United States District Court, N.D. Indiana, Fort Wayne Division
ORDER AND OPINION
A. BRADY UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT JUDGE.
matter comes before the Court on Defendants' Motion to
Dismiss (ECF No. 13). Defendants ask this Court to dismiss
Plaintiff's pro se Civil Complaint (ECF No. 1) under
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1), arguing that this
Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction to hear the case. For
the reasons set forth below, Defendants' Motion will be
AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
pro se complaint was filed on May 7, 2018. While not a model
of clarity, the complaint alleges generally that Paige Walker
(“Walker”) and Chris Spurling
(“Spurling”), employees of SCAN, Inc., wrongfully
denied Plaintiff's supervised visitation with her minor
daughter. Plaintiff requests damages in the amount of $700,
000, plus court costs.
filed their Motion to Dismiss and supporting Memorandum of
Law on October 8, 2018. In support of their argument for
dismissal under F.R.C.P. 12(b)(1), Defendants asserted that
Plaintiff's Complaint fails to invoke this Court's
jurisdiction under either a federal question or diversity
basis, that Plaintiff's Complaint fails to allege a case
or controversy, and that this matter falls within the
“domestic relations” exception to federal
diversity jurisdiction. Although Plaintiff submitted two
filings titled “Response, ” no substantive legal
response to Defendants' arguments were made. Defendants
filed no reply to either “Response.”
the Plaintiff nor the Defendants provide the Court with any
information about SCAN, Inc., the sole entity defendant in
this action. From what the Court can glean from
Plaintiff's complaint, SCAN is responsible for
coordinating and monitoring Plaintiff's court-ordered,
supervised visits with her minor daughter. SCAN also appears
to be responsible for coordinating and/or facilitating
court-ordered therapy for both Plaintiff and her daughter.
allegations are consistent with the information that SCAN
publishes on its public website. SCAN holds itself out as a
501(c)(3) organization that is “non-sectarian and
partially funded by the Indiana Department of Child Services
(DCS).” The primary purpose of SCAN is found in the
meaning behind its acronymous name: SCAN stands for
“Stop Child Abuse and Neglect.” Among the
“Programs and Services” publicized on the website
is “Visitation Facilitation.” In describing this
service, SCAN states:
What: Supervised visitation between a
child(ren) who have been removed from their home because of
abuse and/or neglect and their parents. This services goal is
to keep the children safe and to teach the parents skills in
coping with their children. It occurs at SCAN's offices,
at client's homes or in public.
Who: Families referred by The Indiana
Department of Child Services.
service publicized by SCAN is “Home-Based Therapy,
” which is described as:
What: Structured, goal-oriented,
time-limited therapy in a family's natural environment.
Provides assistance while recovering from physical abuse,
sexual abuse, emotional abuse and neglect. Licensed
clinicians provide this service.
Families referred by The Indiana Department of ...