United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Terre Haute Division
ROMAN 50818-037 RRM SEATTLE Residential Reentry Office Inmate
Mail/Parcels Rachana Nagin Fischer UNITED STATES
ORDER GRANTING MOTION TO DISMISS AND DIRECTING ENTRY
OF FINAL JUDGMENT
William T. Lawrence, Judge
Erick Roman, while incarcerated at the United States
Penitentiary - Terre Haute (“USP-TH”), filed a
complaint alleging that Officer Robertson sexually abused him
in his cell. He also asserted that Officer Robertson engaged
in a series of retaliatory acts. Mr. Roman only requested
injunctive relief and made no demand for monetary damages.
See Dkt. No. 16 at 3.
Officer Robertson has responded to Mr. Roman's complaint
by filing a motion to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction. Mr.
Roman has not responded to the motion, and the time to do so
has passed. For the reasons explained below, defendant
Officer Robertson's motion to dismiss, Dkt. No. 33, is
Standard of Review
Officer Robertson seeks dismissal of this action for lack of
subject matter jurisdiction pursuant to Rule 12(b)(1) of the
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 12(b)(1) requires a court to dismiss an action when
it lacks subject matter jurisdiction. Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(1);
see also Ezekiel v. Michel, 66 F.3d 894, 897 (7th
Cir. 1995) (stating that when reviewing a motion to dismiss
brought under Rule 12(b)(1), the court “must accept as
true all well-pleaded factual allegations, and draw
reasonable inferences in favor of the plaintiff”). When
subject matter jurisdiction is not apparent on the face of
the complaint and is contested, “the district court may
properly look beyond the jurisdictional allegations of the
complaint...to determine whether in fact subject matter
jurisdiction exists.” Sapperstein v. Hager,
188 F.3d 852, 855-56 (7th Cir. 1999) (internal quotations
omitted). The burden of proof in regards to a Rule 12(b)(1)
motion is on the party asserting that the court has subject
matter jurisdiction. Id.
following facts are not necessarily objectively true, but as
required when reviewing a motion to dismiss, the Court
accepts as true all well-pleaded facts alleged in the
complaint, and draws all possible inferences in Mr.
Roman's favor. See Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S.
89, 94 (2007) (“[W]hen ruling on a defendant's
motion to dismiss, a judge must accept as true all of the
factual allegations contained in the complaint.”).
September 11, 2017, plaintiff Erick Roman, while incarcerated
at the USP Terre Haute, filed a complaint requesting
injunctive relief to transfer him to a different federal
correctional facility. See also Dkt. No. 20
(plaintiff's motion for an injunction). Mr. Roman made no
requests for monetary damages.
Court screened Mr. Roman's complaint on November 13,
2017, and allowed his claim for injunctive relief to proceed
against Officer Robertson. Dkt. No. 16.
about February 15, 2018, Mr. Roman was moved to Seattle,
Washington and is currently under the supervision of the
Residential Reentry Management - Seattle (“RRM -
Seattle”). Dkt. No. 33-1 at 1. His current location is
the Shelton Reception Center, 2321 W. Dayton Airport Rd.,
Shelton, WA 98584. Id.
III of the Constitution limits federal court jurisdiction to
“cases” and “controversies.” See
U.S. Parole Comm'n v. Geraghty, 445 U.S. 388, 395
(1980). The Court's jurisdiction, therefore, depends on
“an actual controversy [that] must be extant at all
stages of review, not merely at the time the complaint is
filed.” Arizonans for Official English v.
Arizona, 520 U.S. 43, 67 (1997). Thus, if the
controversy defined by a legal claim is no longer live, or
the parties lack a legally cognizable interest in the
outcome, the claim is moot, and the court must dismiss for
want of jurisdiction. See City of Erie v. Pap's
A.M., 529 U.S. 277, 287 (2000); see also Rembert v.
Sheahan, 62 F.3d 937, 940 (7th Cir. 1995)
(“Because a moot case does not present a ‘case or
controversy' under Article III, a finding of mootness
deprives a federal court of the authority to act.”)
(citation omitted). A claim of mootness is a
“nonwaivable question of subject matter jurisdiction,
” and therefore properly raised in a motion pursuant to
Rule 12(b)(1). See South-Suburban Housing Center v.
Greater S. Suburban Bd. of Realtors, 935 F.2d 868, 880
n.12 (7th Cir. 1991).
a prisoner's transfer from one prison to another moots
claims for declaratory or injunctive relief against officials
at the prior prison. See Ross v. Mebane, 536 F.2d
1199, 1202 (7th Cir. 1976) (affirming a District Court's
holding that “injunction restraining officials at
Oxford from the future imposition of certain forms of
disciplinary action on the prisoner” was moot because
the prisoner was transferred); Higgason v. Farley,
83 F.3d 807, 811 (7th Cir. 1996) (finding that transfer
mooted claim for injunctive relief “against officials
of the first prison”); Calhoun v. DeTella, 319
F.3d 936, 939 (7th Cir. ...