United States District Court, D. Massachusetts
MEMORANDUM OF DECISION AND ORDER ON DEFENDANTS'
MOTION TO DISMISS
Gail Dein, United States Magistrate Judge
pro se plaintiff, Bassam Awad, claims that he was
discriminated against in housing because of his perceived
national origin (he identifies as Egyptian, but believes the
defendants thought he was Lebanese or Palestinian) and
religion (Christian Coptic Orthodox). The residence in
question is an apartment he rents with his fiancé.
Awad brought suit against First Tower Funding LLC (the
company that manages the building) and Fred Levitan (the
company's agent). The crux of the complaint is that
Awad's fiancé was on the lease for the apartment,
the defendants allegedly refused to add Awad to the lease for
discriminatory reasons, and the defendants wrongfully refused
to renew the lease and threatened Awad's fiancé
with eviction for having an unauthorized male occupant (Awad)
living in the apartment. Awad contends that this was due to
marital status discrimination. In his complaint, Awad lists
diversity of citizenship as the basis for federal court
jurisdiction, and does not identify any federal statute,
federal treaty and/or provision of the United States
Constitution as being at issue in this case. See
Docket No. 1 at § II. Nevertheless, he alleges a
violation of various state and federal housing and
discrimination laws. See Docket No. 1-1.
March 8, 2018, the defendants filed a Motion to Dismiss the
complaint in its entirety, pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P.
12(b)(1)(3)(4)(5) & (6) & 12(h)(3). Docket No. 17.
The defendants contend that this court lacks jurisdiction as
there is no diversity between the parties, and that dismissal
is warranted due to a prior pending action, insufficient
service of process, failure to state a claim upon which
relief can be granted, and collateral estoppel. Id.
The plaintiff failed to file an Opposition to the motion to
dismiss, which was due on March 22, 2018. The court, sua
sponte, issued an order extending the time for the
plaintiff to respond to April 23, 2018. Docket No. 20. No.
response was filed by the plaintiff.
11, 2018 this court ordered First Tower Funding LLC to notify
the court by way of affidavit if any of its members is a
resident of Massachusetts so as to defeat diversity
jurisdiction. Docket No. 21. On May 24, 2018, Evelyn
Carabetta filed an affidavit, attesting to the fact that she
is a member of the LLC and a resident of Massachusetts.
Docket No. 22.
consideration of all the arguments, the defendants'
motion to dismiss is ALLOWED.
This Court Lacks Diversity Jurisdiction
extent that the plaintiff relies on diversity jurisdiction as
a basis for this court's jurisdiction, this case must be
dismissed as there is no diversity between the plaintiff and
the defendants. Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a):
district courts shall have original jurisdiction of all civil
actions where the matter in controversy exceeds the sum or
value of $75, 000, exclusive of interest and costs, and is
citizens of different States[.]
respect to an LLC, its citizenship is determined by the
citizenship of its members. Lincoln Benefit Life Co. v.
AEI Life, LLC, 800 F.3d 99, 105 (3d Cir. 2015).
“[T]he burden of proof is on the plaintiff to support
allegations of jurisdiction with competent proof when the
allegations are challenged by the defendant.”
O'Toole v. Arlington Tr. Co., 681 F.2d 94, 98
(1st Cir. 1982).
complaint, the plaintiff has alleged that he is a resident of
Massachusetts. The affidavit of Ms. Carabetta establishes
that the LLC defendant is also a resident of Massachusetts.
Docket No. 22. The defendant Fred Levitan has also filed an
affidavit attesting to the fact that he is a resident of
Massachusetts. Docket No. 17 at Ex. N. There is no diversity
jurisdiction in this court.
This Action is Barred by the Doctrine of ...