United States District Court, E.D. Pennsylvania
E.K. PRATTER, J.
se Plaintiff Lolita Duglas has filed a Complaint using
the Court's preprinted form asserting federal question
jurisdiction over her claim against Defendant Fred Kamper.
She also filed a Motion for Leave to Proceed In Forma
Pauperis. For the following reasons, Ms. Duglas will be
granted leave to proceed in forma pauperis and her
Complaint will be dismissed without prejudice for lack of
subject matter jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
Duglas's Complaint is brief. She asserts that on March
20, 1984 she left her home in Philadelphia with personal
belongings and went to 1023 B. Spencer Street where she
stayed the night. When she left that location, she left her
personal belongings behind and, apparently, or allegedly
Defendant Kamper has them. She asks the Court to help her get
her belongings returned.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
Court will grant Ms. Duglas leave to proceed in forma
pauperis because it appears that she is incapable of
paying the fee to commence the civil action. When allowing a
plaintiff to proceed in forma pauperis, however, the
Court must review the pleadings and dismiss the matter if it
determines that the action is frivolous, malicious, or fails
to set forth a proper basis for this Court's subject
matter jurisdiction. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B);
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."); Group Against Smog and
Pollution, Inc. v. Shenango, Inc., 810 F.3d 116, 122 n.6
(3d Cir. 2016) (explaining that "an objection to subject
matter jurisdiction may be raised at any time [and] a court
may raise jurisdictional issues sua sponte").
As a plaintiff commencing an action in federal court, Ms.
Duglas bears the burden of establishing federal jurisdiction.
See Lincoln Ben. Life Co. v. AEI Life, LLC, 800 F.3d
99, 105 (3d Cir. 2015) ("The burden of establishing
federal jurisdiction rests with the party asserting its
existence." (citing DaimlerChrysler Corp. v.
Cuno, 547 U.S. 332, 342 n.3 (2006))). Because Ms. Duglas
is proceeding pro se, the Court construes her
allegations liberally. Higgs v. Att'y Gen., 655
F.3d 333, 339 (3d Cir. 2011).
8(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure requires a
complaint to contain "a short and plain statement of the
claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief." A
district court may sua sponte dismiss a complaint
that does not comply with Rule 8 if "the complaint is so
confused, ambiguous, vague, or otherwise unintelligible that
its true substance, if any, is well disguised."
Simmons v. Abruzzo, 49 F.3d 83, 86 (2d Cir. 1995)
(quotations omitted). Rule 8 "requires that pleadings
provide enough information to put a defendant on sufficient
notice to prepare their defense and also ensure that the
Court is sufficiently informed to determine the issue."
Fabian v. St. Mary's Med. Or., No. Civ. A.
16-4741, 2017 WL 3494219, at *3 (E.D. Pa. Aug. 11, 2017)
Complaint, Ms. Duglas does not assert a basis for this
Court's exercise of subject matter jurisdiction. From her
allegations, the Court can discern no basis for the exercise
of federal question jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1331.
Accordingly, any federal claim that Ms. Duglas seeks to
assert must be dismissed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
1915(e)(2)(B)(ii) for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.
the Court has dismissed her federal claims, the Court will
not exercise supplemental jurisdiction over any state law
claims. Accordingly, the only independent basis for
jurisdiction over any such claims is 28 U.S.C. §
1332(a), which grants a district court jurisdiction over a
case in which "the matter in controversy exceeds the sum
or value of $75, 000, exclusive of interest and costs, and is
between ... citizens of different States." Section
1332(a) requires '"complete diversity between all
plaintiffs and all defendants,' even though only minimal
diversity is constitutionally required. This means that,
unless there is some other basis for jurisdiction, 'no
plaintiff [may] be a citizen of the same state as any
defendant.'" Lincoln Ben. Life Co. v. AEI Life,
LLC, 800 F.3d 99, 104 (3d Cir. 2015) (quoting
Lincoln Prop. Co. v. Roche, 546 U.S. 81, 89 (2005)
and Zambelli Fireworks Mfg. Co. v. Wood, 592 F.3d
412, 419 (3d Cir. 2010) (internal footnotes omitted)). Ms.
Duglas asserts that both she and Mr. Kamper have addresses in
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Accordingly, there is no basis
for the exercise of diversity jurisdiction.
these reasons, Ms. Duglas's Complaint is dismissed
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii) for lack of