United States District Court, N.D. Ohio, Eastern Division
ALYCIA A. TAYLOR, Plaintiff
UNIVERSITY HOSPITALS OF CLEVELAND, INC., et al., Defendants
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
SOLOMON OLIVER, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Alycia Taylor brings this medical malpractice action against
three University Hospital entities and three doctors. (ECF
No. 1). Plaintiff has filed a motion to proceed with the case
in forma pauperis (ECF No. 2); that motion is
Complaint, Plaintiff asserts four counts of negligence and
medical malpractice against defendants concerning a surgery
performed on February 5, 1999. (ECF No. 1). She claims that
the court has jurisdiction over this action pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 1332(a). (Id. ¶ 5; ECF No. 1-1).
reasons that follow, this action is dismissed.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
se pleadings are held to “less stringent standards
than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers” and must be
liberally construed. Boag v. MacDougall, 454 U.S.
364, 365 (1982) (per curiam) (citing Haines v.
Kerner, 404 U.S. 519 (1972)); see also Franklin v.
Rose, 765 F.2d 82, 85 (6th Cir. 1985) (pro se
complaints are entitled to liberal construction) (citations
omitted). That said, the court is not required to conjure
unpleaded facts or construct claims on Plaintiff's
behalf. See Grinter v. Knight, 532 F.3d 567, 577
(6th Cir. 2008) (citation omitted); Beaudett v. City of
Hampton, 775 F.2d 1274, 1277-78 (4th Cir. 1985).
“If the court determines at any time that it lacks
subject-matter jurisdiction, the court must dismiss the
action.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(h)(3).
courts are courts of limited jurisdiction and have authority
to decide only the cases that the Constitution and Congress
have empowered them to resolve. See Ohio ex rel. Skaggs
v. Brunner, 549 F.3d 468, 474 (6th Cir. 2008). Federal
courts “have a duty to consider their subject matter
jurisdiction in regard to every case and may raise the issue
sua sponte.” Answers in Genesis, Inc. v.
Creation Ministries Int'l, Ltd., 556 F.3d 459, 465
(6th Cir. 2009) (citations omitted).
speaking, the Constitution and Congress have given federal
courts authority over a case only when the case raises a
federal question (28 U.S.C. § 1331) or when diversity of
citizenship exists between the parties (28 U.S.C. §
1332). See Caterpillar Inc. v. Williams, 482 U.S.
386, 392 (1987) (“Absent diversity of citizenship,
federal-question jurisdiction is required.”).
Plaintiff, as the party bringing this action in federal
court, bears the burden of establishing the court's
jurisdiction. Kokkonen v. Guardian Life Ins. Co. of
Am., 511 U.S. 375, 377 (1994) (citation omitted).
claims that 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a) is the basis for the
court's subject matter jurisdiction over this case and
that the amount in controversy exceeds the jurisdictional
limit. (ECF No. 1 ¶ 5). Diversity jurisdiction is
applicable to cases of sufficient value between citizens of
different States. 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a)(1). To establish
diversity of citizenship, a plaintiff must show that she is a
citizen of one state and all of the defendants are citizens
of other states. The citizenship of a natural person equates
to her domicile. Von Dunser v. Aronoff, 915 F.2d
1071, 1072 (6th Cir. 1990). A corporation, for diversity
jurisdiction purposes, is deemed to be a citizen of any State
by which it has been incorporated and of the State where it
has its principal place of business. See 28 U .S.C.
alleges that she is a resident of Twinsburg, Ohio. (ECF No. 1
¶ 1). She claims that University Hospital Cleveland
Medical Center is an Ohio corporation with its principal
place of business in Ohio, and the other defendant University
Hospital entities have their principal place of business in
Ohio. (Id. ¶¶ 2, 3, 4). Plaintiff alleges
that the defendant doctors are medical providers at the
defendant University Hospital entities, but does not
separately identify their citizenship. (See id.).
with the benefit of liberal construction, there are no
allegations in the Complaint from which the court may infer
that Plaintiff has carried her burden to establish federal
subject matter jurisdiction over this action pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 1332. Nor has Plaintiff alleged a federal
question and none is apparent on the face of the Complaint.
In the absence of a cognizable federal question or a claim
over which the court may exercise diversity jurisdiction, the
court lacks subject matter jurisdiction. See Apple v.
Glenn, 183 F.3d 477, 479 (6th Cir. 1999) (“a
district court may, at any time, sua sponte dismiss
a complaint for lack of subject matter jurisdiction”).