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Seidy Maria Tiburcio v. United States of America

March 28, 2011

SEIDY MARIA TIBURCIO, PLAINTIFF,
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Tauro, J.

MEMORANDUM

I. Introduction

This action stems out of Plaintiff Seidy Maria Tiburcio's claim against the Government for damages allegedly inflicted upon her by a family counselor at a federally supported health center. Presently at issue are the Government's Motion to Dismiss [#3] and Motion to Remove the Superior Court's Default Judgment [#9]. For the following reasons, both Motions are ALLOWED.

II. Background

A. Factual Background*fn1 On December 11, 2008, Magda Trujillo, Plaintiff's family counselor, "abused the trust" that Plaintiff had placed in her by giving Plaintiff a "toxical liquid to drink" that hurt Plaintiff.*fn2

Plaintiff accuses Trujillo of medical malpractice, violation of patient rights, personal humiliation, false accusations, abuse of patient confidence, "of playing with [Plaintiff's] health and intelligence," lack of loyalty to professional ethics, lack of feelings toward her peers, and lack of loyalty to the United States.*fn3 Plaintiff wants Trujillo arrested and wants her to "pay[] for all the physical damage caused" to Plaintiff.*fn4 Plaintiff also seeks to be "compensated for damages."*fn5

B. Procedural Background

Plaintiff originally filed this case in Suffolk County Superior Court against Trujillo.*fn6 On September 24, 2010, the Superior Court issued a Default Order against Trujillo.*fn7

On September 29, 2010, the Government removed this action to this court on the ground that federal district courts have original jurisdiction over suits in which the United States or an agency of the United States is sued in its official capacity.*fn8 Also on September 29, 2010, the Government was substituted for Trujillo as Defendant.*fn9

III. Discussion

A. The Motion to Remove the Superior Court's Default Judgment A court has jurisdiction over the United States only if there is a clear waiver of sovereign immunity and the claim falls within the terms of that waiver.*fn10 It is a plaintiff's burden to show that sovereign immunity exists.*fn11 In a case in which the government has not waived sovereign immunity, the court does not have jurisdiction, and any decision issued by that court is void.*fn12

Pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60(b)(4), void judgments are subject to relief of judgment.*fn13 Moreover, in the case of default judgments, a court may "set aside an entry of default for good cause, and it may set aside a default judgment under Rule 60(b)."*fn14

Here, Plaintiff has not shown that there has been a valid waiver of sovereign immunity by Id. ΒΆ 1. By operation of the Act, FHSCAA facilities and their employees are covered ...


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