United States District Court, D. Nebraska
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
Richard G. Kopf Senior United States District Judge.
John Paul Thomas, filed this case on April 17, 2017, and was
granted leave to proceed in forma pauperis on April 19, 2017.
The court now conducts an initial review of his Complaint to
determine whether summary dismissal is appropriate under 28
U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2).
SUMMARY OF COMPLAINT
alleges Defendant, Mental Health Association of Nebraska
(“MHA”), a non-profit corporation, terminated his
employment in violation of the Nebraska Fair Employment
Practice Act (“NFEPA”), Neb. Rev. Stat.
§§ 48-1101 et seq., because he is male and because
he reported a female employee was having sexual relations
with MHA's parolee clients.
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. §
1915(e)(2)(B). The court must also satisfy itself that
subject matter jurisdiction exists. See Reece v. Bank of
N.Y. Mellon, 760 F.3d 771, 774 n. 1 (8th Cir. 2014) (it
is the duty of district courts to assure themselves of
federal jurisdiction in every case before them).
alleges the court has jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. §
1343(3), which provides: “The district courts shall
have original jurisdiction of any civil action authorized by
law to be commenced by any person . . . [t]o redress the
deprivation, under color of any State law, statute,
ordinance, regulation, custom or usage, of any right,
privilege or immunity secured by the Constitution of the
United States or by any Act of Congress providing for equal
rights of citizens or of all persons within the jurisdiction
of the United States[.]” Plaintiff's jurisdictional
allegation is incorrect.
explained in Liles v. Reagan, 625 F.Supp. 1470, 1475
(D. Neb.), aff'd, 804 F.2d 493 (8th Cir. 1986):
courts are granted jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1343
to vindicate only federal rights. See, e.g., Brown v.
Board of Bar Examiners of State of Nevada, 623 F.2d 605,
609-10 (9th Cir.1980) and Ronwin v. State Bar of
Arizona, 686 F.2d 692, 698 n. 6 (9th Cir.1981) (stating
that the jurisdictional limitation stems from the express
language of Section 1343), reversed on other grounds,
Ronwin v. Hoover, 466 U.S. 558, 104 S.Ct. 1989, 80
L.Ed.2d 590 (1984). “[S]ection 1343(3) only provides
jurisdiction over claims that state officials have violated a
constitutional right or federal statute providing for equal
rights.” Redd v. Lambert, 674 F.2d 1032, 1035
(5th Cir.1982). See also, Chapman v. Houston Welfare
Rights Org., 441 U.S. 600, 99 S.Ct. 1905, 60 L.Ed.2d 508
other words, the phrase “authorized by law” in
§ 1343(a)(3) does not include any law, state or federal;
rather, jurisdiction is limited to any action to redress the
deprivation of a right secured by the Constitution of the
United States or by any act of Congress providing for equal
rights of citizens.
arising under NFEPA can be brought in federal court when
there is diversity jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. §
1332(a) (“The district courts shall have original
jurisdiction of all civil actions where the matter in
controversy exceeds $75, 000, exclusive of interest and
costs, and is between ... citizens of different
States[.]”) or supplemental jurisdiction under 28
U.S.C. § 1367(a) (“[I]n any civil action of which
the district courts have original jurisdiction, the district
courts shall have supplemental jurisdiction over all other
claims that are so related to claims in the action within
such original jurisdiction that they form part of the same
case or controversy under Article III of the United States
Constitution.”), but Plaintiff's allegations fail
to establish that either statute applies in this case. Both
parties appear to be Nebraska citizens and Plaintiff is not
claiming that his termination violated the United States
Constitution or any federal statute (which would give rise to
original jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1331).
court does not have subject matter jurisdiction over the
state-law claims ...