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Yates v. Yates

United States District Court, D. Delaware

March 23, 2018

JACKIE F. YATES, Plaintiff,
v.
DAVID T. YATES, Defendant.

          Jackie F. Yates, Dover, Delaware, Pro Se Plaintiff.

          David T. Yates, Fairless Hills, Pennsylvania, Pro Se Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          STARK, U.S. District Judge.

         I. INTRODUCTION

         Plaintiff Jackie F. Yates ("Plaintiff') filed this action on April 25, 2014. She proceeds pro se and was granted in forma pauperis status. She filed this complaint against her former spouse, David Y. Yates ("Defendant"), to enforce a Section 213A affidavit of support under the Immigration and Nationality Act ("the Act"), 8 U.S.C. § 1182(a)(4)(A).[1] The Court has jurisdiction by reason of a federal question pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1331.

         Presently before the Court are Plaintiffs request for default, motion to amend, and motion for issuance of a subpoena duces tecum (D.I. 29, 31, 37) and Defendant's motion to dismiss and motion for summary judgment (D.I. 30, 38). Having reviewed the case, the Court determines that dismissal is appropriate due to res judicata or claim preclusion.

         II. BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff filed this lawsuit on April 25, 2014. Plaintiff seeks enforcement of an affidavit of support and compensatory damages to support herself and her son, to provide housing, to pay her school loans and for her education, and to provide medical assistance.

         The Court takes judicial notice that on April 21, 2006, Plaintiff commenced a civil action in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania against Defendant, Yates v. Yates, Civ. No. 06-1691 -RBS (E.D. Pa. Apr. 21, 2006) ("EDPA Action"). Like the instant case, the action was brought pursuant to the Immigration and Nationality Act and sought to enforce an affidavit of support under § 213A of the Act that Plaintiff, an alien, alleged Defendant, as her sponsor, executed on August 20, 1999. (Id. at D.I. 1) In the affidavit, the sponsor agrees to provide support to maintain the sponsored alien at an annual income that is not less than 125 percent of the federal poverty line during the period in which the affidavit is enforceable. (Compare D.I. 2 with Civ. No. 06-1691-RBS at D.I. 1) On April 7, 2007, the EDPA Action was dismissed with prejudice for Plaintiffs failure to comply with court orders. (See Civ. No. 06-1691-RBS at D.I. 23)

         Defendant, who proceeds pro se, advised the Court of the EDPA Action in both his answer to the complaint and his motion to dismiss. (See D.I. 27 at 1, 3; D.I. 30 at 1) Defendant moves to dismiss on the grounds of improper service and asserts the affirmative defense of res judicata. (D.I. 30) He moves for summary judgment on the grounds that: (1) Plaintiffs claims are barred by res judicata and collateral estoppel; (2) Plaintiff cannot produce the alleged original 1-894 Form upon which she relies and, therefore, cannot state a claim for breach of contract; (3) Plaintiff cannot demonstrate that she was in the United States legally at the time the alleged 1-864 form was signed and, therefore, the form is void ab initio; and (4) no consideration exists for the alleged contract obligation. (D.I. 38) Plaintiff seeks an entry of default, moves to amend, and seeks issuance of a subpoena duces tecum. (D.I. 29, 31, 37)

         III. LEGAL STANDARDS

         A. Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(4) and 12(b)(5)

         Rule 12(b)(4) permits a motion to dismiss for "insufficiency of process." Rule 12(b)(5) permits a motion to dismiss for "insufficiency of sendee of process." "[D]istrict courts possess broad discretion to either dismiss the plaintiffs complaint for failure to effect service or to simply quash service of process. However, dismissal of a complaint is inappropriate when there exists a reasonable prospect that service may yet be obtained. In such instances, the district court should, at most, quash service, leaving the plaintiffs free to effect proper sendee." Umbenhauer v. Woog, 969 F.2d 25, 30 (3d Cir. 1992) (finding district court abused its discretion in dismissing complaint for improper sendee where "the plaintiffs were not time-barred from serving process, and no other basis for dismissal of the plaintiffs' complaint appearjed] in the record").

         B. ...


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