Phillips III v. US Air Force et al
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER, re: jurisdictional defect. Amended pleading due by 11/2/2017. Signed by Judge J. Phil Gilbert on 10/13/2017. (jdh)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS
CLINT PHILLIPS III,
Case No. 3:17-cv-01079-JPG-SCW
US AIR FORCE and SCOTT AIR FORCE
MEMORANDUM & ORDER
J. PHIL GILBERT, DISTRICT JUDGE
This matter comes before the Court on its own initiative for purposes of case
management. Pro se plaintiff Clint Phillips is attempting to sue the United States Air Force and
Scott Air Force Base for alleged false imprisonment and several other claims. Federal courts,
however, 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.
Here, Phillips has not adequately pled any form of subject-matter jurisdiction. If Phillips
wishes to bring an action under Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents, 403 U.S. 388 (1971), he
must amend his complaint and allege as such. Accordingly, the Court ORDERS that Phillips
shall have up to and including November 2, 2017 to correct this and any other jurisdictional
defects in his complaint. See Tylka, 211 F.3d at 448 (“[I]t is not the court's obligation to lead
counsel through a jurisdictional paint-by-numbers scheme.”). Should he fail to do so, the Court
will dismiss this matter for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
DATED: October 13, 2017
s/ J. Phil Gilbert
J. PHIL GILBERT
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