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Eric Hairston v. Security National Mortgage Company

April 25, 2012

ERIC HAIRSTON
v.
SECURITY NATIONAL MORTGAGE COMPANY, ET AL.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Present: The Honorable John A. Kronstadt, United States District Judge

CIVIL MINUTES -- GENERAL

Andrea Keifer Not Reported

Deputy Clerk Court Reporter / Recorder

Attorneys Present for Plaintiffs: Attorneys Present for Defendants:

Not Present Not Present

Proceedings: (IN CHAMBERS) ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE RE SUBJECT MATTER

JURISDICTION

In this action, Plaintiff Eric Hairston, who is representing himself, brings four state law claims arising from an alleged November 2000 mortgage to Plaintiff. Plaintiff brings these claims against six defendants. Plaintiff's claims are: (1) breach of contract, implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing; (2) fraud and misrepresentation; (3) usury and misrepresentation; and (4) intentional infliction of emotional distress. Complaint ("Compl"), Dkt. 1.

As a court of limited jurisdiction, see Kokkonen v. Guardian Life Ins. Co. of Am., 511 U.S. 375, 377 (1994), this Court must determine the issue of subject matter jurisdiction before reaching the merits of a see Steel Co. v. Citizens for a Better Env't., 523 U.S. 83, 94 (1998). Plaintiff seeks to invoke the subject matter jurisdiction of this Court under 28 U.S.C. § 1331 (federal question jurisdiction), 28 U.S.C. § 1332 (diversity jurisdiction), and 28 U.S.C. § 1343 (civil rights removal jurisdiction).

Federal question jurisdiction exists where a civil action arises "under the Constitution, laws, or treaties of the United States." 28 U.S.C. § 1331.

A claim arises under federal law within § 1331 if it is apparent from the face of the complaint either that (1) a federal law creates the plaintiff's cause of action; or (2) if a state law creates the cause of action, a federal law that creates a cause of action is a necessary element of the plaintiff's claim.

Virgin v. County of San Luis Obispo, 201 F.3d 1141, 1142-43 (9th Cir. 2000). None of Plaintiff's state law causes of action arises under federal law, and no federal law that creates a cause of action is a necessary element of any of Plaintiff's claims. Although Plaintiff refers to numerous federal statutes in his Complaint, such as the Civil Rights Act, 42 U.S.C. § 1983, various federal criminal laws, 18 U.S.C. §§ 1341, 1343, and the Federal Reserve Act, 12 U.S.C. § 411, Plaintiff has not brought claims under any of these statutes, and it is unclear how any of these statutes relates to his state law claims. Nor is it clear how Plaintiff's reference to various provisions of the Contract Clause, U.S. CONST. art I, § 10, cl. 1 ("No State shall . . . coin Money; emit Bills of Credit; make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts . . . ."), in any way relates to Plaintiff's state law claims; see also Allied Structural Steel Co. v. Spannaus, 438 U.S. 234, 257 (1978) ("[T]he sole evil at which the Contract Clause was directed was the theretofore rampant state legislative interference with the ability of creditors to obtain the payment or security provided for by contract. The Framers regarded the Contract Clause as simply an adjunct to the currency provisions of Art. I, § 10, which operated primarily to bar legislation depriving creditors of the payment of the full value of their loans. The Clause was thus intended by the Framers to be applicable only to laws which altered the obligations of contracts by effectively relieving one party of the obligation to perform a contract duty."). Thus, Plaintiff has not properly pleaded federal question jurisdiction.

Diversity jurisdiction exists only where a civil action is between citizens of different states, and the amount in controversy exceeds $75,000. 28 U.S.C. § 1332. Plaintiff has satisfied the amount-in- controversy requirement in that he requests damages in excess of $9 million. Compl. ¶¶ 3-8. However, Plaintiff has not properly pleaded his state citizenship. See Compl. ¶ 2 ("The Plaintiff in this action is a citizen of the United States."). Additionally, Plaintiff suggests that Defendants are citizens of Utah, California, Iowa, Virginia, and Missouri. Compl. ¶¶ 3-8. If Defendants in fact are citizens of those states, and if Plaintiff himself is a citizen of any of them, then Plaintiff could not rely on diversity jurisdiction, because ...


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