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Johnson v. Cooper Medical Hospital

United States District Court, D. New Jersey

January 29, 2019

CHERYL B. JOHNSON, Plaintiff,
v.
COOPER MEDICAL HOSPITAL and COOPER PLAZA, Defendants.

          CHERYL B. JOHNSON Appearing pro se

          MEMORANDUM OPINION & ORDER

          HILLMAN, District Judge

         WHEREAS, Plaintiff, Cheryl B. Johnson, appearing pro se, filed a complaint against Defendants Cooper Medical Hospital and Cooper Plaza, which was transferred from the Eastern District of Pennsylvania to this Court on December 4, 2018; and

         WHEREAS, on December 4, 2018, this Court reviewed Plaintiff's complaint, in which she claims that in June 2016, Defendants performed a mammogram which left her with scarring, and she suffered two strokes from medication prescribed by Defendants; and

         WHEREAS, the Court screened Plaintiff's complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(1) because she filed an application to proceed without prepayment of fees (“in forma pauperis” or “IFP” application), and the screening provisions of the IFP statute require a federal court to dismiss an action sua sponte if, among other things, the action is frivolous or malicious, or if it fails to comply with the proper pleading standards, see 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(i)-(iii); Ball v. Famiglio, 726 F.3d 448, 452 (3d Cir. 2013); and

         WHEREAS, the Court found that Plaintiff's complaint was deficient because Plaintiff claimed that this Court's jurisdiction over her case - which appeared to assert no federal claim but rather a state law negligence claim - was premised on the diverse citizenship of the parties, see 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a), [1]but Plaintiff averred that she is a citizen of New Jersey and Defendants are citizens of New Jersey, which did not establish that Plaintiff and Defendants were diverse under § 1332(a) (Docket No. 6 at 3); and

         WHEREAS, the Court also found that Plaintiff's complaint did not properly plead the citizenship of Defendants, which appeared to be business entities, and as such, special pleading rules applied (Id. at 6-7);[2] and

         WHEREAS, the Court granted Plaintiff's IFP application, and provided Plaintiff with 20 days to cure the pleading deficiencies regarding the Court's jurisdiction, but the Court also ordered that if Plaintiff failed to do so, the case would be dismissed for lack of subject matter jurisdiction, see Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(h)(3); and

         WHEREAS, in response to the Court's Order, Plaintiff filed two amended complaints (Docket No. 8, 9);[3]

         WHEREAS, Plaintiff's amended complaints do not correct the jurisdictional defect of her original complaint; and WHEREAS, Plaintiff avers in her amended complaints that subject matter jurisdiction is premised on diversity of citizenship, but Plaintiff lists her citizenship as New Jersey and Defendant Cooper Medical Hospital's citizenship as New Jersey, which does not demonstrate that Plaintiff's state of citizenship is different from Defendant's state of citizenship to satisfy the diversity of citizenship requirement of § 1332(a);[4] and

         WHEREAS, Plaintiff's amended complaints appear to assert claims under state law, and there is nothing in her amended complaints that can be construed to assert a claim based on federal law or against a federal government defendant such that jurisdiction could be premised on federal question jurisdiction, 28 U.S.C. § 1331, instead of under § 1332(a);

         THEREFORE, IT IS on this 29th day of January, 2019 ORDERED that Plaintiff's amended complaints [8, 9] be, and the same hereby are, DISMISSED for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.

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