United States District Court, E.D. California
ROBIN F. MATTISON, Plaintiff,
WILLIAM C. MATTISON; REBECCA D. MATTISON, Defendants.
FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS THAT PLAINTIFF’S
COMPLAINT BE DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE (DOCKET NO. 1)
K. OBERTO UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
5, 2016, Plaintiff Robin Mattison (“Plaintiff”),
a state prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma
pauperis, filed this action against Defendants William
Mattison and Rebecca Mattison (“Defendants”).
(Doc. 1.) For the reasons set forth below, the Court
RECOMMENDS that Plaintiff’s complaint be DISMISSED with
prejudice and without leave to amend.
alleges that his mother passed away in April 2011, leaving a
will naming Defendant William Mattison as Executor and a life
insurance policy worth $5, 000 naming Plaintiff as
Beneficiary. Defendant William Mattison promised Plaintiff he
would send payments totaling the value of the life insurance
policy in regular increments, so as to not be appropriated by
the prison system. Over the course of four years, Defendant
William Mattison paid Plaintiff a total of $923.28, before
ceasing communication. Plaintiff alleges Defendant William
Mattison has breached his fiduciary duty to Plaintiff in
violation of the “express trust” to pay Plaintiff
the value of the life insurance policy.
cases where the plaintiff is proceeding in forma
pauperis, the Court is required to screen each case, and
must dismiss the case at any time if the Court determines
that the allegation of poverty is untrue, or the Court
determines that the action or appeal is frivolous or
malicious, fails to state a claim upon which relief may be
granted, or seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is
immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2). 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 are capable of being cured by
amendment. Lopez v. Smith, 203 F.3d 1122, 1130 (9th
Cir. 2000) (en banc).
complaint must contain a “short and plain statement of
the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to
relief.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). Detailed factual
allegations are not required, but “[t]hreadbare
recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by
mere conclusory statements, do not suffice.”
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting
Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555
(2007)). A complaint may not simply allege a wrong has been
committed and demand relief. The pleading standard
“demands more than an unadorned,
the-defendant-unlawfully-harmed-me accusation[;]” the
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 555, 570). Further, while
factual allegations are accepted as true, legal conclusions
are not. Id. (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at
Plaintiff Has Not Pled Any Cognizable Federal Claim
seeks compensation for breach of an oral contract executed
between himself and Defendants.
courts have no power to consider claims for which they lack
subject-matter jurisdiction. Bender v. Williamsport Area
Sch. Dist., 475 U.S. 534, 541 (1986); see also Vacek
v. United States Postal Serv., 447 F.3d 1248, 1250 (9th
Cir. 2006) (citing Kokkonen v. Guardian Life Ins. Co. of
Am., 511 U.S. 375, 377 (1994)). Subject matter
jurisdiction is determined and must exist at the time the
complaint is filed. See Morongo Band of Mission Indians
v. Cal. State Bd. of Equalization, 858 F.2d 1376, 1380
(9th Cir. 1988) (looking to original complaint, and not
amended complaint, for subject matter jurisdiction).
Court has an independent duty to consider its own
subject-matter jurisdiction, whether or not the issue is
raised by the parties, (id., ) and must dismiss an
action over which it lacks jurisdiction. Fed.R.Civ.P.
12(h)(3); see also Cal. Diversified Promotions, Inc. v.
Musick, 505 F.2d 278, 280 (9th Cir. 1974) (“It has
long been held that a judge can dismiss sua sponte
for lack of jurisdiction.”). The burden is on the
federal plaintiff to allege facts establishing that
jurisdiction exists to hear her claims.
construed, Plaintiff’s complaint alleges that he was
harmed by Defendants’ failure to pay him the full value
of a life insurance policy. At best, this is a state claim
for fraud, breach of contract, and/or breach of fiduciary
duty. Because Plaintiff has not articulated any cognizable
federal claim over which this Court may assert jurisdiction,
dismissal is recommended. Bend ...