United States District Court, D. Arizona
Honorable John J. Tuchi United States District Judge.
issue is Plaintiff Carmen Pearson's Application to
Proceed in District Court Without Prepaying Fees or Costs
(Doc. 2). Having determined that Plaintiff is unable to pay
the Court's fees, the Court grants the Application.
However, as set forth below, upon screening Plaintiff's
Complaint (Doc. 1, Compl.) pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
1915(e)(2), the Court has found that the Complaint fails to
establish that the Court has jurisdiction over this matter.
28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)
cases in which a party is permitted to proceed in forma
pauperis-that is, the party lacks the means to pay court
fees-Congress provided that a district court “shall
dismiss the case at any time if the court determines”
that the “allegation of poverty is untrue” or
that the “action or appeal” is “frivolous
or malicious, ” “fails to state a claim on 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). Section 1915(e)
applies to all in forma pauperis proceedings.
Lopez v. Smith, 203 F.3d 1122, 1129 (9th Cir. 2000).
“It is also clear that section 1915(e) not only permits
but requires a district court to dismiss an in forma
pauperis complaint that fails to state a claim.”
Id. at 1127.
Subject Matter Jurisdiction and Pleading in Federal
state courts, federal courts only have jurisdiction over a
limited number of cases, and those cases typically involve
either a controversy between citizens of different states
(“diversity jurisdiction”) or a question of
federal law (“federal question jurisdiction”).
See 28 U.S.C. §§ 1331, 1332. The United
States Supreme Court has stated that a federal court must not
disregard or evade the limits on its subject matter
jurisdiction. Owen Equip. & Erections Co. v.
Kroger, 437 U.S. 365, 374 (1978). Thus, a federal court
is obligated to inquire into its subject matter jurisdiction
in each case and to dismiss a case when subject matter
jurisdiction is lacking. See Valdez v. Allstate Ins.
Co., 372 F.3d 1115, 1116 (9th Cir. 2004); Fed.R.Civ.P.
Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a) provides that a complaint must
include “a short and plain statement of the grounds for
the court's jurisdiction” and “a short and
plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is
entitled to relief.” In other words, to proceed in
federal court, a plaintiff must allege enough in the
complaint for the court to conclude it has subject matter
jurisdiction. See Charles Alan Wright & Arthur
R. Miller, 5 Fed. Practice & Procedure §
1206 (3d ed. 2014). The complaint must also contain
“sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to
‘state a claim to relief that is plausible on its
face.'” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662,
678 (2009) (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550
U.S. 544, 570 (2007)).
Complaint, Plaintiff states that the basis for the
Court's jurisdiction over this matter is her claim under
the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. § 407(a) (Count 1).
(Doc. 1, Compl. ¶ 1.) However, that statute does not
confer a private right of action on a plaintiff. See,
e.g., In re Digimarc Corp. Derivative Litig.,
549 F.3d 1223, 1229-30 (9th Cir. 2008) (“The fact that
a federal statute has been violated and some person harmed
does not automatically give rise to a private cause of action
in favor of that person. Instead, the statute must either
explicitly create a right of action or implicitly contain
one.” (internal quotations and citations omitted)).
Plaintiff thus fails to state a claim under 42 U.S.C. §
407(a), and the remaining claims are state law claims.
the only basis alleged in the Complaint for the Court's
jurisdiction is federal question jurisdiction but Plaintiff
fails to state a federal claim, the Court does not have
jurisdiction over this matter. The Court thus need not
determine whether Plaintiff states valid state law claims.
THEREFORE ORDERED granting Plaintiffs Application to Proceed
in District Court Without Prepaying Fees or Costs (Doc. 2).
FURTHER ORDERED that Plaintiff's Complaint (Doc. 1) is
dismissed and, specifically, Count 1 is dismissed with
prejudice and Counts 2 through 4 are dismissed without
FURTHER ORDERED denying as moot Plaintiff s Application for
Ex Parte Preliminary Injunction and Expedited
Consideration or, in the Alternative, Plaintiffs Emergency
Motion for Expedited Preliminary Injunction and Order ...