Nelson v. State of Minnesota et al

Filing 3

ORDER dismissing case without prejudice for lack of jurisdiction; denying as moot 2 Application to Proceed in District Court without Prepaying Fees or Costs. (Written Opinion) Signed by Judge Susan Richard Nelson on 9/8/2021. (SMD)

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CASE 0:21-cv-01825-SRN-DTS Doc. 3 Filed 09/09/21 Page 1 of 2 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT DISTRICT OF MINNESOTA Steven Allen Nelson, Sr., Case No. 21-CV-1825 (SRN/DTS) Plaintiff, ORDER OF DISMISSAL v. State of Minnesota; Minneapolis City Council Members; and Minnesota Department of Health, Defendants. SUSAN RICHARD NELSON, United States District Judge Rule 12(h)(3) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure requires that “[i]f the court determines at any time that it lacks subject-matter jurisdiction, the court must dismiss the action.” Because plaintiff Steven Allen Nelson, Sr., has not adequately pleaded a basis for the Court’s jurisdiction over this matter, this action will be dismissed without prejudice. Nelson alleges in his complaint and accompanying materials that various officials of the State of Minnesota and City of Minneapolis acted unlawfully in banning the sale of menthol cigarettes in Minneapolis. The exact legal basis for Nelson’s claims is unclear; Nelson does not cite a specific federal or state law pursuant to which he is seeking relief. Under Rule 8(a)(1) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, “[a] pleading that states a claim for relief must contain . . . a short and plain statement of the grounds for the court’s jurisdiction.” In his complaint, Nelson alleges that diversity of citizenship, see 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a), supplies the statutory basis for the Court’s jurisdiction over this matter, see CASE 0:21-cv-01825-SRN-DTS Doc. 3 Filed 09/09/21 Page 2 of 2 Compl. at 3 [Doc. No. 1]. But Nelson also alleges that both he and the defendants are each citizens of the State of Minnesota. See id. Because the parties are plainly not of diverse citizenship, § 1332(a) cannot supply a statutory basis for the Court’s jurisdiction. Nelson does not allege any other basis for the Court’s subject-matter jurisdiction, and no such basis is obvious from the complaint. For example, the pleading does not appear to present a federal question of law such that 28 U.S.C. § 1331 could serve as a basis for jurisdiction. No federal constitutional provision, statute, or other federal legal provision is cited by Nelson as grounds for relief. Section 1331, then, cannot supply a statutory basis for the Court’s jurisdiction either. Without jurisdiction, the Court cannot proceed to the merits of Nelson’s lawsuit. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(h)(3). Accordingly, this matter will be dismissed without prejudice and Nelson’s pending application to proceed in forma pauperis will be denied as moot. Based on the submissions and the entire file and proceedings herein, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that 1. This matter is DISMISSED WITHOUT PREJUDICE for lack of jurisdiction. 2. The application to proceed in forma pauperis of plaintiff Steven Allen Nelson, Sr. [Doc. No. 2] is DENIED AS MOOT. LET JUDGMENT BE ENTERED ACCORDINGLY. Dated: September 8, 2021 s/Susan Richard Nelson SUSAN RICHARD NELSON United States District Judge

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