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Leibman v. Prupes

United States District Court, C.D. California

January 15, 2015

ALEXANDER LEIBMAN
v.
ALEXANDER SASHA PRUPES, ET AL

Attorneys for Plaintiffs: Not Present.

Attorneys for Defendants: Not Present.

Honorable CHRISTINA A. SNYDER, J.

Proceedings: (In Chambers) ORDER ADDRESSING PLAINTIFF'S RESPONSE TO ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE AND GRANTING LEAVE TO FILE A FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT

On November 20, 2014, plaintiff Alexander Leibman filed this lawsuit against defendant Alexander " Sasha" Prupes (" defendant") and Does 1 through 10. Dkt. No. 1. In brief, the complaint asserts that defendant, who was formerly in business with plaintiff, attempted to blackmail and extort money from plaintiff through threats that he would report plaintiff for tax fraud or evasion. On December 22, 2014, the Court ordered plaintiff to show cause why the action should not be dismissed for (1) failure to state a cognizable federal claim for relief and (2) failure to allege facts sufficient to support diversity jurisdiction. Dkt. No. 8. On January 9, 2015, plaintiff timely responded to the order to show cause. Dkt. No. 11.

In his response, plaintiff concedes that there is no private right of action under 18 U.S.C. § § 873 or 875. He nevertheless argues that the jury will need to be instructed on federal law, somehow conferring federal question jurisdiction. The Court is puzzled by this argument. In its support, plaintiff cites (1) a criminal case holding that state extortion law was properly assimilated into a federal criminal prosecution under the Assimilative Crimes Act, 18 U.S.C. § 13; (2) a federal case explaining that California law provides a private right of action for extortion; and (3) two California cases interpreting the California extortion statute.[1] None of these authorities has anything to do with federal question jurisdiction, or suggests that a California claim for extortion includes a federal question on the face of the complaint when some of the alleged conduct occurred outside of California. In fact, none of plaintiff's cited civil cases even mention the federal law of extortion. Nevertheless, plaintiff also requests leave to amend his complaint to assert a federal claim for relief for violation of the Fair Debt Collections Practice Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1692 et seq . This statute does provide a private right of action. See id. § 1692k. Because a " court should freely give leave" to amend a pleading, Fed.R.Civ.P. 15(a)(2), the Court GRANTS plaintiff leave to file his proposed First Amended Complaint forthwith.[2]

IT IS SO ORDERED.


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