Moore v. Hambrick
OPINION AND ORDER: Court DISMISSES the Complaint WITHOUT PREJUDICE pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(h)(3). The 2 Motion to Proceed in Forma Pauperis is RENDERED MOOT. Signed by Judge Theresa L Springmann on 1/11/2017. cc: Moore (tc)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
NORTHERN DISTRICT OF INDIANA
CAUSE NO.: 2:16-CV-542-TLS
OPINION AND ORDER
Canister Moore, a Plaintiff proceeding pro se, filed a Civil Complaint [ECF No. 1]
against the Defendant, William Hambrick. He also filed a Motion to Proceed in Forma Pauperis
[ECF No. 2]. For the reasons set forth below, the Plaintiff’s Complaint is dismissed without
“Ensuring the existence of subject-matter jurisdiction is the court’s first duty in every
lawsuit.” McCready v. White, 417 F.3d 700, 702 (7th Cir. 2005); see also Fed. R. Civ. P.
12(h)(3) (“If the court determines at any time that it lacks subject–matter jurisdiction, the court
must dismiss the action.”). Unlike state courts, federal courts are courts of limited jurisdiction.
Evers v. Astrue, 536 F.3d 651, 657 (7th Cir. 2008); Morrison v. YTB Int’l, Inc., 649 F.3d 533,
536 (7th Cir. 2011) (“A federal court is the wrong forum when there is no case or controversy, or
when Congress has not authorized it to resolve a particular kind of dispute.”). Congress has
given federal courts power to hear (1) cases arising under the Constitution or federal law, 28
U.S.C. § 1331, or (2) cases involving state law claims where there is complete diversity of
citizenship between the parties and more than $75,000 in controversy, 28 U.S.C. § 1332.
Here, no source of federal jurisdiction is apparent from the Complaint. The Plaintiff does
not make any claim that rests on federal law, so 28 U.S.C. § 1331 does not supply the
jurisdiction. Although the suit is between citizens of different states, as required by § 1332(a),
the amount in controversy required by the statute is not satisfied. According to the Complaint,
the Plaintiff wants the Defendant to “pay for the repairs done on his truck and payment for
money lost and for fuel and for money made that was not divided between us two properly.”
(Compl. 3.) In the three-page narrative attached to his Complaint, these amounts are set forth
more particularly. The amounts do not approach the $75,000 threshold required for federal
subject matter jurisdiction: the truck repairs were $724; the lost income was $8,000; and the
amount that was not properly split with the Plaintiff was about $17,000.
Because the Plaintiff’s Complaint does not invoke any basis for federal subject matter
jurisdiction, this Court has no authority to hear it. The Plaintiff’s recourse, if any, is in state
For the foregoing reasons, the Court DISMISSES the Complaint WITHOUT
PREJUDICE pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(h)(3). The Motion to Proceed in
Forma Pauperis [ECF No. 2] is RENDERED MOOT.
SO ORDERED on January 11, 2017.
s/ Theresa L. Springmann
THERESA L. SPRINGMANN
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FORT WAYNE DIVISION
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