United States District Court, D. Kansas
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
D. Crabtree United States District Judge
plaintiff Deanna Miller Parker filed a Complaint
against the Acting Commissioner of Social Security alleging
employment discrimination under Americans with Disabilities
Act of 1990, as amended, 42 U.S.C. §§ 12101, et
seq. This matter comes before the court on defendant's
Partial Motion to Dismiss under Rules 12(b)(1) and 12(b)(6)
of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (Doc. 12). Having
reviewed the parties' arguments, the court grants
defendant's Motion to Dismiss for the following reasons.
following facts come from plaintiff's “Employment
Discrimination Complaint” and the court views them in
the light most favorable to her. See Garling v. EPA,
849 F.3d 1289, 1292 (10th Cir. 2017) (explaining that, on a
Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(1) or 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, the
court must “accept as true all well-pleaded factual
allegations in the complaint and view them in the light most
favorable to the [plaintiff]” (citations and internal
quotation marks omitted)).
has several severe impairments including degenerative disc
disease of the lumbar spine, obesity, degenerative changes to
the right knee, carpal tunnel syndrome, depression, and
anxiety (R. 19). Plaintiff alleges that Von's Grocery
Store in Lompoc, California, terminated her employment
because of an on-the-job injury, but that she received
workers compensation for the injury (R. 51, Doc. 14).
Plaintiff cannot find new employment because she walks with a
cane (Doc. 14). Plaintiff thus applied for supplemental
security income (“SSI”) on June 14, 2013 (R. 259)
followed by a disability insurance benefit
(“DIB”) application on January 14, 2014 (R. 271).
The Social Security Administration denied plaintiff SSI and
DIB at the reconsideration level on May 15, 2014 (R. 187).
Plaintiff then requested a hearing before an Administrative
Law Judge (ALJ). The ALJ conducted this hearing on July 8,
2015 (R. 196). Afterward, the ALJ upheld the rule denying
plaintiff's SSI and DIB claims (R. 18-30). On January 17,
2017, the Appeals Council denied plaintiff's request for
review (R. 1).
timely filed a civil suit on March 17, 2017. Plaintiff's
Complaint includes two different complaints. She calls one of
them a “Civil Complaint.” Doc. 1 at 1-6. She
refers to the other as an “Employment Discrimination
Complaint.” Id. at 7-11. The Civil Complaint
seeks judicial review of the final decision by the
Commissioner of Social Security Administration
(“Commissioner”) denying plaintiff's
application for disability insurance benefits. The
“Employment Discrimination Complaint” asserts a
claim under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as
amended, 42 U.S.C. §§ 12101, et seq. against the
Acting Commissioner of Social Security
(“Commissioner”) in her official capacity.
Plaintiff alleges an employment discrimination claim based on
her denial of DIB.
alleges the following facts to support her employment
discrimination claim. First, plaintiff alleges that medical
doctors declared her permanently disabled. Second, she
contends that the Commissioner wrongly denied her DIB because
of her permanent disability. Docs. 1 at 4, 14 at 2. Last,
plaintiff alleges that defendant failed to reasonably
accommodate her because she was denied her disability
benefits. Id. But, plaintiff never asserts that the
United States government or the Social Security
Administration employed her at any time.
Motion to Dismiss only addresses the Employment
Discrimination Complaint. Defendant asserts that the court
should dismiss plaintiff's ADA claim for lack of subject
matter jurisdiction and for failure to state a
claim. Plaintiff filed a Response to
defendant's Motion to Dismiss. Doc. 13. That same day,
plaintiff also filed a document titled “Argumentation
and Authority.” Doc. 14. In that filing, plaintiff asks
the court to deny defendant's Motion to Dismiss and to
grant a hearing on the matter. The court denies the hearing
request. The parties have explained their positions
effectively in their briefs, and a hearing would not assist
the courts' effort to resolve the Motion to Dismiss. The
court thus denies plaintiff's Motion for Hearing titled
“Argumentation and Authority.” Doc. 14 at 2.
broadest sense, judicial power extends to controversies
“between Citizens of different States and between a
State, or Citizens thereof, and Foreign States, Citizens or
Subjects.” U.S. Const. art. III, § 2. A federal
statute narrows that scope, providing that federal courts
have original jurisdiction “of all civil actions
arising under the Constitution, laws, or treatises of the
United States.” 28 U.S.C. § 1331. To determine
whether a claim “arises under” federal law, the
court follows the “well-pleaded complaint rule.”
Caterpillar Inc. v. Williams, 482 U.S. 386, 392
(1987); see also Louisville & Nashville R.R. Co. v.
Mottley, 211 U.S. 149 (1908) (holding that a federal
issue must arise from the face of the well-pleaded
complaint). This rule provides that “federal
jurisdiction exists only when a federal question is presented
on the face of the plaintiff's properly pleaded
complaint.” Caterpillar Inc., 482 U.S. at 392.
“The rule makes the plaintiff the master of the claim;
he or she may avoid federal jurisdiction by exclusive
reliance on state law.” Id.
a motion to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction
under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(1) takes one of two forms: a facial
attack or a factual attack. Holt v. United States,
46 F.3d 1000, 1002 (10th Cir. 1995). “First, a facial
attack on the complaint's allegation as to subject matter
jurisdiction questions the sufficiency of the complaint. In
reviewing a facial attack on the complaint, a district court
must accept the allegations in the complaint as true.”
Id. (citing Ohio Nat'l Life Ins. Co. v.
United States, 922 F.2d 320, 325 (6th Cir. 1990)).
“a party may go beyond allegations contained in the
complaint and challenge the facts upon which subject matter
jurisdiction depends. When reviewing a factual attack on
subject matter jurisdiction a district court may not presume
the truthfulness of the complaint's factual
allegations.” Id. at 1003 (citing Ohio
Nat'l Life Ins. Co., 922 F.2d at 325). “A
court has wide discretion to allow affidavits, other
documents, and a limited evidentiary hearing to resolve
disputed jurisdictional facts under Rule 12(b)(1)”
without converting the motion to dismiss to a motion for
summary judgment. Id. (citations omitted); see
also Sizova v. Nat'l Inst. of Standards & Tech,
282 F.3d 1320, 1324-25 (10th Cir. 2002) (holding that a court
must convert a motion to dismiss to a motion for summary
judgment under Fed.R.Civ.P. 56 only when the jurisdictional
question is intertwined with the merits of case, but
concluding that exhaustion of Title VII administrative
remedies is a jurisdictional issue, not an aspect of the
substantive claim of discrimination, and thus does not invoke
a summary judgment procedure).
brings a claim against the Commissioner under the Americans
with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended, 42 U.S.C.
§§ 12101, et seq. Defendant's Partial Motion to
Dismiss (Doc. 12) argues that the court lacks subject matter
jurisdiction over ...