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Coleman v. Silver

United States District Court, District of Columbia

April 17, 2013

RICHARD COLEMAN, Plaintiff,
v.
KAY SILVER aka KAY S. COLEMAN, Defendant

RICHARD COLEMAN, Plaintiff, Pro se, Washington, DC.

OPINION

Page 28

ELLEN SEGAL HUVELLE, United States District Judge.

MEMORANDUM OPINION

In this action brought pro se under the Court's diversity jurisdiction, plaintiff sues his ex-wife for " Defamation of Character, Slander, Libel, and Alienation of Affection." (Am. Compl. [Dkt. # 5] at 1.) Defendant, a resident of Garner, North Carolina, moves to dismiss the amended complaint pursuant to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 12(b)(2) for lack of personal jurisdiction and Rule 12(b)(6) on statute of limitations grounds. (Def.'s Mot. to Dismiss the Am. Compl. [Dkt. # 7].) Plaintiff moves to strike defendant's motion to dismiss pursuant to Rule 12(f), which the Court will deny but will consider the supporting arguments as his opposition to defendant's motion to dismiss. [1] (Pl.'s Mot. to Strike [Dkt. # 9], hereafter " Pl.'s Opp'n" .) Since plaintiff has not shown how this Court can exercise jurisdiction over defendant, the motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(2) will be granted and the case will be dismissed.

BACKGROUND

In a seven-count complaint sparse on concrete facts, plaintiff alleges that over the course of 28 years, defendant has falsely accused him of various abhorrent acts, including sexually molesting his now-32-year-old daughter when she " was 2-3 years old," attempting to kill her and their two daughters, and stalking the children of " a previous friend" who testified against plaintiff at a custody hearing. (Am. Compl. [Dkt. # 5] at 2-5.) In each count of the complaint, plaintiff alleges that each statement was made " [t]o non-privileged third parties," that defendant made the statement knowing it to be false, and that defendant made the statement to " alienate the affection of [his]daughter . . . in turn causing the Plaintiff to mourn for his 'lost' daughter for the next 28 years." ( See id .) Plaintiff seeks " an award of [$]25,000 on each count, times 28 years . . . ." ( Id. at 5.)

ANALYSIS

Under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(2), a plaintiff bears the burden of establishing a factual basis for personal jurisdiction over the defendants. Rossmann v. Chase Home Finance, LLC, 772 F.Supp.2d 169, 171 (D.D.C. 2011) (citing Crane v. N.Y. Zoological Society, 894 F.2d 454, 456, 282 U.S. App. D.C. 295 (D.C. Cir. 1990)). The Court need not treat all of the plaintiff's allegations

Page 29

as true when determining whether personal jurisdiction exists over the defendant. Instead, the Court " may receive and weigh affidavits and any other relevant matter to assist it in determining the jurisdictional facts." United States v. Philip Morris, Inc., 116 F.Supp.2d 116, 120 n.4 (D.D.C. 2000) (citing 5A Charles A. Wright & Arthur R. Miller, Federal Practice and Procedure § 1351 (1990)). Any factual discrepancies with regard to the existence of personal jurisdiction should be resolved in plaintiff's favor. See Crane, 894 F.2d at 456.

The D.C. Court of Appeals has set forth a two-part inquiry for establishing personal jurisdiction over a nonresident defendant. Rossmann, 772 F.Supp.2d at 171. First, a court must " examine whether jurisdiction is applicable under the state's long-arm statute," and second, " determine whether a finding of jurisdiction satisfies the constitutional requirements of due process." Id. (quoting GTE New Media Servs. v. BellSouth Corp., 199 F.3d 1343, 1347, 339 U.S. App. D.C. 332 (D.C. Cir. 2000)). The applicable long-arm statute states in relevant part:

(a) A District of Columbia court may exercise personal jurisdiction over a person, who acts directly or by an agent, as to a claim for ...

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