Fancey v. Berkey

Filing 2

MEMORANDUM ORDER dismissing without prejudice for lack of subject jurisdiction 1 Complaint; directing the clerk to close this case. Signed by Judge George Jarrod Hazel on 9/15/2022. (c/m 9/15/2022 - dg3s, Deputy Clerk)

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Case 8:22-cv-02143-GJH Document 2 Filed 09/15/22 Page 1 of 3 IN TH E U N ITED STATE S D ISTR IC T C O U RT FO R TH E DISTRIC T O F M A RY LAN D e œ = rt - = =T CECILIA ADELE FANCEY, œ r œ O m Plaintiff, =- = = a CivilActionNo.:GJH-22-211 p CHRISTOPHER B.BERKEY, Defendant. M EM O R AND U M O RD ER PlaintiffCeciliaAdele Fancey filed the above-captioned Complainton August24,2022 and paid the fullfiling fee. ECF No.1. Forthe reasons stated below,the Complaintm ustbe dism issed. PlaintiffallegesthatDefendantChristopherB.Berkey,a contractor,owesher$16,975 on an outstanding loan and a$3,000 refund on anunfinishedconstmction project. ECF No.1at6. Plaintiffseeksto repossessDefendant'struck which waspurchased with the loan and to gnrnish Defendant'swagesto pay the$3,000 refund.1d at7. ThisCourtismindfulofitsobligationto liberally construethepleadingsofself-represented litigants,such asthe instantComplaint. See Erickwn v.Pardus,551 U.S.89,94 (2007). In evaluating such acomplaint,thefactualallegationsareassumedto betrue.1d.at93 (citing Bell AtlanticC>t?r#.v.Twombly,550U.S.544,555-56(2007:.Nonetheless,liberalconstnzctiondots notmean thatthisCourtcan ignoreaclearfailurein thepleadingsto allegefactswhich setforth a cognizableclaim.SeeWellerv.Dep'tofsoc.Servs.,901F.2d387(4thCir.1990). TheCourtmustexaminewhetherfederaljudsdictionpermitsadjudicationoftheseclaims. Under the ûtwell-pleaded complaint''rule,the facts showing the existence of subject matter Case 8:22-cv-02143-GJH Document 2 Filed 09/15/22 Page 2 of 3 jurisdiction ççmustbeaffirmatively alleged in thecomplaint.''Pinkley,Inc.v.City ofFrederick, 191F.3d394,399(4thCir.1999)(citingMcNuttv.Gen1M otorsAcceptanceC/rp.,298U.S.178 (1936)). û:A courtistopresllme,theretbre,thatacase liesoutsideitslimitedjurisdiction unles's anduntiljurisdictionhasbeen showntobeproper.''UnitedStatesv.Poole,531F.3d263,i74 (4thCir.2008)(citingKokkonenv.GuardianL(TeIns.Co.,511U.S.375,377(1994)).M oreover, theléburdenofestablishing subjectmatterjmisdiction ison ...theparty assertingjlm'sdiction.'' Robb Evans(f Assocs.,LLC v.Holibaugh,609 F.3d 359,362 (4th Cir.2010);accord Hertzv. Friend,559U.S.77,96(2010);McBurney v.Cuccinelli,616F.3d393,408(4thCir.2010). PlaintiffstatesthattheCourthasfederalquestionjurisdiction overthisclaim pursuantto 28U.S.C.j 1331.Toprovideafederalforum forplaintiffswhoseektovindicatefederalrights, Congresshasconferredonthedistrictcourtsoriginaljurisdictionovercivilactionsthatariseunder theConstimtion,laws,ortreatiesoftheUnited States.28U.S.C.j 1331;ExxonMobilCorp.v. AllapattahServices,Inc.,545U.S.546,552(2005).Further,tmder28U.S.C.j1367(a),district courtsaregranted tçsupplementaljurisdictionovera11otherclaimsthataresorelatedtoclaimsin the action within (the courts') originaljurisdiction thatthey form partof the sam: case or controversy tmderArticle I1IoftheUnited StatesConstitution.'' Section 1367 doesnotcreate an independentcauseofaction.Rather,j 1367allowsacourttoexercisesupplementaljurisdiction overstate1aw claim s,butonly whexetheComplaintalso pleadsrelated federalclaim s. Atbest,Plaintiffs Complaintbdngs a claim forbreach of contractagainst Defendant, which doesnotstate afederalcause ofaction.Thisclaim instead arisestmderM aryland 1aw and m ay be raised in a state courq butcrmnotbe broughtin this Courq absenta basis for federal jurisdiction. As such,the Complaintdoesnotestablish federalquestionjurisdiction tmder28 U.S.C.j 1331. 2 Case 8:22-cv-02143-GJH Document 2 Filed 09/15/22 Page 3 of 3 The Courtalso notesthatthereisno basisfordiversity jurisdiction in thiscase eithkr. Pursuant to 28 U.S.C.j 1332,diversity jurisdiction exists when the parties are of diverse citizenshipandthesmountincontroversyexceeds$75,000.SeeStouffkrCorp.v.Breèkenridg'e, 859F.2d 75,76(8th Cir.1988);McDonald v.Patton,240 F.2d424,425-26 (4thCir.1957). As bothpartiesresideinM aryland,thereisnodiversitybetweenthepartiestoconferjurisdictionupon the Court. W ithoutajurisdictionalbasisforsuitin federalcourt,Plaintiffsclaim isfacmally and legally withoutmedt. Such lawsuitsare subjectto dismissalpursuantto the Court'sinherent authority. The federalrulesrequire dism issalanytim e there is a determination thatthere is no jurisdiction.SeeFed.R.Civ.P.12(h)(3)(çtlfthecourtdeterminesatanytimethatitlackssubjectmatterjurisdiction,thecourtmustdismisstheaction.'').Dismissalisappropriatehere,giventhe lackoffederaljurisdiction. Accordingly,itisthisI da %y ofSeptember,2022,bytheUnited StatesDistrictCourtfor theDistrictofM aryland,hereby ORDERED that: 1. The Complaint IS DISMISSED without prejudice for lack of subject matter jurisdiction; 2. The Clerk IS DIRECTED to M M L acopy ofthisOrderto Plaintiff;and 3. The Clerk SH ALL CLO SE thiscase. ?//ç/C'2* Date GE RG E J.HA ZEL United StatesDistrictJudge

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