United States District Court, N.D. Indiana, Fort Wayne Division
OPINION AND ORDER
William C. Lee United States District Judge
Carl Lee Ledford (“Ledford”), proceeding pro
se, is a frequent filer with five cases currently
pending in the Northern District of Indiana. In his most
recent Complaint, he asserts that the Defendants all caused
him injury by unlawfully terminating his lease causing him to
lose his apartment at East Central Towers in July, 2018.
Presently before the Court is Defendant the United States
Department of Housing and Urban Development's
(“HUD's”) Motion to Dismiss the Complaint as
to Ledford's claims against it. For the following
reasons, the Motion will be GRANTED.
axiomatic that federal courts are courts of limited
jurisdiction. See, e.g., Kokkonen v. Guardian Life Ins.
Co. of America, 511 U.S. 375, 377, 114 S.Ct. 1673, 128
L.Ed.2d 391 (1994). A party may therefore seek dismissal of a
complaint for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. FED. R.
CIV. P. 12(b)(1). The burden of proving that a cause of
action is within the court's subject matter jurisdiction
rests on the party asserting jurisdiction. Kokkonen,
511 U.S. at 377. A court is free to weigh the evidence to
determine whether jurisdiction has been established.
Id. at 946 (citation omitted). In reviewing a motion
to dismiss, the court accepts as true all facts alleged in
the complaint and draws all reasonable inferences in favor of
the Petitioner. G & S Holdings LLC v. Cont'l Cas.
Co., 697 F.3d 534, 539 (7th Cir.2012).
United States, which includes federal agencies, “may
not be sued without its consent” and “the consent
is a prerequisite for jurisdiction.” United States
v. Mitchell, 463 U.S. 206, 212 (1983); F.D.I.C. v.
Meyer, 510 U.S. 471, 475 (1994). Government waivers of
immunity must be expressed clearly in a statute, “are
not implied, and are construed narrowly against the
plaintiff.” Gessert v. United States, 703 F.3d
1028, 1033 (7th Cir. 2013) (citing Soriano v. United
States, 352 U.S. 270, 276 (1957)). To maintain a claim
against the United States in federal court, a plaintiff must
(1) identify a federal statute that “confers subject
matter jurisdiction on the district court” and (2)
identify a statute that “waives sovereign immunity of
the United States to the cause of action.” Macklin
v. United States, 300 F.3d 814, 819 (7th Cir. 2002).
“Failure to satisfy either requirement mandates the
dismissal of the plaintiff's claim.” Id.
the only statute that may be applicable to establish subject
matter jurisdiction over HUD is the Federal Tort Claims Act
(“FTCA”), 28 U.S.C. §§ 1346, 2671-2680.
However, that Act provides jurisdiction for suits against the
United States regarding torts committed by federal officials,
not state officials. However, Ledford has not sued or made
any allegations against any federal officials of HUD.
Instead, he has sued employees of a private independent
contractor that managed the housing development from which he
was evicted. Thus, to the extent Plaintiff seeks to raise a
claim against HUD under the FTCA, those claims are DISMISSED.
to the extent Ledford's Complaint can be read to assert a
contract claim against HUD for $500, 000, that litigation
cannot proceed here. The Tucker Act provides that both
district courts and the Court of Federal Claims have original
jurisdiction for civil actions, “not exceeding $10, 000
in amount, founded ... upon any express or implied contract
with the United States ... in cases not sounding in
tort.” 28 U.S.C. § 1346(a)(2). Where the amount in
controversy exceeds the $10, 000 threshold, however,
jurisdiction lies only with the Court of Federal Claims.
United States v. Bormes, 568 U.S. 6, 10 n.2 (2012);
see 28 U.S.C. §§ 1346(a)(2), 1491(a)(1).
Here, Ledford is seeking $500, 000 in damages which places
him beyond the jurisdictional threshold. Accordingly, the
Motion to Dismiss is GRANTED as to Ledford's contract
claim against HUD.
on the foregoing, HUD's motion to dismiss is GRANTED as
this court lacks subject matter jurisdiction as to
Ledford's claims against HUD.
 HUD also moves, alternatively, to
dismiss the Complaint against it for failure to state a claim
under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6) and for improper service of
process, Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(5). Because the threshold issue
of subject matter jurisdiction, is dispositive, this Court
cannot weigh in on the merits of HUD's 12(b)(6) ...