United States District Court, D. Utah, Central Division
J. Shelby, District Judge
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION: DISMISS CASE FOR LACK OF
SUBJECT MATTER JURISDICTION
J. FURSE, United States Magistrate Judge
Francois Coeur filed a Complaint against Allison Rose in the
District of Utah on August 7, 2017. (Compl. for Civil Theft
(Compl.), ECF No. 3.) On September 1, 2017, the
District Court issued a Notice of Hearing to better
understand Mr. Coeur's Complaint. (ECF No. 13.) Mr. Coeur
failed to appear at that hearing. (ECF No. 18.) The Complaint
fails to establish the Court's subject matter
jurisdiction on its face, either through diversity
jurisdiction or federal question jurisdiction. Therefore, the
undersigned RECOMMENDS the District Court dismiss Mr.
Subject Matter Jurisdiction
ruling on the merits of a case, the Court must first
determine whether it holds subject matter jurisdiction over
Mr. Coeur's claims. See Sinochem Int'l Co. v.
Malay Int'l Shipping Corp., 549 U.S. 422, 430-31
(2007) (requiring a finding of both subject matter and
personal jurisdiction before reaching a case's merits).
“[A] court lacking jurisdiction cannot render judgment
but must dismiss the cause at any stage of the proceedings in
which it becomes apparent that jurisdiction is
lacking.” Penteco Corp. Ltd. P'ship-1985A v.
Union Gas Sys., Inc., 929 F.2d 1519, 1521 (10th Cir.
1991) (quoting Basso v. Utah Power & Light Co.,
495 F.2d 906, 909 (10th Cir. 1974)). Federal district courts
“may only hear cases ‘when empowered to do so by
the Constitution and by an act of Congress.'”
Radil v. Sanborn W. Camps, Inc., 384 F.3d 1220, 1225
(10th Cir. 2004) (quoting 16 James Wm. Moore, Moore's
Fed. Practice § 108.04(2) (3d ed. 2003)). Because
federal courts have limited jurisdiction, a presumption
against federal jurisdiction exists, “and the party
invoking federal jurisdiction bears the burden of
proof.” Penteco, 929 F.2d at 1521. However,
all courts must independently “determine whether
subject-matter jurisdiction exists, even in the absence of a
challenge from any party.” Arbaugh v. Y & H
Corp., 546 U.S. 500, 514 (2006) (citing Ruhgras AG
v. Marathon Oil Co., 526 U.S. 574, 583 (1999)). A party
cannot forfeit or waive subject matter jurisdiction.
Arbaugh, 546 U.S. at 514 (citing United States
v. Cotton, 535 U.S. 625, 630 (2002)).
matter jurisdiction arises in one of two ways. First, under
28 U.S.C. § 1331, commonly referred to as federal
question jurisdiction, Congress granted district courts
authority over “civil actions arising under the
Constitutions, laws, or treaties of the United States.”
Firstenberg v. City of Santa Fe, 696 F.3d 1018, 1023
(10th Cir. 2012) (quoting 28 U.S.C. § 1331). Second,
under 28 U.S.C. § 1332, Congress provides federal
district courts with federal jurisdiction “over
‘all civil actions where the matter in controversy
exceeds the sum or value of $75, 000…. and is
between… citizens of different States.”
Grynberg v. Kinder Morgan Energy Partners, 805 F.3d
901, 905 (10th Cir. 2015), cert. denied, ___ U.S. ___, 136
S.Ct. 1714 (2016) (alterations in original) (quoting 28
U.S.C. § 1332). Known as diversity jurisdiction, the
United States Supreme Court interprets the statutory grant in
§ 1332 to require complete diversity among the parties.
See State Farm Fire & Cas. Co. v. Tashire, 386
U.S. 523, 530 (1967).
Coeur's Complaint fails to identify any federal laws,
treaties, or constitutional issues that would grant the Court
federal question jurisdiction. (See Compl. 3,
ECF No. 3); 28 U.S.C. § 1331. Mr. Coeur's
sole discernible claim proceeds under a theory of theft
between private individuals. (See Civil Cover Sheet,
ECF No. 3; see also Pet. of Embezzlement,
ECF No. 3-1.) District courts in the Tenth Circuit generally
regard theft as a state law claim. See Sanborn v. Am.
Lending Network, 506 F.Supp.2d 917, 924 (D. Utah 2007)
(addressing theft as a state law claim); see also Maez v.
Springs Auto. Grp., 268 F.R.D. 391, 394 (D. Colo. 2010)
(discussing plaintiff's state law claim for civil theft
under Colorado law).
Coeur also fails to establish the Court's diversity
jurisdiction. Although Mr. Coeur meets 28 U.S.C. 1332's
amount in controversy requirement, (see Compl. 2,
ECF No. 3 (demanding differing amounts, including
$1, 000, 000, and more)), he fails to meet the complete
diversity requirement as both he and Ms. Rose live in Utah.
(See Compl. 3, ECF No. 3). Because Mr.
Coeur's Complaint fails to establish complete diversity
between the parties, the Court lacks diversity jurisdiction.
Restricted Filing Warning
this date, Mr. Coeur has lodged over a hundred pages of
documents. In general, the documents do not seek any specific
relief and have no relevance to Mr. Coeur's appearance in
federal court. Mr. Coeur should limit his filings to those
permitted under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Failure
to follow these Rules could result in the issuance of a
restricted filing order as the Court granted in Mr.
Coeur's first case against Ms. Rose. (Coeur v.
Rose, No. 2:16-cv-00117 (D. Utah 2016) (“Coeur
1”), Ruling & Order, ECF No. 56.) Furthermore,
while less than clear because of the difficultly reading Mr.
Coeur's handwriting, the Complaint appears to seek relief
similar to a complaint against Ms. Rose in February 2016.
Compare Coeur 1, Compl., ECF No. 3, with
Compl., ECF No. 3.) The court dismissed that case with
prejudice on October 31, 2016. (Coeur 1, ECF No.
71). Repeated filing of cases already dismissed with
prejudice can result in a restriction on filing future cases.
See Van Sickle v. Holloway, 791 F.2d 1431, 1437
(10th Cir. 1986) (prohibiting filing any further complaints
raising the same or similar allegations as the case before
reasons stated above, the undersigned RECOMMENDS the District
Court dismiss Mr. ...