Bagby v. State Farm Insurance Company, Inc et al
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER, The Court DISMISSES this case for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction, finds the plaintiff's motion for summary judgment (Doc. 3 ) MOOT, and DIRECTS the Clerk of Court to close this case. Signed by Judge J. Phil Gilbert on 11/7/2017. (jdh)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS
VINCENT A. BAGBY,
Case No. 3:17-cv-01069-JPG-SCW
STATE FARM INSURANCE COMPANY,
INC., et. al.,
MEMORANDUM & ORDER
J. PHIL GILBERT, DISTRICT JUDGE
This matter comes before the Court on its own initiative for purposes of case
management. The plaintiff in this matter—a citizen of Georgia—filed this action on October 5,
2017 against seven named defendants, including State Farm Insurance Company and multiple
public entities in the state of Georgia. (Doc. 2.) The plaintiff asserted that this Court has subjectmatter jurisdiction over his claims under theories of both diversity and federal question
jurisdiction. (Compl. 3.) On October 11, this Court explained that both theories of subject-matter
jurisdiction failed and ordered the plaintiff to file an amended complaint by November 1, 2017
that remedied the issue. (Doc. 4.) Plaintiff filed his amended complaint one day late on
November 2, 2017. (Doc. 5.) Regardless, plaintiff’s amended complaint still fails to properly
allege any form of subject-matter jurisdiction.
Federal courts are courts of limited jurisdiction. They may exercise jurisdiction only over
matters authorized by the Constitution and by statute. Turner/Ozanne v. Hyman/Power, 111 F.3d
1312, 1316 (7th Cir. 1997). Moreover, federal courts must police the boundaries of their own
jurisdiction. Even absent an objection by a party challenging jurisdiction, they are “obliged to
inquire sua sponte whenever a doubt arises as to the existence of federal jurisdiction.” Tylka v.
Gerber Prods. Co., 211 F.3d 445, 448–49 (7th Cir. 2000) (quoting Mt. Healthy City Bd. of Educ.
v. Doyle, 429 U.S. 274, 278 (1977)). As such, this Court conducts a rigorous initial review of
complaints to ensure that jurisdiction has been properly pled.
First, the plaintiff claims that diversity jurisdiction is present here because “complete
diversity exists”. The plaintiff is wrong. As explained in the prior order, complete diversity does
not exist when a party on one side of a suit is a citizen of the same state as any party on the other
side of the suit. Strawbridge v. Curtiss, 7 U.S. 267 (1806). In the plaintiff’s amended complaint,
he states that both he and several of the defendants are citizens of Georgia. (Am. Compl. 2–4.)
Complete diversity does not exist.
Second, the plaintiff has not adequately pled any form of federal question jurisdiction.
The plaintiff has asserted that a number of federal statutes apply to his case—including a breach
of contract under 41 U.S.C. § 6503 (Am. Compl. 7); a violation of the “18 USC 1961 [and 1962]
RICO Statute[s]” (Am. Compl. 9); a violation of “multiple Federal Statutes contained in an
entire section of Federal insurance law . . . contained in 15 U.S.C. 6760” (Am. Compl. 10); a
violation of the plaintiff’s constitutional rights “Under Color of Authority thereby violating 42
U.S.C. § 1984” (Am. Compl. 10); violations of the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, Fair Credit
Reporting Act, Fairness and Accuracy in Credit Transactions Act, Fair Credit Act, and Computer
Fraud and Abuse Act (Am. Compl. 12–14); and “misrepresentation in advertising pursuant to 25
U.S.C. § 6503” stemming from State Farm’s slogan “Like a Good Neighbor, State Farm is
There” (Am. Compl. 18).
The Court has reviewed the plaintiff’s attempted invocation of federal question
jurisdiction and finds it to be wholly without merit. Haphazardly listing a cavalcade of federal
statutes does not turn the federal courts into a receptacle for litigation. Accordingly, the Court
DISMISSES this case for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction, finds the plaintiff’s motion for
summary judgment (Doc. 3) MOOT, and DIRECTS the Clerk of Court to close this case.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
DATED: November 7, 2017
s/ J. Phil Gilbert
J. PHIL GILBERT
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