United States District Court, E.D. Virginia, Alexandria Division
O"Grady United Stales District Judge.
matter comes before the Court on two Motions to Dismiss. The
first Motion to Dismiss was filed by Defendants All Native,
Inc., All Native Services Company, All Native Solutions
Company, All Native Systems, L.L.C., and Ho-Chunk, Inc.
("the All Native Defendants"). Dkt. No. 19. The
second Motion to Dismiss was filed by Defendant A-T
Solutions, Inc. Dkt. No. 24. For the reasons outlined below,
the Court finds good cause to GRANT both Motions and DISMISS
the case because the Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction.
Ryan and Paula Foreman originally filed this action on March
10, 2016, against the All Native Defendants and five John
Does. After the All Native Defendants filed a motion to
dismiss the Complaint, Plaintiffs filed an amended complaint
as a right on June 20, 2016. Dkt. No. 14. In the First
Amended Complaint ("FAC"), Plaintiffs added
Defendant A-T Solutions.
asserts that Plaintiff Special Agent Ryan Foreman suffered
injuries during a training exercise at a Diplomatic Security
Training facility at Fort A.P. Hill, in Bowling Green,
Virginia, which was run by the Defendants through a
government contract. On March 10, 2014, Ryan Foreman was
working with a team of special agents who were practicing
clearing rooms in a training building. The team started on
the sixth floor of the building and was working its way down
to the first floor. At all times during the training
exercise, Ryan Foreman was wearing and/or carrying
approximately seventy-five pounds of armor, equipment, and
firearms. On the fourth floor of the training building, Ryan
Foreman arrived at a set of double doors similar to the
double doors located on both the fifth and sixth floors of
the training building. The lead agent on the team opened the
double doors, which were unlocked. Ryan Foreman was the point
man on the team and, accordingly, he was the first person to
step through the doors. The double doors on the Fourth floor
did not lead to a room. Rather, the doors opened to an empty
elevator shaft. Foreman entered the shaft and fell
approximately fifteen feet to the third floor where he landed
on a training platform. Foreman alleges that the door should
have been marked with a large "Safety X" to
indicate that the door was not to be used as part of the
asserts one count of negligence against all of the
Defendants. The FAC also asserts one count of loss of
consortium, brought by Ryan Foreman's spouse, Paula
pending Motions to Dismiss assert that this case should be
dismissed for lack of subject matter jurisdiction pursuant to
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1). "Federal
courts are courts of limited jurisdiction." Kokkonen
v. Guardian Life Ins. Co. of Am., 511 U.S. 375, 377, 114
S.Ct. 1673, 1675, 128 L.Ed.2d 391 (1994). Federal courts
"possess only that power authorized by Constitution and
statute." Id. (citations omitted). The burden
of establishing subject matter jurisdiction rests upon the
party asserting jurisdiction. Id. Further,
"when a federal court concludes that it lacks
subject-matter jurisdiction, the court must dismiss the
complaint in its entirety." Arbaugh v. Y&H
Corp., 546 U.S. 500, 514, 126 S.Ct. 1235, 1244, 163
L.Ed.2d 1097 (2006).
has conferred on the district courts original jurisdiction in
federal-question cases-civil actions that arise under the
Constitution, laws, or treaties of the United States."
Exxon Mobil Corp. v. Allapattah Servs., Inc., 545
U.S. 546, 552, 125 S.Ct. 2611, 2617, 162 L.Ed.2d 502 (2005)
(citing 28 U.S.C. § 1331). "Congress also has
granted district courts original jurisdiction in civil
actions between citizens of different States, between U.S.
citizens and foreign citizens, or by foreign states against
U.S. citizens." Id. (citing 28 U.S.C. §
1332). This so-called "diversity jurisdiction" has
a "complete diversity" requirement. Owen Equip.
& Erection Co. v. Kroger, 437 U.S. 365, 373, 98
S.Ct. 2396, 2402, 57 L.Ed.2d 274 (1978). Under this
requirement, "diversity jurisdiction does not exist
unless each defendant is a citizen of a different State from
each plaintiff." Id. For the purposes of the
diversity jurisdiction statute, an individual is considered
to be a citizen of the state in which they are
domiciled-"i.e. the state he considers his permanent
home." Dyer v. Robinson, 853 F.Supp. 169, 172
(D. Md. 1994) (citing Gilbert v. David, 235 U.S.
561, 569, 35 S.Ct. 164, 166-67, 59 L.Ed. 360 (1914)). A
corporation "has dual citizenship for purposes of
determining diversity jurisdiction." Johnson v.
Advance Am., 549 F.3d 932, 935 (4th Cir. 2008). A
corporation is considered "to be a citizen of any State
by which it has been incorporated and of the State where it
has its principal place of business." 28 U.S.C. §
1332(c)(1). Diversity jurisdiction also has an amount in
controversy requirement 545 U.S. at 552. Currently, a
district court does not have original jurisdiction over a
diversity action unless the amount in controversy exceeds
$75, 000. Id
is no dispute between the parties that federal question
jurisdiction does not apply because this case only raises
state law claims. There is also no dispute that diversity
jurisdiction does not apply in this case. Although in its FAC
Plaintiffs asserted that "Defendant A-T Solutions, Inc.
is a foreign corporation and has its office in the State of
Virginia, " Plaintiffs appear to have reneged on this
statement. Through the briefs filed by the parties in regard
to the motions to dismiss, it is clear that Defendant A-T
Solutions is a Virginia corporation with its principal place
of business in Vienna, Virginia. Plaintiffs are residents of
Alexandria, Virginia. As both a Defendant and the Plaintiffs
are domiciled in Virginia, the complete diversity requirement
is not satisfied.
attempt to assert two alternative grounds under which this
Court has jurisdiction to hear this case: (1) the Federal
Officer Removal Statute ("FORS"), 28 U.S.C. §
1442, and (2) the "uniquely federal interests"
presented in this case. Neither of these theories are
Federal Officer Removal Statute was "designed to protect
federal officers in the performance of their federal
duties." Kolibash v. Comm. on Legal Ethics of W.
Virginia Bar, 872 F.2d 571, 573 (4th Cir. 1989). It
permits federal officers, and several other select categories
of defendants, to remove to federal court certain cases that
were filed against them in state court, so that they may
benefit from "the protection of the federal forum."
Id. (quoting Willingham v. Morgan, 395 U.S.
402, 405-07, 89 S.Ct. 1813, 1815-16, 23 L.Ed.2d 396 (1969)).
The FORS is, first and foremost, a removal statute. This case
was not commenced in state court and then removed. The FORS
is, therefore, inapplicable and does not provide this Court
with subject matter jurisdiction over this case.
Plaintiffs argue that state law cases with "uniquely
federal interests" should be permitted to be heard in
federal court. As Defendants explain, the cases Plaintiffs
cite do not extend the subject matter-jurisdiction of federal
courts to cases involving "uniquely federal
interests." For example, in Boyle v. United
Technologies Corp, a case Plaintiffs rely on, the trial
court had diversity jurisdiction over the case, and the court
did not discuss subject matter jurisdiction at all. 487 U.S.
500 (19S8). Rather, this case was a conflicts case in which
the Supreme Court held that "[i]n a few areas involving
'uniquely federal interests, ' state law is preempted
and replaced, where necessary, by federal law of a content
prescribed (absent explicit statutory directive) by the
courts." Id. at 500. The other cases Plaintiffs