United States District Court, N.D. Indiana
OPINION AND ORDER
THERESA L. SPRINGMANN UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FORT WAYNE
Moore, a Plaintiff proceeding pro se, filed a Civil Complaint
[ECF No. 1] against the Defendant, William Hambrick. He also
filed a Motion to Proceed in Forma Pauperis [ECF No. 2]. For
the reasons set forth below, the Plaintiff's Complaint is
dismissed without prejudice.
the existence of subject-matter jurisdiction is the
court's first duty in every lawsuit.” McCready
v. White, 417 F.3d 700, 702 (7th Cir. 2005); see
also Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(h)(3) (“If the court
determines at any time that it lacks subject-matter
jurisdiction, the court must dismiss the action.”).
Unlike state courts, federal courts are courts of limited
jurisdiction. Evers v. Astrue, 536 F.3d 651, 657
(7th Cir. 2008); Morrison v. YTB Int'l, Inc.,
649 F.3d 533, 536 (7th Cir. 2011) (“A federal court is
the wrong forum when there is no case or controversy, or when
Congress has not authorized it to resolve a particular kind
of dispute.”). Congress has given federal courts power
to hear (1) cases arising under the Constitution or federal
law, 28 U.S.C. § 1331, or (2) cases involving state law
claims where there is complete diversity of citizenship
between the parties and more than $75, 000 in controversy, 28
U.S.C. § 1332.
no source of federal jurisdiction is apparent from the
Complaint. The Plaintiff does not make any claim that rests
on federal law, so 28 U.S.C. § 1331 does not supply the
jurisdiction. Although the suit is between citizens of
different states, as required by § 1332(a), the amount
in controversy required by the statute is not satisfied.
According to the Complaint, the Plaintiff wants the Defendant
to “pay for the repairs done on his truck and payment
for money lost and for fuel and for money made that was not
divided between us two properly.” (Compl. 3.) In the
three-page narrative attached to his Complaint, these amounts
are set forth more particularly. The amounts do not approach
the $75, 000 threshold required for federal subject matter
jurisdiction: the truck repairs were $724; the lost income
was $8, 000; and the amount that was not properly split with
the Plaintiff was about $17, 000.
the Plaintiff's Complaint does not invoke any basis for
federal subject matter jurisdiction, this Court has no
authority to hear it. The Plaintiff's recourse, if any,
is in state court.
foregoing reasons, the Court DISMISSES the Complaint WITHOUT
PREJUDICE pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
12(h)(3). The Motion to Proceed ...