United States District Court, D. Nebraska
CATHERINE YANG WANG ANDERSON, Individually and on behalf of X.C.W. as the "Next Friend" of X.C.W., a minor, Plaintiff,
THE STATE OF NEBRASKA, et al., Defendants.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
M. Gerrard United States District Judge
matter is before the Court on the motion to dismiss (filing
214) of defendants Susan Boyles and the Remuda Ranch Center
for Anorexia and Bulimia and the motion to dismiss (filing
240) of Laureate Psychiatric Clinic and Nancy E. Parke. The
movants contend, in relevant part, that the Court lacks
personal jurisdiction over them because they have
insufficient contacts with the State of Nebraska. The Court
agrees, and will dismiss the claims asserted against the
plaintiff, Catherine Yang Wang Anderson (Wang Anderson) is
the mother of two girls, X.C.W. and Y.C.W. Filing 154 at 2.
Wang Anderson's husband, Bo Wang (Wang) is their father.
Filing 154 at 2. X.C.W. was a minor when this case was filed,
and Wang Anderson is suing both in her own capacity and as
"next friend" of X.C.W. Filing 154 at 2. Very
generally, Wang Anderson alleges that X.C.W. was unlawfully
made a ward of the State of Nebraska and held by the State
against her will. Filing 154 at 2.
October 2013, after Y.C.W. reported to school authorities
that she didn't feel safe going home, both sisters were
removed from Wang Anderson's home, and a juvenile
proceeding was initiated in the Separate Juvenile Court of
Douglas County, Nebraska. Filing 154 at 33, 36, 44. The
petition alleged- Wang Anderson says wrongly-that X.C.W. and
Y.C.W. had been subjected to inappropriate discipline, not
provided with safe housing, deprived of proper parental care
and support, and that Wang Anderson had been seen acting in a
manner consistent with untreated mental health needs. Filing
154 at 44-45. An ex parte juvenile court order placed the
girls in the temporary custody of DHHS, then after a hearing,
the juvenile court continued DHHS's temporary custody.
Filing 154 at 45-46.
girls were diagnosed with mental health disorders. Filing 154
at 52. X.C.W. was sent to a program for treating eating
disorders. Filing 154 at 54. She was partially
hospitalized-her time was split between the hospital and her
foster home. Filing 154 at 54-55. Her condition deteriorated
and more intensive treatment was recommended. Filing 154 at
68. She was placed at Laureate, in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Filing
154 at 73. Parke is a licensed professional counselor at
Laureate. Filing 241-4 at 1.
is not registered to do business in Nebraska, holds no
property in Nebraska, and has no employees in Nebraska.
Filing 241-1 at 1. Laureate admitted 144 patients in 2014, 3
of whom were from Nebraska (including X.C.W.). Filing 241-1
at 1-2. X.C.W.'s admission was initiated by Wang
Anderson, who contacted Laureate and said she was interested
in having X.C.W. placed there. Filing 241-2 at 1-2. X.C.W.
was brought to Laureate by Sara Smith of the Nebraska
Families Collaborative and an employee of Omaha's
Children's Hospital. Filing 241-2. X.C.W.'s treatment
was paid for through Wang's insurance. Filing 241-3 at 1.
While X.C.W. was at Laureate, she had contact with her
Nebraska family, including telephone calls, visits, and
family therapy. Filing 324-1 at 2. And staff from Laureate-
including Parke-communicated with people in Nebraska involved
in X.C.W.'s case, including family, health care
providers, and social workers. See filing 324-2 at
4-5, 61, 66-72.
X.C.W. was discharged from Laureate and put into a new foster
placement, and she continued treatment for her eating
disorder at Children's Hospital in Omaha. Filing 154 at
83-84, 86. But X.C.W.'s anorexia relapsed, and she was
again hospitalized. Filing 154 at 91-92. In November 2014,
she was placed at Remuda Ranch, a treatment facility in
Arizona. Filing 154 at 94. Boyles is a licensed clinical
social worker who was, at the time, employed by Remuda Ranch.
Filing 215 at 5.
was referred to Remuda Ranch by the director of the
Children's Hospital eating disorders program. Filing 215
at 8; see filing 154 at 14. Payment arrangements for
X.C.W.'s treatment were made by the Nebraska Families
Collaborative, and payment was provided by Wang's
insurance. Filing 215 at 8-9. No one from Remuda Ranch,
including Boyles, visited Nebraska. Filing 215 at 5, 8. But
Remuda Ranch staff did participate by telephone in meetings
held in Nebraska related to the juvenile court proceedings,
and X.C.W. had contact with her Nebraska family though
telephone calls, visits, and family therapy. Filing 307 at
4-5. Remuda Ranch staff also communicated with people at the
Nebraska Families Cooperative, X.C.W.'s guardian ad
litem, and X.C.W.'s Nebraska health care providers.
Filing 307 at 5-6.
discharge from Remuda Ranch, X.C.W. was returned to her
previous foster placement. Filing 154 at 102. She moved to
another foster home, then to an "independent living
arrangement, " then to a dormitory at the University of
Nebraska-Lincoln. Filing 154 at 121. But in December 2016,
she was returned to her foster home in Blair. Filing 154 at
123. After that, she was sent to another foster placement,
where she remained when this complaint was filed. Filing 154
Anderson asserts several federal and state-law claims against
sixty-nine different defendants, on behalf of herself and
X.C.W. Filing 154 at 1-2. She claims a number of federal
constitutional violations, including violation of their
rights to due process and familial association, unlawful
seizure, a deliberately indifferent failure to protect,
retaliation for constitutionally protected activity,
violation of Wang Anderson's First Amendment rights, and
discrimination against Wang and Wang Anderson because of
their Chinese origin. Filing 154 at 124-30, 137-47. She also
claims X.C.W. wasn't provided with accommodations
required by § 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29
U.S.C. § 794. Filing 154 at 147-48. And, she says, she
and X.C.W. were denied statutory rights arising under 42
U.S.C. §§ 621 et seq. & 670 et
seq. Filing 154 at 150-57. Finally, she asserts
state-law claims including negligence, negligent and
intentional infliction of emotional distress, and pursuant to
Neb. Rev. Stat. § 20-148. Filing 154 at 131-37, 148-50.
jurisdiction is challenged on a pretrial motion to dismiss,
the plaintiff need only make a prima facie showing of
jurisdiction. Pangaea, Inc. v.
Flying Burrito LLC, 647 F.3d 741, 745 (8th Cir.
2011); Miller v. Nippon Carbon Co., 528
F.3d 1087, 1090 (8th Cir. 2008). The evidence is viewed in
the light most favorable to the plaintiff.
Viasystems, Inc. v. EBM-Papst
St. Georgen GmbH & Co., 646 F.3d 589, 592
(8th Cir. 2011). Nonetheless, if the defendant controverts or
denies jurisdiction, the plaintiff still carries the burden
of proof. See id.; Wells Dairy,
Inc. v. Food Movers Int'l,
Inc., 607 F.3d 515, 518 (8th Cir. 2010);
Miller, 528 F.3d at 1090. The plaintiff's prima
facie showing must be tested, not ...