United States District Court, D. Nevada
DANIEL P. KLAHN, SR., Plaintiff,
RICHARD MEYERSON, Defendant.
Hoffman, Jr. United States Magistrate Judge
before the court is pro se plaintiff Daniel P. Klahn,
Sr.'s amended application to proceed in forma
pauperis (ECF No. 2), filed on November 15, 2016. Also
before the court is Klahn's complaint (ECF No. 1-2).
IN FORMA PAUPERIS APPLICATION
has submitted the declaration required by 28 U.S.C. §
1915(a) showing an inability to prepay fees and costs or give
security for them. Accordingly, his request to proceed in
forma pauperis will be granted.
case arises out of a financial dispute between Klahn and
defendant Richard Meyerson, his former employer. (Compl. (ECF
No. 1-2) at 1-2.) Klahn alleges that Meyerson failed to pay
to Klahn an outstanding salary balance. (Id. at
2-4.) Klahn further alleges that he began paying his personal
bills through Meyerson's business account to recoup the
money owed to him by Meyerson, resulting in Klahn's
eventual incarceration for embezzlement. (Id. at
4-9.) According to Klahn, after Meyerson learned Klahn was
taking money from him, Meyerson determined Klahn stole the
money to purchase a Quiznos franchise. (Id. at 5.)
Klahn alleges that he lost a civil lawsuit regarding the
ownership of the Quiznos franchise because of Meyerson's
false testimony that Klahn stole more than $185, 000 and used
the money to purchase the Quiznos franchise. (Id. at
6-7.) Klahn also states that Meyerson wrongfully thwarted
Klahn's attempts to transfer funds out of Klahn's
401K account. (Id. at 9-10.) Klahn now brings claims
against Meyerson for defamation/slander (claim one) and fraud
(claims two through five). (Id. at 10-24.) Klahn
requests approximately $5, 400, 000 in damages. (Id.
alleges there is diversity jurisdiction in this matter
because he and Meyerson are “citizens of different
[c]ounties disputing more than $75, 000.” (Id.
at 1.) Klahn states that he lives in Clark County, City of
Searchlight, Nevada, and that Meyerson “holds a
secondary residence since 2009” in Las Vegas, Nevada.
granting a request to proceed in forma pauperis, a
court must screen the complaint under 28 U.S.C. §
1915(e)(2). In screening the complaint, a court must identify
cognizable claims and dismiss claims that are frivolous,
malicious, file to state a claim on which relief may be
granted, or seek monetary relief from a defendant who is
immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2).
Dismissal for failure to state a claim under §
1915(e)(2) incorporates the standard for failure to state a
claim under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6).
Watison v. Carter, 668 F.3d 1108, 1112 (9th Cir.
2012). To survive § 1915 review, a complaint must
“contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true,
to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its
face.” See Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662,
678 (2009). The court liberally construes pro se complaints
and may only dismiss them “if it appears beyond doubt
that the plaintiff can prove no set of facts in support of
his claim which would entitle him to relief.”
Nordstrom v. Ryan, 762 F.3d 903, 908 (9th Cir. 2014)
(quoting Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678).
considering whether the complaint is sufficient to state a
claim, all allegations of material fact are taken as true and
construed in the light most favorable to the plaintiff.
Wyler Summit P'ship v. Turner Broad. Sys. Inc.,
135 F.3d 658, 661 (9th Cir. 1998) (citation omitted).
Although the standard under Rule 12(b)(6) does not require
detailed factual allegations, a plaintiff must provide more
than mere labels and conclusions. Bell Atlantic Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007). A formulaic
recitation of the elements of a cause of action is
insufficient. Id. Unless it is clear the
complaint's deficiencies could not be cured through
amendment, a pro se plaintiff should be given leave to amend
the complaint with notice regarding the complaint's
deficiencies. Cato v. United States, 70 F.3d 1103,
1106 (9th Cir. 1995).
district courts are courts of limited jurisdiction,
possessing only that power authorized by Constitution and
statute.” K2 Am. Corp. v. Roland Oil & Gas,
LLC, 653 F.3d 1024, 1027 (9th Cir. 2011) (quotation
omitted). Federal district courts “have original
jurisdiction of all civil actions arising under the
Constitution, laws, or treaties of the United States.”
28 U.S.C. § 1331. Federal district courts have original
jurisdiction over civil actions in diversity cases
“where the matter in controversy exceeds the sum or
value of $75, 000” and where the matter is between
“citizens of different States.” 28 U.S.C. §
1332(a). “Section 1332 requires complete diversity of
citizenship; each of the plaintiffs must be a citizen of a
different state than each of the defendants.”
Morris v. Princess Cruises, Inc., 236 F.3d 1061,
1067 (9th Cir. 2001). Federal courts have the jurisdiction to
determine their own jurisdiction. Special Investments,
Inc. v. Aero Air, Inc., 360 F.3d 989, 992 (9th Cir.
2004). A court may raise the question of subject-matter
jurisdiction sua sponte, and it must dismiss a case if it
determines it lacks subject-matter jurisdiction.
Id.; Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(h)(3).
Klahn does not invoke the court's jurisdiction. Klahn
alleges only state law claims and therefore does not invoke
the court's federal question jurisdiction. Although he
alleges requisite amount in controversy for diversity
jurisdiction, he fails to allege facts indicating that he and
Meyerson are citizens of different states. Instead, Klahn
alleges he and Meyerson are citizens of Nevada. Although he
characterizes Nevada as Meyerson's “secondary
residence, ” he does not provide any other allegations
regarding Meyerson's citizenship. As the party seeking to
invoke the court's jurisdiction, Klahn bears the burden
of establishing ...