United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana
ORDER AND REASONS
ZAINEY UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
the Court is a pro se Motion to Dismiss
(Rec. Doc. 13) filed by Defendant Aimee Thompson
Milavic. Plaintiff American Fidelity Assurance Company
(“American”) opposes the Motion. (Rec. Doc. 16).
The Motion, set for submission on January 9, 2019, is before
the Court on the briefs without oral argument. Having
considered the motion and memoranda of counsel, the
opposition, the record, and the applicable law, the Court
finds that the Motion to Dismiss (Rec. Doc.
13) is DENIED for the reasons set
2009, Donald Thompson purchased a $20, 000 life insurance
policy from American which insured the life of Donald
Thompson. (Rec. Doc. 1 Complaint, ¶ 6). Thereafter, a
loan totaling $2, 691.24 was issued against the policy.
(Id. at 11). Donald Thompson died around May 25,
2018. (Id. at 12). The loan remains unpaid; thus,
the death benefit payable under the policy is subject to a
reduction. (Id. at 11). American admits liability up
to $17, 308.76. (Id. at 15). Aimee Thompson Milavic
submitted a Statement of Claimant form, and Thomas Paul
Heraty requested American provide him with a claim form.
(Id. at 13-14). American filed this interpleader
naming Milavic and Heraty as Defendants. Milavic now moves
this Court to dismiss this action for lack of subject matter
jurisdiction. (Rec. Doc. 13, p. 1).
courts are courts of limited jurisdiction and may only hear
those cases authorized by the United States Constitution and
federal statutes. Coury v. Prot, 85 F.3d 244, 248
(5th Cir. 1996). Rule 12(b)(1) of the Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure provides that a party may assert that a court lacks
subject matter jurisdiction. “A case is properly
dismissed for lack of subject matter jurisdiction when the
court lacks the statutory or constitutional power to
adjudicate the case.” Home Builders Ass'n of
Miss., Inc. v. City of Madison, Miss., 143 F.3d 1006,
1010 (5th Cir. 1998). “Courts may dismiss for lack of
subject matter jurisdiction on any one of three different
bases: (1) the complaint alone; (2) the complaint
supplemented by undisputed facts in the record; or (3) the
complaint supplemented by undisputed facts plus the
court's resolution of disputed facts.” Clark v.
Tarrant Cnty., 798 F.2d 736, 741 (5th Cir. 1986). The
burden of proof on a 12(b)(1) motion is on the party
asserting jurisdiction over the claim. Ramming v. United
States, 281 F.3d 158, 161 (5th Cir. 2001).
Milavic argues that American filed this action pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 1332(a). (Rec. Doc. 13, p. 1). Milavic asserts
that American does not cite federal question jurisdiction in
the Complaint and that this Court lacks diversity
jurisdiction because Donald Thompson was a Mississippi
resident. (Id.). American responds by arguing that
it identified 28 U.S.C. § 1335 as a basis for federal
question subject matter jurisdiction in the Complaint. (Rec.
Doc. 16, p. 2).
Court finds that American properly plead subject matter
jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1335. The statute
provides in part:
(a) The district courts shall have original jurisdiction of
any civil action of interpleader or in the nature of
interpleader filed by any person, firm, or corporation,
association, or society having in his or its custody or
possession money or property of the value of $500 or
(1) Two or more adverse claimants, of diverse citizenship as
defined in subsection (a) or (d) of section 1332 of this
title, are claiming or may claim to be entitled to such
money… and if (2) the plaintiff has deposited such
money or property or has paid the amount of or the loan or
other value of such instrument or the amount due under such
obligation into the registry of the court.
plead federal question subject matter jurisdiction pursuant
to 28 U.S.C. § 1335, interpleader, in its Complaint.
(Rec. Doc. 1 Complaint, ¶ 3). American issued a life
insurance policy and had in its possession the remaining
benefits totaling $17, 308.76, an excess of $500.
(Id. at 3). The two individuals named as Defendants
are adverse claimants to the benefits. (Id.).
Defendants have diversity of citizenship as Aimee Thompson
Milavic is domiciled in Alabama and Thomas Paul Heraty is
domiciled in Louisiana. (Id. at 2). The Court's
registry received American's deposit totaling $17, 651.52
on December 31, 2018. (Rec. Doc. 17). Defendant Milavic does
not dispute any of these facts and allegations. The Court
concludes that it has proper subject matter jurisdiction
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1335, interpleader.