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HAYNES v. BASS (2020)

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United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit.

Victoria L. HAYNES, also known as Victoria L. Bass Plaintiff - Appellant v. Benton N. BASS Defendant - Appellee

No. 20-1166

Decided: November 06, 2020

Before BENTON, WOLLMAN, and SHEPHERD, Circuit Judges. Victoria L. Haynes, Pro Se Bryan J. Reis, Farrar Law Firm, Hot Springs, AR, for Defendant-Appellee


Victoria Haynes appeals following the district court's 1 adverse grant of summary judgment in her diversity action against her ex-husband, Benton Bass. Upon de novo review, see Barse v. United States, 957 F.3d 883, 885 (8th Cir. 2020) (standard of review), we agree with the district court that it lacked subject matter jurisdiction, as the fraud claim was inextricably intertwined with the parties’ divorce action. See Kahn v. Kahn, 21 F.3d 859, 861-62 (8th Cir. 1994) (under domestic relations exception, federal court lacked subject matter jurisdiction to hear tort claims inextricably intertwined with property settlement incident to divorce proceeding). We find no error in the denial of Haynes's motion for leave to amend the complaint, as the court lacked jurisdiction over her proposed amended complaint for the same reasons. See Reuter v. Jax Ltd., Inc., 711 F.3d 918, 921 (8th Cir. 2013) (denial of leave to amend is reviewed for abuse of discretion and question of futility is reviewed de novo). However, we modify the dismissal of the action to be without prejudice. See Cty. of Mille Lacs v. Benjamin, 361 F.3d 460, 464-65 (8th Cir. 2004). We also deny Haynes's appellate motion to disqualify Bass's counsel. See Awnings v. Fullerton, 912 F.3d 1089, 1096 (8th Cir. 2019).

The judgment is affirmed as modified. See 8th Cir. R. 47B.


1.   The Honorable Robert T. Dawson, United States District Judge for the Western District of Arkansas, now retired.


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