JIMENEZ et al v. COLOMBIAN STATE, PRESIDENCY OF THE REPUBLIC OF COLUMBIA, HIGH COMMUSSION FOR PEACE OFFICE et al
MEMORANDUM OPINION re: 1 Plaintiff's Complaint. Please see the attached Memorandum Opinion for additional details. Signed by Judge Amit P. Mehta on 11/30/2017. (lcapm1)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
COLUMBIAN STATE, PRESIDENCY
OF THE REPUBLIC OF COLUMBIA,
HIGH COMMISSION FOR PEACE
OFFICE, et al.,
JIMENEZ, et al.,
Case No. 17-cv-02506 (APM)
Plaintiffs Gundisalvo Rodriguez Jimenez, Edison Washington Prado Alava, and Leonardo
Adrian Vera Calderón filed this action against the “Columbian State, Presidency of the Republic
of Columbia, High Commission for Peace Office and Rodrigo Rivera Salazar.” Compl., ECF No.
1. Plaintiffs appear to be citizens of Ecuador, and all Defendants appear to be either a foreign
state, i.e., Columbia; an agency or instrumentality of a foreign state; or citizens of Columbia. Id.
at 2. According to the Complaint, Plaintiffs accuse the government of Columbia of denying “the
fundamental human rights” of Plaintiffs Prado Alava and Vera Calderón in violation of a “peace
deal” between the Columbia government and “the subversive group FARC-EP.” Id. Plaintiffs ask
the court to “study and evaluate this case.” Id.
Federal courts in the United States are courts of limited jurisdiction and have the power to
hear a case only if the court has subject-matter jurisdiction to do so. See Arbaugh v. Y&H Corp.,
546 U.S. 500, 513 (2006). Here, the court knows of no ground on which it can enforce the peace
treaty in question.
Indeed, at least with respect to foreign states or their agents and
instrumentalities, subject-matter jurisdiction only can arise under the Foreign Sovereign
Immunities Act, 28 U.S.C. 1602 et seq. Argentine Republic v. Amerada Hess Shipping Corp., 488
U.S. 428, 434 (2014). Plaintiffs have cited no applicable exception under the FSIA, see 28 U.S.C.
§§ 1605(a), 1605A, to the general presumption in favor of immunity of a foreign sovereign, and
the court can discern none from their pleading.
Plaintiffs’ Complaint therefore is “patently
insubstantial, presenting no federal question suitable for decision.” Tooley v. Napolitano, 586 F.3d
1006, 1009 (D.C. Cir. 2009) (internal quotation marks omitted). Accordingly, the court sua sponte
dismisses this matter for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. See Evans v. Suter, No. 09-5242, 2010
WL 1632902, at *1 (D.C. Cir. 2010) (per curiam) (“[A] district court may dismiss a complaint sua
sponte prior to service on the defendants pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(h)(3) when, as here, it is
evident that the court lacks subject-matter jurisdiction.”).
An Order consistent with this Memorandum Opinion is issued separately.
Dated: November 30, 2017
Amit P. Mehta
United States District Judge
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