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Horne v. Meadows

United States District Court, D. Minnesota

August 22, 2014

ALEX D. HORNE, Plaintiff,
v.
GREGORY L. MEADOWS, Most Worshipful Grand Master; and MOST WORSHIPFUL PRINCE HALL GRAND LODGE OF FREE AND ACCEPTED MASONS OF MINNESOTA AND ITS JURISDICTIONS, INC., Defendants.

Alex D. Horne, pro se.

REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

TONY N. LEUNG, Magistrate Judge.

This matter is before the undersigned United States Magistrate Judge on the application of Plaintiff Alex D. Horne for leave to proceed in forma pauperis ("IFP"). See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(1). Because the Court lacks jurisdiction over the claim raised in Horne's complaint, this Court recommends that Horne's IFP application be denied and that this case be dismissed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii).

Horne's complaint alleges that this Court has subject-matter jurisdiction over this lawsuit under 28 U.S.C. § 1331, which provides district courts with "original jurisdiction of all civil actions arising under the Constitution, laws, or treaties of the United States." But the only claim raised against Defendants in Horne's complaint is one for defamation - a state-law cause of action. Even affording Horne's pro se complaint a liberal construction, see Stone v. Harry, 364 F.3d 912, 914 (8th Cir. 2004), that complaint cannot reasonably be interpreted as raising any claims for relief under federal law. Accordingly, § 1331 does not provide this Court with jurisdiction over Horne's complaint.

Nor does this Court have jurisdiction over this case based on diversity of citizenship. See 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a). Horne disclaims in his complaint that complete diversity of citizenship exists in this case, see Compl. at 3 [ECF No. 1], and, in fact, it appears from the complaint that Horne and each of the defendants is a citizen of Minnesota, see id. at 2. Accordingly, § 1332(a) cannot provide this Court with jurisdiction over this lawsuit.

Without a basis for subject-matter jurisdiction, this Court cannot entertain Horne's complaint. This Court therefore recommends that Horne's complaint be summarily dismissed for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction and that his IFP application be denied. See Uresti v. Berchelmann, 545 Fed.Appx. 271, 272-73 (5th Cir. 2013) (per curiam) (affirming dismissal under § 1915(e) for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction).

RECOMMENDATION

Based on the foregoing, and on all of the files, records, and proceedings herein, IT IS HEREBY RECOMMENDED that:

1. The application of Plaintiff Alex D. Horne to proceed in forma pauperis [ECF No. 2] be DENIED.
2. The complaint [ECF No. 1] be SUMMARILY DISMISSED WITHOUT PREJUDICE for lack of jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii).

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