Smith v. Wells Fargo
MEMORANDUM OPINION. Signed by Judge William M Acker, Jr on 4/1/2016. (AVC)
2016 Apr-01 PM 03:54
U.S. DISTRICT COURT
N.D. OF ALABAMA
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ALABAMA
CIVIL ACTION NO.
Before the court is the putative conflict of pro se plaintiff
Clifford Smith filed on February 26, 2016. (Doc. 1).
On March 1,
2016, Magistrate Judge Ott entered an order to show cause why the
action was not due to be dismissed for want of jurisdiction and
also for failing to state a claim or being otherwise frivolous
following a sua spone review pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e). (Doc.
On March 18, 2016, Judge Ott entered a reassignment order for
Accordingly, on the same day the Clerk reassigned the aboveentitled case to the undersigned. (Doc. 5).
For the reasons stated below, the court will by separate order
dismiss the putative action.
“Federal courts are courts of limited jurisdiction . . . [and]
it is to be presumed that a cause lies outside this limited
jurisdiction and the burden of establishing the contrary rests upon
the party asserting jurisdiction.” Kokkonen v. Guardian Life Ins.
Co. of Am., 511 U.S. 375, 377 (1994).
“A district court must have
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a).”
Butler v. Morgan, 562 F. App'x
832, 834 (11th Cir. 2014).
First, Smith does not allege any specific statutory basis for
jurisdiction, instead leaving blank the space on the complaint form
containing a place to identify any specific statute(s) under which
the court might have jurisdiction. (Doc. 1 at 2).
jurisdiction per § 1331.
Smith alleges defendant Wells Fargo “is
a corporation incorporated under the laws of the United States of
America.” (Doc. 1 at 1).
Even assuming Smith intends to sue “Wells
Fargo Bank, N.A.” and said bank is a national bank incorporated
qualification for federal jurisdiction in 1882" leaving access to
federal courts only on the basis of diversity of citizenship.
Wachovia Bank v. Schmidt, 546 U.S. 303, 310-11 (2006) (citing 28
U.S.C. § 1348).
jurisdiction per § 1332.
Even assuming that Smith and Wells Fargo
are of diverse citizenship, Smith has not demanded a specific sum
preponderance of the evidence, that Smith has lost or is otherwise
seeking to recover an amount that might approach $75,000. Federated
Mut. Ins. Co. v. McKinnon Motors, LLC, 329 F.3d 805, 807 (11th Cir.
Accordingly, the action is due to be dismissed because there
is no basis for jurisdiction.
Frivolousness and Failure to State a Claim
Where a plaintiff proceeds in forma pauperis, “the court shall
dismiss the case at any time if the court determines that the
action . . . is frivolous or malicious [or] fails to state a claim
on which relief may be granted;.” 28 U.S.C § 1915(e)(2).
is frivolous if (1) the factual allegations are ‘clearly baseless’
or (2) it is based on a[n] ‘indisputably meritless legal theory.’”
Smith v. Hildebrand, 244 F. App'x 288, 290 (11th Cir. 2007)
(quoting Carroll v. Gross, 984 F.2d 392, 393 (11th Cir. 1993)).
complaint fails to state a claim when it appears beyond doubt that
the plaintiff can prove no set of facts in support of her claim
which would entitle her to relief.” Id. (citing Marsh v. Butler
County, Ala., 268 F.3d 1014, 1022-23 (11th Cir. 2001).
A review of the instant pleading makes clear from the face of
the complaint that the claim is both without a factual or legal
Smith’s statement of his claim against Wells Fargo and his
demand for relief are mostly legible but they are difficult to
understand. (Doc. 1).
Smith alleges that he opened an account at
a local Wells Fargo bank branch on December 7, 2015 and states that
he and his stepmother, who is not a party, also have an account” at
Wells Fargo. (Doc. 1 at 2-3).
Smith appears to state that he
“prefer[s] to close both accounts at Wells Fargo” and “want[s] the
court To effectuate change in This series of Transaction behavior
To foment a closing of Both accounts receivable.” (Doc. 1 at 3).
As far as the court can tell, Smith has brought this federal
lawsuit because he wants the court to order certain bank accounts
closed, however Smith does not allege any facts or cite any law
even hinting that Wells Fargo has engaged in unlawful activity.
Therefore, the action is due to be dismissed sua sponte because
Smith’s allegations are frivolous and fail to state a claim upon
which relief can be granted.
For the reasons stated above, the court by separate order
shall dismiss the above-entitled case.
DONE this 1st day of April, 2016.
WILLIAM M. ACKER, JR.
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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