United States District Court, M.D. Alabama, Northern Division
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
M. BORDEN, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
the court is the pro se amended complaint of
Plaintiff Barrett Knox Green (“Green”). Doc. 7.
The case was referred to the undersigned United States
Magistrate Judge for consideration and disposition or
recommendation pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636. Doc. 5.
Because Green has moved for leave to proceed in forma
pauperis (Doc. 3), the court must review his complaint
pursuant to the provisions of 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2).
This statute instructs the court to dismiss any action in
which it is determined that an in forma pauperis
applicant's lawsuit 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)(B)(i)-(iii). After a careful review of the
complaint, and giving due consideration to Green's
pro se status, the undersigned recommends that this
case be dismissed without prejudice.
FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
appearing pro se, filed a complaint against Swift
Transportation and Shawn Nichols (“Nichols”)
(Doc. 1), and an amendment to the complaint. Doc. 2. Finding
the amended complaint to be a shotgun pleading, this court
ordered Green to file a new amended complaint making clear
whether he was bringing federal or state-law claims and the
basis of those claims. Specifically, Green was ordered to
file an amended complaint containing clear allegations of
facts in separate numbered counts showing that he is entitled
to relief under federal law or containing clear allegations
of facts in separate numbered counts showing that he is
entitled to relief under state law and allegations of fact
that establish a basis for diversity subject matter
jurisdiction over state-law claims. Doc. 6.
filed an amended complaint on December 11, 2018. The
statement of jurisdiction in the amended complaint is the
following: “(Grounds for Jurisdiction) at the Wal Mart
Distribution Center the Swift Terminal Works out of there is
a fork lift operator named Calvin that is sort of
enemy.” Doc. 7 at 1. The amended complaint cites no
federal laws, but refers to “13A-2-3, 4-3, 6-2”
and 13A-11-123, which are Alabama Code sections, and also
refers to defamation, attempted murder, and blacklisting.
Doc. 7 at 1.
states that his address is in Brundidge, Alabama. Green also
alleges an Arizona address for Swift Transportation, and a
Brundidge, Alabama address for Defendant Nichols. Doc. 7 at
STANDARDS OF REVIEW
same standards governing dismissal under Federal Rule of
Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) also govern the review of a
complaint under § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii) for failure to state
a claim upon which relief can be granted. See Douglas v.
Yates, 535 F.3d 1316, 1320 (11th Cir. 2008). In
evaluating the sufficiency of a complaint, the court must
indulge reasonable inferences in the plaintiff's favor
but is “not required to draw plaintiff's
inference.” Aldana v. Del Monte Fresh Produce,
N.A., Inc., 416 F.3d 1242, 1248 (11th Cir. 2005).
Similarly, “unwarranted deductions of fact” are
not admitted as true for the purpose of testing the
sufficiency of a plaintiff's allegations. Id.
federal court must inquire into whether it has subject matter
jurisdiction and is obliged to dismiss a case whenever it
appears the court lacks subject matter jurisdiction.
Univ. of S. Ala. v. Am. Tobacco Co., 168 F.3d 405,
410 (11th Cir. 1999) (holding that once a federal court
determines that it is without subject matter jurisdiction the
court is powerless to continue).
court advised Green in its previous order (Doc. 6) that a
federal court has subject matter jurisdiction to hear a case
bringing only state-law claims if the case “is between
citizens of different states and the amount in controversy
exceeds the statutorily prescribed amount, in this case $75,
000.” Williams v. Best Buy Co., 269 F.3d 1316,
1319 (11th Cir. 2001) (citing 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a)).
After having been directed to allege a basis for jurisdiction
in this case, Green failed to allege the citizenship of any
party in his amended complaint. Green does provide addresses
for all parties, and provides an Alabama address for himself
and for Nichols. But residence is not the same as
citizenship. Travaglio v. Am. Exp. Co., 735 F.3d
1266, 1269 (11th Cir. 2013). The addresses, however, are at
least an indication that both Green and Nichols are citizens
of Alabama, which is not contradicted by any other evidence
in the record. Cf. Id. at 1270 (dismissing for lack
of jurisdiction where there was inadequate evidence to
overcome deficient jurisdictional pleadings). The statutory
requirement that an action be “between . . . citizens
of different States” requires complete diversity
between Green and all defendants. See Lincoln Prop. Co.
v. Roche, 546 U.S. 81, 89 (2005). After having given
Green an opportunity to correct jurisdictional issues, this
court cannot conclude that Green has alleged a basis for
diversity subject matter jurisdiction in this case.
also is no allegation of a violation of federal law over
which this court would have federal question jurisdiction.
See 28 U.S.C. § 1331. While Green's claims
concern his termination from employment, there is no citation
to any federal employment law statute or any other federal
law-and there are specific citations to state-law statutory
provisions. Thus, although directed to do so, Green
has not alleged any facts to state a violation of federal
these reasons, the court concludes that it lacks subject
matter jurisdiction in this case. See Taylor v.
Hoard, No. 2009 WL 1116614, at *2 (N.D. Fla. Apr. 21,
2009) (finding a lack of subject matter jurisdiction where
the plaintiff did not identify any constitutional rights
violated and there did not appear to be diversity of