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Miryam Allam A/K/A Miryam Meyers v. Ason Meyers

February 24, 2011

MIRYAM ALLAM A/K/A MIRYAM MEYERS, PLAINTIFF,
v.
ASON MEYERS, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Wood, U.S.D.J.:

Opinion & Order

Plaintiff Miryam Allam ("Plaintiff") brings this action against her former husband, Defendant Jason Meyers ("Defendant"), alleging battery, assault, intentional infliction of emotional distress ("IIED"), false imprisonment, and conversion.

Defendant moves to dismiss the action for lack of subject matter jurisdiction pursuant to Rule 12(b)(1) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure ("Rule 12(b)(1)"). Defendant also moves, pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure ("Rule 12(b)(6)"), to dismiss Plaintiff's cause of action sounding in IIED.

For the reasons stated below, Defendant's motion is GRANTED in part and DENIED in part.

I. Background

Unless otherwise noted, the following facts are drawn from Plaintiff's First Amended Complaint, and are taken as true for the purposes of Defendant's Rule 12(b)(6) motion. See Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007).

A. Plaintiff's Allegations

Plaintiff, a citizen of France (First Am. Compl. ¶ 1), married Defendant, a citizen of New York (id. ¶ 3), on October 2, 2009. (Id. ¶ 102). Their marriage was annulled on April 4, 2010. (See Pl. Opp. at 12; Def. Reply Mem. at 2.)

Plaintiff filed her First Amended Complaint in this diversity action*fn1 on March 23, 2010 (see Dkt. Entry No. 7), and makes out five claims for relief. First, Plaintiff alleges that Defendant is liable in battery for hitting [Plaintiff], kicking her, pulling her hair, grabbing her, pushing her, throwing glass on her, pulling her in a window, pulling her off a windowsill and allowing her body to crash down onto a toilet, imprisoning her, ejaculating on her face, running cold shower water on her while imprisoning her in the shower, and otherwise physically assaulting her . . . . (Id. ¶ 140; see also, e.g., id. ¶¶ 32, 40, 49, 55, 59, 62, 70, 75, 82, 96, 98, 106, 113-17.) Second, Plaintiff alleges that Defendant "repeatedly" placed Plaintiff "in fear of imminent bodily harm," and is thus liable for assault. (See, e.g., id. ¶ 146). Third, Plaintiff claims that Defendant is liable in IIED for orchestrating "a six-month[,] non-stop[,] deliberate and malicious campaign of harassment, intimidation, manipulation, and violence . . . against [Plaintiff]." (Pl. Mem. at 19.) This "campaign" allegedly consisted of Defendant's continuous physical and emotional abuse, which included slapp[ing Plaintiff], push[ing] and shov[ing] her, verbally assault[ing] her with despicable name calling, threaten[ing] her with deportation and arrest, [forbidding] her through threats of violence from meeting friends or speaking with her mother, mentally and physically control[ling] her against her will, and degrad[ing] her with demeaning sexual acts.

(Id.; see also, e.g., First Am. Compl. ¶¶ 151-57.) Fourth, Plaintiff claims that Defendant falsely imprisoned her by, "among other things, confining her to the bathroom, confining her to the shower, and falsely telling her that she would be arrested if she tried to leave the country." (First Am. Compl. ¶ 159.) Finally, Plaintiff alleges that Defendant is liable in conversion for taking and selling her property. (Id. ¶¶ 163-168.)

B. The Instant Motion and Subsequent Procedural History Defendant filed the instant motion on April 19, 2010.

Defendant first moves, pursuant to Rule 12(b)(1), to dismiss this action for lack of subject matter jurisdiction because "federal courts generally do not have jurisdiction over [domestic relations disputes]." (Def. Mem. at 4) (internal quotations omitted). Alternatively, Defendant contends that, even if federal jurisdiction is proper, the Court "should decline to exercise jurisdiction over this action because the subject of [Plaintiff's] claims is the parties' conduct of their marriage and the events leading up to that marriage and because those claims can be fully and fairly determined in state court." (Def. Mem. at 4-5.)

Defendant also moves, pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6), to dismiss Plaintiff's IIED claim. According to Defendant, Plaintiff's IIED claim "is deficient because the conduct she alleges is not sufficiently outrageous, the claim is duplicative of her other claims and comes within the ambit of other torts, and no claim exists for [IIED] between spouses." (Def. Mem. at 2.)

The matter was transferred to this Court on September 30, 2010.

II. Discussion

A. Subject Matter Jurisdiction

Defendant contends that this action must be dismissed because the Court lacks subject matter ...


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