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Wiggins v. United States

United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division

October 10, 2019

JARED M. WIGGINS, Plaintiff,
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Defendant.

          ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO DISMISS

          TANYA WALTON PRATT, JUDGE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT

         This matter is before the Court on Defendant the United States of America's (the “Government”) Motion to Dismiss filed pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1) (Filing No. 7). Plaintiff Jared M. Wiggins (“Wiggins”) initiated this civil action by filing a Petition to Reduce Period of Sex Offender Registration for Clean Record Under 34 U.S.C. 20915(b). (Filing No. 1.) The Government seeks dismissal arguing this Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction. For the following reasons, the Court grants the Government's Motion to Dismiss.

         I. BACKGROUND

         The following facts are not necessarily objectively true, but as required when reviewing a motion to dismiss, the Court accepts as true all factual allegations in the complaint and draws all inferences in favor of Wiggins as the non-moving party. See Bielanski v. County of Kane, 550 F.3d 632, 633 (7th Cir. 2008).

         Wiggins resides and works in Delaware County, Indiana. He was convicted on April 4, 2006, of violating Article 92 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (“UCMJ”) for knowingly and wrongfully possessing and transferring pornographic matter and for violating UCMJ Article 134 for wrongfully and knowingly possessing one or more visual depictions involving the use of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct, in United States v. Jared M. Wiggins, Case Number 0092-2005-CID847-15196-6D4D in the United States Army, Fifth Judicial Circuit. Because of these convictions, Wiggins is required under both federal and state law to register as a sex offender (Filing No. 9 at 1).

         As a resident of Indiana, Wiggins is deemed a sex offender pursuant to Indiana Code § 11-8-8-4.5. Under Indiana Code § 11-8-8-7, he is required, as a sex offender residing in Indiana, to register as a sex offender. If Wiggins fails to register, he could be prosecuted under Indiana Code § 11-8-8-17, a Level 6 felony for the offense of failure to register as a sex offender. (Filing No. 9 at 2.)

         Since his April 4, 2006 conviction, Wiggins has not been convicted of any offense for which imprisonment of more than one year may be imposed and he has not been convicted of any other sex offense. Additionally, Wiggins has completed all terms of his sentence and on March 12, 2007, successfully completed the Sex Offenders Education Program at the Regional Corrections Facility at Fort Louis, Washington. Wiggins is employed and lives a law-abiding and productive life. Id.

         On November 9, 2018, Wiggins filed the instant “Petition to Reduce Period of Sex Offender Registration for Clean Record Under 34 U.S.C. 20915(b), ” asking this Court to reduce his sex offender registration period (Filing No. 1). Title 34 U.S.C. § 20915(b) provides that a tier 1 sex offender who maintains a clean record for a ten year period and complies with all of the other requirements “shall” have his registration period reduced by five years. (Filing No. 10 at 1-2). Wiggins asserts that he is a tier 1 sex offender, required by the law enforcement officials in Delaware County, Indiana to register for fifteen years. Because he is in compliance with Section 20915(b), Wiggins believes his registration should be reduced by five years and he will no longer be required to register as a sex offender. Id.

         On April 2, 2019, the Government filed the instant Motion seeking dismissal of Wiggins Complaint, based on a lack of subject matter jurisdiction because of ripeness issues and because there is no private right of action under Section 20915(b) (Filing No. 7). Thereafter, Wiggins filed an Amended Petition to assert allegations that he was required to register as a sex offender and his failure to do so could result in felony prosecution (Filing No. 9). After Wiggins filed his Amended Petition, the parties completed briefing the Motion.

         II. LEGAL STANDARD

         A motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(1) challenges the court's subject matter jurisdiction. Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(1). The burden of proof is on the plaintiff, the party asserting jurisdiction. United Phosphorus, Ltd. v. Angus Chem. Co., 322 F.3d 942, 946 (7th Cir. 2003), overruled on other grounds by Minn-Chem, Inc. v. Agrium, Inc., 683 F.3d 845 (7th Cir. 2012) (en banc). “The plaintiff has the burden of supporting the jurisdictional allegations of the complaint by competent proof.” Int'l Harvester Co. v. Deere & Co., 623 F.2d 1207, 1210 (7th Cir. 1980). “In deciding whether the plaintiff has carried this burden, the court must look to the state of affairs as of the filing of the complaint; a justiciable controversy must have existed at that time.” Id.

         “When ruling on a motion to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1), the district court must accept as true all well-pleaded factual allegations, and draw reasonable inferences in favor of the plaintiff.” Ezekiel v. Michel, 66 F.3d 894, 897 (7th Cir. 1995) (citation omitted). Furthermore, “[t]he district court may properly look beyond the jurisdictional allegations of the complaint and view whatever evidence has been submitted on the issue to determine whether in fact subject matter jurisdiction exists.” Id. (citation and quotation marks omitted).

         III. DISCUSSION

         The Government argues that dismissal is appropriate for two reasons. First, Wiggins has not presented a claim that is ripe, and second, there is no private right of action created by 34 U.S.C. ...


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