MCKINLEY v. INVENT HELP
MEMORANDUM AND/OR OPINION. SIGNED BY HONORABLE GERALD A. MCHUGH ON 1/20/17. 1/20/17 ENTERED AND COPIES MAILED TO PLAINTIFF AND COPY TO LEGAL.(jaa, ) Modified on 1/20/2017 (jaa, ).
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA
KEVIN VASHAUN MCKINLEY
Plaintiff Kevin Vashaun McKinley brings this civil action against Invent Help arising out of
an agreement to market plaintiffs idea for a product called "Toon Time." For the following
reasons, the Court will dismiss the amended complaint for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.
In his initial complaint, plaintiff alleged that he hired Invent Help to market his idea for a cell
phone for children called "Touch Toon." Plaintiff alleged that a key aspect of his vision was a
social media feature called "Toon Time," which allowed children to interact with their favorite
cartoon character or super hero. Plaintiff paid Invent Help $750.00 to print a booklet describing
"Touch Toon" for purposes of marketing the product to various companies in the hope that one
of those companies would buy the product. However, when he received the book describing his
idea to prospective buyers, the "Toon Time" feature was excluded from the description. Based
on those allegations, plaintiff sued Invent Help for various torts and/or breach of contract.
The Court granted plaintiff leave to proceed in forma pauperis and directed service of his
complaint. However, the Court subsequently dismissed the complaint for lack of subject matter
jurisdiction because the complaint failed to establish that the parties were diverse for purposes of
28 U.S.C. § 1332. Plaintiff was given an opportunity to file an amended complaint in the event
he could establish a basis for the Court's jurisdiction.
Plaintiff filed an amended complaint against Invent Help. The amended complaint appears to
assert tort and/or contract claims under state law based on substantially the same factual
allegations as the initial complaint. The amended complaint cites 28 U.S.C. § 1332 and§ 1343
as the bases for this Court's jurisdiction, and alleges that plaintiff and Invent Help are both
citizens of Pennsylvania.
"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). The only possible basis for subject matter
jurisdiction over this case is 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a), which grants district courts jurisdiction over
cases in which "the matter in controversy exceeds the sum or value of $75,000, exclusive of
interest and costs, and is between ... citizens of different States." Section 1332 does not provide
for jurisdiction here because the parties are not diverse. Accordingly, the Court must dismiss the
amended complaint for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. 1 If he seeks to pursue his claims,
plaintiff must file a case in state court. An appropriate order follows.
GERALD A. McHUGH, J.
Section 1343 provides for jurisdiction over civil rights cases. It is not applicable here.
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