Clay v. AT&T Integrated Disability Service Center
ORDER signed by Magistrate Judge Gregory G. Hollows on 4/10/17 ORDERING that Plaintiff's Request to proceed in forma pauperis 2 is GRANTED. Plaintiff must file an amended complaint within thirty days from the filed date of this Order. Failure to file the amended complaint may result in a recommendation that the entire action be dismissed with prejudice. (Mena-Sanchez, L)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
JEROME A. CLAY,
No. 2:17-cv-00749 KJM GGH PS
AT&T INTEGRATED DISABILITY
SERVICE CENTER, et al.,
Plaintiff filed a Complaint seeking recovery of withheld disability payments from
Defendant’s Disability Plan, ECF No. 1, together with a Motion to Proceed with the action in
forma pauperis. This case was referred to this court pursuant to Eastern District of California
Local Rule [hereafter referred to as “LR”] 302(c)(21).
The court, having reviewed the affidavit of plaintiff finds that it makes the showing
required by 28 U.S.C. 1915(a)(1). Accordingly, the request to proceed in forma pauperis will be
The determination whether plaintiff may proceed in forma pauperis does not complete the
present inquiry. Title 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2) directs the court to dismiss a case at any time if the
allegation of poverty is untrue, or if the action is frivolous or malicious, fails to state a claim on
which relief may be granted, or seeks monetary relief against an immune defendant.
In this regard, the undersigned observes that plaintiff does not allege a jurisdictional basis
to be in federal court. Plaintiff may be attempting to assert jurisdiction of this court under 28
U.S.C. section 1332, diversity jurisdiction. However, plaintiff sues several defendants, but
addresses the citizenship of only one defendant. Moreover, the claim does not presently meet the
jurisdictional threshold of damages in excess $75,000 exclusive of interest and costs. 28 U.S.C.
§1332(a). The court further observes, however, that the action could be one for the recovery of
benefits under ERISA, 29 U.S.C. section 1132, a federal statute which gives ERISA plan
beneficiaries a right of action, section 1132(a), and which establishes concurrent jurisdiction in
federal and state courts for ERISA plan beneficiaries, section 1132(e).
The undersigned cannot fill in all the blanks for plaintiff. Lower federal courts are courts
of limited jurisdiction, i.e., they only have the jurisdiction to adjudicate disputes that Congress
has bestowed upon them. Plaintiff must assert the basis of jurisdiction which permits him to sue
in federal court, and then must allege facts which would make out a claim under that
In light of the foregoing and good cause appearing, IT IS ORDERED that:
Plaintiff must file an amended complaint within thirty days from the filed date of this
Order. Failure to file the amended complaint may result in a recommendation that the entire
action be dismissed with prejudice.
Dated: April 10, 2017
/s/ Gregory G. Hollows
UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
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