United States District Court, N.D. Mississippi, Oxford Division
B. BIGGERS, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
before the court is a motion to dismiss for lack of
jurisdiction and failure to state a claim filed by Defendant
United States of America. Upon due consideration of the
motion, response, complaint, and applicable authority, the
court is ready to rule.
and Procedural Background
plaintiff, Paul Kevin Curtis, was arrested on April 17, 2013,
for allegedly mailing letters containing Ricin, a poisonous
and lethal substance, to former President Obama, United
States Senator Roger Wicker, and a local justice court judge.
Six days later, on April 23, 2013, the government dismissed
the charges against Curtis when it was discovered that he had
been “framed” for the crimes by James Everette
has initiated litigation against the United States for its
alleged wrongful conduct with respect to the underlying
arrest and prosecution on two prior occasions. The court
dismissed the first action without prejudice for incomplete
service of process. The court dismissed the second case
without prejudice for failure to prosecute.
filed the instant suit on December 13, 2016, and asserts
claims under 42 U.S.C. 1983 and Bivens for alleged
constitutional violations, and under the Federal Tort Claims
Act (“FTCA”), 28 U.S.C. §1346(b), for
malicious prosecution, unlawful arrest, and false
imprisonment. The United States has now moved to dismiss for
lack of jurisdiction with respect to Curtis's FTCA
claims, and for failure to state a claim upon which relief
can be granted as to his constitutional claims.
filed under Rule 12(b)(1) of the Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure allow a party to challenge the subject matter
jurisdiction of the court to hear a case.” Ramming
v. U.S., 281 F.3d 158, 161 (5th Cir. 2001). The burden
of proof for a Rule 12(b)(1) motion to dismiss is on the
party asserting jurisdiction. Id.
“Accordingly, the plaintiff constantly bears the burden
of proof that jurisdiction does in fact exist.”
Id. The court may properly dismiss a claim for lack
of subject matter jurisdiction if it determines that it lacks
either the statutory or constitutional authority to
adjudicate the claim. Home Builders Ass'n, Inc. v.
City of Madison, Miss., 143 F.3d 1006, 1010 (5th Cir.
complaint must contain a “short and plain statement . .
. showing that the pleader is entitled to relief.”
Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). For a plaintiff to survive a Rule
12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, “a complaint must contain
sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to ‘state
a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'”
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). A
motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim tests both the
legal and factual sufficiency of a plaintiff's complaint.
Id. at 679. Though motions to dismiss are
“viewed with disfavor and [are] rarely granted, ”
the burden rests on the plaintiff to prove that her claim
should go forward. Collins v. Morgan Stanley Dean
Witter, 224 F.3d 496, 497 (5th Cir. 2000).
moving to dismiss, the United States argues that it has
sovereign immunity as to Curtis's tort claims. The United
States further contends that Curtis has failed to state
viable constitutional claims under either §1983 or