UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT NOT FOR PUBLICATION EASTERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK DAWSON
May 9, 2012
COLEMAN ON BEHALF HIMSELF AND THECLA F. COLEMAN,*FN1 PLAINTIFFS,
J.P. MORGAN CHASE, N.A. AND JUSTICE MARSHA L. STEINHARDT, DEFENDANTS.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: John Gleeson, United States District Judge:
Plaintiff Dawson Coleman ("Dawson"), proceeding on his own behalf and on behalf of his wife, Thecla F. Coleman ("Thecla"),brings this pro se action for damages against J.P. Morgan Chase, N.A. ("JPMC") and Justice Marsha L. Steinhardt of the Supreme Court of the State of New York. Dawson seeks permission to proceed in forma pauperis, which I grant solely for the purpose of this Order. For the reasons discussed below, I dismiss the Complaint.
As an initial matter, although Dawson purports to bring this action on behalf of Thecla, a layperson "may not appear on another person's behalf in the other's cause." Iannaccone v. Law, 142 F.3d 553, 558 (2d Cir. 1997). I thus dismiss the Complaint as to Thecla without prejudice to refile if Thecla proceeds pro se or with proper representation. With respect to Dawson, construing the Complaint liberally, as I must in any pro se action, Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007), I understand the Complaint to seek monetary damages against JPMC for initiating, without the right to do so, foreclosure proceedings against Thecla. I also understand the Complaint to seek money damages against Steinhardt for her conduct in presiding over the foreclosure proceedings brought by JPMC against Thecla.
Because the Complaint fails to allege a basis for subjection matter jurisdiction, I must dismiss the Complaint. Arbaugh v. Y & H Corp., 126 S. Ct. 1235, 1237 (2006) ("[C]courts . . . have an independent obligation to determine whether subject-matter jurisdiction exists."). The Complaint alleges neither a claim arising under federal law nor complete diversity of the parties. Indeed, although the Complaint supplies workplace addresses for the defendants, it fails to identify their citizenship. See Conyers v. Rossides, 558 F.3d 137, 143 (2d Cir. 2009) ("The party invoking federal jurisdiction bears the burden of establishing that jurisdiction exists." (quoting Sharkey v. Quarantine, 541 F.3d 75, 82 (2d Cir. 2008)) (internal quotation marks omitted)).*fn2 The Court therefore cannot assert jurisdiction to hear this case pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1331 or § 1332 or upon any other basis.*fn3
The Complaint is accordingly dismissed for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. The Court certifies pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(3) that any appeal would not be taken in good faith and therefore in forma pauperis status is denied for purpose of an appeal. Coppedge v. United States, 369 U.S. 438, 444-45 (1962).
John Gleeson, U.S.D.J.