United States District Court, D. Nebraska
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
Richard G. Kopf, Senior United States District Judge
matter is before the court on initial review of
Plaintiff’s Complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
APPLICABLE STANDARDS ON INITIAL REVIEW
court is required to review in forma pauperis complaints to
determine whether summary dismissal is appropriate.
See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e). The court must dismiss
a complaint or any portion of it 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. §
plaintiffs must set forth enough factual allegations to
“nudge their claims across the line from conceivable
to plausible, ” or “their complaint must be
dismissed.” Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly,
550 U.S. 544, 569-70 (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”).
essential function of a complaint under the Federal Rules of
Civil Procedure is to give the opposing party ‘fair
notice of the nature and basis or grounds for a claim, and a
general indication of the type of litigation
involved.’” Topchian v. JPMorgan Chase Bank,
N.A., 760 F.3d 843, 848 (8th Cir. 2014) (quoting
Hopkins v. Saunders, 199 F.3d 968, 973 (8th Cir.
1999)). However, “[a] pro se complaint must be
liberally construed, and pro se litigants are held to a
lesser pleading standard than other parties.”
Topchian, 760 F.3d at 849 (internal quotation marks
and citations omitted).
SUMMARY OF COMPLAINT
construed, Plaintiff alleges he was terminated from his
employment with Defendant Great Dane Trailers based on
discrimination. (Filing No. 1 at CM/ECF p. 7.) He
also alleges that Defendant Adventure Staffing Agency refused
to find him a job following his termination. (Filing No.
1 at CM/ECF p. 8.) Plaintiff contends that as a
result of his termination, he was unable to collect
unemployment benefits, incurred medical bills due to loss of
insurance benefits, and fell behind in other bills. (Filing
No. 1 at CM/ECF p. 7.) Plaintiff seeks damages
totaling $35, 850.00. (Filing No. 1 at CM/ECF p.
evaluating Plaintiff’s claims, the court must first
determine whether it has subject-matter jurisdiction. Federal
district courts are courts of limited jurisdiction.
Kokkonen v. Guardian Life Ins. Co. of Am., 511 U.S. 375,
377 (1994). The subject-matter jurisdiction of the federal
district courts is generally set forth in 28 U.S.C.
§§ 1331 and 1332. Under these statutes, federal
jurisdiction is available only when the parties are of
diverse citizenship and the amount in controversy exceeds
$75, 000.00, or when a “federal question” is
presented. “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).
matter jurisdiction is proper pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
1332, commonly referred to as “diversity of
citizenship” jurisdiction, when “the citizenship
of each plaintiff is different from the citizenship of each
defendant.” Ryan v. Schneider Natl. Carriers,
Inc., 263 F.3d 816, 819 (8th Cir. 2001). In addition,
the amount in controversy must be greater than $75, 000.00.
28 U.S.C. § 1332(a).
matter jurisdiction is proper under 28 U.S.C. § 1331
when a plaintiff asserts a “non-frivolous claim of a
right or remedy under a federal statute, ” the
Constitution, or treaties of the United States, commonly
referred to as “federal question” jurisdiction.
Northwest South Dakota Prod. Credit Ass’n v.
Smith, 784 F.2d 323, 325 (8th Cir. 1986). Under this
type of jurisdiction, a plaintiff must allege that the
defendants deprived him of a right secured by the
Constitution or laws of the United States. Also, a plaintiff
must allege that the deprivation was committed under
“color of state law” in order to bring a claim
under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. West v. Atkins, 487
U.S. 42, 48 (1988); Buckley v. Barlow, 997 F.2d 494, 495 (8th
court questions whether it has jurisdiction over this matter.
From the face of the Complaint, it is apparent that the
parties are not diverse and the amount in controversy is less
than $75, 000.00. Clearly, diversity jurisdiction does not
exist. Further, Plaintiff does not set forth any allegation
that could be liberally construed to violate any federal
statute. It appears that Plaintiff has sought to assert a
claim based on employment discrimination. To the extent that
circuits have held that a plaintiff alleging employment
discrimination is not limited to recovery under Title VII,
but may also recover under § 1983 if the alleged
discrimination amounted to a violation of a constitutional
right, Plaintiff has failed to assert the basis of
discrimination. Henley v. Brown, 686 F.3d 634,
642-43 (8th Cir. 2012). Except for the implication that
Plaintiff is male, he has not alleged his membership in a
protected class, such as race, national origin, gender, age,
and/or disability. Moreover, the Complaint lacks any
indication that Defendants were acting under color of state
law. Therefore, Plaintiff’s allegations do not
establish that federal question jurisdiction exists in this
court’s own motion, Plaintiff will have 30 days from
the date of this Memorandum and Order to file an amended
complaint that sets forth the basis for this court’s
subject matter jurisdiction. Failure to do ...