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McCavey v. Hines

United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division

August 26, 2019

William M. McCavey, Plaintiff,
v.
Geralda B. Hines, et al., Defendants.

          ORDER: (1) GRANTING DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO DISMISS PLAINTIFF'S FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT [ECF No. 15]; (2) DENYING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR LEAVE TO FILE SECOND AMENDED COMPLAINT [ECF No. 21]; AND (3) DISMISSING THE CASE

          VICTORIA A. ROBERTS UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         I. Introduction

         Defendants move to dismiss the first amended complaint. Plaintiff William McCavey (“McCavey”) seeks leave from the Court to file a second amended complaint. While the Court has authority to allow this amendment under Fed.R.Civ.P. 15(a)(2), McCavey has not demonstrated that the Court has personal jurisdiction over Defendants, despite several attempts to establish jurisdiction.

         Accordingly, the Court denies his request, grants Defendants' motion to dismiss, and dismisses the case.

         II. Background

         McCavey filed his first complaint on January 11, 2019, and the first amended complaint on March 11, 2019. The facts underlying the case center around a Georgia child support arrearage. McCavey claims that after receiving notice of the arrearage, he submitted an objection form to the Georgia Department of Human Services (“DHS”). Allegedly, DHS received his objection on July 17, 2018. However, McCavey received notice on July 24, 2018 that DHS would certify the arrearage with the Georgia State Department.

         Oakland County, Michigan received and enforced the arrearage and entered a garnishment order against McCavey. Also, the United States Secretary of State suspended his passport privileges. McCavey claims that the loss of his passport resulted in loss of pay and employment.

         Initially, McCavey filed his complaint only against DHS. DHS filed a motion to dismiss on March 3, 2019 for lack of personal jurisdiction. McCavey filed a response and a first amended complaint on March 11, 2019. The amended complaint added the Commissioner of Georgia DHS Robyn Crittendon, who replaced Interim Commissioner Geralda B. Hines, also named in the amended complaint. McCavey also added a 42 U.S.C.A. §1983 claim. Under this claim, McCavey alleges he was denied a hearing in Georgia about the arrearage. McCavey alleges that defendants Hines and Crittendon “directed policies or unofficial policies to exclude hearings that are required under federal law, ” to conduct interstate child support enforcement.

         On March 19, 2019, Defendants filed a motion to dismiss the first amended complaint. McCavey responded to the motion, filed a second amended complaint, and filed a motion for leave to amend the complaint a second time.

         III. Discussion

         Defendants argue that the Court lacks personal jurisdiction because they did not have minimal contacts with Michigan and exercising jurisdiction over them would violate due process.

         Federal courts require both personal jurisdiction over the parties and subject matter jurisdiction. If either is lacking, the case cannot proceed in federal court.

         General practice among courts is to leniently review pro se litigants' claims. However, leniency is not an excuse to ignore the law. A litigant has an opportunity to amend his complaint once as a matter of course. Fed R. Civ. P. 15(a)(1). Subsequent amendments require consent from the opposing party or leave of the court. Fed.R.Civ.P. 15(a)(2). However, courts can deny leave to amend a complaint for repeated failures to cure deficiencies in prior amendments or futility of the amendment. Foman v. Davis, 371 U.S. 178, 182 (1962).

         Neither McCavey's first attempt at amending his complaint, nor his second attempt allege facts that establish the ...


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