United States District Court, D. Maryland
Richard D. Bennett United States District Judge
before the Court are Defendants IDEAL Buick, Inc. and
Manufacturers and Traders Trust Company's Motions to
Dismiss for Lack of Jurisdiction (“Defendants'
Motions”) (ECF Nos. 9, 11). The parties'
submissions have been reviewed, and no hearing is necessary.
See Local Rule 105.6 (D. Md. 2016). For the reasons
stated below, Defendants' Motions are GRANTED, and this
case is DISMISSED.
Jennifer Ann Naselnik is an adult citizen of the State of
Maryland. (ECF No. 1 at ¶ 3.) Defendant Ideal Buick,
Inc. (“Ideal”), is a business incorporated under
the laws of Maryland with its principal place of business
located in Frederick, Maryland. (Id. at ¶¶
2, 4.) See also ECF No. 9-1 at 4. Ideal conducts
business under the name of Ideal Buick GMC
Hyundai. (ECF No. 9-1.) Defendant Manufacturers and
Traders Trust Company (“M&T”) is a bank
holding company which conducts business in the State of
Maryland. (ECF No. 1 at ¶ 5.) The thrust of
plaintiff's Complaint is that defendants committed
negligent and/or fraudulent acts during the processing of her
joint purchase of an automobile with her acquaintance and
former co-habitant Rachal Neuhauser. (ECF No. 1 at ¶¶
motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(1) of the Federal Rules of
Civil Procedure for lack of subject matter jurisdiction
challenges a court's authority to hear the matter brought
by a complaint. See Davis v. Thompson, 367 F.Supp.2d
792, 799 (D. Md. 2005). Under the “well-pleaded
complaint” rule, the facts showing the existence of
subject matter jurisdiction “must be affirmatively
alleged in the complaint.” Pinkley, Inc. v. City of
Frederick, 191 F.3d 394, 399 (4th Cir.1999) (citing
McNutt v. Gen'l Motors Acceptance Corp., 298
U.S. 178, 56 S.Ct. 780 (1936)). “A court is to presume,
therefore, that a case lies outside its limited jurisdiction
unless and until jurisdiction has been shown to be
proper.” United States v. Poole, 531 F.3d 263,
274 (4th Cir. 2008) (citing Kokkonen v. Guardian Life
Ins. Co., 511 U.S. 375, 377 (1994)). Moreover, the
“burden of establishing subject matter jurisdiction is
on ... the party asserting jurisdiction.” Robb
Evans & Assocs., LLC v. Holibaugh, 609 F.3d 359, 362
(4th Cir. 2010); accord Hertz v. Friend, 599 U.S.
77, 95, 130 S.Ct. 1181, 1194 (2010); McBumey v.
Cuccinelli, 616 F.3d 393, 408 (4th Cir. 2010).
asserts that this Court may properly exercise jurisdiction
over this case pursuant to 15 U.S.C. § 1691e and 28
U.S.C. §§ 1343(a)(3), 1343(a)(4), and 2201. While
plaintiff thus identifies three federal civil rights
statutory sections and the Declaratory Judgment Act as bases
for this Court's jurisdiction, the causes of action she
raises in her Complaint (“Breach of Contract”,
“Fraud Unlicensed Sales Agents”,
Deformation/Emotion[al] Distress”, and “Punitive
Damages”) seek relief different from that available
under the statutory sections identified in the jurisdictional
statement of the Complaint.
§ 1691e does constitute a federal cause of action, the
target of this statute is discrimination in credit
transactions. See 15 U.S.C. § 1691(a)
(“It shall be unlawful for any creditor to discriminate
against any applicant, with respect to any aspect of a credit
transaction--on the basis of race, color, religion, national
origin, sex or marital status, or age…”).
Plaintiff makes no allegation of discriminatory treatment
during the credit transaction she entered into with Ideal.
See ECF No. 1. Rather, the thrust of her complaint
is that Ideal acted fraudulently and/or negligently
in executing that transaction. Id.
while the Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2201,
also constitutes a federal cause of action, the only relief
which she seeks is monetary (including punitive)
damages-remedies unavailable under § 2201 by itself.
(“Conclusion, ” ECF No. 1 at 12.) Crucially,
moreover, “[a] declaratory judgment action under 28
U.S.C. §§ 2201-2202, in and of itself, does not
confer federal jurisdiction.” Monticello Ins. Co.
v. Baecher, 857 F.Supp. 1145, 1147 (E.D. Va. 1994)
(citing Schilling v. Rogers, 363 U.S. 666, 667
(1960); Delavigne v. Delavigne, 530 F.2d 598, 601
this Court may only exercise subject matter jurisdiction over
the state-law causes of action alleged in
plaintiff's Complaint if there exists diversity of
citizenship jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1332. Under
this section, this Court may properly exercise jurisdiction
over civil actions (1) “where the matter in controversy
exceeds the sum or value of $75, 000” and (2) “is
between citizens of different states.” 28 U.S.C. §
1332(a). “A case falls within the federal district
court's ‘original' diversity
‘jurisdiction' only if diversity of citizenship
among the parties is complete, i.e., only if there
is no plaintiff and no defendant who are citizens of the
same State.” Wisconsin Dep't of Corr. v.
Schacht, 524 U.S. 381, 388, 118 S.Ct. 2047, 2052, 141
L.Ed.2d 364 (1998) (emphasis added). “The presence of
the nondiverse party automatically destroys original
jurisdiction: No party need assert the defect. No party can
waive the defect or consent to jurisdiction. No court can
ignore the defect; rather a court, noticing the defect, must
raise the matter on its own.” Schacht, 524
U.S. at 389. See also Grafton v. Lourenco,
BPG-15-928, 2015 WL 7273152, at *2 (D. Md. Nov. 18, 2015).
case, the Complaint alleges that both plaintiff and defendant
Ideal are citizens of the State of Maryland for purposes of
diversity of citizenship jurisdiction. Accordingly, diversity
of citizenship is not complete, and 28 U.S.C. § 1332
does not provide a basis for this Court's exercise of
subject matter jurisdiction over plaintiff's
state-law claims. See Schacht, 524 U.S. at 389.
Court is without subject matter jurisdiction over this case,
Defendants' Motions must be ...