Metropolitan Life Insurance Company v. Kalenevitch
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER - IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that 1)This action is DISMISSED for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. 2)Dfts 28 MOTION to Dismiss, for jgm on the pleadings, for a more definate statement, to strike and for sanctions are DENIED AS MOOT. 3)The Clerk of Court is directed to close the case.Signed by Chief Judge Yvette Kane on Jan. 12, 2012. (sc)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE MIDDLE DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA
ELAINE M. KALENEVITCH,
Civil Action No. 1:10-cv-02108
(Chief Judge Kane)
Presently pending before the Court are Defendant’s motion to dismiss (Doc. No. 28),
motion for judgment on the pleadings (Doc. No. 28), motion for a more definite statement (Doc.
No. 28), motion to strike (Doc. No. 28), and motion for sanctions (Doc. No. 28). For the reasons
that follows, the Court will dismiss this action for lack of subject matter jurisdiction and deny
Defendant’s motions as moot.
On October 12, 2010, Plaintiff Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, a corporation
organized under New York law with its principal place of business located in New York, filed a
complaint under the Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2201, seeking a judgment as to
whom the remaining death proceeds under a Single Premium Deferred Annuity (“the Contract”)
shall be paid. (Doc. No. 1 ¶¶ 1, 3, 24, 25.) Defendant Elaine M. Kalenevitch, a beneficiary
under the Contract, is a citizen of Pennsylvania. (Id. ¶¶ 2, 8.) The complaint states that the
remaining balance of the death proceeds is approximately $24,094.13. (Doc. No. 1 ¶ 16.)
A federal court has a continuing obligation to satisfy itself of its subject matter
jurisdiction. Liberty Mut. Ins. Co. v. Ward Trucking Corp., 48 F.3d 742, 750 (3d Cir. 1995).
Pursuant to Rule 12(h)(3) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, a federal court must dismiss
an action upon determining that it lacks subject matter jurisdiction. F.R.C.P. 12(h)(3). Here,
Plaintiff’s request under the Declaratory Judgment Act does not itself confer subject matter
jurisdiction, and, for the action to proceed, the Court must have a separate, independent basis for
the exercise of jurisdiction. Terra Nova Ins. Co. Ltd. v. 900 Bar, Inc., 887 F.2d 1213, 1217-18 &
n.2 (3d Cir. 1989). District courts have subject matter jurisdiction over federal questions
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1331, in which Congress grants courts “original jurisdiction of all civil
actions arising under the Constitution, laws, or treaties of the United States.” District courts also
have subject matter jurisdiction over cases where there is complete diversity of citizenship
among the parties and the amount in controversy “exceeds the sum or value of $75,000,
exclusive of interest and costs,” pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a).
In this case, no federal question jurisdiction exists. The relief Plaintiff seeks in its
complaint arises out of state law. As for diversity jurisdiction, although Plaintiff is a citizen of
New York and Defendant is a citizen of Pennsylvania, the complaint clearly states that the
approximate amount of the remaining death proceeds at issue in this matter is $24,094.13. The
amount-in-controversy requirement, therefore, has not been satisfied. Therefore, the Court will
dismiss this action for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.
ACCORDINGLY, on this 12th day of January 2012, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED
The above-captioned action is DISMISSED for lack of subject matter jurisdiction
pursuant to Rule 12(h)(3) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
Defendant’s motion to dismiss (Doc. No. 28), motion for judgment on the pleadings
(Doc. No. 28), motion for a more definite statement (Doc. No. 28), motion to strike (Doc.
No. 28), and motion for sanctions (Doc. No. 28) are DENIED AS MOOT.
The Clerk of Court is directed to close the case.
s/ Yvette Kane
Yvette Kane, Chief Judge
United States District Court
Middle District of Pennsylvania
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