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Roy v. U-Haul

United States District Court, D. New Jersey

November 21, 2014

FRANK ROY, Plaintiff,
v.
U-HAUL, Defendant.

Frank Roy, Vineland, New Jersey, Pro Se Plaintiff.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

NOEL L. HILLMAN, District Judge.

This matter having come before the Court by way of Plaintiff's application to proceed in forma pauperis and by way of Plaintiff's complaint submitted on May 5, 2014 alleging a violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1983; and

The Court, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915, having previously reviewed the complaint to determine whether any claim is frivolous, malicious, fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted, or seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief; and

The Court having found that Plaintiff's complaint, even construed liberally, did not allege facts sufficient to demonstrate that Plaintiff can maintain a plausible claim for relief under 42 U.S.C. § 1983; and

The Court specifically having found that Plaintiff failed to adequately allege facts to demonstrate that Defendant U-Haul was acting under color of state law, or how Defendant's alleged conduct violated Plaintiff's constitutionally protected rights (Mem. Op. and Order 8, June 16, 2014 [Doc. No. 3]); and

The Court having dismissed Plaintiff's complaint without prejudice and having granted Plaintiff leave to file an amended complaint which set forth sufficient facts demonstrating that Plaintiff has a plausible claim for relief (Id. at 9); and

Plaintiff having filed an amended complaint [Doc. No. 4] on July 8, 2014; and

The Court noting that in the amended complaint, Plaintiff removes any reference to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, and instead asserts diversity of citizenship as a basis for jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1332; and

The Court noting that federal courts have an independent obligation to address issues of subject matter jurisdiction sua sponte and may do so at any stage of the litigation, see Adamczewski v. Emerson Elec. Co., No. 10-4862, 2011 WL 1045162, at *1 (D.N.J. Mar. 22, 2011) (citing Meritcare Inc. v. St. Paul Mercury Ins. Co., 166 F.3d 214, 217 (3d Cir. 1999), overruled on other grounds by Exxon Mobil Corp. v. Allapattah Svcs., Inc., 545 U.S. 546, 125 S.Ct. 2611, 162 L.Ed.2d 502 (2005)); see also Zambelli Fireworks Mfg. Co. v. Wood, 592 F.3d 412, 418 (3d Cir. 2010) ("Federal courts are courts of limited jurisdiction, and when there is a question as to our authority to hear a dispute, it is incumbent upon the courts to resolve such doubts, one way or the other, before proceeding to a disposition on the merits.'") (citing Carlsberg Res. Corp. v. Cambria Sav. & Loan Ass'n, 554 F.2d 1254, 1256 (3d Cir. 1977)); and

The Court also noting that 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a) provides that the Court has original jurisdiction over all civil actions where the matter in controversy exceeds $75, 000, exclusive of interest and costs, and is between citizens of different States; and

The Court further noting that in the amended complaint, Plaintiff avers that Defendant is a citizen of the State of Arizona, with "a" principal place of business in Arizona and "to the best of Plaintiff's knowledge, information and belief" is incorporated under the laws of Arizona; and

The Court finding that Plaintiff fails to properly aver the citizenship of Defendant because Plaintiff avers that Defendant has "a" principal place of business in Arizona rather than averring that Defendant has "its" principal place of business in Arizona, see Swiger v. Allegheny Energy, Inc., 540 F.3d 179, 182 (3d Cir. 2008); see also McNair v. Synapse Group Inc., 672 F.3d 213, 219 n.4 (3d Cir. 2012); and

The Court further finding that Plaintiff fails to properly aver the citizenship of Defendant because jurisdictional allegations made upon "information and belief" are insufficient to convince the Court that diversity exists between the ...


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