POBLETE v. RESIDENTIAL CREDIT OPPORTUNITIES TRUST et al
MEMORANDUM OPINION re: 2 Plaintiff's Motion for Temporary Restraining Order. Please see the attached Memorandum Opinion for additional details. Signed by Judge Amit P. Mehta on 11/22/2017. (lcapm1)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
OPPORTUNITIES TRUST, et al.,
LUIS IVAN POBLETE,
Case No. 17-cv-02527 (APM)
This matter comes before the court on review of Plaintiff Luis Ivan Poblete’s Complaint
and Motion for Temporary Restraining Order, titled “Petition in Equity for Emergency Injunctive
Relief” (“Complaint and TRO”). Plaintiff proceeds pro se. For the reasons set forth below, the
court denies Plaintiff’s Complaint and TRO and sua sponte dismisses this action without prejudice
for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction.
Plaintiff invokes diversity jurisdiction as the basis for subject-matter jurisdiction in this
case. Compl. & TRO, ECF No. 1, ¶ 4. The federal diversity statute provides that “district courts
shall have original jurisdiction of all civil actions where the matter in controversy exceeds the sum
or value of $75,000 . . . and is between . . . citizens of different states.” 28 U.S.C. §1332 (emphasis
added). For jurisdiction to exist under section 1332, there must be complete diversity between the
parties, meaning “each defendant [must be] a citizen of a different state [than] each plaintiff.”
Owen Equipment & Erection Co. v. Kroger, 437 U.S. 365, 373 (1978). “The party seeking the
exercise of diversity jurisdiction bears the burden of pleading the citizenship of each and every
party to the action.” Loughlin v. United States, 393 F.3d 155, 171 (D.C. Cir. 2004) (quoting
Naartex Consulting Corp. v. Watt, 722 F.2d 779, 792 (D.C. Cir. 1983)).
Plaintiff has failed to meet this burden here. It is apparent from the face of the Complaint
that complete diversity does not exist. The caption of Plaintiff’s pleading shows that Plaintiff and
one of the Defendants, Stephen Hassler, are both residents of Washington, D.C. To be sure, a
person is a “citizen of the State” in which he is domiciled, and physical presence is only one of the
two factors courts use to determine domicile.
See Prakash v. Am. Univ., 727 F.2d 1174, 1180
(D.C. Cir. 1984). Plaintiff, however, bears the burden of pleading citizenship and has not pled
facts establishing that either he or Mr. Hassler is a citizen of any state other than Washington, D.C.
The court therefore finds it lacks subject-matter jurisdiction over this matter. Accordingly, the
court dismisses Plaintiff’s Complaint and TRO sua sponte. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(h)(3); Evans v.
Suter, No. 09-5242, 2010 WL 1632902, at *1 (D.C. Cir. 2010) (per curiam) (“[A] district court
may dismiss a complaint sua sponte prior to service on the defendants pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P.
12(h)(3) when, as here, it is evident that the court lacks subject-matter jurisdiction.”).
Thus, for the foregoing reasons, the court denies Plaintiff’s Complaint and TRO and
dismisses this action without prejudice. An Order consistent with this Memorandum Opinion is
Amit P. Mehta
United States District Judge
Date: November 22, 2017
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