. Apr. 20,
2005) (“United States agencies and officers are also
protected by sovereign immunity.” (citing Drake v.
Panama Canal Comm'n, 907 F.2d 532, 534 (5th Cir.
1990))); see also Multi Denominational Ministry of
Cannabis & Rastafari, Inc. v. Gonzales, 474
F.Supp.2d 1133, 1141 (N.D. Cal. 2007) (“A
Bivens action does not lie against federal agencies
or the United States, which possess sovereign immunity; such
actions may be brought only against named federal officers or
agents in their personal capacity.” (citing
Meyer, 510 U.S. at 483-86)).
While an action may be brought “against the United
States [under the Federal Torts Claims Act
(“FTCA”)] for money damages for personal injury
caused by the negligent or wrongful acts or omissions of any
federal employee while acting within the scope of his office
or employment, ” Esquivel-Solis v. United
States, 472 Fed.Appx. 338, 340 (5th Cir. 2012) (per
curiam) (citing 28 U.S.C. § 1346(b)(1)), “[s]ince
a suit under the FTCA constitutes a waiver of sovereign
immunity, the provisions that allow suit must be strictly
construed, ” Gibbs v. Miner, No.
3:10-cv-228-M, 2010 WL 1711703, at *1 (N.D. Tex. Apr. 2,
2010) (citing Gregory v. Mitchell, 634 F.2d 199,
203-04 (5th Cir. 1981)), rec. adopted, 2010 WL
1730786 (N.D. Tex. Apr. 27, 2010).
These provisions include proper exhaustion of
administrative remedies, which begins by “first
present[ing] the claim to the appropriate Federal
agency.” 28 U.S.C. § 2675(a); see also Barber
v. United States, 642 Fed.Appx. 411, 415 n.3 (5th Cir.
2016) (per curiam) (concluding that the holding in United
States v. Kwai Fun Wong, 135 S.Ct. 1625 (2015),
“that the FTCA's statute of limitations was
‘non-jurisdictional and subject to equitable
tolling' ... “has no bearing on our analysis of the
jurisdictional limitation provided by 28 U.S.C. §
2675(a)'s presentment requirement” (quoting
Wong, 135 S.Ct. at 1638)).
And, to the extent that the United States or a federal
officer or agent in a personal capacity is subject to suit
based on a harm that Ms. Claiborne alleges, her complaint
does not comply with the applicable pleading standards.
Under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)(2), a complaint
need not contain detailed factual allegations, but a
plaintiff must allege more than labels and conclusions, and,
while a court must accept all of the plaintiff's
allegations as true, it is “not bound to accept as true
a legal conclusion couched as a factual allegation.”
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting
Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555
(2007)). A threadbare or formulaic recitation of the elements
of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory
statements, will not suffice. See Id. But, to
survive dismissal under Twombly and Iqbal,
a plaintiff need only “plead facts sufficient to
show” that the claims asserted have “substantive
plausibility” by stating “simply, concisely, and
directly events” that a plaintiff contends entitle him
or her to relief. Johnson v. City of Shelby, Miss.,
574 U.S., 135 S.Ct. 346, 347 (2014) (per curiam) (citing
Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2)-(3), (d)(1), (e)).
To remedy this deficiency, attached to this order is a form
Complaint for Violation of Civil Rights (Non-Prisoner
Complaint), which Ms. Claiborne shall complete, date and
sign, and return to the Court no later than March 22,
Failure to follow this instruction will result in a
recommendation that this action be dismissed for failure to
prosecute and obey orders of the Court. See Fed. R.
Civ. P. 41(b).
Dkt. No. 7.
than one month after the deadline to comply with the
Court's order, and after Ms. Claiborne failed to comply
with the NOD or otherwise contact the Court, the undersigned
entered findings of fact and conclusions of law recommending
that the Court dismiss this action without prejudice under
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 41(b) [Dkt. No. 8] (the
41(b) FCR noted that, “if during the period for filing
objections to this recommendation, Ms. Claiborne complies
with the NOD, the undersigned will withdraw the findings,
conclusions, and recommendation and continue to manage this
action for pretrial purposes.” Id. at 5.
15, 2019, Ms. Claiborne filed an amended complaint providing
the following factual allegations, in full: “360 Other
Personal Injury ... Personal Injury ... Zaesliv H. Obama vs
United States ... Torture, Death Penalty Type ... THEFT -
Terrorism.” Dkt. No. 9 at 1. She further cites three