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Larry Barner v. Denise W. Lewis

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT CENTRAL DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA


November 10, 2011

LARRY BARNER
v.
DENISE W. LEWIS, ET AL.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: The Honorable Dolly M. Gee, United States District Judge

CIVIL MINUTES-GENERAL

Title

Present: The Honorable DOLLY M. GEE, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

VALENCIA VALLERY NOT REPORTED

Deputy Clerk Court Reporter

Attorneys Present for Plaintiff(s) Attorneys Present for Defendant(s)

None Present None Present

Proceedings: IN CHAMBERS-ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE WHY THIS ACTION SHOULD NOT BE DISMISSED FOR LACK OF SUBJECT MATTER JURISDICTION

On October 25, 2011, Plaintiff filed a complaint in this Court. Plaintiff asserts jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1338, which vests federal district courts with subject matter jurisdiction over actions "relating to patents, plant variety protection, copyrights and trademarks." 28 U.S.C. § 1338(a). Plaintiff's claims-though difficult to understand-clearly do not pertain to intellectual property. Thus, 28 U.S.C. § 1338 does not provide a basis for jurisdiction.

Nor is any jurisdictional basis apparent from the face of the complaint. Under 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a)(1), courts have diversity jurisdiction if at least $75,000 is in controversy and the action arises between "citizens of different States." To establish diversity jurisdiction, there must be "complete diversity between the parties-each defendant must be a citizen of a different state from each plaintiff." Diaz v. Davis (In re Digimarc Corp. Derivative Litig.), 549 F.3d 1223, 1234 (9th Cir. 2008) (citing Strawbridge v. Curtiss, 7 U.S. (3 Cranch) 267, 267, 2 L.Ed. 435 (1806)). Here, all parties appear to be California citizens, thus defeating diversity. Moreover, the amount in controversy appears to be $5,000-far less than the jurisdictional minimum.

Under 28 U.S.C. § 1331, district courts have jurisdiction over "all civil actions arising under the Constitution, laws, or treaties of the United States." A case "arises under" federal law within the meaning of Section 1331 "if a well-pleaded complaint establishes either that federal law creates the cause of action or that the plaintiff's right to relief necessarily depends on resolution of a substantial question of federal law." Proctor v. Vishay Intertechnology Inc., 584 F.3d 1208, 1219 (9th Cir. 2009) (quoting Empire Healthchoice Assurance, Inc. v. McVeigh, 547 U.S. 677, 689-90, 126 S.Ct. 2121, 165 L.Ed.2d 131 (2006)) (internal quotation marks omitted). Plaintiff's claims, however, do not appear to arise under federal law. Thus, there appears to be no federal question jurisdiction.

Therefore, Plaintiff is hereby ORDERED TO SHOW CAUSE why this action should not be dismissed for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. Plaintiff shall file his response by no later than December 2, 2011. Failure to file a satisfactory response will result in the dismissal of this action.*fn1

IT IS SO ORDERED.


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