Stebbins v. Harp & Associates Real Estate Services
ORDER ADOPTING REPORT AND RECOMMENDATIONS in its entirety. Further the Plaintiff's complaint is DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE. Signed by Honorable Paul K. Holmes, III on May 3, 2011. (lw)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
WESTERN DISTRICT OF ARKANSAS
Case No. 3:11-CV-03029
HARP & ASSOCIATES REAL ESTATE
O R D E R
On this 3rd day of May 2011, there comes on for consideration
the Report and Recommendations (Doc. 4) filed in this case on April
15, 2011, by the Honorable James R. Marschewski, United States
Magistrate for the Western District of Arkansas.
Also before the
Court are Plaintiff’s objections (Doc. 5).
sufficiently advised, finds as follows: Plaintiff’s objections
offer neither law nor fact requiring departure from the Report and
Recommendation. Plaintiff Stebbins objects to the recommendation
that his Complaint be dismissed for lack of jurisdiction. Stebbins
does not challenge the conclusion that the Court lacks diversity
jurisdiction. Instead, Stebbins argues that this Court has federal
question jurisdiction under the Federal Arbitration Act, 9 U.S.C.
§ 2, (“FAA”). However, as the report and recommendation correctly
points out, the FAA “does not itself bestow jurisdiction; [i]nstead
there must be an independent jurisdictional base.” (Doc. 4 at page
2)(citing Hall St. Assocs, LLC v. Mattel, Inc., 552 U.S. 576
(2008)). Under the FAA, a federal district court has jurisdiction
to order arbitration in cases in which, save for the arbitration
agreement, it would otherwise have jurisdiction over the underlying
dispute. 9 U.S.C. § 4.
First, Stebbins does not appear to be seeking enforcement of
an arbitration clause under the FAA. Instead, his claims, though it
is somewhat hard to discern their exact nature, seem to arise out
of breach of contract. The fact that the contract may have included
some modified agreement to arbitrate does not, in and of itself,
invoke this Court’s jurisdiction. Second, Stebbins has alleged no
facts upon which this Court could establish jurisdiction over the
underlying dispute, such that it could exercise jurisdiction over
any claims brought under the FAA. Specifically, the parties are not
diverse, and Stebbins has failed to allege damages sufficient to
meet the threshold requirement for amount in controversy. The Court
cannot and does not have federal question jurisdiction based on the
FAA alone. The cases Stebbins cites in support of his argument are
relevance to this federal Court’s consideration of whether it can
properly exercise its more limited jurisdiction. If anything, those
cases may show that the proper forum for such disputes is, in fact,
in state court. No other basis for jurisdiction in this Court
exists. Therefore, the Report and Recommendation is proper and
should be and hereby is ADOPTED IN ITS ENTIRETY.
Magistrate Judge’s Report and Recommendation, Plaintiff’s Complaint
is DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE.
Any and all pending motions are hereby DENIED AS MOOT.
IT IS SO ORDERED this 3rd day of May 2011.
/s/ Paul K. Holmes, III
Paul K. Holmes, III
United States District Judge
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