United States District Court, E.D. New York
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
ROSLYNN R. MAUSKOPF, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Nicole Natasha Utley, proceeding pro se. brings this
action seeking, among other things, relief from a judgment of
foreclosure. For the reasons set forth below, Utley's
complaint does not sufficiently establish that this Court has
subject-matter jurisdiction to preside over this case.
See Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(h)(3).
is hereby ordered to show cause in writing within 30 days of
the date of this Order as to why this action should not be
dismissed for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction. If Utley
fails to show cause in writing within 30 days of this Order,
this action will be subject to dismissal.
Nicole Natasha Utley filed this action on August 13, 2019,
seeking review of a judgment of foreclosure and sale entered
against her in the Supreme Court of the State of New York,
Kings County. (Compl. (Doc. No. 1) at 3, 18-30.) Utley brings
this action against various defendants, including Kings
County Supreme Court Justice Noach Dear, attorneys Craig
Beideman and Bruno Codispoti, JPMorgan Chase Chief Financial
Officer Marianne Lake, and Kings County Supreme Court Clerk
Nancy T. Sunshine. (Compl. at 1, 4, 8: 19.)
20, 2018, Justice Dear entered a judgment of foreclosure and
sale sought by JPMorgan Chase Bank on Utley's property at
547 Montauk Avenue, Brooklyn, New York 11208. (Compl. at
18-30.) See JP Morgan Bank N.A. v. Nicole Utley, et
al, Index No. 514689/2015, Doc. No. 122 (N.Y. Sup. Ct.
2019) (Judgment of Foreclosure and Sale). Defendant Lake was
JPMorgan Chase's CFO at the time and defendant Beideman
was the attorney for JPMorgan Chase in the foreclosure
action. (Compl. at 4. 19.) Defendant Sunshine entered the
judgment in the action, which was based off a referee report
by defendant Codispoti. (Id. at 8, 19.)
alleges that she "tried numerous times to resolve this
controversy privately by tendering payment in 3 different
instances in the amount of the outstanding obligation plus
interest." (Compl. at 4.) Utley "seeks relief from
joint and several liability on a judgement [sic] for
foreclosure sale" on her property located at 547 Montauk
Avenue, Brooklyn, New York 11208. (Compl. at 3, 18-30.) Utley
seeks review of the judgment, requesting that this Court hold
"a new hearing" regarding Utley's ownership of
the property, order discovery of "all journal entries of
those claiming the need for current foreclosure sale" in
advance of that hearing, "set-aside, void, and nullify
any prior order granting judgment of foreclosure sale."
and grant Utley "custody of the property." (Compl.
at 13-15.) Utley also alleges other claims of unclear
relation to the judgment of foreclosure - all pled in vague
or incomprehensible terms. For instance, Utley requests that
this Court order "the Honorable Noach Dear to
immediately release Nicole Natasha Utley from any alleged
'no contact' order with Respondents and/or
other beloved (kin or otherwise). . . ." (Compl. at 13.)
Utley does not describe when or against whom this order was
entered, or provide any other specifics regarding the order.
alleged basis for this Court's jurisdiction over her
action is also largely incomprehensible. She writes,
"Petitioner hereby authorizes, empowers and grants
special immunity to the judiciary member Chancellor
insofar - and only insofar - as he shall respect absolutely
all herein with the eye single to the glory of yhvh/G-d, the
king of king's conscience, and his equal-justice . . .
." (Compl. at 2.) Utley also mentions as a basis for
jurisdiction "the Uniform Declaratory Judgment Act as
adopted for New York," (id. at 3), in an
apparent reference to the portion of New York State's
Civil Practice Law and Rules permitting a court to
"render a declaratory judgment having the effect of a
final judgment." N.Y. C.P.L.R. § 3001. Finally,
later in her complaint, Utley mentions Article 1, Section 10
of the United States Constitution, though it is unclear
whether she views this as a basis for jurisdiction.
(Id. at 8.)
must read pro se complaints with "special
solicitude" and interpret them to raise the
"strongest arguments that they suggest."
Triestman v. Fed. Bureau of Prisons, 470 F.3d 471,
474-76 (2d Cir. 2006) (quotation marks omitted). Federal
courts also "have an independent obligation to determine
whether subject-matter jurisdiction exists, even in the
absence of a challenge from any party." Arbaugh v. Y
& H Corp., 546 U.S. 500, 514 (2006) (citing
Ruhrgas AG v. Marathon Oil Co., 526 U.S. 574, 583
(1999)). "[S]ubject-matter jurisdiction, because it
involves the court's power to hear a case, can never be
forfeited or waived." United States v. Cotton,
535 U.S. 625, 630 (2002). The subject-matter jurisdiction of
the federal courts is limited. Federal subject-matter
jurisdiction exists only where a federal question is
presented, see 28 U.S.C. § 1331, or where there
is diversity of citizenship among the parties and the amount
in controversy exceeds $75, 000, see 28 U.S.C.
§ 1332. "The party invoking federal jurisdiction
bears the burden of establishing that jurisdiction
exists." Conyers v. Rossides, 558 F.3d 137, 143
(2d Cir. 2009) (citation and internal quotation marks
omitted). "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 have subject-matter jurisdiction based on diversity of
citizenship where the "matter in controversy exceeds the
sum or value of $75, 000. exclusive of interest and costs,
and is between . .. citizens of different states." 28
U.S.C. § 1332. Subject-matter jurisdiction based on the
diversity of the parties '"is available only when
all adverse parties to a litigation are completely diverse in
their citizenships." Herrick Co. v. SCS
Commc'ns, Inc., 251 F.3d 315, 322 (2d Cir. 2001).
Utley's current address, as reflected on the docket sheet
in this action, is 547 Montauk Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11208
-the property subject to foreclosure here. Utley makes no
allegation in her complaint supporting complete diversity of
the adverse parties, some of whom appear to be New York
residents. Until Utley alleges facts showing that the parties
to this action are diverse in their citizenship, the Court
cannot find that it has subject-matter jurisdiction on the
basis of diversity. See Universal Reinsurance Co. v. St.
Paul Fire And Marine Ins. Co., 224 F.3d 139, 140 (2d
Cir. 2000), as amended, (Aug. 8, 2000) (remanding
case after five years of litigation because plaintiffs at no
point "made allegations or offered evidence sufficient
to support diversity jurisdiction").
diversity jurisdiction, this Court can only hear this action
if Utley establishes the existence of federal question
jurisdiction. Federal courts have subject-matter jurisdiction
based on a federal question for "all civil actions
arising under the Constitution, laws, or treaties of the
United States." 28 U.S.C. § 1331.
stated basis for jurisdiction, as quoted above, is largely
incomprehensible. Nor do the statutes or constitutional
provisions cited in Utley's complaint provide a basis for
jurisdiction. New York Civil Practice Law and Rules §
3001 is a state law, not a federal statute that can provide a
basis for federal question jurisdiction. While Article 1,
Section 10 of the United States Constitution can provide a
basis for federal question jurisdiction, Utley has not
alleged a ...