United States District Court, S.D. Georgia, Statesboro Division
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
se plaintiff Stephen Sharpe has filed this case alleging
improprieties related to various contracts. Doc. 1 at 8.
Although Sharpe's allegations are not entirely clear, it
appears that the contracts at issue are related to a loan
secured by real property. Id. The defendants have
responded to the Complaint, and they seek dismissal on
various grounds. See doc. 5 (MacIntyre's Motion
to Dismiss); doc 12 (Residential Credit Solutions, Inc.'s
Motion to Dismiss); doc. 17 (Key Bank, N.A.'s Motion to
Dismiss); doc. 19 (Select Portfolio Services, Inc.'s
Motion to Dismiss); doc. 22 (Quantum Servicing
Corporation's Motion to Dismiss); doc. 23 (Bryant's
Motion to Dismiss); doc 28 (First Family Financial Services,
Inc.'s Motion to Dismiss). Sharpe opposes. Doc. 27.
the various issues that defendants' motions raise, it
appears that the Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction.
checked the form Complaint's box indicating that the
Court has jurisdiction based on the parties' diversity of
citizenship. Doc. 1 at 6. Despite alleging diversity of
citizenship, however, Sharpe lists his own address in Georgia
and lists business addresses for two of the individual
defendants (Massie McIntyre and Malcolm Bryant) in Georgia.
Doc. 1 at 1, 3. Those defendants, as well as several of the
entity defendants, point out that those allegations belie any
assertion of diversity jurisdiction. See, e.g., doc.
5 at 3-4 (arguing that the Court lacks subject matter
jurisdiction because the Complaint alleges that both Sharpe
and McIntyre are Georgia citizens); doc. 19 at 3 (arguing
that the Complaint, on its face, “admits that at least
four of the Defendants in this action reside in Georgia,
making them Georgia citizens”); doc. 22-1 at 6 (arguing
the Court lacks jurisdiction “because the Complaint
assigns Georgia citizenship to the plaintiff as well as to
some of the defendants”); doc. 23 at 2-3 (“[T]he
plaintiff has alleged that he and one or more defendants are
Georgia citizens”). Sharpe has responded in opposition
to those motions, but he has not addressed the jurisdictional
arguments. Doc. 27.
courts are courts of limited jurisdiction[, and t]hey possess
only that power authorized by Constitution and
statute.” Kokkonen v. Guardian Life Ins. Co of
Am., 511 U.S. 375, 377 (1994). It is presumed that a
case lies outside that jurisdiction, and the party asserting
it (here, the plaintiff) bears the burden of overcoming that
presumption. Id. To establish diversity
jurisdiction, Sharpe must plead facts showing that the
parties are citizens of different states and that the amount
in controversy exceeds $75, 000. 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a).
“Complete” diversity is required --no opposing
parties may be citizens of the same state. See, e.g.,
Wisconsin Dep't of Corrs. v. Schacht, 524 U.S. 381,
388 (1988). As the defendants have pointed out, Sharpe's
allegations support the conclusion that he and several
defendants are Georgia citizens. He has asserted nothing
contradicting defendants' construction of his
allegations. The Court cannot fill in jurisdictional gaps for
him. Boles v. Riva, 565 Fed.Appx. 845, 846 (11th
Cir. 2014) (“[E]ven in the case of pro se
litigants [where pleadings are liberally construed], this
leniency does not give a court license to serve as de
facto counsel for a party, or to rewrite an otherwise
deficient pleading in order to sustain an action.”
(quotes and cite omitted)).
Sharpe's Complaint should be DISMISSED without
prejudice. 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
action.”). The remaining pending motions, therefore,
should be DENIED as moot. Doc. 5; doc. 8;
doc. 12; doc. 17; doc. 19; doc. 22; doc. 23; doc. 28. The
Joint Motion to Stay Discovery, pending ruling on the motions
to dismiss, is GRANTED, pending the District
Judge's consideration of this Report and Recommendation.
R&R is submitted to the district judge assigned to this
action, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B) and this
Court's Local Rule 72.3. Within 14 days of service, any
party may file written objections to this R&R with the
Court and serve a copy on all parties. The document should be
captioned “Objections to Magistrate Judge's Report
and Recommendations.” Any request for additional time
to file objections should be filed with the Clerk for
consideration by the assigned district judge.
the objections period has ended, the Clerk shall submit this
R&R together with any objections to the assigned district
judge. The district judge will review the magistrate
judge's findings and recommendations pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(C). The parties are advised that
failure to timely file objections will result in the waiver
of rights on appeal. 11th Cir. R. 3-1; see Symonett v.
V.A. Leasing Corp., 648 Fed.Appx. 787, 790 (11th Cir.
2016); Mitchell v. United States, 612 Fed.Appx. 542,
545 (11th Cir. 2015).