United States District Court, N.D. Mississippi, Oxford Division
MOSES I. LEWIS, JR. PLAINTIFF
LASHUNDA HARRISON, ALICE STAPLETON, BLONDIE ADAMS, & DELTA PARTNER'S MANOR DEFENDANTS
SHARION AYCOCK UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Lewis brings this action pro se, claiming that LaShunda
Harrison conspired with Alice Stapleton and Blondie Adams in
an effort to illegally trespass onto Lewis's property and
steal $9, 000. Presently before the Court is Defendant
Harrison's Motion to Dismiss  and Plaintiff's
Motion to Deny Defendant's Motion to Dismiss . The
Court has construed Plaintiff's Motion to Deny as a
Response to Motion to Dismiss in accordance with Local
Uniform Civil Rule 7(b)(3). The court has considered all
arguments and finds as follows.
and Procedural Background
claims that on or before December 27, 2015, LaShunda Harrison
met with Alice Stapleton and Blondie Adams at Harrison's
home in Cordova, Tennessee. There, they allegedly conspired
to steal from Lewis. At the meeting, Stapleton, who is the
site manager for Lewis's apartment, allegedly gave
Harrison the key to Lewis's apartment. Lewis claims that
Harrison then used the key to enter Lewis's apartment to
steal a purse containing $9, 000. Plaintiff claims Defendant
Harrison transported the stolen money across the
Mississippi-Tennessee state line and then returned to
claims that the meeting violated 18 United States Code,
Section 241, and the transporting of stolen money violated 18
United States Code, Section 2314. Furthermore, Plaintiff
claims that Delta Partner's Manor, Plaintiff's
apartment complex, was negligent in their management and
supervision of Stapleton. Finally, Plaintiff claims the
entire transaction violates his constitutional and civil
rights under United States Code, Section 1985(3).
Harrison filed a Motion to Dismiss, alleging that the
district court lacks subject matter jurisdiction, arguing
that Plaintiff is legally barred from pursuing federal
criminal statutes. Furthermore, Defendant Harrison alleges
that Plaintiff does not state a claim for which relief may be
granted because he did not plead the required elements of his
federal claim under 42 U.S.C. 1985(3).
order to survive a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, “a
complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as
true, to ‘state a claim to relief that is plausible on
its face.'” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S.
662, 678, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 173 L.Ed.2d 868 (2009) (citing
Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570,
127 S.Ct. 1955, 167 L.Ed.2d 929 (2007)). A claim is plausible
if it contains “factual content that allows the court
to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable
for the misconduct alleged.” Id., 129 S.Ct.
the court's task “is to determine whether the
plaintiff has stated a legally cognizable claim that is
plausible, not to evaluate the plaintiff's likelihood of
success.” In re McCoy, 666 F.3d 924, 926 (5th
Cir. 2012), cert. denied, 133 S.Ct. 192, 184 L.Ed.2d
38 (2012) (citing Lone Star Fund V (U.S.), L.P. v.
Barclays Bank PLC, 594 F.3d 383, 387 (5th Cir. 2010)).
Therefore, the Court must accept all well-pleaded facts as
true and must draw all reasonable inferences in favor of the
plaintiff. Lormand v. U.S. Unwired, Inc., 565 F.3d
228, 232-33 (5th Cir. 2009). Still, this standard
“demands more than an unadorned,
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678, 129 S.Ct. 1937.
courts have original subject matter jurisdiction only where a
question of federal law is involved or where there is
diversity of citizenship between parties and the amount in
controversy exceeds $75, 000. Kokkonen v. Guardian Life
Ins. Co. of Am., 511 U.S. 375, 377, 114 S.Ct. 1673, 128
L.Ed.2d 391 (1994). The diversity statute requires
“complete diversity” of citizenship, i.e., a
district court cannot exercise jurisdiction if one of the
plaintiffs shares the same state citizenship as one of the
defendants. 28 U.S.C. § 1332; see also Whalen v.
Carter, 954 F.2d 1087, 1094 (5th Cir. 1992). The burden
of establishing federal jurisdiction rests on the plaintiff.
Ramming v. United States, 281 F.3d 158, 161 (5th
to the Complaint, Plaintiff is a resident of Shelby,
Mississippi, and Defendants Stapleton, Adams, and Delta
Partner's Manner are also residents of Shelby,
Mississippi. Having found that this action involves
non-diverse parties, the Court notes that there is not
first federal claim seeks recovery under 18 U.S.C. §
241. This criminal statute provides penalties for either
preventing or entering into a conspiracy to prevent other
persons from exercising certain federally protected rights.
However, 18 U.S.C. § 241 does not provide a basis for
civil liability. See Hanna v. Home Ins. Co., 281
F.2d 298, 303 (5th Cir. 1960); Ali v. Shabazz, 8
F.3d 22 (5th Cir. 1993). Plaintiff's second claim seeks
recovery under 18 U.S.C. § 2314, which is a criminal
statute relating to “transportation of stolen goods,
” inter alia. This criminal statute does not
provide a private federal right of action for civil
liability, either. See Crawford v. Adair, No.
3:08CV281, 2008 WL 2952488, at *2 (E.D. Va. July 29, 2008)
(no private federal cause of action under § 2314);
Piorkowski v. Parziale, No. 3:02CV00963, 2003 WL
21037353, at *8 (D. Conn. May 7, 2003) (criminal statute does
not provide, explicitly or implicitly, a civil cause of
action); Cooper v. N. Jersey Trust Co. of Ridgewood, N.
J., 250 F.Supp. 237 (S.D.N.Y. 1965) (18 U.S.C. Section
2314 does not give rise to a private federal right of
action). Further, decisions whether to prosecute or file
criminal charges are generally within the prosecutor's
discretion, and, as a private citizen, Plaintiff has no
standing to institute a federal criminal prosecution and no
power to enforce a criminal statute. See Gill v. State of
Texas, 153 F.App'x 261, 262-63 (5th Cir. 2005)
(citing Linda R.S. v. Richard D., 410 U.S. 614, 619,
93 S.Ct. 1146, 35 L.Ed.2d 536 (1973)). Without standing,
Plaintiff fails to establish a vital jurisdictional
requirement regarding these claims. Bender v.
Williamsport Area School Dist., 475 U.S. 534, 546-547,
106 S.Ct. 1326, 1333-1334, 89 L.Ed.2d 501 (1986). Thus, the
deficiencies within the complaint regarding these criminal
claims are incurable, and Plaintiff's claims under these
statutes must be dismissed with prejudice.
Plaintiff did not establish subject matter jurisdiction
regarding the first two claims, Plaintiff poses a third
federal claim under 42 U.S.C., Section 1985(3). Though
Griffin v. Breckenridge made Section 1985(3)
applicable to private actions, the Supreme Court made it
clear that Congress did not intend that it be viewed as an
all-embracing federal tort law intended to apply to all
tortious conspiratorial interferences with the rights of
others. Griffin v. Breckenridge, 403 U.S. 88,
102-103, 91 S.Ct. 1790, 29 L.Ed.2d 338 (1971). Therefore,
Defendant Harrison has alleged that Plaintiff failed to state
a claim for which relief can be granted regarding this claim.
Thus, Defendant asks the court for a dismissal under Federal
Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). Specifically, Defendant