United States District Court, D. Nebraska
ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE
Michael D. Nelson United States Magistrate Judge
matter is before the Court sua sponte after review
of the docket and Plaintiff's pleadings. Plaintiff filed
her Complaint (Filing No. 1) on February 13, 2019,
and an Amended Complaint (Filing No. 5) on February
federal court not only has the power but also the obligation
at any time to inquire into jurisdiction whenever the
possibility that jurisdiction does not exist arises.”
Fitzgerald v. Seaboard Sys. R.R., Inc., 760 F.2d
1249, 1251 (11th Cir. 1985) (citing Philbrook v.
Glodgett, 421 U.S. 707 (1975)). “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). “It is a fundamental precept
that federal courts are courts of limited jurisdiction. The
limits upon federal jurisdiction, whether imposed by the
Constitution or by Congress, must be neither disregarded nor
evaded.” Owen Equip. & Erection Co. v.
Kroger, 437 U.S. 365, 374 (1978). “[C]onclusory
allegations do not provide an adequate basis for determining
this court's jurisdiction.” Jil McCorkindale v.
Am. Home Assurance Co./A.I.C., 909 F.Supp. 646, 656
(N.D. Iowa 1995).
district court can attain subject-matter jurisdiction under
federal question or diversity jurisdiction. See 28 U.S.C.
§§ 1331-32. A district court's federal question
jurisdiction extends to “all civil actions arising
under the Constitution, laws, or treaties of the United
States.” See 28 U.S.C. § 1331. Diversity
jurisdiction is limited to cases in which the
“controversy exceeds the sum or value of $75, 000,
exclusive of interest and costs, and is between . . .
citizens of different States[.]” See 28 U.S.C. §
1332(a). “[P]ro se complaints are to be construed
liberally[.]” Stringer v. St. James R-1 Sch.
Dist., 446 F.3d 799, 802 (8th Cir. 2006). Construing the
plaintiff's Amended Complaint liberally, the Court finds
that it fails to show any manner in which this court could
find a basis for jurisdiction based on either diversity of
citizenship or a federal question arising under the
Constitution, law, or treaties of the United States.
See28 U.S.C. §§ 1331-32.
although the plaintiff alleges the defendants owe her a sum
of money and invokes this court's diversity jurisdiction,
the face of her Amended Complaint demonstrates that the
requirements for diversity jurisdiction do not exist. The
plaintiff claims she is owed $55, 844.80 for work she
completed as an Accounting Clerk II, alleging that she was
paid at a lower hourly rate than the rate paid to Accounting
Clerk I's, who have less seniority and fewer
responsibilities. The plaintiff's claim for $55, 844.80
is well below the $75, 000 threshold required for diversity
jurisdiction. (Filing No. 5 at pp. 4, 10); see
U.S.C. § 1332(a) (requiring the amount in controversy to
exceed $75, 000). Further, the Amended Complaint and the
summons show that both the plaintiff and at least one named
defendant are Nebraska residents. (Filing No. 5;
Filing No. 2); see OnePoint Sols., LLC v.
Borchert, 486 F.3d 342, 346 (8th Cir. 2007)
(“Complete diversity of citizenship exists where no
defendant holds citizenship in the same state where any
plaintiff holds citizenship.”). Accordingly, diversity
jurisdiction does not exist.
no federal cause of action or basis for federal court
jurisdiction is apparent from the Amended Complaint. The
plaintiff attached documents to her Amended Complaint showing
she filed a Charge of Discrimination on May 4, 2018, with the
Nebraska Equal Opportunity Commission, and May 9, 2018, with
the EEOC, alleging discrimination on the basis of her race
and age, and retaliation for filing a previous charge of
discrimination. (Filing No. 5 at p. 20). Neither the
NEOC or EEOC right-to-sue letters regarding the
plaintiff's charges are before the court. It appears that
the plaintiff and the NEOC attempted to negotiate a
pre-determination settlement of the plaintiff's claims,
see Filing No. 5 at pp. 8-19, and it is the
plaintiff's counteroffer of $55, 844.80 that she seeks to
recover in this action. (Filing No. 5 at pp. 5, 10).
The plaintiff's Amended Complaint does not appear to
raise claims for discrimination under Nebraska state law or
under Title VII arising out of her NEOC and EEOC charges, but
rather is a claim based on the pre-determination settlement
agreement. At this time, liberally construing the
plaintiff's Amended Complaint, she does not state any
claim arising under the Constitution, laws, or treaties of
the United States, as required by 28 U.S.C. § 1331.
Accordingly, the plaintiff shall have an opportunity to show
cause why this matter should not be summarily dismissed for
lack of subject matter jurisdiction.
IS ORDERED: Plaintiff shall have to May 6,
2019, to show cause why this case should not be
dismissed for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.
 A civil complaint based on a charge of
discrimination must be filed within 90-days of receipt of the
right-to-sue notice. See 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-5(f)(1); Neb.
Rev. Stat. § 48-1120.01; Hohn v. BNSF Ry. ...