KOORSEN et al v. TARTER REALITY & APPRAISALS et al
Entry Granting In Forma Pauperis Status, Dismissing Teresa Koorsen as Plaintiff, and Directing Plaintiff to Show Cause - The plaintiff's motion to proceed in forma pauperis [dkt. 2 ] is granted. The clerk shall update the docket to reflect th at James Koorsen is the only plaintiff. The plaintiff shall have through March 17, 2017, in which to show cause why this action should not be dismissed for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. Failure to respond to this order to show cause will result in the dismissal of the action for lack of jurisdiction without further notice. Copy to Plaintiff via U.S. Mail. (See Order.) Signed by Judge Tanya Walton Pratt on 2/16/2017. (JLS)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF INDIANA
JAMES A. KOORSEN, JR.,
TARTER REALITY & APPRAISALS,
Entry Granting In Forma Pauperis Status, Dismissing Teresa Koorsen as
Plaintiff, and Directing Plaintiff to Show Cause
The plaintiff’s motion to proceed in forma pauperis [dkt. 2] is granted. Notwithstanding
this ruling, the plaintiff still owes the $350.00 filing fee. “All [28 U.S.C.] § 1915 has ever done is
excuse pre-payment of the docket fees; a litigant remains liable for them, and for other costs,
although poverty may make collection impossible.” Abdul-Wadood v. Nathan, 91 F.3d 1023, 1025
(7th Cir. 1996).
The complaint is subject to the screening requirement of 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B). This
statute directs the Court to dismiss a complaint or claim within a complaint if it is frivolous or
malicious, fails to state a claim for relief, or seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is
immune from such relief.
First, Teresa Koorsen did not sign the complaint and her husband cannot represent her in
district court because he is not an attorney. Accordingly, any claim purportedly brought on behalf
of Teresa Koorsen is dismissed for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.
The clerk shall update the docket to reflect that James Koorsen is the only plaintiff.
Second, it appears that the Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction over the plaintiff’s
claims. The plaintiff names as defendants 1) Tarter Reality & Appraisals; 2) Brody Tarter; 3)
Matthew Tarter. He alleges that the defendants defrauded him and his wife and breached their
consignment contract. All parties are residents of Indiana.
Federal district courts such as this are “courts of limited jurisdiction.” Healy v.
Metropolitan Pier & Exposition Auth., 804 F.3d 836, 845 (7th Cir. 2015). They have original
“federal question” jurisdiction of “all civil actions arising under the Constitution, laws, or treaties
of the United States.” 28 U.S.C. § 1331. They also have “diversity” jurisdiction of all civil actions
which meet two requirements: First, there must be “complete diversity” between all named
plaintiffs and all named defendants, meaning that “no plaintiff may be a citizen of the same state
as any defendant.” Altom Transport, Inc. v. Westchester Fire, Ins. Co., 823 F.3d 416, 420 (7th Cir.
2016); see also 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a)(1). Second, the amount in controversy must exceed $75,000.
28 U.S.C. § 1332(a).
“When a court finds that it lacks jurisdiction, it is improper for it to proceed to the merits
of the issue.” United States v. Rachuy, 743 F.3d 205, 211 (7th Cir. 2014). “Jurisdiction is the power
to declare the law, and when it ceases to exist, the only function remaining to the court is that of
announcing the fact and dismissing the cause.” Steele Co. v. Citizens for a Better Environment,
523 U.S. 83, 94 (1998) (internal quotation omitted). The Court of Appeals has repeatedly held
that “the party invoking federal jurisdiction bears the burden of demonstrating its existence.” See
Hart v. FedEx Ground Pkg. Sys. Inc., 457 F.3d 675, 679 (7th Cir. 2006).
The plaintiff shall have through March 17, 2017, in which to show cause why this action
should not be dismissed for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. Failure to respond to this order to
show cause will result in the dismissal of the action for lack of jurisdiction without further notice.
JAMES A. KOORSEN, JR.
1440 South 14th Street
Richmond, IN 47374
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