United States District Court, D. Minnesota
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
N. LEUNG UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
matter comes before the Court on Plaintiff Ardell
Jenkins's Complaint, ECF No. 1, and Application to
Proceed in District Court Without Prepaying Fees or Costs
(“IFP Application”), ECF No. 2. The Court
recommends dismissing this action without prejudice for lack
of jurisdiction and denying the IFP Application as moot.
courts are courts of limited jurisdiction,' possessing
‘only that power authorized by Constitution and
statute.'” Gunn v. Minton, 568 U.S. 251,
256 (2013) (quoting Kokkonen v. Guardian Life Ins. Co. of
Am., 511 U.S. 375, 377 (1994)). Under Rule 12(h)(3) of
the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, “[i]f the court
determines at any time that it lacks subject-matter
jurisdiction, the court must dismiss the action.” After
reviewing Jenkins's Complaint, the Court finds that it
lacks subject-matter jurisdiction over this action.
Complaint's sole substantive allegation reads: “I
been harass about court date harass by receptionist or the
phone trying to gain joint custody of of my child.”
Compl. at 3 (errors in original). Jenkins does not explain
what sort of relief he seeks. See Id. at 4. Review
of state-court records suggests that Jenkins has been
involved in some sort of custody action in Hennepin County,
Minnesota. See Register of Actions, Jenkins v.
Merritt, No. 27-FA-18-7111 (Minn. Dist. Ct.) (listing
case type as “Custody”), available at
http://pa.courts.state.mn.us (last accessed May 23, 2019). As
best as this Court is able to tell, Jenkins wants to bar
Defendant Family Justice Center (“FJC”) from
contacting him about some aspect of his custody case.
proceeding, this Court must ensure it has subject-matter
jurisdiction over the dispute. See, e.g.,
Ruhrgas AG v. Marathon Oil Co., 526 U.S. 574, 577
(1999); Gen. Mills, Inc. v. Retrobrands USA, LLC,
No. 19-CV-0258 (NEB/DTS), 2019 WL 1578689, at *1 (D. Minn.
Apr. 12, 2019). The main types of federal subject-matter
jurisdiction are federal-question jurisdiction under 28
U.S.C. § 1331 and diversity jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C.
§ 1332. See, e.g., Briks v. Yeager,
No. 19-CV-0001 (NEB/LIB), 2019 WL 2119560, at *2 (D. Minn.
May 15, 2019); Soltan v. Coburn, No. 09-CV-0478
(JRT/FLN), 2009 WL 2337134, at *3 (D. Minn. July 23, 2009).
jurisdiction cannot exist in this action as Jenkins indicates
that both he and the FJC are citizens of Minnesota. Compl. at
3. See E3 Biofuels, LLC v. Biothane, LLC, 781 F.3d
972, 975 (8th Cir. 2015) (diversity jurisdiction requires
that no defendant be a citizen of a state where any plaintiff
is a citizen).
jurisdiction is based on the action “arising under the
Constitution, laws, or treaties of the United States.”
28 U.S.C. § 1331. Jenkins asserts that federal-question
jurisdiction exists here, but he identifies no federal law,
constitutional provision, or treaty allegedly violated.
Without a discernable federal question, there is no basis for
jurisdiction under § 1331.
Court lacks subject-matter jurisdiction over this action, the
Court recommends that it be dismissed without prejudice. The
Court further recommends that the IFP Application be denied
on the foregoing, and on all of the files, records, and
proceedings herein, IT IS HEREBY RECOMMENDED
1. This action be DISMISSED WITHOUT
PREJUDICE for lack of jurisdiction.
2. Plaintiff's Application to Proceed in District Court
Without Prepaying Fees or Costs, ECF No. 2, be DENIED