Childers v. Title Max of Clanton #1, et al. (JOINT ASSIGN)(MAG+)
RECOMMENDATION of the Magistrate Judge that this case be DISMISSED for lack of subject matter jurisdiction; further ORDERED that the motion to proceed in forma pauperis (doc. # 2 ) be and is hereby DENIED; further ORDERED that the parties shall file any objections to the said Recommendation on or before October 30, 2014. Signed by Honorable Judge Charles S. Coody on 10/16/14. (scn, )
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE MIDDLE DISTRICT OF ALABAMA
LESLIE RENEE CHILDERS,
TITLE MAX OF CLANTON #1 and
WILLIAM RANDELL ROEBUCK,
CIVIL ACT. NO. 2:14cv1000-WKW
RECOMMENDATION OF THE MAGISTRATE JUDGE and ORDER
On September 29, 2014, pro se plaintiff Leslie Renee Childers (“Childers”) filed this
action against defendants Title Max of Clanton # 1 and William Randell Roebuck.
According to Childers, while repossessing her vehicle for defendant Title Max of Clanton,
defendant Roebuck hit her with the vehicle. Childers seeks damages in the amount of
Because federal courts are courts of limited jurisdiction, it is a basic premise of federal
court practice that the court must have jurisdiction over the subject matter of the action
before it can act. See Kokkonen v. Guardian Life Ins. Co. of Am., 511 U.S. 375, 377 (1994);
Burns v. Windsor Ins. Co., 31 F.3d 1092, 1095 (11th Cir. 1994). Thus, federal courts only
have the power to hear cases as authorized by the Constitution or the laws of the United
Also pending before the court is the plaintiff’s motion to proceed in forma pauperis (doc. # 2).
The court set a hearing on October 16, 2014, on the plaintiff’s motion to proceed in forma pauperis. She
did not appear. Because the court concludes that it does not have jurisdiction over this matter, the motion
to proceed in forma pauperis (doc. # 2) is due to be denied as moot.
States, see Kokkonen, 511 U.S. at 377, and are required to inquire into their jurisdiction at
the earliest possible point in the proceeding. Univ. of S. Ala. v. Am. Tobacco Co., 168 F.3d
405, 410 (11th Cir. 1999). “It is axiomatic that a district court may inquire into the basis of
its subject matter jurisdiction at any stage of the proceedings.” See 13 Charles Alan Wright,
Arthur R. Miller, Federal Practice & Procedure § 3522 (3d ed. 1975).
This court operates under an independent obligation to examine its own jurisdiction
at each stage of the proceedings, even if no party raises the jurisdictional issues and both
parties are prepared to concede it. FW/PBS, Inc. v. City of Dallas, 493 U.S. 215 (1990); see
13 Charles Alan Wright, Arthur R. Miller, Federal Practice & Procedure § 3522 (3d ed.
1975) (“Even if the parties remain silent, a federal court, whether trial or appellate, is obliged
to notice on its own motion its lack of subject matter jurisdiction.”). Further, FED R. CIV. P.
12(h)(3) requires that “[w]herever it appears . . . that the court lacks jurisdiction, the court
shall dismiss the action.”
It is clear from reviewing the complaint that the plaintiff does not present a federal
question to invoke this court’s federal question jurisdiction. See 28 U.S.C. § 1331. Even if
the court liberally construes Childers’ complaint as an attempt to assert a claim under 42
U.S.C. § 1983, no substantive rights are created by Section 1983. It merely provides a
remedy for deprivations of federal rights created elsewhere. Wideman v. Shallowford
Community Hospital, Inc., 826 F.2d 1030 (11th Cir. 1987). To be successful on § 1983
claim, a plaintiff must establish that she suffered a deprivation of rights, privileges, or
immunities secured by the Constitution and laws of the United States and that the act or
omission causing the deprivation was committed by a person acting under color of state law.
Id. It is clear from the complaint that the defendants are not persons “acting under color of
It is also clear that there is no diversity jurisdiction because the amount in controversy
does not exceed $75,000.00 and all the parties are from Alabama. See 28 U.S.C. § 1332.
Consequently, on the face of the complaint, this court does not have jurisdiction over this
The court has considered whether to give Childers the opportunity to amend her
complaint before dismissal but concludes that any amendment to the complaint would be
futile. While leave to amend should be “freely given when justice so requires,” the court can
deny amendments when (1) the amendment would be prejudicial to the opposing party; (2)
there has been undue delay or bad faith on the part of the moving party; or (3) the amendment
would be futile. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 15(a); Foman v. Davis, 371 U.S. 178, 182 (1962); See
also Jameson v. Arrow Co., 75 F.3d 1528, 1534 (11th Cir. 1996). Under the facts alleged
in this case, the court lacks subject matter jurisdiction over this matter.
Accordingly, it is the RECOMMENDATION of the Magistrate Judge that this case
be DISMISSED for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. It is further
ORDERED that the motion to proceed in forma pauperis (doc. # 2) be and is hereby
DENIED. Finally, it is
ORDERED that the parties shall file any objections to the said Recommendation on
or before October 30, 2014. Any objections filed must specifically identify the findings in
the Magistrate Judge’s Recommendation to which the party objects. Frivolous, conclusive
or general objections will not be considered by the District Court. The parties are advised
that this Recommendation is not a final order of the court and, therefore, it is not appealable.
Failure to file written objections to the proposed findings and recommendations in the
Magistrate Judge's report shall bar the party from a de novo determination by the District
Court of issues covered in the report and shall bar the party from attacking on appeal factual
findings in the report accepted or adopted by the District Court except upon grounds of plain
error or manifest injustice. Nettles v. Wainwright, 677 F.2d 404 (5th Cir. 1982). See Stein
v. Reynolds Securities, Inc., 667 F.2d 33 (11th Cir. 1982). See also Bonner v. City of
Prichard, 661 F.2d 1206 (11th Cir. 1981, en banc), adopting as binding precedent all of the
decisions of the former Fifth Circuit handed down prior to the close of business on
September 30, 1981.
Done this 16th day of October, 2014.
/s/Charles S. Coody
CHARLES S. COODY
UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.
Why Is My Information Online?