United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Lafayette Division
SUA SPONTE ORDER ON LACK OF SUBJECT MATTER
B. WHITEHURST UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
action was commenced on June 29, 2018 by the filing of a
Complaint by pro se plaintiff Carl Gene Thymes, who
requests various forms of relief from several, unrelated
defendants for several, unrelated causes of action. After the
original Complaint was filed in this Court, on or about
September 11, 2018, Sans Chevaux Investments, Inc.
(“SCI”) filed an eviction proceeding against Mr.
Thymes in the City Court of Lafayette, Parish of Lafayette,
State of Louisiana, due to Mr. Thymes's failure to pay
rent in accordance with a residential lease-purchase
agreement between Mr. Thymes and SCI. Mr. Thymes was served
with SCI's eviction lawsuit on or about September 12,
2018. The next day, on September 13, 2018, Mr. Thymes filed a
Notice of Removal [Doc. 44], in which he removed the state
court eviction proceeding into the instant lawsuit, alleging
SCI breached the lease-purchase agreement. On September 19,
2018, SCI filed a Motion to Remand [Doc. 46] the
plaintiff's claim against it on grounds this Court has no
jurisdiction over the eviction proceeding. After review of
the record, this Court finds dismissal of the claim alleged
against SCI is required because this Court lacks subject
matter jurisdiction over the claim, which is essentially an
courts are courts of limited jurisdiction, and absent
jurisdiction conferred by statute, treaty, or the
Constitution, they lack the power to adjudicate a claim.
See Johnson v. Credit Acceptance Corp., 2018 WL
2329786 (W.D. Tex. April 12, 2018), citing Kokkonen v.
Guardian Life Ins. Co. of Am., 511 U.S. 375, 377 (1994);
Home Builders Ass'n of Miss., Inc. v. City of
Madison, 143 F.3d 1006, 1010 (5th Cir. 1998).
Federal courts must therefore dismiss an action whenever it
appears federal subject matter jurisdiction is lacking.
Johnson, 2018 WL 2329786 *1, citing Stockman v.
Fed. Election Comm'n, 138 F.3d 144, 151
(5th Cir. 1998). Accordingly, federal courts may
sua sponte dismiss a complaint on subject matter jurisdiction
grounds. Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(h)(3); see also McDonal v.
Abbott Labs., 408 F.3d 177, 182 n.5 (5th Cir.
2005) (“[A] federal court may raise subject matter
jurisdiction sua sponte”); Zernial v. United
States, 714 F.2d 431, 433-34 (5th Cir. 1983)
(“Sua sponte dismissal for lack of subject matter
jurisdiction is, of course, proper at any stage of the
proceedings.”); Abdalmatiyn v. Harrison, 2013
WL 12126287, at *1 (N.D. Tex. May 24, 2013) (“A federal
court has an independent duty, at any level of the
proceedings, to determine whether it properly has subject
matter jurisdiction over a case.”). A court must
presume a suit lies outside of its limited jurisdiction, and
the burden of establishing federal jurisdiction rests on the
party seeking the federal forum. Howery v. Allstate Ins.
Co., 243 F.3d 912, 916 (5th Cir. 2001),
citing Kokkonen, 511 U.S. at 377.
federal subject matter jurisdiction to exist, either (1) the
plaintiff must allege a claim “arising under the
Constitution, laws, or treaties of the United States”
(commonly referred to as federal question jurisdiction), or
(2) the matter in controversy must exceed $75, 000 and the
action must be between citizens of different states (commonly
referred to as diversity jurisdiction). See 28
U.S.C. §§1331 & 1332.
case, subject matter jurisdiction does not exist for two
reasons. First, the entire basis of SCI's lawsuit against
Mr. Thymes is Mr. Thymes' failure to pay rent in
accordance with a lease purchase agreement. SCI has not
alleged any claim against Mr. Thymes “arising under the
Constitution, laws, or treaties of the United States.”
Accordingly, SCI's claim does not arise under federal
SCI and Mr. Thymes are not diverse in citizenship. Mr. Thymes
is a citizen of Louisiana, and SCI is also a citizen of
Louisiana, as its only member, Robert Leonard, is a citizen
of Louisiana. Therefore, this Court lacks diversity
jurisdiction over the claim. Consequently, Mr. Thymes's
removal of SCI's state court eviction proceeding was
improper because this Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction
over the claims between Mr. Thymes and SCI.
foregoing reasons, IT IS ORDERED that SCI's state court
eviction proceeding which was removed into this pending
action by plaintiff [Doc. 44] is hereby DISMISSED for lack of
subject matter jurisdiction.
FURTHER ORDERED that SCI's Motion to Remand [Doc. 46] and
SCI's Motion to Expedite Consideration of Motion ...