Matava v. CTPPS, LLC
ORDER DISMISSING CASE. See attached. Signed by Judge Kari A. Dooley on 11/18/2020. (Banker, Joshua)
Case 3:20-cv-01709-KAD Document 7 Filed 11/18/20 Page 1 of 4
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF CONNECTICUT
NOVEMBER 18, 2020
ORDER DISMISSING CASE
Kari A. Dooley, United States District Judge:
Plaintiff brings this action against his landlord, seeking to enjoin judicial proceedings in
the Superior Court for the State of Connecticut. Plaintiff filed a three paragraph Complaint which
does not identify any cause of action or substantive claims against his landlord and which merely
asks this Court to, it appears, determine the scope of the Superior Court’s subject matter
jurisdiction. For the reasons that follow, the Complaint is dismissed, and the Clerk of the Court is
directed to close this file.
Federal courts have subject matter jurisdiction over only matters in which a federal
question is raised or there is diversity of citizenship. See 28 U.S.C. §§ 1331, 1332. Federal
question jurisdiction exists where the action “aris[es] under the Constitution, laws or treaties of
the United States.” 28 U.S.C. § 1331. “[A] suit ‘arises under’ federal law . . . ‘only when the
plaintiff's statement of his own cause of action shows that it is based upon [federal law].’” Vaden
v. Discover Bank, 556 U.S. 49, 60 (2009) (quoting Louisville & Nashville R. Co. v. Mottley, 211
U.S. 149, 152 (1908)). Diversity jurisdiction exists only where there is complete diversity of
citizenship between the parties and the amount in controversy exceeds $75,000. 28 U.S.C. §
Here, Plaintiff asserts federal question jurisdiction.
Case 3:20-cv-01709-KAD Document 7 Filed 11/18/20 Page 2 of 4
Preliminarily, as is permitted, the Court takes judicial notice of the underlying litigation in
the Superior Court. Global Network Communications, Inc. v. City of New York, 458 F.3d 150, 157
(2d Cir. 2006). Therein, the Defendant CTPPS LLC commenced a summary process action against
the Plaintiff in which CTPPS LLC seeks possession of property located at 421 Riley Mountain
Road, Coventry, Connecticut, the address at which Plaintiff resides. In his Complaint in this
action, the Plaintiff asserts that the state court lacks subject matter jurisdiction to proceed with the
summary process action under the CARES Act, Pub. L. No. 116-136 § 4024, 134 Stat. 281, 492
(2020), and therefore asks this Court to enjoin those proceedings. Specifically, Plaintiff alleges
that he will be irreparably harmed if a hearing, currently scheduled for November 20, 2020, is
permitted to go forward. 1
Although citing to the CARES Act and various other federal laws, none of the statutes cited
expressly provide a private right of action to enforce their provisions. Mims v. Arrow Financial
Services, LLC, 565 U.S. 368, 377 (2012) (citing American Well Works Co. v. Layne & Bowler Co.,
241 U.S. 257, 260 (1916) (“A suit arises under the law that creates the action.”)). Nor does the
Complaint set forth sufficient (or any) analysis as to why, notwithstanding, the Court should find
an implied private right of action. See Transamerica Mortgage Advisors, Inc. v. Lewis, 444 U.S.
11, 15 (1979) (stating that determining whether an implied private right of action exists is matter
of statutory interpretation). 2 The Plaintiff has therefore failed to sufficiently invoke federal
The Court observes that the proceeding scheduled for November 20, 2020, appears to be a mediation. Connecticut
As discussed below, the 28 U.S.C. § 2283 is also implicated by the relief Plaintiff seeks, which is further reason to
conclude that Congress did not intend an implied private right of action when passing the CARES Act.
Case 3:20-cv-01709-KAD Document 7 Filed 11/18/20 Page 3 of 4
Moreover, even if the Plaintiff had adequately alleged federal question jurisdiction under
the CARES Act or other provisions cited, he has failed to state a claim for which relief may be
granted. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e). Section 1915 provides that “the court shall dismiss the case at
any time if the court determines that” the case “(i) is frivolous or malicious; (ii) fails to state a
claim upon which relief may be granted; or (iii) seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is
immune from such relief.” 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B). In seeking to evaluate a pro se plaintiff’s
claim, the Court construes the complaint liberally. See McLeod v. Jewish Guild for the Blind, 864
F.3d 154, 156–57 (2d Cir. 2017). Here, both because this Court is generally prohibited from
enjoining state court judicial proceedings under the Anti-Injunction Act and because the Plaintiff’s
requested relief is against a non-party, the Plaintiff’s complaint, even liberally construed, fails to
state a claim upon which relief may be granted.
First, 28 U.S.C. § 2283, the Anti-Injunction Act, provides that a United States court may
not grant an injunction to stay proceedings in a state court unless the United States court is
expressly authorized by an Act of Congress to issue such an injunction, or the injunction is
necessary to aid the court’s jurisdiction, or the injunction is needed to protect the court’s
judgments. See also Mitchum v. Foster, 407 U.S. 225, 228–29 (1972) (stating that “the statute
imposes an absolute ban upon the issuance of a federal injunction against a pending state court
proceeding” in the absence of one of the exceptions). In this case, Plaintiff seeks injunctive relief
to stop a Connecticut Superior Court proceeding. Congress has not expressly authorized such an
injunction under the CARES Act or elsewhere in the laws cited by Plaintiff. Further, the requested
injunction is neither necessary to aid this Court’s jurisdiction nor needed to protect this Court’s
judgements. See Mitchum, 407 U.S. at 228, 237–38. The Plaintiff’s request for relief is therefore
barred by the express provisions of Section 2283.
Case 3:20-cv-01709-KAD Document 7 Filed 11/18/20 Page 4 of 4
Second, the Court observes that although he names his landlord as the defendant herein,
the Plaintiff seeks no relief vis a vis this named defendant. Rather, he seeks an injunction directed
to the Superior Court, a non-party to the Complaint, and therefore, again, fails to state a claim for
which relief can be granted. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e).
Finally, the Court notes that the Plaintiff questions the Superior Court’s jurisdiction to
decide issues arising under the CARES Act. Under our federal system, however, the States possess
sovereignty concurrent with that of the Federal Government, subject only to the limitations
imposed by the Supremacy Clause. Tafflin v. Levitt, 493 U.S. 455, 458 (1990). State courts have
inherent authority, and are thus presumptively competent, to adjudicate claims arising under the
laws of the United States. Id. Indeed, “state courts may assume subject-matter jurisdiction over a
federal cause of action absent provision by Congress to the contrary or disabling incompatibility
between the federal claim and state-court adjudication.” Gulf Offshore Co. v. Mobil Oil Corp.,
453 U.S. 473, 477–78 (1981). An unmistakable legislative history showing Congress’s intent may
also strip state courts of jurisdiction over federal causes of action. Id. No such claim is made here.
For all of these reasons, the Complaint is DISMISSED and the Clerk of the Court is
directed to close this case.
SO ORDERED at Bridgeport, Connecticut, this 18th day of November 2020.
/s/ Kari A. Dooley
KARI A. DOOLEY
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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