United States District Court, N.D. Mississippi, Aberdeen Division
SHARION AYCOCK, UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT JUDGE.
Dilworth filed his original Complaint  in this case on
April 26, 2017 against the Tishomingo County Sheriff's
Department. The Court entered a series of orders
allowing the pro se Plaintiff to proceed in
forma pauperis, see Order , and to amend his
complaint to add the proper municipal defendant and to
clarify the basis for federal jurisdiction, see
Orders [14, 19, 30].
most recent Amended Complaint , the Plaintiff alleges
that the Tishomingo County Sheriff's Department published
information about his arrest and indictment on Scribd.com
after his arrest and indictment had been expunged. The
Plaintiff further alleges that this publication by the
Sheriff's Department constituted an abuse of process, and
public disclosure of a private fact in violation of
Mississippi law. Now before the Court is the Defendant's
Motion for Summary Judgment . The Defendant requests
dismissal of all the Plaintiff's claims, arguing that
federal jurisdiction is lacking in this case. The issues are
fully briefed and ripe for review.
Rule of Civil Procedure 56 governs summary judgment. Summary
judgment is warranted when the evidence reveals no genuine
dispute regarding any material fact, and the moving party is
entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a).
The rule “mandates the entry of summary judgment, after
adequate time for discovery and upon motion, against a party
who fails to make a showing sufficient to establish the
existence of an element essential to that party's case,
and on which that party will bear the burden of proof at
trial.” Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S.
317, 322, 106 S.Ct. 2548, 91 L.Ed.2d 265 (1986).
reviewing the evidence, factual controversies are to be
resolved in favor of the non-movant, “but only when . .
. both parties have submitted evidence of contradictory
facts.” Little, 37 F.3d at 1075. When such
contradictory facts exist, the Court may “not make
credibility determinations or weigh the evidence.”
Reeves v. Sanderson Plumbing Prods., Inc., 530 U.S.
133, 150, 120 S.Ct. 2097, 147 L.Ed.2d 105 (2000).
moving party “bears the initial responsibility of
informing the district court of the basis for its motion, and
identifying those portions of [the record] which it believes
demonstrate the absence of a genuine issue of material
fact.” Celotex, 477 U.S. at 323, 106 S.Ct.
2548. The nonmoving party must then “go beyond the
pleadings” and “designate ‘specific facts
showing that there is a genuine issue for trial.'”
Id. at 324, 106 S.Ct. 2548 (citation omitted). Mere
“conclusory allegations, speculation, [or]
unsubstantiated assertions are inadequate to satisfy the
nonmovant's burden.” Pree v. Washington Cty.
Bd. of Supervisors, No. 4:16-CV-122-SA, 2018 WL 522776,
at *6 (N.D. Miss. Jan. 23, 2018) (citing Douglass v.
United Servs. Auto. Ass'n, 79 F.3d 1415, 1429 (5th
Cir. 1996)). Mississippi substantive law applies in this
diversity case. See Cox v. Wal-Mart Stores E., L.P.,
755 F.3d 231, 233 (5th Cir. 2014) (citing Wood v. RIH
Acquisitions MS II, LLC, 556 F.3d 274, 275 (5th Cir.
the Court notes that “a document filed pro se
is ‘to be liberally construed,' and ‘a
pro se complaint, however inartfully pleaded must be
held to less stringent standards than formal pleadings
drafted by lawyers.'” Erickson v. Pardus,
551 U.S. 89, 94, 127 S.Ct. 2197, 167 L.Ed.2d 1081 (2007)
(citing Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 106, 97
S.Ct. 285, 50 L.Ed. 251 (1995) (internal citations omitted).
Discussion & Analysis
noted above, the Defendant requests dismissal of this case
arguing that this Court lacks jurisdiction over the
Plaintiff's claims. It is undisputed that the Parties in
this case are not diverse, and thus any basis for federal
jurisdiction must be based on a federal question.
“Federal courts are courts of limited jurisdiction,
having the power to hear only cases that present a federal
question or are between citizens of different states.
Quinn v. Guerrero, 863 F.3d 353, 358-59 (5th Cir.
2017), cert. denied, 138 S.Ct. 682, 199 L.Ed.2d 537
(2018) (citing Arbaugh v. Y&H Corp., 546 U.S.
500, 513, 126 S.Ct. 1235, 163 L.Ed.2d 1097 (2006)). To
support jurisdiction based on a federal question, “the
plaintiff's federal question must appear on the face of
his well-pleaded complaint. Id. at 359 (citing
Bernhard v. Whitney Nat'l Bank, 523 F.3d 546,
551 (5th Cir. 2008)). “The plaintiff need not
specifically cite a federal provision such as Section 1983,
Johnson v. City of Shelby, --- U.S. __, 135 S.Ct.
346, 346-47, 190 L.Ed.2d 309 (2014) (per curiam), but he must
allege facts sufficient to establish a colorable issue of
federal law.” Id., (citing Caterpillar
Inc. v. Williams, 482 U.S. 386, 391-92, 107 S.Ct. 2425,
96 L.Ed.2d 318 (1987)).
review of the entire record of this case reveals that the
Plaintiff has only alleged state law causes of action despite
numerous opportunities to restate his claims, name the proper
defendants, and to clarify any basis for federal
jurisdiction. See Orders [14, 19, 30], Amended
Complaints [16, 31], Response . Abuse of process and
public disclosure of a private fact are clearly state law
claims. Further, the Plaintiff has not alleged, factually or
legally, any potential constitutional violations, or even any
facts from which the Court could infer one. In order to
sustain a Section 1983 claim a plaintiff must demonstrate
that his constitutional rights were violated, and that the
violation is attributable to the enforcement of a County
policy or practice. Saenz v. City of El Paso, 637
Fed.Appx. 828, 831 (5th Cir. 2016) (citing Valle v. City
of Houston, 613 F.3d 536, 541 (5th Cir. 2010). The
Plaintiff has failed to highlight any potential
constitutional violation despite multiple opportunities for
this Court lacks jurisdiction over this case, the Court will
not reach the potential merits of the Plaintiff's alleged
state law claims, and the Defendant's Motion for Summary
Judgment is granted to the extent it requests dismissal of
of the reasons fully explained above, the Defendant's
Motion for Summary Judgment  is GRANTED in part, and
DENIED in part. This CASE is DISMISSED without prejudice for
lack of subject matter jurisdiction. The Defendant's
request for summary judgment in its favor on the
Plaintiff's claims is DENIED, as is its request for