Watson v. St. Louis County Police Department
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that this case will be DISMISSED for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that all pending motions are DENIED as moot. Signed by District Judge Rodney W. Sippel on 6/18/15. (KXS)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI
ST. LOUIS COUNTY POLICE, et al.,)
Case No. 4:15 CV 288 RWS
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
Plaintiff Willie Watson has refiled claims in this case that he previously
asserted before this Court in Watson v. State of Missouri, 4:13 CV 782 RWS. I
dismissed the federal claims in that complaint based on frivolity and dismissed the
remaining state law claims. Watson’s present complaint is based on the same
operative facts and adds additional defendants. The defendants who have been
served have moved to dismiss the complaint. However, I will dismiss this case on
an alternative ground, a lack of subject matter jurisdiction.1
Watson’s 2005 Chevy Uplander was repossessed from his driveway on
December 12, 2012.2 Watson alleges that a man and a woman (the Doe
Because Watson’s complaint is difficult to discern, I have also taken judicial notice of the facts Watson alleged in his
previous case before this Court based on the same incident, in Case No. 4:13 CV 782 RWS, to help comprehend
Watson also variously asserts that the date was March11, 2013. The police report Watson submitted to this Court
indicates that the incident took place on March 11, 2013.
Defendants) backed a tow truck up to his vehicle and he told them not to take it.
Watson said that he called the police and that when Officer Bob Morley arrived he
did not stop the Doe Defendants from taking the vehicle away. Morley allegedly
told Watson it was a civil matter and there was nothing he could do.
A second officer who responded to Watson’s call, Officer Waltke, wrote a
police report about the call. The report states that Watson called the St. Louis
County Police Department to report that his vehicle had been stolen. According to
the police report, Watson’s vehicle was gone when the Officer Waltke got to
Watson’s house. The police report stated that after Officer Waltke returned to the
police station he learned from the station’s Records Room that the vehicle had been
repossessed and not stolen. Officer Waltke called Watson and provided him with
the repossession information.
Watson’s complaint is a compilation of disjointed and rambling information.
One of his apparent claims is that his vehicle was stolen and his insurance company
did not pay him for the loss. Watson has named as defendants the St. Louis County
Police Department, the Missouri Collector of Revenue, the USAA Garrison
Insurance Company, the State of Missouri, the two people who repossessed his
vehicle (John and Jane Doe), and HSBC Motor Credit. Watson asserts state claims
against these defendants for breach of contract, conversion, breach of fiduciary duty,
fraud, and for a declaratory relief.
After carefully reviewing the complaint I conclude that it fails to state a
ground for relief against any of the defendants. However, I will dismiss this case
for a lack of subject matter jurisdiction. Federal courts are courts of limited
jurisdiction. Myers v. Richland County, 429 F.3d 740, 745 (8th Cir. 2005).
Diversity jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1332 requires an amount in controversy
greater than $75,000 and complete diversity of citizenship among the litigants. 28
U.S.C. § 1332(a). “Complete diversity of citizenship exists where no defendant
holds citizenship in the same state where any plaintiff holds citizenship.” OnePoint
Solutions, LLC v. Borchert, 486 F.3d 342, 346 (8th Cir. 2007).
Although Watson does not explicitly state in his complaint the ground upon
which this Court’s jurisdiction is invoked, the only possible ground would be
diversity jurisdiction jurisdiction. Watson has alleged only state law claims in his
complaint. He has sued parties who are not diverse. Watson is a citizen of
Missouri, so are defendants the St. Louis County Police Department, the State of
Missouri, the Missouri Collector of Revenue, and, presumably, the two Doe
Defendants who towed Watson’s vehicle. As a result, this Court lacks subject
matter jurisdiction to entertain any of the claims or asserted defenses in this case.
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that this case will be DISMISSED for lack of
subject matter jurisdiction.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that all pending motions are DENIED as
RODNEY W. SIPPEL
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Dated this 18th day of June, 2015.
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