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Sonja Kingsley v. Bmw of North America LLC et al

May 7, 2012

SONJA KINGSLEY, PLAINTIFF,
v.
BMW OF NORTH AMERICA LLC ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: J. Paul Oetken, District Judge:

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

Presently before the Court are Defendant National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's ("NHTSA's") (1) motion to dismiss Plaintiff's claims against NHTSA or to transfer to a district where venue is proper (Dkt. No. 9 in Case No. 12 Civ. 234) and (2) motion to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction and to substitute the United States of America as a defendant (Dkt. No. 4 in Case No. 12 Civ. 350). Also before the Court is pro se Plaintiff Sonja Kingsley's "motion to dismiss case 12 Civ. 234 and proceed with case 12 Civ. 350 in the Southern District Court" (Dkt. No. 17 in Case No. 12 Civ. 234 and Dkt. No. 12 in Case No. 12 Civ. 350).*fn1

For the reasons discussed below, the Court grants Plaintiff's motion to dismiss Case Number 12 Civ. 234. The Court also grants NHTSA's motion to dismiss NHTSA as a Defendant in Case Number 12 Civ. 350. The Court further determines that it lacks subject matter jurisdiction over this matter and remands the remaining claims to Supreme Court of the State of New York, County of New York ("the State Court").

I.Background

Plaintiff initiated these actions by filing a complaint against BMW of North America ("BMW") and NHTSA in the State Court on or about October 28, 2011 under Index Number CV-056163. The complaint alleges that Plaintiff has suffered loss of the use of her property, a Mini Cooper automobile manufactured by BMW, and demands that Defendants replace the transmission and the clutch or compensate her in the amount of $15,000. (Dkt. No. 1 in 12 Civ. 350.) NHTSA removed this action from state court to this Court on January 17, 2012, and the case was assigned docket number12 Civ. 350. (Id.)

On January 11, 2012, plaintiff initiated a separate, similar action against BMW and NHTSA in this Court, which was assigned docket number12 Civ. 234. On February 1, 2012, Plaintiff filed an amended complaint asserting more detailed claims against BMW and the NHTSA in relation to problems Plaintiff has had with two Mini Coopers that were manufactured by BMW; the amended complaint was docketed in Case Number 12 Civ. 234. (Dkt. No. 8 ("Amended Complaint").)*fn2

Defendant NHTSA has filed motions to dismiss in both cases. On January 24, 2012, in Case No. 12 Civ. 350, NHTSA filed a motion to substitute the United States as a Defendant and to dismiss Plaintiff's claims against the United States. On March 8, 2012, in Case No. 12 Civ. 234, NHTSA filed a motion to dismiss the complaint or to transfer venue to the Eastern District of New York.

By order dated March 13, 2012, the Court ordered Plaintiff to serve any opposition to NHTSA's motions by April 10, 2012 or to notify the Court that she does not intend to proceed with one or both of the cases. On April 12, 2012, Plaintiff filed her "motion to dismiss case 12 Civ. 234 and proceed with case 12 Civ. 350 in the Southern District Court." (Dkt. No. 17 in 12 Civ. 234; Dkt. No. 12 in 12 Civ. 350 ("Plaintiff's Opposition").)

NHTSA responded by letter dated April 16, 2012; BMW responded by letter dated April 17, 2012.

II.Legal Standard

Generally, a claim may be properly dismissed for lack of subject matter jurisdiction where a district court lacks constitutional or statutory power to adjudicate it. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(1); Makarova v. United States, 201 F.3d 110, 113 (2d Cir. 2000). A district court may look to evidence outside of the pleadings when resolving a motion to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. Id. The plaintiff bears the burden of proving subject matter jurisdiction by a preponderance of the evidence. Id. (citing Malik v. Meissner, 82 F.3d 560, 562 (2d Cir. 1996)). When a court evaluates a motion to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction, all ambiguities must be resolved and inferences drawn in favor of the plaintiff. Aurecchione v. Schoolman Transp. Sys., Inc., 426 F.3d 635, 638 (2d Cir. 2005) (citing Makarova, 201 F.3d at 113).

District courts "remain obligated to construe pro se complaints liberally." Harris v. Mills, 572 F.3d 66, 72 (2d Cir. 2009). Thus, pro se complaints should be read with "special solicitude" and should be interpreted to raise the "strongest arguments that they suggest." Triestman v. Fed. Bureau of Prisons, 470 F.3d 471, 475 (2d Cir. 2006) (citations omitted).

III.Plaintiff Has Failed to State a Claim ...


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