Merriweather v. International Insurance Company et al
ORDER DISMISSING CASE without prejudice for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction. The motion to appoint counsel is denied as moot. Signed by Judge D. P. Marshall Jr. on 1/17/12. (kpr)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF ARKANSAS
COMPANY; SALLY BURGESS FARRIS,
afkIa Sally Burgess Merriweather; and
Mavis Merriweather alleges she was wronged when a state-court
probate judge "wrongfully determined that [Merriweather] had not proved
she was the sole surviving spouse of the decedent and that she was not
entitled to receive proceeds of the annuity of William Merriweather."
Document No.6, at 2. Merriweather asks this Court to "find her to be the
lawfully, sole surviving spouse of Decedent, William Merriweathe:r[.]"
The Rooker-Feldman doctrine bars suits in district court "brought by
state-court losers complaining of injuries caused by state-court judgments
rendered before the district court proceedings commenced and inviting
district court review and rejection of those judgments." Exxon Mobil Corp. v.
Saudi Basic Industries Corp., 544 U.S. 280, 284 (2005). This is exactly what
Merriweather asks the Court to do. The Court therefore lacks subject-matter
jurisdiction over this claim.
Further, to the extent her fraud claim is something beyond a collateral
attack on the Missouri court's judgment about her spousal rights and the
annuity, Merriweather has not established subject-matter jurisdiction. Her
suit presents no federal questions; and her amended complaint provides no
basis for diversity jurisdiction, 28 U.S.C. § 1332, because there is no
information about the amount in controversy and insufficient information
about the insurance company's citizenship to establish complete diversity.
Merriweather's complaint is dismissed without prejudice for lack of
Motion to appoint counsel, Document No.7,
denied as moot.
D.P. Marshall Jr.
United States District Judge
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