Neal v. Peter Pan Bus Line
ORDER DISMISSING CASE: For the reasons stated in the attached, the Complaint is dismissed without prejudice for lack of subject matter jurisdiction pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(h)(3). The Court certifies pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(3) that an appeal would not be taken in good faith and therefore in forma pauperis status is denied for purpose of an appeal. See Coppedge v. United States, 369 U.S. 438, 444-45 (1962). The Clerk of Court is respectfully requested to enter judgment and close this case accordingly. Ordered by Judge Pamela K. Chen on 12/1/2017. (Hess, Alexandra)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK
JOSEPH KENNETH NEAL,
NOT FOR PUBLICATION
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
- againstPETER PAN BUS LINE,
PAMELA K. CHEN, United States District Judge:
On November 21, 2017, Plaintiff Joseph Kenneth Neal filed this pro se action against
Defendant Peter Pan Bus Line. The Court grants Plaintiff’s request to proceed in forma pauperis
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915 for the limited purpose of this Order. For the reasons discussed
below, the Complaint is dismissed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B).
Plaintiff’s Complaint appears to allege a breach of contract. In the space in the complaint
form to allege a basis for federal jurisdiction, Plaintiffs states: “I did not get what I paid for.” (Dkt.
1, at 4.) Plaintiff alleges that he bought a round-trip bus ticket between New York City and the
District of Columbia and that the return bus scheduled to arrive in New York at 8:20 p.m. did not
actually arrive until 9 p.m. (Id.) He asserts that, as a result of the late arrival, he missed the curfew
at the homeless shelter and lost his bed for several days. (Id. at 5-6.) During this time, he was
unable to shower or change his clothes. (Id. at 6.) Plaintiff seeks $531 in damages for his
“[f]rustration and inconvenience.” (Id. at 5.)
STANDARD OF REVIEW
Plaintiff’s complaint is subject to review under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B). Pursuant to the
in forma pauperis statute, a district court shall dismiss a case if it determines that the action, inter
alia, fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B). Pro se
complaints are held to less stringent standards than pleadings drafted by attorneys, and the Court
is required to read a plaintiff’s pro se complaint liberally and interpret it as raising the strongest
arguments it suggests. Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007). However, the complaint must
plead sufficient facts to “state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.” Bell Atl. Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007).
Moreover, a plaintiff seeking to bring a lawsuit in federal court must establish that the court
has subject matter jurisdiction over the action. If the Court “determines at any time that it lacks
subject-matter jurisdiction, the court must dismiss the action.” Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(h)(3). Federal
subject matter jurisdiction is available only when a “federal question” is presented, 28 U.S.C. §
1331, or when plaintiffs and defendants have complete diversity of citizenship and the amount in
controversy exceeds $75,000, 28 U.S.C. § 1332. Federal question jurisdiction may be properly
invoked only if the plaintiff’s complaint “plead[s] a cause of action created by federal law” or
“turn[s] on substantial questions of federal law.” New York ex rel. Jacobson v. Wells Fargo Nat'l
Bank, N.A., 824 F.3d 308, 315 (2d Cir. 2016) (quoting Grable & Sons Metal Prods., Inc. v. Darue
Eng’g & Mfg., 545 U.S. 308, 312 (2005)).
Plaintiff does not allege that this Court has subject-matter jurisdiction over his claim that
the Peter Pan bus he was riding on arrived later than the scheduled time. Even if the late arrival
could be considered a breach of contract actionable under state law, this Court does not have
jurisdiction over that claim. Although the citizenship of the parties is diverse, Plaintiff asserts
damages of $531, well below the $75,000 minimum amount in controversy necessary to establish
diversity jurisdiction. As Plaintiff does not suggest any other basis for federal jurisdiction, the
case is dismissed for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.
For the reasons set forth above, the Complaint is dismissed without prejudice for lack of
subject matter jurisdiction pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(h)(3). The Court certifies pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 1915(a)(3) that an appeal would not be taken in good faith and therefore in forma pauperis
status is denied for purpose of an appeal. See Coppedge v. United States, 369 U.S. 438, 444-45
(1962). The Clerk of Court is respectfully requested to enter judgment and close this case.
/s/ Pamela K. Chen
Pamela K. Chen
United States District Judge
Dated: December 1, 2017
Brooklyn, New York
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