Cook v. Kroger Marketplace et al
Order of Dismissal without Prejudice. It is ORDERED that Plaintiff's 1 Complaint against Defendant be, and the same hereby is, DISMISSED without prejudice for lack of jurisdiction in this Court. Judge James R. Knepp II on 1/6/2021. (S,JM)
Case: 3:20-cv-02212-JRK Doc #: 11 Filed: 01/06/21 1 of 2. PageID #: 80
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF OHIO
CASE NO. 3:20 CV 2212
JUDGE JAMES R. KNEPP II
Plaintiff Jeremiah Cook (“Plaintiff”) filed a complaint in this Court September 30, 2020 in
which he pleaded three causes of action against Defendant Kroger Marketplace (“Defendant”)1:
(1) gender discrimination, under the Ohio Revised Code; (2) sexual harassment under the Ohio
Revised Code; and (3) retaliation under the Ohio Revised Code. (Doc. 1, at 10-13). Defendant
filed an Answer on November 20, 2020. (Doc. 9). After a thorough review of the complaint, the
Court concludes it lacks subject matter jurisdiction.
A district court may dismiss a complaint for lack of subject matter jurisdiction, sua sponte,
at any time. 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.”). The “well-pleaded complaint” rule
governs the presence or absence of federal question jurisdiction; it provides that “federal
jurisdiction exists only when a federal question is presented on the face of the plaintiff’s properly
pleaded complaint.” Caterpillar Inc. v. Williams, 482 U.S. 386, 392 (1987). Federal question
jurisdiction “extends over ‘only those cases in which a well-pleaded complaint establishes either
1. The complaint also alleged claims against two other defendants, see Doc. 1; Plaintiff earlier
voluntarily dismissed these claims, see Doc. 7.
Case: 3:20-cv-02212-JRK Doc #: 11 Filed: 01/06/21 2 of 2. PageID #: 81
that federal law creates the cause of action or that the plaintiff's right to relief necessarily depends
on resolution of a substantial question of federal law,’ . . . in that ‘federal law is a necessary element
of one of the well pleaded . . . claims’”. Christianson v. Colt Indus. Operating Corp., 486 U.S.
800, 808 (1988) (quoting Franchise Tax Bd. of Cal. v. Constr. Laborers Vacation Tr., 463 U.S. 1,
13, 27-28 (1983)). “The rule makes the plaintiff the master of the claim; he or she may avoid
federal jurisdiction by exclusive reliance on state law.” Caterpillar Inc., 482 U.S. at 392.
Here, the complaint does not contain any discernable federal question for purposes of
establishing jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1331. The complaint pleads three counts, each under
Ohio state law; there is no federal law cited. See generally Doc. 1. Notably, the complaint even
cites Ohio’s personal jurisdiction statute. Id. at 2. These purely state law claims do not allege any
violation of federal law and are insufficient to establish federal question jurisdiction.
For the foregoing reasons, good cause appearing, it is
ORDERED that Plaintiff’s complaint against Defendant (Doc. 1) be, and the same hereby
is, DISMISSED without prejudice for lack of jurisdiction in this Court.
s/ James R. Knepp II
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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