United States District Court, N.D. Oklahoma
OPINION AND ORDER
V. EAGAN, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
before the Court is plaintiff's complaint (Dkt. # 1) and
plaintiff's Motion for Leave to Proceed In Forma
Pauperis and Supporting Affidavit (Dkt. # 2). Plaintiff
is proceeding pro se and, consistent with Supreme
Court and Tenth Circuit precedent, the Court will construe
his pro se pleading liberally. See, e.g.,
Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520 (1972);
Gaines v. Stenseng, 292 F.3d 1222, 1224 (10th Cir.
2002). On June 25, 2019, plaintiff filed this case alleging
that his wrists were bruised and cut when he was taken into
custody by police in Parkland, Texas. He states that he
“previously reside[d]” in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and
the defendants are employed as police officers in Texas. Dkt.
# 1, at 1. Plaintiff's complaint is somewhat rambling,
but it appears that he was visiting his brother-in-law at a
hospital in Parkland and he did not believe that his brother
was receiving appropriate treatment. Id. at 2-4.
Plaintiff states that he was approached by a police officer
after a nurse reported that plaintiff was running through the
halls without wearing a shirt. Id. at 4. The police
officer gave plaintiff a warning and left. Id. A
second incident occurred in which a nurse reported to police
that plaintiff was masturbating in his brother-in-law's
hospital room, and police detained plaintiff for disorderly
conduct. Id. at 5. Plaintiff was placed in handcuffs
and taken to a different room while police invested the
allegations concerning plaintiff's conduct. Id.
Plaintiff was released without being charged with a crime,
but he claims that his wrists were “bleeding and
bruised” from the handcuffs. Id. at 6.
courts are courts of limited jurisdiction, and there is a
presumption against the exercise of federal jurisdiction.
Merida Delgado v. Gonzales, 428 F.3d 916, 919 (10th
Cir. 2005); Penteco Corp. Ltd. Partnership--1985A v.
Union Gas System, Inc., 929 F.2d 1519, 1521 (10th Cir.
1991). The party invoking federal jurisdiction has the burden
to allege jurisdictional facts demonstrating the presence of
federal subject matter jurisdiction. McNutt v. General
Motors Acceptance Corp. of Indiana, Inc., 298 U.S. 178,
182 (1936) (“It is incumbent upon the plaintiff
properly to allege the jurisdictional facts, according to the
nature of the case.”); Montoya v. Chao, 296
F.3d 952, 955 (10th Cir. 2002) (“The burden of
establishing subject-matter jurisdiction is on the party
asserting jurisdiction.”). The Court has an obligation
to consider whether subject matter jurisdiction exists, even
if the parties have not raised the issue. The Tenth Circuit
has stated that “[f]ederal courts ‘have an
independent obligation to determine whether subject-matter
jurisdiction exists, even in the absence of a challenge from
any party,' and thus a court may sua sponte
raise the question of whether there is subject matter
jurisdiction ‘at any stage in the
litigation.'” Image Software, Inc. v. Reynolds
& Reynolds Co., 459 F.3d 1044, 1048 (10th Cir.
Court initially notes that none of the events alleged in the
complaint occurred in the Northern District of Oklahoma, and
this Court is not an appropriate venue for this case.
Plaintiff has also not alleged that defendants are subject to
personal jurisdiction in Oklahoma, and it does not appear
that the Court has any basis to exercise personal
jurisdiction over defendants. As to subject matter
jurisdiction, plaintiff's complaint does not contain any
allegations concerning the basis for federal subject matter
jurisdiction. The parties are diverse but plaintiff has not
alleged an amount in controversy, and the Court cannot
exercise diversity jurisdiction over this case. Plaintiff
appears to be alleging a claim based on the use of excessive
force during his arrest, and he could be attempting to bring
a claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. To state a claim under
§ 1983, a plaintiff must show that his constitutional
rights were violated by a person acting under the color of
state law. West v. Atkins, 487 U.S. 42, 48 (1988).
The Tenth Circuit has found that de minimus injuries
associated with handcuffing are generally insufficient to
support an excessive force claim, and plaintiffs allegations
would not support an inference that his constitutional rights
were violated by defendant's conduct. Cortez v.
McCauley, 478 F.3d 1108 (10th Cir. 2007). Thus,
plaintiff has not stated a plausible claim under § 1983.
The Court finds no basis to exercise federal question
jurisdiction over this case, and plaintiffs claims should be
dismissed for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.
IS THEREFORE ORDERED that the complaint (Dkt. # 1)
is hereby dismissed without prejudice. A
separate judgment of dismissal is entered herewith.
IS FURTHER ORDERED that plaintiffs Motion for Leave
to Proceed In Forma Pauperis and ...