Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Zogheib v. Turino

United States District Court, D. Nevada

April 10, 2017

Jihad Anthony Zogheib, Plaintiff
v.
Jeffrey Turino, et al., Defendants

          ORDER GRANTING APPLICATION TO PROCEED IN FORMA PAUPERIS, DENYING MOTIONS FOR A PROTECTIVE ORDER, AND ORDERING PLAINTIFF TO SHOW CAUSE WHY THIS CASE SHOULD NOT BE DISMISSED FOR LACK OF SUBJECT-MATTER JURISDICTION [ECF NOS. 2, 4, 5]

          Jennifer A. Dorsey United States District Judge

         Federal pretrial detainee Jihad Anthony Zogheib has filed a complaint individually and on behalf of his minor children, along with an application to proceed in forma pauperis and two sealed motions for a “protective order.”[1] Because Zogheib fails to show serious questions going to the merits of any claim that would entitle him to a protective order or a likelihood of irreparable harm in the absence of this relief, I deny his motions for a protective order. Additionally, Zogheib's complaint raises serious jurisdictional concerns, so I order him to show cause by May 12, 2017, why his claims should not be dismised for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction.

         Background[2]

         Zogheib, who claims he is a citizen of Lebanon, has been in federal pretrial detention in this district since February 2016.[3] It appears that Zogheib met defendant Jeffrey Turino when the two were in federal pretrial detention on unrelated criminal charges. Turino was released pending sentencing in August 2016.[4] Zogheib alleges that Turino became involved with Zogheib's wife Donna, with whom Zogheib shares two teenaged children, shortly after his release.[5] According to Zogheib, Turino has fed Donna's alcohol addiction and “manipulated her to abandon and completely desert” the couple's children.[6] Stella Jernigan is the children's temporary guardian.[7]

         Zogheib alleges that since being released, Turino has stolen from Zogheib's home various personal and valuable items.[8] And while Zogheib and Turino were incarcerated at the same facility, Turino stole and made copies of Zogheib's criminal discovery documents.[9] Zogheib claims that Turino has victimized Donna and the children by “taking advantage of” and “seduc[ing] and lur[ing]” Donna to leave Las Vegas with him and relocate to Pahrump, Nevada, where he “subjugated” her on the property of his employer, defendant Steve Saum.[10] As a result, Donna has abandoned the kids.[11]

         Zogheib claims that Turino was stalking and harassing the children for the sole purpose of silencing Zogheib before Turino's March 27, 2017, sentencing.[12] And he alleges that Turino has prevented the children from visiting and rescuing Donna, who has reached out to Zogheib for help.[13]According to Zogheib, Turino “connived” Donna to lie under oath at a family-court TPO hearing, which Turino filed on Donna's behalf, and Turino forced her to “take the stand against her husband.”[14] The children's school, Child Protective Services, and the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department are investigating the family's situation, and the school has prohibited Turino from visiting the children there.[15] Zogheib theorizes that Saum has assisted Turino in imprisoning Donna and allows Turino to draw fraudulent payroll checks.[16]

         Zogheib claims that defendants' conduct has “resulted in a substantial interference with the enjoyment of plaintiffs' daily life, marriage, and parental duties, greatly depreciated and permanently scarred the relationship between mother and daughter, mother son, and wife and husband.”[17]Zogheib seeks $500, 000 in damages for himself and for each child, and he moves for preliminary and permanent injunctive relief enjoining Turino and Saum from interacting with the children and from “interfering and blockading the interaction between the children and their mother. . . .”[18]

         Discussion

         A. Zogheib fails to show serious questions going to the merits of his claims or a likelihood of irreparable harm.

         The legal standard for issuing a temporary restraining order and the legal standard for preliminary injunctive relief are “substantially identical.”[19] In Winter v. Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc., the Supreme Court clarified that the standards “require[ ] a party to demonstrate ‘that he is likely to succeed on the merits, that he is likely to suffer irreparable harm in the absence of preliminary relief, that the balance of equities tips in his favor, and that [a temporary restraining order] is in the public interest.'”[20] “[I]f a plaintiff can only show that there are ‘serious questions going to the merits'-a lesser showing than likelihood of success on the merits-then a preliminary injunction may still issue if the ‘balance of hardships tips sharply in the plaintiff's favor, ' and the other two Winter factors are satisfied.”[21]

         Zogheib does not explicitly plead any claims, but the bulk of his allegations may be liberally construed as claims for alienation of affection based on defendant Turino's “subjugation” of Donna. Nevada long ago abolished claims for alienation of affection by statute, so that theory cannot be the foundation for relief.[22] Zogheib also appears to be attempting to assert a claim for false imprisonment on Donna's behalf, which he lacks standing to do. The only potentially viable claim I can glean from the complaint is one claim for conversion of property based on Turino's alleged theft and pawning of Zogheib's personal items.

         But even if Zogheib could show a likelihood of success on or serious questions going to the merits of his conversion claim, this claim would not entitle him to an injunction enjoining defendants from having contact with Zogheib's children because there is no connection between the conversion claim and the type of injunctive relief sought.[23] Nor has Zogheib established a likelihood of any specific, irreparable harm that would occur in the absence of this relief. Zogheib's main concern appears to be that defendant Turino would engage in additional harmful acts in anticipation of Turino's March 27, 2017, sentencing, which has now passed.[24] Because Zogheib fails to plead a plausible claim entitling him to the injunctive relief he seeks or show that irreparable harm is likely to result in its absence, I deny the motions for protective order.[25]

         B. Zogheib must show cause why this case should not be dismissed for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction.

         Zogheib alleges that he is a citizen of Lebanon and invokes this court's diversity jurisdiction under § 1332(a)(1), [26] which gives federal district courts original jurisdiction over all civil actions between citizens of different states in which the amount in controversy exceeds $75, 000.[27]

         Though Zogheib does not explicitly invoke alienage jurisdiction, § 1332(a)(2) also grants federal district courts original jurisdiction over cases between “citizens of a State and citizens or subjects of a foreign state, ” except over actions “between citizens of a State and citizens or subjects of a foreign state who are lawfully admitted for permanent residence in the United States and are domiciled in the same state.”[28]

         I lack jurisdiction over the claims brought on the children's behalf because Zogheib alleges that his children and defendants are all Nevada citizens.[29] Additionally, I question whether I have jurisdiction over Zogheib's individual claims under ยง 1332(a)(2). Though Zogheib alleges that he is a citizen of Lebanon, it appears that he may also be a lawful ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.