Chambers v. Cockrell et al
MEMORANDUM OPINION signed by Senior Judge Charles R. Simpson, III on 10/11/2016. Plaintiff fails to establish the Court's subject-matter jurisdiction over this action. Court will dismiss this action by separate order.cc: Plaintiff, pro se; Defendants (RLK)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
WESTERN DISTRICT OF KENTUCKY
CIVIL ACTION NO. 3:16-CV-P569-CRS
MS. COCKRELL et al.
This matter is before the Court upon a pro se “complaint” filed by Plaintiff Roscoe
Chambers. The complaint states as follows: “This was to file a criminal complaint against these
people” (DN 1). It contains no other information. In a subsequent motion to appoint counsel,
Plaintiff identifies Defendants as “Ms. Cockrell employee F.B.O.P.; Ms. Chance, employed
F.B.O.P.; Ms. Hamilton, employed Federal Bearua of prisons” (DN 2).
Under Rule 12(h)(3) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, “If the court determines at
any time that it lacks subject-matter jurisdiction, the court must dismiss the action.” It is
axiomatic that federal district courts are courts of limited jurisdiction, and their powers are
enumerated in Article III of the Constitution. Kokkonen v. Guardian Life Ins. Co. of Am., 511
U.S. 375, 377 (1994); Hudson v. Coleman, 347 F.3d 138, 141 (6th Cir. 2003) (“[I]t is well
established that federal courts are courts of limited jurisdiction, possessing only that power
authorized by the Constitution and statute.”). “Jurisdiction defines the contours of the authority
of courts to hear and decide cases, and, in so doing, it dictates the scope of the judiciary’s
influence.” Douglas v. E.G. Baldwin & Assocs. Inc., 150 F.3d 604, 606 (6th Cir. 1998),
overruled on other grounds by Cobb v. Contract Transp., Inc., 452 F.3d 543, 548-49 (6th Cir.
2006). The party that seeks to invoke a federal district court’s jurisdiction bears the burden of
establishing the court’s jurisdiction. Kokkonen, 511 U.S. at 377.
“It is well settled that the question of whether and when prosecution is to be instituted is
within the discretion of the Attorney General.” Powell v. Katzenbach, 359 F.2d 234, 235 (D.C.
Cir. 1965). Only federal prosecutors, and not private citizens, have authority to initiate federal
criminal charges. See Sahagian v. Dickey, 646 F. Supp. 1502, 1506 (W.D. Wis. 1986); see also
United States v. Nixon, 418 U.S. 683, 693 (1974) (“Executive Branch has exclusive authority
and absolute discretion to decide whether to prosecute a case.”); see also Saro v. Brown, 11 F.
App’x 387, 388 (6th Cir. 2001) (“A private citizen has no authority to initiate a federal criminal
prosecution; that power is vested exclusively in the executive branch.”).
Plaintiff is a private citizen, and he cannot initiate criminal charges against anyone. He,
therefore, fails to establish the Court’s subject-matter jurisdiction over this action. Accordingly,
the Court will dismiss the action under Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(h)(3) by separate Order.
October 11, 2016
Plaintiff, pro se
C al R Smpo I , ei J d e
h r s . i sn I Sno u g
U i dSae Ds i C ut
nt tt ir t o r
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