Yaguil v. Lee

Filing 12

ORDER signed by Judge John A. Mendez on 4/9/2014 ORDERING that the Court GRANTS without leave to amend Defendant's 8 Motion to Dismiss. CASE CLOSED. (Zignago, K.)

Download PDF
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 9 EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 10 11 MADONNA YAGUIL, 12 2:14-cv-00110-JAM-DAD Plaintiff, 13 14 No. v. ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT’S MOTION TO DISMISS GARY LEE, et al., 15 Defendant. 16 17 This matter is before the Court on Defendant Gary Lee’s 18 (“Defendant”) Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff’s Complaint (Doc. #8). 19 Plaintiff Madonna Yaguil (“Plaintiff”) opposes the motion (Doc. 20 #9) and Defendant replied (Doc. #10). 1 21 below, Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff’s Complaint is 22 GRANTED. For the reasons set forth 23 I. 24 FACTUAL ALLEGATIONS AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND Plaintiff originally filed this action on January 16, 2014, 25 26 27 28 1 This motion was determined to be suitable for decision without oral argument. E.D. Cal. L.R. 230(g). The hearing was scheduled for April 9, 2014 1 1 against Defendant. 2 Defendant has breached the I-864 Affidavit of Support. 3 In the complaint, Plaintiff alleges that Plaintiff is a Philippine citizen. She married Defendant, a 4 United States Citizen, on April 28, 2011. As part of Plaintiff’s 5 naturalization process, Defendant signed United States 6 Citizenship and Immigration Services Form I–864 (“I–864 7 Affidavit”). 8 signing the I–864 Affidavit, Defendant promised to provide any 9 support necessary to maintain Plaintiff at an income of no less See generally Aff., Compl. Ex. A, Doc. #2. By 10 than 125 percent of the Federal Poverty Guidelines. 11 form explains, the I–864 Affidavit “create[s] a contract between 12 [the sponsor] and the U.S. Government,” which can be enforced by 13 the sponsored immigrant. 14 ends if the sponsored immigrant (1) becomes a U.S. citizen, (2) 15 works 40 quarters as defined by the Social Security Act, (3) no 16 longer has lawful permanent resident status and permanently 17 leaves the United States, (4) receives a new grant of adjustment 18 of status based on a new Affidavit of Support, or (5) dies. 19 at 7. 20 your obligations under this Form I–864.” 21 Aff. at 6. Id. As the The sponsor’s obligation Id. The form states, “Note that divorce does not terminate Id. On November 7, 2013, a Judgment of Divorce was entered in 22 the Superior Court for the State of California, County of 23 Sacramento. 24 November 7, 2013, Defendant has not maintained Plaintiff at an 25 income that is at least 125 percent of Federal Poverty 26 Guidelines. Compl. ¶ 13. Plaintiff alleges that since at least Id. ¶ 14. 27 28 2 1 II. OPINION 2 A. Judicial Notice 3 Defendant requests judicial notice of four filings in Gary 4 T. Lee Jr. v. Madonna Yaguil Lee, 12FL06880, Superior Court of 5 California, County of Sacramento: Respondent’s Statement of 6 Issues, Family Law Stipulation and Order, Judgment for 7 Dissolution, and Notice of Entry of Judgment. 8 Defendant’s Request for Judicial Notice (“DRJN”), Doc. #8-1. 9 These documents are appropriate for judicial notice because Exs. A-D, 10 federal courts are allowed to take judicial notice of proceedings 11 in other courts. 12 v. Boerno, Inc., 971 F.2d 244, 248 (9th Cir. 1992) (citing St. 13 Louis Baptist Temple, Inc. v. FDIC, 605 F.2d 1169 (10th Cir. 14 1979)). 15 judicial notice. U.S. ex rel Robinson Rancheria Citizens Council Accordingly, the Court grants Defendant’s request for 16 B. Discussion 17 Defendant contends that res judicata applies to this action 18 because the parties have already litigated the issue of support 19 in state court during the divorce proceedings. 20 responds that the divorce judgment has no preclusive effect in 21 this instance because the state court did not decide the I-864 22 Affidavit support issue. 23 Plaintiff Res judicata, also known as claim preclusion, prohibits 24 lawsuits on “any claims that were raised or could have been 25 raised” in a prior action. 26 Inc., 244 F.3d 708, 713 (9th Cir. 2001) (quoting W. Radio Servs. 27 Co. v. Glickman, 123 F.3d 1189, 1192 (9th Cir. 1997)). 28 for a claim to be barred by res judicata, there must be “(1) an Owens v. Kaiser Found. Health Plan, 3 In order 1 identity of claims, (2) a final judgment on the merits, and 2 (3) identity or privity between parties.” 3 Id. Plaintiff only disputes the first requirement, identity of 4 claims, arguing that spousal support is different from I-864 5 Affidavit support. 6 Plaintiff in the parties’ marital dissolution action, Plaintiff 7 stated that Defendant should pay spousal support because “[s]ince 8 the separation (19[]months) my sponsor Mr. Gary Lee failed to 9 comply the I-864 [sic].” However, in the statement of issues filed by Respondent’s Statement of Issues, Ex. 10 A, Doc. #8-1, at 5. 11 Affidavit was part of the documents for the settlement 12 conference, but then argues that at the settlement conference, 13 “the issue was apparently dropped.” 14 her declaration, Plaintiff states that she did not waive or 15 intend to waive any right to support under the I-864 Affidavit. 16 Declaration of Madonna Yaguil, Doc. #9-3, ¶ 3. 17 no evidence that the issue was dropped. 18 spousal support is different from I-864 Affidavit support, 19 Plaintiff raised it as an issue in the marital dissolution action 20 under the heading for spousal support thereby removing any 21 distinction between the two. 22 court rejected the plaintiff’s argument that spousal support was 23 different from I-864 financial support because the exhibits 24 attached showed that the plaintiff presented evidence and argued 25 that the divorce court should award plaintiff support based on 26 the I–864 Affidavit. 27 130241, *2-3 (D. Or. Jan. 14, 2011). 28 Plaintiff acknowledges that the I-864 Opp. at 2. In addition, in However, there is Therefore, even if For example, in Nguyen v. Dean, the Nguyen v. Dean, CIV. 10-6138-AA, 2011 WL Because Plaintiff raised this issue in state court, this 4 1 case is different from the cases cited by Plaintiff: Erler v. 2 Erler, CV-12-2793-CRB, 2013 WL 6139721 (N.D. Cal. Nov. 21, 2013) 3 and Shah v. Shah, CIV. 12-4648 RBK/KMW, 2014 WL 185914 (D.N.J. 4 Jan. 14, 2014). 5 judgment did not void the I-864 Affidavit because the divorce 6 judgment was based on the premarital agreement and the Affidavit 7 did not go to the validity of the premarital agreement. 8 CV-12-2793-CRB, 2013 WL 6139721, at *3. 9 that the there was no evidence in the record that the plaintiff’s In Erler, the court held that the divorce Erler, In Shah, the court held 10 claim was litigated and decided by another court. 11 4648 RBK/KMW, 2014 WL 185914, at *3. 12 was no premarital agreement and Defendant has provided evidence 13 that this issue was previously litigated. 14 Shah, CIV. 12- Here, contrastingly, there Accordingly, because there is identity of claims, res 15 judicata applies. The Court does not grant Plaintiff leave to 16 amend because the claim cannot be saved by amendment. 17 Consequently, the Court need not address Defendant’s alternative 18 Rooker-Feldman argument. 19 20 21 22 23 24 III. ORDER For the reasons set forth above, the Court GRANTS WITHOUT LEAVE TO AMEND Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss. IT IS SO ORDERED. Dated: April 9, 2014 25 26 27 28 5

Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.

Why Is My Information Online?