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Chapman v. Howard University

United States District Court, District Circuit

January 17, 2013

Nathan A. Chapman Jr., Plaintiff,
v.
Howard University, Defendant.

MEMORANDUM OPINION

This matter is before the Court on plaintiff s pro se complaint and application to proceed in forma pauperis. The Court will grant plaintiffs application and dismiss the complaint for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.

The subject matter jurisdiction of the federal district courts is limited and is set forth generally at 28 U.S.C. §§ 1331 and 1332. Under those statutes, federal jurisdiction is available only when a "federal question" is presented or the parties are of diverse citizenship and the amount in controversy exceeds $75, 000. A party seeking relief in the district court must at least plead facts that bring the suit within the court's jurisdiction. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a). Failure to plead such facts warrants dismissal of the action. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(h)(3).

Plaintiff is a resident of Baltimore, Maryland, suing Howard University in the District of Columbia for breach of contract. He demands $60, 000. Compl. at 10. Plaintiff has not pleaded a sufficient amount in controversy to bring this case within the Court's diversity jurisdiction, and the complaint does not present a federal question. Hence, this case will be dismissed. Plaintiffs recourse lies, if at all, in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. A separate Order accompanies this Memorandum Opinion.


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