United States District Court, S.D. Mississippi, Northern Division
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION OF UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE
R. ANDERSON UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
cause is before the Court on the Motion to Proceed In
Forma Pauperis filed by Kimberly Edwards [hereinafter
"Plaintiff"], an adult resident citizen of Pickens,
Holmes County, Mississippi. Plaintiff filed a Complaint
against "North Park Mall" utilizing a form
Complaint ["Pro Se 1 (Rev. 12/16) Complaint for a Civil
Case"]. Plaintiff does not state the citizenship of
North Park Mall other than to give its address as 1200 E.
County Line Road, Ridgeland, MS 39157. She marked
"federal question" as the basis for federal court
jurisdiction on the Complaint [1, p. 3].
only Plaintiff's income and expenses, the undersigned
finds that she is entitled to proceed without the prepayment
of fees. She is unemployed and has no income or property, and
her motion should be granted. Where the plaintiff's
financial information shows that a filing fee would cause
"undue financial hardship, " the district court has
discretion to reduce or waive the fee. Prows v.
Kastner, 842 F.2d 138, 140 (5th Cir. 1988).
Plaintiff in forma pauperis status to proceed with
this lawsuit in federal court also permits the Court to
dismiss the case at any time if it determines that the
Complaint fails to state a claim on which relief may be
granted. 28 U.S.C. §1915(e)(2)(B). This statute applies
equally to prisoner and non-prisoner cases. Newsom v.
EEOC, 301 F.3d 227, 231-33 (5th Cir. 2002). The case may
also be dismissed at any stage if there is no basis for
federal subject matter jurisdiction.
Complaint, III. Statement of Claim, Plaintiff stated:
When I would come in the stores the prices would be wrong or
higher than what I seen on a commercial or online.
[1, p. 4].
Section IV., "Relief, " Plaintiff alleged:
When they knew I was in the mall the prices would be higher
or the old sign would go back up or - they would just be
changing the sign so I wouldn't get a discount. $750,
[1, p. 4].
Courts are courts of limited jurisdiction and courts
"must presume that a suit lies outside of this 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); U.S.Const., art. III, § 2.
Subject matter jurisdiction must be affirmatively shown
before the District Court considers the merits of any case.
See Ruhrgas A.G. v. Marathon Oil Co., 526 U.S. 574,
582 -83 (1999). The Court must inquire into its
subject-matter jurisdiction on its own initiative.
Id. It may sua sponte raise the
jurisdictional issue at any time and in fact has a
"continuing obligation to examine the basis for
jurisdiction." MCG, Inc. v. Great W. Energy
Corp., 896 F.2d 170, 173 (5th Cir.1990)(see also
Burge v. Parish of St. Tammany, 187 F.3d 452, 465-66
(5th Cir.1999)). The record in this case fails to
affirmatively indicate a basis for subject matter
Plaintiff attempts to invoke federal question jurisdiction,
she does not set forth a claim under a federal statute or the
United States Constitution. If a cause of action has been
stated, it would only be a state law tort claim against the
mall. North Park Mall appears to be a private corporation,
not a government actor, and the Complaint fails to state a
federal claim. The Court cannot conclude that federal
question jurisdiction exists.
she does not claim diversity jurisdiction, the Court notes
that, based upon the record, complete diversity of
citizenship is also lacking. 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a)(1). The
Court must have original jurisdiction, either via federal
question or through diversity jurisdiction. The Plaintiff is
prosecuting this case pro se, and her pleadings must be
liberally construed. Pena v. United States of
America, 122 F.3d 3, 4 (5th Cir. 1997).
Although the undersigned has liberally construed her
allegations, no basis for subject matter jurisdiction can be
discerned from the allegations of the Complaint. The Court is
unable to exercise jurisdiction to consider the merits of the