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Abdulla v. University of Arkansas at Little Rock

United States District Court, District of Columbia

March 18, 2013

SALLAH HAMAMIN ABDULLA, Plaintiff,
v.
UNIVERSITY OF ARKANSAS at LITTLE ROCK, Defendant

SALLAH HAMAMIN ABDULLA, Plaintiff, Pro se, Philadelphia, PA.

For UNIVERSITY OF ARKANSAS AT LITTLE ROCK, Defendant: Dennis R. Hansen, LEAD ATTORNEY, ARKANSAS ATTORNEY GENERAL'S OFFICE, Little Rock, AR.

OPINION

ROSEMARY M. COLLYER, United States District Judge.

MEMORANDUM OPINION

Sallah Hamamin Abdulla, proceeding without counsel ( pro se ), seeks relief

Page 139

against the University of Arkansas at Little Rock [1] for its allegedly defamatory statements against him, which he complains caused him to lose his scholarship from the Government of Iraq to study at the University. The University has filed a motion to dismiss, claiming that the Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction over Mr. Abdulla's Complaint. The Court agrees and will grant the University's motion to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction.

I. FACTS

Mr. Abdulla, a citizen of Iraq, was a graduate student in Applied Science at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock (" the University" ). He states that he attended the University " on a scholarship contract with the embassy of [Iraq]." Compl. [Dkt. 1] at 2. The University informed the Embassy in early 2010 that Mr. Abdulla had been academically dismissed. As a result, on April 15, 2010, the Embassy notified Mr. Abdulla that his scholarship was terminated. Mr. Abdulla protested the grounds for the University's dismissal, but the Embassy notified him on May 11, 2010 that its decision was final because they had received a letter from an official at the University confirming the dismissal. See Compl., Ex. 1 [Dkt. 1-1] (letter from the University to the Iraqi Cultural Office regarding Mr. Abdulla). Mr. Abdulla complained here on October 18, 2012. See Dkt. 1. He disputes the basis for his dismissal by the University and alleges that the University's actions " seriously damaged [his] professioanl [sic] and academic character through their intentional defamation." He further alleges physical and psychological injuries, including termination of his visa status and an eleven-day detention, and seeks over $14 million in damages. Id. at 3-4.

The University filed a motion to dismiss, asserting, inter alia, that venue in this Court was improper. Initially, this Court found that venue was improper under 28 U.S.C. § 1391(b) and transferred this case to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1406(a). Mr. Abdulla asked the Court to reconsider its ruling, asserting that actions in this district (by the letter from the University) caused him harm. See Dkt. 7. Although the Eastern District of Arkansas received and docketed this case, on January 3, 2013, that court transferred the case back to this Court for consideration of Mr. Abdulla's motion. The Court treated Mr. Abdulla's motion as one for reconsideration pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 54(b) and concluded that Mr. Abdulla raised factual allegations sufficient to render venue in this Court proper pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1391(b)(2). Mr. Abdulla then opposed the University's motion to dismiss, and the University replied. [2] See Dkts. 17, 18.

The University's motion to dismiss will be granted because the Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction over Mr. Abdulla's claims.

II. LEGAL STANDARD

Pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1), a ...


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