United States District Court, D. Maryland
RICHARD D. BENNETT, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
April 20, 2017, April Latimore, who resides in Clinton,
Maryland, filed a fee-paid self-represented
complaint. Ms. Latimore claims that although she
submitted a "negotiable instrument" in the amount
of $3, 000, 000.00 to purchase property, furniture, and other
real estate, Defendants failed to honor the contract. She
asks that the deed be transferred to her. ECF No. 1, pp.
5-7. ECF No. 1-1.
may consider subject matter jurisdiction as part of its
initial review of the complaint. See Lovern v.
Edwards, 190 F.3d 648, 654 (4th Cir. 1999) (holding that
"[determining the question of subject matter
jurisdiction at the outset of the litigation is often the
most efficient procedure"). In general, if subject
matter jurisdiction is lacking in an action before a court,
the case must be dismissed. See Fed. R. Civ. P.
12(h)(3) ("If the court determines at any time that it
lacks subject-matter jurisdiction, the court must dismiss the
a federal court must determine with certainty whether it has
subject matter jurisdiction over a case pending before it. If
necessary, the Court has an obligation to consider its
subject matter jurisdiction sua sponte. See Joseph v.
Leavitt, 465 F.3d 87, 89 (2d Cir. 2006).
"[Q]uestions of subject-matter jurisdiction may be
raised at any point during the proceedings and may (or, more
precisely, must) be raised sua sponte by the
court." Brickwood Contractors, Inc. v. Datanet
Engineering, Inc., 369 F.3d 385, 390 (4th Cir. 2004).
courts have original jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 1331 "of all civil actions arising under the
Constitution, laws, or treaties of the United States."
See 28 U.S.C. § 1331.
the "well-pleaded complaint doctrine, " federal
jurisdiction exists only when, a federal question is
presented on the face of Plaintiffs properly pleaded
complaint See, Caterpillar Inc. v. Williams. 482
U.S. 386, 392 (1987). The Fourth Circuit has observed that
"[t]here is no 'single, precise definition' of
what it means for an action to 'arise under' federal
law." Verizon Md, Inc. v. Global NAPS,
Inc., 377 F.3d 355, 362 (4th Cir. 2004) (quoting
Merrell Dow Pharm. Inc. v. Thompson, 478 U.S. 804,
808 (1986)). Indeed:
The Supreme Court has recognized § 1331 jurisdiction in
a variety of cases, such as (1) when a federal right or
immunity forms an essential element of the plaintiffs claim;
(2) when a plaintiffs right to relief depends upon the
construction or application of federal law, and the federal
nature of the claim rests upon a reasonable foundation; (3)
when federal law creates the cause of action; and (4) when
the plaintiffs right to relief necessarily depends on
resolution of a substantial question of federal law.
Id. (internal citations and quotations omitted).
claims appear grounded in state contract law. A federal
district court does not sit to review every claim related to
alleged fraudulent or tortious conduct involving non-federal
parties. Instead, it only has authority to review such
state-law claims filed pursuant to a federal district
court's diversity of citizenship jurisdiction. Pursuant
to 28 U.S.C. § 1332, diversity jurisdiction exists when
the parties reside in different states and the amount in
controversy exceeds $75, 000. When a party seeks to invoke
diversity jurisdiction under § 1332, he or she bears the
burden of demonstrating that the grounds for diversity exist
and that diversity is complete. See Advani Enterprises,
Inc. v. Underwriters at Lloyds, 140 F.3d 157, 160 (2d
Cir. 1998).). The requirement of complete diversity of
citizenship mandates that each plaintiff meet the diversity
requirements as to each defendant. See Newman-Green, Inc.
v. Alfonzo-Larrain, 490 U.S. 826, 829 (1989). "It
is well established that diversity jurisdiction attaches only
when all parties on one side of the litigation are of a
different citizenship from all of those on the other."
Stouffer Corp. v. Breckenridge, 859 F.2d 75, 76 (8th
Cir. 1988) (citing Strawbridge v. Curtiss, 7 U.S. (3
Cranch) 267, 2 L.Ed. 435 (1806)).
and the three Defendants reside in Maryland. Therefore, the
Complaint shall be dismissed for lack of subject matter
jurisdiction, as it does not satisfy, diversity of
citizenship requirements. A separate Order shall be entered
in accordance with this Memorandum Opinion.
 On September 1, 2017, Ms. Latimore
filed four separate fee-paid complaints. See Latimore v.
M & T Bank, et al., Civil Action No. GLR-16-3048 (D.
Md.); Latimore, et a!, v. Jacguar Land Rover Hunt Valley,
et al, Civil Action No. GLR-16-3049 (D. Md.); and
Latimore v. Harborview Community Realty, et al,
Civil Action No. GLR-16-3050 (D. Md.); and Latimore, et
al v. Telecheck First Data, et al, Civil Action No.
GLR-16-3046 (D. Md.). All cases were summarily dismissed. The
negotiable instruments submitted by Ms. Latimore in those
cases were later rejected by the Over the Counter Channel
("OTCnet") web application that lets federal
agencies manage and report all check and cash
 The Complaint represents one of two
cases filed by Latimore on April 20, 2017. See also
Latimore v. Moyihan, Civil Action No. GJH-17-1099 (D.
Md.). In both cases the negotiable instruments filed by ...