United States District Court, D. Utah
MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF'S
 MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION
Nuffer District Judge.
previous Memorandum Decision and Order in this case (the
“Previous Order”) dismissed Plaintiff's
Complaint. Plaintiff's claims against Defendants
Bureau of Land Management, James Crisp, Brian Tritle, Jimmie
Tyree, and Ryan Zinke (the “Federal Government
Defendants”) were dismissed because statute establishes
that the Federal Court of Claims has exclusive jurisdiction
over the sort of claims Plaintiff brought against the federal
government. Therefore, this court lacked subject
matter jurisdiction. The clerk closed the case and entered
keeping with his practice of filing letters instead of
motions, Plaintiff filed a letter in response to the Previous
Order. In it, Plaintiff appears to argue that the
Previous Order and its accompanying judgment are
void. In construing Plaintiff's letter as
liberally as possible, Plaintiff's letter will be taken
as a motion (the “Motion”) for relief from
judgement under Fed R. Civ. P. 60(b).
rule provides that a court “may relieve a party . . .
from final judgment” if it is determined that
“the judgment is void.” Plaintiff argues here that
because the Previous Order determined that subject matter
jurisdiction was lacking as to the claims against the Federal
Government Defendants, the judgment entered in this case is
also void. Dismayed at the time and expense that he
has incurred in this case to date, Plaintiff argues that he
is entitled to relief in the form of “a full refund of
fees paid to this court, and damages for a year's worth
of fraud and deception perpetrated against the
Tenth Circuit has established that “[a] judgment is
void for Rule 60(b)(4) purposes if the rendering court was
powerless to enter it.” “Federal courts are
courts of limited jurisdiction and require a statutory basis
for jurisdiction.” Because of this federal
courts have “jurisdiction to determine [their]
jurisdiction.” This means that a federal
court always has the narrow jurisdiction to “to
interpret the language of the jurisdictional instrument and
its application to an issue by the
court.” Furthermore, when pro se plaintiff
chooses to file a complaint in federal court, the pro se
plaintiff has the burden of establishing subject matter
jurisdiction. “If jurisdiction is challenged,
the burden is on the party claiming jurisdiction to show it
by a preponderance of the evidence.”
Plaintiff chose to pay the required fees and file his
Complaint in federal court. The Federal Government Defendants
challenged this court's subject matter jurisdiction over
the Complaint, arguing that only the Federal Court of
Claims-under statute-had authority to hear Plaintiffs'
claims against the government. Plaintiff offered no argument
in response to this challenge and failed to carry his burden
to prove that this court could hear his claims.
this court's “jurisdiction to determine
jurisdiction, ” the Previous Order examined the
language of the applicable statutes, 28 U.S.C. §§
1346(a)(2) and 1491(a)(1), and determined that the plain
language of these statutes was clear: only the Federal Court
of Claims has exclusive jurisdiction over Plaintiff's
takings claims against the Federal Government Defendants in
excess of $10, 000.00. The Previous Order was not void
because this court had the power to determine that it is not
the appropriate court to hear Plaintiff's claims against
the Federal Government Defendants.
chose to file his case in federal district court and pay the
associated filing fees. By doing so, even after paying the
filing fees, the burden was on Plaintiff to establish that
this court could appropriately hear his case. Not only did he
fail to carry that burden, this court appropriately used its
power of limited jurisdiction to determine that the Federal
Court of Claims is the only court that can hear Plaintiffs
particular claims against the Federal Government Defendants.
Previous Order and its accompanying Judgment are not void.
Plaintiff has not been made the victim of fraud or deception.
The established principles of the jurisdiction of the federal
courts have been fairly and consistently applied here.
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Plaintiff s Motion is DENIED.
 Memorandum Decision and Order
Dismissing Claims Against James Crisp, Brian Trittle, Jimmee
Tyree, and the United States Department of Interior for Lack
of Subject Matter Jurisdiction; and Adopting in Part and
Modifying in Part  Report and ...