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Ali v. Jawad

United States District Court, E.D. California

April 14, 2017

HUSSEIN ALI, Plaintiff,
v.
NADYA JAWAD, et al., Defendants.

          FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATION TO DISMISS COMPLAINT WITH PREJUDICE AND WITHOUT LEAVE TO AMEND (ECF NO. 1)

          MICHAEL J. SENG UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         Plaintiff Hussein Ali proceeds pro se and in forma pauperis in this complaint against Defendants Nadya Jawad, Fawzi Sood, Jamal Taha, and Nasr Jawa for “aiding and abetting, ” conversion, and defamation.

         I. Screening Requirement

         Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2), the Court must conduct an initial review of the complaint to determine if it states a cognizable claim. The Court must dismiss a complaint or portion thereof if it determines that the action has raised claims that are legally "frivolous or malicious, " "fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, " or seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B). "Notwithstanding any filing fee, or any portion thereof, that may have been paid, the court shall dismiss the case at any time if the court determines that . . . the action or appeal . . . fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted." 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii).

         II. Pleading Standard

         A 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) (citing Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)). Plaintiff must set forth “sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.” Id. Facial plausibility demands more than the mere possibility that a defendant committed misconduct and, while factual allegations are accepted as true, legal conclusions are not. Id. at 677-78.

         III. Plaintiff's Allegations

         Plaintiff's allegations may be summarized essentially as follows.

         Plaintiff gave $22, 000 cash to non-party Najeh Jawad under the assumption the funds were a loan. The loan was not paid back. According to Plaintiff, Defendants conspired with Najeh Jawad to defraud Plaintiff out of the money by receiving the funds from Jawad. This conspiracy to defraud occurred from December 2009 through January 2013. Additionally, from October 2013 to October 2015, Defendants defamed Plaintiff by accusing Plaintiff of being involved in illegal activities and stating he was dishonest and professionally incompetent.

         IV. Analysis

         A. Lack of Jurisdiction Federal courts are courts of limited jurisdiction and lack inherent or general subject matter jurisdiction. Federal courts can adjudicate only those cases authorized by the United States Constitution and Congress. Generally, such cases involve diversity of citizenship or a federal question, or cases in which the United States is a party. Kokkonen v. Guardian Life Ins. Co., 511 U.S. 375 (1994); Finley v. United States, 490 U.S. 545 (1989). Federal courts are presumptively without jurisdiction over civil actions. Kokkonen, 511 U.S. at 377. Lack of subject matter jurisdiction is never waived and may be raised by the Court sua sponte. Attorneys Trust v. Videotape Computer Prods., Inc., 93 F.3d 593, 594-95 (9th Cir. 1996). "Nothing is to be more jealously guarded by a court than its jurisdiction. Jurisdiction is what its power rests upon. Without jurisdiction it is nothing." In re Mooney, 841 F.2d 1003, 1006 (9th Cir. 1988).

         1. Diversity Jurisdiction

         28 U.S.C. § 1332(a)(1) grants federal district courts original jurisdiction over civil actions between “citizens of different States” where the amount in controversy exceeds $75, 000. To show state citizenship for the purposes of the statute, a party must be a citizen of the United States and be domiciled in the state. Kantor v. Wellesley Galleries, Ltd., 704 F.2d 1088, 1090 (9th Cir. 1983).

         Here, Plaintiff alleges that he and all of the Defendants reside in California. There are no facts to suggest any party is domiciled in another state, and thus there ...


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