United States District Court, District of Columbia
April 28, 2015
DEBORAH COREATHA JOHNSON, Plaintiff,
KIMBERLY DENISE JOHNSON, Defendant.
AMIT P. MEHTA, District Judge.
This matter is before the Court on plaintiff's application to proceed in forma pauperis and her pro se civil complaint. The application will be granted, and the complaint will be dismissed without prejudice.
Plaintiff alleges that defendant was to assist her in moving her belongings to a new residence, and "[i]n the process [defendant's] vehicle broke down. Compl. ¶ 2. She further alleges that defendant has denied her efforts to retrieve her belongings, see id. ¶¶ 4-7, and that defendant demands payment of $451 for her services, id. ¶ 6. Plaintiff brings this action so that she may retrieve her property, id. ¶ 9, and she demands reimbursement for expenses she has incurred, see id. ¶¶ 8-9, as a result of defendant's actions.
Federal district courts have jurisdiction in civil actions arising under the Constitution, laws or treaties of the United States. See 28 U.S.C. § 1331. In addition, federal district courts have jurisdiction over civil actions where the matter in controversy exceeds $75, 000, and the suit is between citizens of different states. See 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a). Because plaintiff's complaint does not set forth a constitutional or statutory basis for her claims, it is not apparent that this action arises under the United States Constitution or federal law. Because the complaint does not demand damages in excess of $75, 000 and because all the parties appear to reside in the District of Columbia, plaintiff does not demonstrate diversity of citizenship. Accordingly, the complaint will be dismissed for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.
An Order consistent with this Memorandum Opinion is issued separately.