United States District Court, D. Maryland
Lipton Hollander, United States District Judge.
George Washington, who is self-represented, filed suit
against defendant Max Moghees, an employee of "JBA
dealership" ("JBA"). ECF 1 (the
"Complaint"). Washington asserts various claims
arising out of his purchase and financing of a vehicle that
he bought from JBA on July 30, 2017. Id.
Specifically, Washington alleges that JBA "tricked [him]
into accepting ... the purchase of a used veh[icle]" and
has arranged "an illegal interest rate and finance
charge" with the auto lender, Ally Bank. Id.
Plaintiff appended several exhibits to the suit. See
has moved to dismiss the Complaint for lack of subject matter
jurisdiction, pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(1), and for
failure to state a claim, pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6).
ECF 6. The motion is supported by a memorandum of law. ECF
6-1 (collectively, the "Motion"). Moghees contends,
among other things, that this Court lacks diversity
jurisdiction over plaintiffs claims. ECF 6-1 at 6-7. In response,
Washington filed an "Affidavit of Truth" (ECF 11),
supported by an exhibit. ECF 11-1. Moghees has replied. ECF 12
hearing is unnecessary to resolve the Motion. See
Local Rule 105.6. For the reasons that follow, I shall grant
is "a proud resident of the State of Maryland." ECF
1 at 1. Moghees is an employee of JBA, located in Glen
Burnie, Maryland. Id. Washington maintains that JBA
is a part owner of Ally Bank. Id. at 2. According to
plaintiff, JBA is "using the bank name to extort money
from it[s] customers." Id.
alleges that he was "verbally misinformed / tricked into
accepting [the] contract of the purchase of a used veh[icle]
2014 Chevrolet Suburban LT with 36000 plus miles . . .
." Id. at 1. Prior to the purchase, Washington
claims that he "asked Mr. Max [Moghees] about the
monthly payment of [$]899.92, what amount went to the
principle [sic] and the interest rate and his reply was that
he didn't know but to wait for the bank to call me."
Bank never contacted Washington. ECF 1 at 1. But, plaintiff
"kept calling" until he eventually received a
response. Id. Washington was told that if he made
his vehicle payments on time every month, Ally Bank would
allocate $500 to the principal balance of his auto loan, and
the remainder "would go to the interest rate."
Id. at 1-2.
states that he "never pay attention to [the] monthly
payment," but he noticed that the "numbers [were]
not matching." Id. at 2. According to
plaintiff, Ally Bank failed to allocate the proper amount of
his monthly payment to the principal balance of his loan.
Id. As a result, Washington called Ally Bank
"to make corrections." Id. In response,
"[t]he bank said that this is how the JBA dealership
wanted it to be/setup [sic], that the interest rate on this
[vehicle] is triple the amount of the principle [sic] plus
the finance charges . . . ." Id.
Complaint asks the Court to intervene "with a trial date
for a civilized settlement agreement to all parties to
resolve this" and to order the Federal Bureau of
Investigation to commence an investigation of
Notably, plaintiff fails to specify the basis for
jurisdiction in federal court.
facts are included in the Discussion.
challenge to a federal court's subject matter
jurisdiction is reviewed pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(1).
Under Rule 12(b)(1), the plaintiff bears the burden of
proving, by a preponderance of evidence, the existence of
subject matter jurisdiction. See Demetres v. East West
Const, Inc., 776 F.3d 271, 272 (4th Cir. 2015); see
also Evans v. B.F. Perkins Co., 166 F.3d 642, 647 (4th
Cir. 1999). A test of subject matter jurisdiction under Rule
12(b)(1) may proceed "in one of two ways": either a
facial challenge, asserting that the allegations pleaded in
the complaint are insufficient to establish subject matter
jurisdiction, or a factual challenge, asserting "that
the jurisdictional allegations of the complaint [are] not
true." Kerns v. United States, 585 F.3d 187,
192 (4th Cir. 2009) (quotation marks and citation omitted);
accord Durden v. United States, 736 F.3d296, 300
(4th Cir. 2013).
facial challenge, "the facts alleged in the complaint
are taken as true, and the motion must be denied if the
complaint alleges sufficient facts to invoke subject matter
jurisdiction." Kerns, 585 F.3d at 192; see
also Ibarra v. United States, 120 F.3d 472, 474 (4th
Cir. 1997). In a factual challenge, on the other hand,
"the district court is entitled to decide disputed
issues of fact with respect to subject matter
jurisdiction." Kerns, 585 F.3d at 192. In that
circumstance, the court "may regard the pleadings as
mere evidence on the issue and may consider evidence outside
the pleadings without converting the proceeding to one for
summary judgment." Velasco v. Gov't of
Indonesia, 370 F.3d 392, 398 (4th Cir. 2004); see
also Richmond, Fredericksburg & Potomac R.R. Co. v.
United States, 945 F.2d 765, 768 (4th Cir. 1991).
respect to Moghees' contention that Court lacks diversity
jurisdiction over plaintiffs claims, Moghees seems to raise a
facial challenge. Therefore, I shall assume the truth of
Washington's allegations. Id.
defendant may test the legal sufficiency of a complaint by
way of a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6). In re
Birmingham, 846 F.3d 88, 92 (4th Cir. 2017); Goines
v. Valley Cmty. Servs. Bd, 822 F.3d 159, 165-66 (4th
Cir. 2016); McBurney v. Cuccinelli, 616 F.3d 393,
408 (4th Cir. 2010), aff'd sub nom. McBurney v.
Young, 569 U.S. 221 (2013); Edwards v. City of
Goldsboro, 178 F.3d 231, 243 (4th Cir. 1999). A Rule
12(b)(6) motion constitutes an assertion by a defendant that,
even if the facts alleged by a plaintiff are true, the
complaint fails as a matter of law "to state a claim
upon which relief can be granted."
a complaint states a claim for relief is assessed by
reference to the pleading requirements of Rule 8(a)(2). That
rule provides that a complaint must contain a "short and
plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is
entitled to relief." The purpose of the rule is to
provide the defendant with "fair notice" of the
claims and the "grounds" for ...