EGGLETON v. COLI et al
MEMORANDUM AND OPINION. SIGNED BY HONORABLE CYNTHIA M. RUFE ON 3/31/17. 3/31/17 ENTERED & E-MAILED. COPIES MAILED TO PRO SE AND UNREP PARTIES. (fdc)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA
CIVIL ACTION NO. 16-3780
BETTY COLI, et al.,
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
March 31, 2017
On October 11, 2016, the Court dismissed Plaintiff’s pro se complaint against Defendants
Betty Coli, Elwyn, Pennsylvania Hospital, and Sharonda Eggleton without prejudice for lack of
subject matter jurisdiction. Plaintiff thereafter filed an Amended Complaint against the same
Defendants, attempting to cure the deficiencies outlined in the Court’s Order. In it, he alleges
that he was wrongfully committed to Pennsylvania Hospital for nine days pursuant to Section
302 of the Pennsylvania Mental Health Procedures Act of 1976 (“MHPA”) 1 and that Defendants
committed the tort of false imprisonment in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Defendant
Pennsylvania Hospital has moved to dismiss pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
12(b)(1) and (6). The other three Defendants have not responded to the Amended Complaint,
and it is unclear whether they have been properly served. The Court will dismiss the action for
lack of subject matter jurisdiction.
Plaintiff misunderstands diversity jurisdiction: in opposing Defendant’s motion to
dismiss, Plaintiff insists that diversity jurisdiction exists because “Plaintiff is not a citizen of the
same state as Defendant, Sharonda Eggleton,” and further argues that “since all parties do not
50 P.S. § 7101, et seq.
appear to be citizens of the state of Pennsylvania, there is diversity jurisdiction.” 2 Plaintiff
appears to believe that diversity jurisdiction exists as long as all parties are not from one state;
however, diversity jurisdiction requires “complete diversity,” meaning that none of the
defendants can be from the same state as Plaintiff. 3 As the Court noted in its previous order,
even if Ms. Eggleton is not a Pennsylvania citizen, the record reflects that both Plaintiff and
Defendant Pennsylvania Hospital are citizens of Pennsylvania, and therefore there is no basis for
In dismissing Plaintiff’s original complaint for lack of subject matter jurisdiction, after
explaining that there was no basis for diversity jurisdiction, the Court stated:
Although the Complaint does not explicitly allege a violation of a constitutional
right, the Court has considered the possibility that Plaintiff may have intended to
allege the constitutional tort of false imprisonment in violation of the United
States Constitution and 42 U.S.C. § 1983. However, even if the Complaint could
be so liberally read, Plaintiff has not alleged facts that would support a conclusion
that Defendants were state actors, which is necessary to state such a claim. 4
The Amended Complaint attempts to create a basis for federal question jurisdiction by alleging
false imprisonment under § 1983, but Plaintiff again fails to allege facts that would support a
conclusion that Defendants were state actors, or that would otherwise support a claim under
§ 1983. 5 Because Plaintiff has again failed to allege the existence of subject matter jurisdiction,
the Complaint will be dismissed without prejudice to its filing in the appropriate state court.
Am. Compl. at 2.
Zambelli Fireworks Mfg. Co. v. Wood, 592 F.3d 412, 419 (3d Cir. 2010).
Doc. No. 7 at 2.
Am. Compl. at 4 (alleging “the Constitutional Tort of False Imprisonment,” and that Plaintiff was
“falsely” and “wrongfully” committed to Pennsylvania Hospital in violation of Section 302 of the MHPA). To state
a § 1983 claim for false imprisonment, a plaintiff must state sufficient facts to show that he was detained, and that
the detention was made without probable cause in violation of the Fourth Amendment. James v. City of WilkesBarre, 700 F.3d 675, 682–83 (3d Cir. 2012).
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