United States District Court, D. Nebraska
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
RICHARD G. KOPF, Senior District Judge.
Plaintiff John Paul Thomas ("Plaintiff") filed his Complaint in this matter on June 12, 2014. (Filing No. 1.) The court has given Plaintiff leave to proceed in forma pauperis. (Filing No. 6.) The court now conducts an initial review of Plaintiff's Complaint to determine whether summary dismissal is appropriate under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2).
I. SUMMARY OF COMPLAINT
Plaintiff filed this action against James Gregor and Lucile Bertuccio. Plaintiff resides in Nebraska, Gregor resides in California, and Bertuccio resides in Indiana. (Filing No. 1 at CM/ECF p. 1.)
Plaintiff alleges an individual left him $30, 000.00 in an "education trust fund, " which is held in trust by Gregor. Gregor gave the money to Bertuccio, Plaintiff's sister. Plaintiff claims Gregor and Bertuccio stole Plaintiff's $30, 000.00. He asks that they be required to provide an accounting of the money and to reimburse him for the money they have taken. (Filing No. 1 at CM/ECF pp. 1-2.)
II. APPLICABLE LEGAL STANDARDS ON INITIAL REVIEW
The court is required to review in forma pauperis complaints to determine whether summary dismissal is appropriate. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2). The court must dismiss a complaint or any portion thereof that states a frivolous or malicious claim, that fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or that seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B).
Pro se plaintiffs must set forth enough factual allegations to "nudge their claims across the line from conceivable to plausible, " or "their complaint must be dismissed" for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007); see also Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) ("A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged."). Regardless of whether a plaintiff is represented or is appearing pro se, the plaintiff's complaint must allege specific facts sufficient to state a claim. See Martin v. Sargent, 780 F.2d 1334, 1337 (8th Cir. 1985). However, a pro se plaintiff's allegations must be construed liberally. Burke v. North Dakota Dep't of Corr. & Rehab., 294 F.3d 1043, 1043-44 (8th Cir. 2002) (citation omitted). Pro se litigants must comply with the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. See Burgs v. Sissel, 745 F.2d 526, 528 (8th Cir. 1984) ("[P]ro se litigants are not excused from failing to comply with substantive and procedural law.").
III. DISCUSSION OF CLAIMS
In evaluating Plaintiff's claims, the court must determine whether subject-matter jurisdiction is proper. See Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(h)(3) ("If the court determines at any time that it lacks subject-matter jurisdiction, the court must dismiss the action.") A plaintiff must sufficiently state a claim for relief that contains, "a short and plain statement of the grounds for the court's jurisdiction, unless the court has jurisdiction and the claim needs no new jurisdictional support." Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(1).
Here, Plaintiff does not provide a short and plain statement of the grounds for the court's jurisdiction. Rather, he merely alleges "[u]nder state and federal laws [Defendants] must provide an accounting of the money and a legal defense for why the money is gone or reimburse the Plaintiff." (Filing No. 1 at CM/ECF p. 2.)
A. Diversity of Citizenship Jurisdiction
Subject-matter jurisdiction may be proper pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1332, commonly referred to as "diversity of citizenship" jurisdiction. For purposes of 28 U.S.C. § 1332, "diversity of citizenship" means that "the citizenship of each plaintiff is different from the citizenship of each defendant." Ryan v. Schneider Nat'l Carriers, Inc., 263 F.3d 816, 819 (8th Cir. 2001) (citation omitted). In addition, the amount in controversy must be greater than $75, 000.00 for diversity of citizenship jurisdiction. 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a).
Here, the citizens are diverse. However, Plaintiff has not alleged an amount in controversy exceeding $75, 000.00. Thus, subject-matter jurisdiction is ...