United States District Court, N.D. Alabama, Southern Division
JAMES N. CARROLL, Plaintiff,
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Defendants.
MICHAEL PUTNAM UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
before the court is a Motion to Dismiss filed by the
defendant, United States of America, on June 23, 2017. (Doc.
12). The pro se Amended Complaint was filed on April
21, 2017. (Doc. 7). Although the complaint names only the
United States of America as a defendant, it alleges a complex
land-title dispute which apparently led to the plaintiff
putting his construction company, JBJ Construction into
bankruptcy. The motion to dismiss this action has been
fully briefed, and the parties have consented to the exercise
of dispositive jurisdiction by a magistrate judge pursuant to
28 U.S.C. § 636(c). (Doc. 16). Accordingly, the court
enters the following Order granting the defendant's
Motion to Dismiss.
plaintiff has failed to establish that the court has
subject-matter jurisdiction over his complaint. The face of
the complaint does not set forth any basis for concluding
that jurisdiction exists pursuant either to 28 U.S.C. §
1331 (federal question jurisdiction) or § 1332
(diversity of citizenship). Furthermore, as the defendant
argues, the face of the complaint does not indicate that the
United States of America has waived its sovereign immunity.
Supreme Court announced in Kokkonen v. Guardian Life Ins.
Co. of Am., 511 U.S. 375, 377 (1994), “[f]ederal
courts are courts of limited jurisdiction. They possess only
that power authorized by Constitution and statute. . .
.” Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)(1) provides
that “[a] pleading that states a claim for relief must
contain . . . a short and plain statement of the grounds for
the court's jurisdiction . . . .” Notably,
subject-matter jurisdiction exists (1) where the United
States Constitution or a federal statute provide a cause of
action (federal question jurisdiction) or (2) where complete
diversity exists among the parties and the
amount-in-controversy exceeds $75, 000 (diversity
jurisdiction). See 28 U.S.C. §§ 1331 and
1332. Diversity jurisdiction, however, does not exist between
a plaintiff and the United States; in other words, diversity
jurisdiction cannot be used as a basis to establish
jurisdiction if a plaintiff sues only the United States.
See 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a)(1)-(4).
the United States “may not be sued without its
consent.” United States v. Mitchell, 463 U.S.
206, 212 (1983). “Absent a waiver, sovereign immunity
shields the Federal Government and its agencies from
suit.” F.D.I.C. v. Meyer, 510 U.S. 471, 475
(1994); see also United States v. Sherwood, 312 U.S.
584, 586 (1941); JBP Acquisitions, LP v. United
States, 224 F.3d 1260, 1263 (11th Cir. 2000).
“Sovereign immunity is jurisdictional in nature.
Indeed, the ‘terms of [the United States'] consent
to be sued in any court define that court's jurisdiction
to entertain the suit.'” Meyer, 510 U.S.
at 475 (quoting Sherwood, 312 U.S. at 586); see
also Mitchell, 463 U.S. at 212 (1983) (“It is
axiomatic that the United States may not be sued without its
consent and that the existence of consent is a prerequisite
for jurisdiction”). Because “the burden of
establishing [federal jurisdiction] rests upon the party
asserting jurisdiction, ” Kokkonen, 511 U.S.
at 377, a plaintiff “must prove an explicit waiver of
[sovereign] immunity” when suing the United States of
America. Ishler v. Internal Revenue, 237 Fed.
App'x 394, 398 (11th Cir. 2007).
the plaintiff failed to state the grounds for subject-matter
jurisdiction in his complaint. He did not allege that any
federal question jurisdiction existed. As noted previously,
the plaintiff cannot rely on diversity jurisdiction as a
proper basis of subject-matter jurisdiction in this case
because he is suing only the United States of America.
Furthermore, the plaintiff has failed to allege a waiver of
sovereign immunity by the defendant.
because the court lacks subject-matter jurisdiction to
adjudicate this action, the defendant's Motion to Dismiss
is GRANTED for want of subject-matter jurisdiction in the
Amended Complaint. The plaintiff's complaint is hereby
DISMISSED WITHOUT PREJUDICE.
court also takes notice that the Amended Complaint likely
does not clearly state a claim upon which relief can be
granted as to any potential defendant, named and not named,
which makes the dismissal of the above-styled action
appropriate under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6). However, the
defendant did not raise this argument in its Motion to
Dismiss, and the court pretermits any further discussion of
multiple notices filed by the plaintiff, which appear to
assert new causes of action (see docs. 21 - 42,
44-48), do not establish subject matter jurisdiction for the
underlying amended complaint. In fact, the notices have no
relation to the complaint or pending Motion to Dismiss.
 Mr. Carroll's woes did not end
there. He was charged criminally with defrauding the
bankruptcy court by failing to disclose all of the bankrupt
company's assets and income. He pleaded guilty to the
federal criminal charges in Case No.
 Insofar as the plaintiff intends the
complaint to sue Commonwealth Title and First Financial Bank
for fraud or negligence arising out of the “Logan Farms
Subdivision” dispute (and there is nothing in the
pro se complaint indicating an intent to sue either
of these entities), there is an absence of complete diversity
of citizen for jurisdictional purposes. While Commonwealth
might be a citizen of Florida (it is unclear because the