United States District Court, E.D. Pennsylvania
DARNELL JONES, II J.
Josh Trupp commenced the above-captioned action alleging
Defendant violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (47
U.S.C. § 227, et. seq.). Defendant subsequently filed a
Counterclaim for state law breach of contract. (ECF No. 3, p.
10.) Before the Court is Plaintiff's Motion to Dismiss
Defendant's Counterclaim. (ECF No. 7.) Pursuant to
12(b)(1), Plaintiff moves for dismissal of Defendant's
Counterclaim for want of Subject Matter Jurisdiction. (ECF
No. 7.) For the reasons set forth below, Plaintiff's
Motion is denied.
is a natural person who resides in Reading, Pennsylvania.
(ECF. No. 1, ¶ 4.) On or about May 9, 2014, Plaintiff
entered into a Retail Installment Sale Contract (hereinafter
“the Contract”) with a car dealer whereby
Plaintiff agreed to purchase a 2011 Chevrolet Malibu
(hereinafter “the Vehicle”). (ECF. No. 3, p. 10.)
Under the terms of the Contract, Plaintiff agreed to finance
the purchase of the Vehicle by making monthly installment
payments. Id. The car dealer subsequently assigned
its interest in the Contract to Defendant. Id.
Plaintiff granted Defendant a security interest in the
Vehicle. Id. After entering into the Contract,
Plaintiff failed to make timely payments to Defendant, the
holder of the Contract's interest. (ECF. No. 3, p. 11.)
Plaintiff was required to make these payments to the
in or around 2015, or early 2016, Defendant began placing
repeated telephone calls to Plaintiff on his cell phone.
(ECF. No. 1, ¶ 11.) When contacting Plaintiff on his
cell phone, Defendant used an automatic telephone dialing
system (ATDS). (ECF. No. 1, ¶ 12.) Shortly after the
calls began, Plaintiff spoke with Defendant and requested
that the calls stop immediately. (ECF. No. 1, ¶ 15.)
Despite Plaintiff's explicit request, Defendant persisted
in calling Plaintiff on his cell phone. (ECF. No. 1, ¶
brings its Breach of Contract Counterclaim for
Plaintiff's failure to make said payments. (ECF. No. 3,
12(b)(1) permits parties to assert, by motion, the defense of
lack of subject matter jurisdiction. Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(1). A
challenge to subject matter jurisdiction under Rule 12(b)(1)
may take two forms: a facial challenge or a factual
challenge. If a facial challenge concerns an alleged pleading
deficiency, then the trial court is restricted to a review of
the allegations of the complaint and any documents referenced
therein. CNA v. United States, 535 F.3d 132, 139 (3d
Cir. 2008); Gould Elec. Inc. v. United States, 220
F.3d 169, 177 (3d Cir. 2000). When considering a facial
challenge, “the trial court must consider the
allegations of the complaint as true.” Mortensen v.
First Fed. Sav. & Loan Ass'n, 549 F.2d 884, 891
(3d Cir. 1977).
factual challenge “concerns the actual failure of a
plaintiff's claims to comport factually with the
jurisdictional prerequisites.” CNA, 535 F.3d
at 139 (internal quotation, citation, and alterations
omitted). If the challenge before the trial court is a
factual challenge, the court does not accord any presumption
of truth to the allegations in the plaintiff's complaint,
and the plaintiff bears the burden of proving subject matter
jurisdiction. Id. With a factual challenge, the
court may weigh evidence outside the pleadings and make
factual findings related to the issue of jurisdiction.
Id.; U.S. ex rel. Atkinson v. Pa. Shipbuilding
Co., 473 F.3d 506, 514 (3d Cir. 2007). “[T]he
existence of disputed material facts will not preclude the
trial court from evaluating for itself the merits of the
jurisdictional claims.” Mortensen, 549 F.2d at
891. Before this Court is Plaintiff's facial challenge of
Defendant's Breach of Contract Counterclaim.
28 U.S.C. §1367
§1367 (a), all state law claims…are subject to
[a] jurisdictional inquiry: if they are so related to claims
in the action within [the court's] original
jurisdiction…that they form part of the same case or
controversy under [Article III of the United States
Constitution], then they are within the court's
supplemental jurisdiction.” Alpern v.
Cavarocchi, Civ. 98-3105, 1999 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 5929,
*28 (E.D. Pa. Apr. 29, 1999). The key threshold question is
whether the state and federal claims derive “from a
common nucleus of operative fact.” Id. at *29.
As to the “common nucleus, ” it has been held
that “mere tangential overlap of facts is insufficient,
but total congruity between the operative facts…is
unnecessary.” Id. District courts may decline
to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over a claim if: (1)
the claim raises a novel or complex issue of state law; (2)
the claim substantially predominates over the claim or claims
over which the district court has original jurisdiction; (3)
the district court has dismissed all claims over which it has
original jurisdiction; or, (4) in exceptional circumstances,
there are other compelling reasons for declining
jurisdiction. Id. at *26.