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.

Love v. Williford

September 26, 2007

LOUANA JOHNSON LOVE PLAINTIFF
v.
DOUGLAS W. WILLIFORD DEFENDANTS



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Wm. R. Wilson, Jr. United States District Judge

ORDER

Pending is Defendant's Motion to Dismiss (Doc. No. 4). Because this court lacks federal subject matter jurisdiction, this case is DISMISSED without prejudice.

Discussion

Federal courts are courts of limited jurisdiction and have the power to hear only those cases that they have been authorized to hear by Congress or by the Constitution.*fn1 Congress created two bases of original jurisdiction in the Federal courts: (1) federal question jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1331 and (2) diversity jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1332.*fn2 Since Plaintiff has not specifically asserted jurisdiction under either of these approaches, I will address her claims under both. It is to be presumed that causes of action lie outside this limited jurisdiction, and the burden of establishing the contrary rests upon the party asserting jurisdiction.*fn3

A District Court lacking subject matter jurisdiction must dismiss the case at any stage of the proceedings in which it becomes apparent that jurisdiction is lacking.*fn4 A court can dismiss an action sua sponte for lack of federal subject matter jurisdiction even where the defendant makes no responsive pleadings and does not move to dismiss for want of subject matter jurisdiction.*fn5

A. Diversity Jurisdiction

Federal courts have original jurisdiction in cases when diversity of citizenship exists between the parties and "the matter in controversy exceeds the sum or value of $75,000, exclusive of interest and costs."*fn6 "The burden of proof . . . is upon the party asserting jurisdiction."*fn7

Plaintiff's Complaint does not state the grounds for which this court has jurisdiction. In order to attain diversity jurisdiction, not only must a plaintiff have a cause of action amounting to at least $75,000, but there must be complete diversity, "so that no defendant is a citizen of the same state as any plaintiff."*fn8 Plaintiff identifies herself as a resident of Arkansas. In her complaint, Plaintiff names Douglas W. Willford, an Arkansas resident, as the defendant. Because Plaintiff and Defendant are citizens of Arkansas, complete diversity of the parties does not exist. Without complete diversity, Plaintiff may not pursue her claims in this Court on the basis of diversity jurisdiction.*fn9

B. Federal Question

In the absence of diversity of citizenship, a federal court may hear a controversy only if federal question jurisdiction exists.*fn10 Federal court jurisdiction requires that a federal question be presented on the face of the plaintiff's well-pleaded complaint.*fn11 Federal questions include actions arising "under the Constitution, laws, or treaties of the United States."*fn12 Even with a liberal reading of Plaintiff's Complaint, none of her claims could be interpreted to constitute a federal question.*fn13

Plaintiff, therefore, is unable to acquire jurisdiction in this Court under 28 U.S.C. § 1331.

CONCLUSION

Because Plaintiff is unable to establish either federal question or diversity jurisdiction, this Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction over this case and ...


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.