D'Ercole v. Speers et al
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER that the court lacks subject-matter jurisdiction over this action and the case is dismissed without prejudice. The court will enter judgment by a separate document. Ordered by Senior Judge Joseph F. Bataillon. (Copy mailed to pro se party) (ADB)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF NEBRASKA
ERIC J. D’ERCOLE,
CHRIS SPEERS, and LISA
This matter is before the court on a preliminary review of Plaintiff Eric
D’Ercole’s Complaint (Filing No. 1). D’Ercole sues Defendants Chris Speers and
Lisa Anderson based on a theory of “defamation of character . . . [and] severe
emotional distress for loss of pet.” (Filing No. 1 at CM/ECF p. 5.) D’Ercole alleged
Speers and Anderson made false statements to animal control about D’Ercole,
suggsting D’Ercole had harmed his pet cat. As a result, D’Ercole’s cat was
“impounded” and he suffered “severe emotional distress” and “defamation of
character.” (Filing No. 1 at CM/ECF p. 3.)
Federal courts are courts of limited jurisdiction. Kokkonen v. Guardian Life
Ins. Co. of Am., 511 U.S. 375, 377 (1994). The subject-matter jurisdiction of the
federal district courts is generally set forth in 28 U.S.C. §§ 1331 and 1332. Under
these statutes, federal jurisdiction is available only when a “federal question” is
presented (i.e., in a civil action arising under the Constitution, laws, or treaties of the
United States) or when the parties are of diverse citizenship and the amount in
controversy exceeds $75,000.
In this case, D’Ercole and the defendants are citizens of Nebraska. Therefore,
the citizens are not diverse. In addition, there is no discernible “federal question”
based on the facts alleged in the Complaint. Accordingly, this court will dismiss this
case because it has determined that it lacks subject-matter jurisdiction over it. See
Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(h)(3) (“If the court determines at any time that it lacks subjectmatter jurisdiction, the court must dismiss the action.”).
IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED that: The court lacks subject-matter
jurisdiction over this action and the case is dismissed without prejudice. The court
will enter judgment by a separate document.
DATED this 15th day of January, 2016.
BY THE COURT:
s/ Joseph F. Bataillon
Senior United States District Judge
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