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Ibarra v. W.Q.S.U. Radio Broadcast Org.

March 8, 2006

FELIX IBARRA, PLAINTIFF,
v.
W.Q.S.U. RADIO BROADCAST ORG., DEAN, OF SUSQUEHANNA UNIVERSITY, SUSQUEHANNA UNIVERSITY, DIRECTOR OF STUDENT ACTIVITIES, OF SUSQUEHANNA UNIVERSITY, PROFESSOR OF STUDENT COMMUNICATION SKILLS, OF SUSQUEHANNA UNIVERSITY, D.J. HOST A.K.A. BASHA-SHO & PROVE, D.J. CO-HOST SHANELL BRYAN A.K.A. #1 JAMAICAN, AND ASSOCIATE DEAN OF STUDENTS, OF SUSQUEHANNA UNIVERSITY, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Judge McClure

ORDER

BACKGROUND

Plaintiff commenced this action by filing a document construed as a complaint by the clerk's office with the Middle District of Pennsylvania on January 31, 2006. On March 1, 2006, we granted plaintiff thirty days to file a current application to proceed in forma pauperis and an authorization form or pay the filing fee of $250.00 or the case would be dismissed. On March 3, 2006, Ibarra complied with our order and filed a current motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis and a prisoner authorization form; both documents indicated the filing fee was $250.00. Contemporaneous with the filing of the correct in forma pauperis application and authorization forms, Ibarra filed an amended complaint with exhibits. The clerk of the court construed the amended complaint as a motion to amend the complaint.

For the following reasons we will grant Ibarra's request to proceed in forma pauperis, grant the motion to amend the complaint, and sua sponte dismiss the federal law claims in the amended complaint for failure to state a claim on which relief may be granted, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii). We will decline to exercise our supplemental jurisdiction over the remaining state-law claims pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1367(c)(3).

DISCUSSION

Ibarra's motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis is granted. We will also grant Ibarra's motion to amend his complaint with the proposed complaint at record document number 9, and therefore, the caption of the case now indicates the other named defendants.

I. Relevant Facts

Alleged in Ibarra's Complaint Plaintiff's complaint and amended complaint stem from a radio contest which occurred on W.Q.S.U., Susquehanna University's college radio station. In April 2005, plaintiff won an art contest conducted by disc jockeys on the station and he now seeks recovery of his prize. Apparently part of the prize, or at least one of the options, was a group photograph which would include ten of the girls from one of the disc jockey's dorms. Nearly a year later, Ibarra has still not received his prize.

II. Ibarra Fails to State A Claim On Which Relief Can Be Granted

Ibarra's amended complaint cites to a litany of wide ranging legal theories in support of his action against the defendants including but not limited to the federal crime of bribing public officials, 18 U.S.C. § 201, section 2-201 of the Uniform Commercial Code, section 12A of the Restatement (Second) of Torts, a provision in the California Penal Code, antitrust law including the Clayton Act, the "Printers Ink Statutes",*fn1 42 U.S.C. § 1983, the First, Fifth, Seventh, Eleventh, and Fifteenth Amendments of the United States Constitution, Article III of the Constitution, generally the "F.C.C. regulatory provisions of the Communications Satelite (sic.) Act of 1962 and the Communications Act of 1934," as well as a variety of common law torts and breach of contract claims.

We have subject matter jurisdiction over all civil actions that arise either (1) under the Constitution, laws or treaties of the United States (federal question jurisdiction), or (2) between citizens of different states where the matter in controversy exceeds $75,000.00 (diversity jurisdiction). 28 U.S.C. §§ 1331, 1332.

Turning first to the issue of diversity jurisdiction. There is no allegation of diversity in the complaint and no allegation as to citizenship of the parties. Furthermore, plaintiff does not seek damages in excess of $75,000.00. Therefore, plaintiff's only ground for jurisdiction must come from a federal question.

Federal question jurisdiction is determined by the "well pleaded complaint rule." Shadie v. Aventis Pasteur, Inc., 254 F. Supp. 2d 509, 516 (M.D. Pa. 2003) (Vanaskie, C.J.) That rule provides that the face of plaintiff's complaint must make it apparent that plaintiff's cause of action was created by federal law. Id. (citations omitted). Plaintiff has pled federal claims in his complaint.

Because plaintiff is proceeding in forma pauperis, we may dismiss his complaint at any time under 28 U.S.C. ยง 1915(e)(2)(ii) if we find that his complaint fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. Now as for the merit of plaintiff's federal claims, only two of his claims warrant a brief discussion: (1) Ibarra's claim under the ...


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