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Phyllis A. Taylor v. Central Mortgage Company

February 10, 2011


The opinion of the court was delivered by: Sheila K. Oberto United States Magistrate Judge



On February 4, 2011, Plaintiff Phyllis A. Taylor ("Plaintiff"), proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis, filed this action against Central Mortgage Company ("Defendant"). Plaintiff's complaint states the following:

Plaintiff, PHYLLIS A. TAYLOR is an individual, [sic] and complaint against Defendant to produce original Promissory Note [sic] signed by Plaintiff on April 25, 2006[.] The acts alleged here between defendants CENTRAL MORTGAGE COMPANY including their [sic] authorized agents, and Plaintiff is requesting to obtain original documents before going to trustee sale or foreclosure and for my own personal inspection. The real property to which the contracts, obligations, duties, breaches and alleged herein, State of California and in the County of Fresno is located at 3745 E. Holland Avenue, Fresno, California, 93726. (Doc. 2.)


A. Screening Requirement

The Court is required to screen complaints brought by parties proceeding in forma pauperis. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2). The Court must dismiss a complaint, or portion thereof, if it is legally frivolous or malicious, fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. Id. If the Court determines that the complaint fails to state a claim, leave to amend may be granted to the extent that the deficiencies of the complaint can be cured by amendment. Lopez v. Smith, 203 F.3d 1122, 1130 (9th Cir. 2000) (en banc).

B. Failure to State a Claim

In determining whether a complaint fails to state a claim, the Court uses the same pleading standard used under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a). Under Rule 8(a), a complaint must contain a "short and plain statement of the grounds for the court's jurisdiction . . ." and "a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief." Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a)(1)-(2). "[T]he pleading standard Rule 8 announces does not require 'detailed factual allegations,' but it demands more than an unadorned, the-defendant-unlawfully-harmed-me accusation." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S. Ct. 1937, 1949 (2009) (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)). "[A] complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to 'state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'" Id. (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570). "[A] complaint [that] pleads facts that are 'merely consistent with' a defendant's liability . . . 'stops short of the line between possibility and plausibility of entitlement to relief.'" Id. (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 557). Further, although a court must accept as true all factual allegations contained in a complaint, a court need not accept a plaintiff's legal conclusions as true. Id. "Threadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not suffice." Id. (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555).

C. Jurisdiction of the Court

The jurisdiction of the federal courts is limited to matters expressly provided in the Constitution or through statute. Kokkonen v. Guardian Life Ins. Co. of Am., 511 U.S. 375, 377 (1994). A federal court can exercise supplemental jurisdiction over state law claims, which would ordinarily be outside federal authority, when those claims are logically related to federal claims properly before the court. Volt Info. Sciences, Inc. v. Bd. of Trs. of Leland Stanford Junior Univ., 489 U.S. 468, 484 (1989). In civil disputes, subject matter jurisdiction exists where (1) requirements for diversity are met or (2) the complaint involves a claim arising under federal law. 28 U.S.C. §§ 1332, 1331.

1. Diversity Jurisdiction

Diversity jurisdiction exists in civil disputes between citizens of different states where the amount in controversy exceeds $75,000, exclusive of interest and costs. 28 U.S.C. §1332(a)-(a)(1). Plaintiff does not make a monetary demand; she requests inspection of documents related to her mortgage with Central Mortgage Company. Therefore, the amount in controversy is not pled to meet the threshold for diversity jurisdiction.

Additionally, Plaintiff has not pled sufficient facts to indicate that there is complete diversity between Plaintiff and Central Mortgage Company, i.e., that they are residents of different states. "Individuals are citizens of their state of domicile." Munoz v. Small Bus. Admin., 644 F.2d 1361, 1365 (9th Cir. 1981). "A person's domicile is [his/]her permanent home, where [he/]she resides with the intention to remain or to which [he/]she intends to return." Kanter v. Warner-Lambert Co., 265 F.3d 853, 857 (9th Cir. 2001). "[A] corporation shall be deemed to be a citizen of any State by which it has been incorporated and of the State where it has its principal place of business . . . ." 28 U.S.C. ยง1332(c)(1). Plaintiff has not alleged her citizenship. Further, Plaintiff has failed to indicate Central ...

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