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Title Rodney Joseph Rouzan v. Bank of America N.A.

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT CENTRAL DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA


February 17, 2012

TITLE RODNEY JOSEPH ROUZAN
v.
BANK OF AMERICA N.A., ET AL.

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

CIVIL MINUTES-GENERAL

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 February 2, 2012, Plaintiff filed a complaint in this Court. Plaintiff asserts jurisdiction under 18 U.S.C. § 1341. This statute, however, merely establishes mail fraud as a criminal offense. It does not vest this Court with jurisdiction over criminal prosecutions for mail fraud,*fn1 which in any event must be prosecuted by the government-not by private individuals such as Plaintiff. See Wisdom v. First Midwest Bank, of Poplar Bluff, 167 F.3d 402, 408 (8th Cir. 1999) (holding that Section 1341 does not provide a private right of action); Ryan v. Ohio Edison Co., 611 F.2d 1170, 1177-79 (6th Cir. 1979) (same); Bell v. Health-Mor, Inc., 549 F.2d 342 (5th Cir. 1977) (same); see also Cent. Bank of Denver, N.A. v. First Interstate Bank of Denver, N.A., 511 U.S. 164, 190, 114 S.Ct. 1439, 128 L.Ed.2d 119 (1994) (noting that the Supreme Court has been "quite reluctant to infer a private right of action from a criminal prohibition alone"). Thus, 18 U.S.C. § 1341 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."*fn2 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, both Plaintiff and Defendant ReconTrust Company N.A. appear to be California citizens, thus defeating diversity. (See Compl. ¶¶ 3, 5.)

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 claim-"commission of fraud by concealment"-does 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 February 27, 2012. Failure to file a satisfactory response will result in the dismissal of this action.*fn3

IT IS SO ORDERED.


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