United States District Court, D. Kansas
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
Kathryn H. Vratil, United States District Judge.
1, 2019, plaintiff filed a pro se complaint against Kansas
City Juvenile Court. Complaint (Doc. #1). Plaintiff
alleges that defendant committed various intentional torts:
defamation of character, libel, slander and intentional
infliction of emotional distress. Her allegations apparently
relate to proceedings in which a district attorney from
Wyandotte County, Kansas filed a motion to terminate
plaintiffs parental rights. Plaintiff asserts that the Court
has jurisdiction based on diversity of citizenship and
federal civil rights violations. However, while plaintiff
checks the box on the complaint form, alleging that the Court
has subject matter jurisdiction based on an alleged civil
rights violation, the complaint form does not mention civil
rights. She did not explain which protected right defendant
allegedly violated, or explain how defendant violated that
10, 2019, U.S. Magistrate Judge Teresa J. James ordered
plaintiff to show good cause in writing why the Court should
not dismiss this action for (1) lack of subject matter
jurisdiction and (2) failure to state a claim upon which
relief can be granted. Order To Show Cause (Doc. #9)
at 4. Judge James also instructed plaintiff to explain why
the Court should not abstain from hearing her claims under
Younger v. Harris, 401 U.S. 37 (1971). Id.
This matter comes before the Court on plaintiffs Response
To Order To Show Cause (Doc. #11) filed August 14, 2019.
For reasons stated below, the Court finds that plaintiff
failed to show good cause why the Court should not dismiss
Subject Matter Jurisdiction
Response To Order To Show Cause (Doc. #11),
plaintiff does not clearly explain why the Court has subject
matter jurisdiction in this case. She does not mention
diversity of citizenship, and only vaguely refers to a
potential claim arising under federal law. Instead, plaintiff
makes a conclusory statement, without further explanation,
that defendant violated her rights under the Fourth Amendment
to the United States Constitution.
may exercise jurisdiction only when specifically authorized
to do so, see Castaneda v. INS. 23 F.3d 1576, 1580
(10th Cir. 1994), and must "dismiss the cause at any
stage of the proceeding in which it becomes apparent that
jurisdiction is lacking." Scheideman v. Shawnee Cty.
Bd. of Cty. Comm'rs. 895 F.Supp. 279, 280 (D. Kan.
1995) (citing Basso v. Utah Power & Light Co..
495 F.2d 906, 909 (10th Cir. 1974)); Fed. R . Civ. P.
12(h)(3). Because federal courts have limited jurisdiction,
the law imposes a presumption against jurisdiction.
Marcus v. Kan. Dep't of Revenue. 170 F.3d 1305,
1309 (10th Cir. 1999). Therefore, plaintiff bears the burden
of showing that jurisdiction is proper and must demonstrate
that the case should not be dismissed. Id.; see
Jensen v. Johnson Cty. Youth Baseball League, 838
F.Supp. 1437, 1439-40 (D. Kan. 1993). Conclusory allegations
of jurisdiction are not enough. Jensen, 838 F.Supp.
plaintiff proceeds pro se, the Court construes her complaint
liberally and holds it to a less stringent standard than
formal pleadings drafted by lawyers. See Hall v.
Bellmon, 935 F.2d 1106, 1110 (10th Cir. 1991). The
Court, however, does not assume the role of advocate for the
pro se litigant. Id.
plaintiff has not established subject matter jurisdiction.
First, she has not shown diversity of citizenship. 28 U.S.C.
§ 1332. Section 1332 requires complete diversity between
all plaintiffs and all defendants. See Radii v. Sanborn
W. Camps. Inc.. 384 F.3d 1220, 1225 (10th Cir. 2004).
Here, the parties are not completely diverse. It is highly
doubtful that Kansas City Juvenile Court is an entity which
is capable of being sued. But if it is, it is - like
plaintiff - a citizen of the State of Kansas. Plaintiffs
complaint actually asserts that both she and defendant are
Kansas citizens, with defendant located at 711 Armstrong
Avenue, Kansas City, Kansas 66101. Complaint (Doc.
#1) at 2. Therefore, because the parties are not completely
diverse, the Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction under
plaintiff has not established federal question jurisdiction.
In her complaint, plaintiff checks the box which states that
the Court has jurisdiction "because of violation of the
civil or equal rights, privileges, or immunities accorded to
citizens of, or persons within the jurisdiction of, the
United States (28 U.S.C. § 1343)." Under Section
1343, a federal court has subject matter jurisdiction over
civil actions authorized by law:
(1) To recover damages for injury to his person or property,
or because of the deprivation of any right or privilege of a
citizen of the United States, by any act done in furtherance
of any conspiracy mentioned in section 1985 of Title 42;
(2) To recover damages from any person who fails to prevent
or to aid in preventing any wrongs mentioned in section 1985
of Title 42 which he had knowledge were about to occur and
power to prevent;
(3) To redress the deprivation, under color of any State law,
statute, ordinance, regulation, custom or usage, of any
right, privilege or immunity secured by the Constitution of
the United States or by any Act of Congress providing for
equal rights of citizens or of all persons within the
jurisdiction of the United States;
(4) To recover damages or to secure equitable or other relief
under any Act of Congress providing for the protection of