United States District Court, D. Minnesota
Michael S. Dove and Dean M. Zimmerli, Gislason & Hunter
LLP, Counsel for Defendant.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Michael J. Davis, United States District Court.
Richard Green brought this action against Defendant All
Wheels Financial Inc., alleging that Defendant violated
federal law by failing to obtain a lending license and for
wrongful repossession of equipment. Defendant moves to
dismiss the complaint on the basis of lack of subject matter
jurisdiction or in the alternative for failure to state a
claim upon which relief can be granted.
response to the motion to dismiss, Plaintiff asked the Court
for an extension of 120 days to find counsel. Previously,
Plaintiff was sent a letter on September 26, 2017 referring
him to the District of Minnesota's Pro Se Project. (Doc.
No. 7.) A text entry on the docket for this case notes that
on November 3, 2017, the Pro Se Project sent a letter to
Magistrate Judge Noel informing him that attorney Mark
Schneedbeck had agreed to consult with Plaintiff. A later
text entry in the docket notes that on December 19, 2017, the
coordinator for the Pro Se Project, Tiffany Sanders,
forwarded to chambers email correspondence with Plaintiff in
which Plaintiff informed her that he did not want to work
with attorney Schneedbeck, and asked that she find him
another lawyer. Ms. Sanders informed Plaintiff that she would
not grant this request.
the fact that Plaintiff had already been given an opportunity
to consult with counsel, the Court nonetheless granted
Plaintiff an additional thirty (30) days from the date of
oral argument, February 13, 2018, to find counsel. Thirty
days has since passed, and Plaintiff has not notified the
Court of his efforts to retain counsel, and no attorney has
filed a notice of appearance on Plaintiff's behalf.
Accordingly, the Court will now address the merits of
Defendant's motion to dismiss.
STATEMENT OF FACTS
Complaint, Plaintiff alleges that he and his grandfather, Roy
H. Green entered into a loan with Defendant on August 22,
2016 concerning the purchase of two items of trucking
equipment; a 2013 Peterbilt model 579 Semi and a 2017 Hyundai
HTCBE trailer. (Comp. at 4; Doc. 1-1 at 22, 23.) Plaintiff
alleges there were no issues for the first six months, and
that the loan payments were between $450 and 800. (Comp. at
4.) After the initial six months, however, Plaintiff alleges
his payments were not being honored and Defendant repossessed
both the truck and trailer. (Id.) Plaintiff seeks a
clear title for the equipment and damages resulting from the
repossession of the Semi and Trailer. Plaintiff claims this
Court has jurisdiction, because Defendant, as a lender, was
required to have a lending license under federal law.
attachments to the Complaint show a different picture than
that portrayed by Plaintiff's allegations. For example,
it appears that Richard Green Trucking, Inc.
(“RGTI”), not Plaintiff, purchased the Semi from
non-party Allstate Sales & Leasing Company, and financed
the purchase with Defendant in the amount of $104, 738.04
(“Semi Agreement”). (Doc. 1-1 at 29-34.) Pursuant
to the Semi Agreement, RGTI agreed to make monthly
installment payments in the amount of $1, 779.48.
(Id. at 30.) At that time, Plaintiff's
grandfather, Roy H. Green, also a non-party, executed a
Guaranty whereby he personally guaranteed the entire
indebtedness owed by RGTI to Allstate and its assigns.
(Id. at 35.) The Certificate of Title shows that
Defendant is the secured party. (Id. at 26.)
also purchased the Trailer from Allstate and financed the
purchase with Defendant (“Trailer Agreement”),
which required monthly payments of $702.68. (Id. at
41-45, 39.) The Trailer Agreement was executed by RGTI and
Roy H. Green and provided that in the event of default,
Defendant was entitled to take possession of the Trailer.
(Id. at 39, 42.) Plaintiff executed a personal
guaranty for the Trailer. (Id. at 51.)
MOTION TO DISMISS
moves to dismiss the Complaint for lack of subject matter
jurisdiction as Plaintiff lacks standing and because
Plaintiff has not raised a question involving federal law.
Subject matter jurisdiction
“generally may not rule on the merits of a case without
first determining that it has jurisdiction over the category
of claim in the suit (subject-matter jurisdiction) and the
parties (personal jurisdiction).” Sinochem
Int'l Co. Ltd. v. Malaysia Int'l Shipping Corp.,
549 U.S. 422, 430-31 (2007). “'Without jurisdiction
the court cannot proceed at all in any cause'; it may not
assume jurisdiction for the purpose of ...