United States District Court, N.D. West Virginia, Martinsburg
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
W. TRUMBLE, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
before the Court is Daniel Holdren's
(“Plaintiff”) pro se Motion [ECF No. 2] for Leave
to Proceed in forma pauperis. Because Plaintiff
seeks to proceed without prepaying fees, the undersigned must
conduct a preliminary review to determine whether
Plaintiff's pro se Complaint [ECF No. 1] sets forth any
viable claims. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B).
Although Plaintiff's Complaint is far from clear, the
undersigned nevertheless concludes that this Court lacks
subject-matter jurisdiction over his claims. Accordingly, the
undersigned recommends that Plaintiff's complaint be
dismissed without prejudice and that Plaintiff's motion
to proceed in forma pauperis be denied as moot.
30, 2018, the West Virginia Coalition to End Homelessness
(“Defendant”) filed a complaint in the Magistrate
Court of Berkeley County, West Virginia, arguing that
Plaintiff-having been given thirty days' notice-should be
removed from the property and not allowed to return because
Plaintiff is not eligible for the housing program and has not
signed a lease for the property. ECF No. 1-2 at 4. On May 9,
2018, Plaintiff filed an answer to the complaint denying the
allegations and arguing that he is in compliance under
“Federal Guidelines.” On May 25, 2018, the
Berkeley County Magistrate Court notified Plaintiff to appear
for a hearing, which would be held on May 31, 2018. ECF No.
1-1 at 1.
days later, on May 30, 2018, Plaintiff filed the instant pro
se Complaint in this Court arguing that he is entitled to
relief because he is in compliance with “Federal
Guidelines.” ECF No. 1 at 1. On his Civil Cover Sheet,
under “Basis of Jurisdiction, ” Plaintiff checked
the boxes indicating that both the plaintiff and the
defendant are the U.S. Government. ECF No. 1-8 at 1. In
addition, under “Citizenship of Principal Parties,
” Plaintiff notes that both Plaintiff and Defendant are
citizens of “This State, ” meaning West Virginia.
undersigned addresses the merits of Plaintiff's complaint
“court determines at any time that it lacks
subject-matter jurisdiction, the court must dismiss the
action.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(h)(3); see also Brickwood
Contractors, Inc. v. Datanet Eng'g, Inc., 369 F.3d
385, 390 (4th Cir. 2004) (stating that “questions of
subject-matter jurisdiction may be raised at any point during
the proceedings and may (or, more precisely, must) be raised
sua sponte by the court”). Subject-matter jurisdiction
in federal courts must be based on diversity jurisdiction or
federal-question jurisdiction. 28 U.S.C. §§ 1331,
1332. Diversity jurisdiction has two requirements: First,
there must be complete diversity of citizenship, meaning that
each plaintiff is a citizen of a different state than each
defendant. 28 U.S.C. § 1332. Second, the amount in
controversy must exceed $75, 000.00. Id. By
contrast, federal-question jurisdiction only requires that
the action “aris[e] under the Constitution, laws, or
treaties of the United States.” 28 U.S.C. § 1331.
Pursuant to the well-pleaded complaint rule, “a federal
question must appear on the face of [the] plaintiff's . .
. complaint.” Sharp v. AT & T
Commc'ns, 660 F.Supp. 650, 650 (N.D. W.Va. 1987).
The Court Lacks Subject ...