Atlasware, LLC v. SSA, No. 16-05063, 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 87991 (W.D. Ark. July 7, 2016) (Brooks, J.)
Re: Request for records concerning individuals who are currently representing clients in ongoing social security disability claims
Disposition: Granting defendant's motion to dismiss; denying plaintiff's motion for leave to amend
- Litigation Considerations, Standing: The court holds that "irrespective of [a] passing mention of [plaintiff] in [plaintiff's attorney's] ex post facto email, it was [plaintiff's attorney], not [plaintiff], who made the 'request for information under the FOIA' and it was [plaintiff's attorney's], not [plaintiff's], request that 'the petitioned agency denie[d].'" The court finds that "[plaintiff's attorney's] 'name alone appears on the requests for records submitted to the' SSA, and '[h]e alone pursued the administrative appeal of [the SSA's] decision not to release the requested information, the exhaustion of which [is] a prerequisite to [the Court's] exercise of subject matter jurisdiction.'" "So, [plaintiff's attorney] alone 'has standing to pursue this case.'"
The court also notes that, "[i]n order to address this jurisdictional defect, [plaintiff] seeks leave to file an amended complaint which adds [plaintiff's attorney] as a plaintiff." The court rejects this attempt because "[plaintiff] seeks leave not to cure a defective allegation of jurisdiction, but instead to cure a defect in the jurisdictional facts themselves; namely, to create subject-matter jurisdiction where none otherwise exists by adding a plaintiff with standing."