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Shannon v. Thor Real Estate LLC

United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division

October 25, 2016

JENNETTE SHANNON, Plaintiff,
v.
THOR REAL ESTATE, LLC Defendant.

          ORDER (1) GRANTING PLAINTIFF'S APPLICATION TO PROCEED WITHOUT PREPAYMENT OF FEES OR COSTS (ECF #2) AND (2) DISMISSING PLAINTIFF'S AMENDED COMPLAINT (ECF #6) WITHOUT PREJUDICE

          MATTHEW F. LEITMAN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         On August 9, 2016, Plaintiff Jennette Shannon (“Shannon”) filed this action against Defendant Thor Real Estate, LLC (“Thor”). (See Compl., ECF #1.) In her Complaint, Shannon appears to allege that Thor committed fraud with respect to a home she purchased in Detroit. (See Id. at 2, Pg. ID 2.) Along with her complaint, Shannon filed an application to proceed in this action without the prepayment of fees or costs (the “Application”). (See ECF #2.) On August 11, 2016, this Court issued an order (the “Show Cause Order”) requiring Plaintiff to file an amended complaint or to show cause in writing why her action should not be dismissed for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. (See ECF #4.) In response to the Show Cause Order, Plaintiff filed an amended complaint (the “Amended Complaint”) on August 31, 2016. (See ECF #6). For the reasons stated below, the Court GRANTS the Application and DISMISSES the Amended Complaint WITHOUT PREJUDICE.

         I

         Applications to proceed without the prepayment of fees or costs are governed by 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(1). That statute provides that a federal court “may authorize the commencement ... of any suit, action, or proceeding ... by a person who submits an affidavit that includes a statement of all assets ... that the person is unable to pay such fees....” Id.

         In the Application, Shannon states that she has no savings, no real estate or other assets of significant value, and no gross pay or wages. (See Application at 1-2, Pg. ID 13-14.) Further, Shannon states that she is homeless and supports a minor dependent. (Id.) The Court has reviewed the Application and is satisfied that the prepayment of the filing fee would cause an undue financial hardship on Shannon. The Court therefore grants the Application and permits Shannon to file her Complaint without prepaying the filing fee.

         II

         When a plaintiff is allowed to proceed without the prepayment of fees or costs, the Court is required to screen the complaint and dismiss it if it (i) asserts frivolous or malicious claims, (ii) fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, and/or (iii) seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from such relief. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2). While the Court must liberally construe documents filed by a pro se plaintiff, see Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520 (1972), a complaint filed by such a plaintiff must still plead sufficient specific factual allegations, and not just legal conclusions, in support of each claim. See Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678-679 (2009); see also Hill v. Lappin, 630 F.3d 468, 470-471 (6th Cir. 2010) (holding that the dismissal standard of Iqbal applies to a Court's review of a complaint under § 1915(e)(2) for failure to state a claim).

         Moreover, federal courts are courts of limited jurisdiction. This Court has jurisdiction over (1) “all civil actions arising under the Constitution, laws, or treaties of the United States” (28 U.S.C. § 1331 - “federal question jurisdiction”) and (2) “all civil actions where the matter in controversy exceeds the sum or value of $75, 000...and is between citizens of different states” (28 U.S.C. § 1332 - “diversity jurisdiction”). The Court is obligated to consider sua sponte in every action whether it has subject matter jurisdiction and to dismiss the action if it lacks subject matter jurisdiction. See, e.g., In re Lewis, 398 F.3d 735, 739 (6th Cir. 2005); See also Fed. Rule Civ. Proc. 12(h)(3).

         Despite the Court's instructions in the Show Cause Order, Shannon has failed to allege in her Amended Complaint the facts necessary to establish that this Court has subject matter jurisdiction over her claims. Indeed, Shannon has failed to plead either that (1) she and the defendants are citizens of different states and that the amount in controversy exceeds $75, 000 or (2) her claims arise under federal law such that federal question jurisdiction exists.[1]

         Shannon has also failed to plead the existence of “diversity jurisdiction.” To properly plead “diversity jurisdiction, ” Shannon must plead that she and Thor are citizens of different states and that the amount in controversy exceeds $75, 000.00. For diversity purposes, a limited liability company like Thor is a citizen of each State in which a member of the limited liability company is a citizen. See V & M Star, 596 F.3d at 356; Trident-Allied Assocs., LLC v. Cypress Creek Assocs., LLC., 317 F.Supp.2d 752, 753 (E.D. Mich. 2004) (“For purposes of diversity, the citizenship of limited liability companies is the citizenship of each of its members.”). Here, Shannon has not identified in her Amended Complaint any members of Thor nor pleaded their respective citizenships. The allegations of record are therefore insufficient to establish diversity jurisdiction in this case.

         Accordingly, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the Amended Complaint (ECF #6) is DISMISSED WITHOUT PREJUDICE pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B) and Fed. Rule Civ. Proc. 12(h)(3). The Court certifies that any appeal from this decision cannot be taken in good faith. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(3).

         IT IS SO ORDERED.

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