United States District Court, District of Columbia
BERMAN JACKSON, United States District Judge
Friends of Animals originally filed this action on July 22,
2016 against the United States Environmental Protection
Agency (“EPA”) and Scott Pruitt in his official
capacity as EPA Administrator,  alleging that defendants
unreasonably delayed in responding to a May 19, 2015
rulemaking petition regarding the review and potential
cancellation of the registration of ZonaStat-H, a pesticide
used to control reproduction of wild horses. Compl. [Dkt. #
1] ¶¶ 1-2; 62-65. Plaintiff requested that the
Court “declare that the Defendants have violated the
APA by unreasonably delaying issuance of a final decision on
the Petition, ” and it sought a court order to require
“the Defendants to make a final decision on the
Petition within sixty days.” Id. at 11.
October 18, 2016, the Court granted the parties' joint
motion to stay all proceedings while they engaged in
settlement discussions. Min. Order (Oct. 18, 2016). Then, on
January 17, 2017, the parties jointly reported that the EPA
had issued a final decision denying plaintiff's petition.
See Joint Status Report [Dkt. # 11] ¶¶
4-5. The Court then ordered plaintiff to show cause why the
matter should not be dismissed as moot. Min. Order (Jan. 17,
2017). In response to the Court's order, plaintiff filed
a motion for leave to file an amended complaint, but it did
not attach a copy of its proposed amended pleading.
See Pl.'s Resp. to Jan. 17, 2017 Min. Order
& Mot. for Leave to File Am. & Suppl. Compl. [Dkt. #
13] (“Pl.'s Mot.”).
stated that the amended pleading it intended to file would
allege that the denial of the rulemaking petition was
“arbitrary, capricious, contrary to underlying law, and
an abuse of discretion, ” in violation of the
Administrative Procedure Act. Pl.'s Mot. at 2. On
February 1, 2017, defendants opposed plaintiff's motion
for leave to amend and filed a motion to dismiss for lack of
subject matter jurisdiction based on the mootness of the
original complaint. Defs.' Combined Opp. to Pl.'s
Mot. & Mot. to Dismiss [Dkt. # 14] (“Defs.'
Mot.”) at 1. Plaintiff does not dispute that
defendants' response to the rulemaking petition renders
the original complaint moot, but it argues that the Court
should allow plaintiff to amend the complaint to challenge
the agency's response to its petition. Pl.'s Reply in
Supp. of Mot. for Leave to File Am. and Supp. Compl.
(“Pl.'s Reply”) at 1-2.
Court will deny plaintiff's motion for leave to file an
amended and supplemental complaint because it fails to comply
with the procedural requirements of Local Civil Rule 7(i).
“A motion for leave to file an amended pleading shall
be accompanied by an original of the proposed pleading as
amended.” LCvR 7(i). The Court of Appeals has
repeatedly “faulted litigants for [the]
shortcoming” of failing to attach a copy of their
proposed amended complaint to a motion for leave to file an
amended complaint, Schmidt v. United States, 749
F.3d 1064, 1069 (D.C. Cir. 2014), citing Rollins v.
Wackenhut Servs., Inc., 703 F.3d 122, 130-31 (D.C. Cir.
2012), and it noted in Schmidt that failure to
attach a copy of a proposed amended complaint is a reason to
deny a motion for leave to amend. Id. Here,
plaintiff has failed to attach a proposed amended complaint
to its motion for leave to file an amended complaint and the
motion to amend the complaint will be denied.
Court will also grant the defendants' motion to dismiss
the existing complaint as moot. Federal courts are courts of
limited jurisdiction and the law presumes that “a cause
lies outside this limited jurisdiction.” Kokkonen
v. Guardian Life Ins. Co. of Am., 511 U.S. 375, 377
(1994); see also Gen. Motors Corp. v. EPA, 363 F.3d
442, 448 (D.C. Cir. 2004) (“As a court of limited
jurisdiction, we begin, and end, with an examination of our
jurisdiction.”). “[B]ecause subject-matter
jurisdiction is ‘an Art[icle] III as well as a
statutory requirement . . . no action of the parties can
confer subject-matter jurisdiction upon a federal
court.'” Akinseye v. District of Columbia,
339 F.3d 970, 971 (D.C. Cir. 2003), quoting Ins. Corp. of
Ir., Ltd. v. Compagnie des Bauxites de Guinee, 456 U.S.
694, 702 (1982).
III, section 2 of the Constitution permits federal courts to
adjudicate only “actual, ongoing controversies.”
Honig v. Doe, 484 U.S. 305, 317 (1988), citing
Neb. Press Ass'n v. Stuart, 427 U.S. 539, 546
(1976); Preiser v. Newkirk, 422 U.S. 395, 401
(1975). “This limitation gives rise to the doctrines of
standing and mootness.” Foretich v. United
States, 351 F.3d 1198, 1210 (D.C. Cir. 2003). A case
becomes moot when “the court can provide no effective
remedy because a party has already ‘obtained all the
relief that [it has] sought.'” Conservation
Force, Inc. v. Jewell, 733 F.3d 1200, 1204 (D.C. Cir.
2013), quoting Monzillo v. Biller, 735 F.2d 1456,
1459 (D.C. Cir. 1984). “Federal courts lack
jurisdiction to decide moot cases because their
constitutional authority extends only to actual cases or
controversies.” Id., quoting Iron Arrow
Honor Soc'y v. Heckler, 464 U.S. 67, 70 (1983).
plaintiff concedes that the claim in the original complaint
is moot. Pl.'s Reply at 1. Plaintiff sought a court order
declaring defendants in violation of the APA for unreasonably
failing to respond to plaintiffs petition, and an order
requiring defendants to make a final decision on the
petition, Compl. at 11, and it has received that relief
because defendants have responded to the petition. Because
the claims in the original complaint are moot, the Court
lacks subject matter jurisdiction over this case, and
plaintiff will be required to file a new civil action if it
wishes to challenge the merits of the agency's final
pursuant to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 12 and 58, it is
hereby ORDERED that plaintiffs motion for leave to file an
amended and supplemental complaint [Dkt # 13] is DENIED. It
is FURTHER ORDERED that defendants' motion to dismiss
[Dkt. # 15] is GRANTED.
 Plaintiff's complaint named former
EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. Pursuant to Federal Rule of
Civil Procedure 25(d), the Court automatically substitutes