United States District Court, D. Massachusetts
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
ALLISON D. BURROUGHS, U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE.
reasons set forth below, the Court (1) grants the
plaintiff's motion for leave to proceed in forma
pauperis; (2) denies the plaintiff's motion for time
to serve summons; and (3) directs the plaintiff to show cause
why this action should not be dismissed for lack of subject
December 26, 2018, pro se plaintiff Pavel Lifchits
of Framingham, Massachusetts, filed a complaint for damages
arising out of an April 9, 2018 car accident with a school
bus in Queens, New York. See Complaint
(“Compl.”), Dkt. No. 1. For relief, plaintiff
seeks “compensation” of $82, 500.00. Id.
at ¶ IV (relief). Named as defendants are the school bus
owner, Key 4U Transportation Corp. (“Key 4U”) of
New York, and its insurer, Integon National Insurance Company
(“Integon”) of North Carolina Id. at
¶ I(B) (the defendants).
initial matter, the Court's records indicate that the
plaintiff filed a virtually identical complaint on June 27,
2018. See Lifchits v. Integon Nat'l Ins. Co., et
al., 18-11348-RGS. By Electronic Order dated November
30, 2018, the defendants' motions to dismiss were allowed
because the threshold of $75, 000 for diversity jurisdiction
was not plausibly alleged. Id. Lifchits has now
refiled the same claim with a change in the relief requested.
In addition to seeking $4, 500 for the amount of property
damage sustained to his vehicle, he now seeks an additional
$78, 000, purportedly for litigation expenses. See
Compl. at ¶ IV (relief).
February 4, 2019, Lifchits filed a motion seeking additional
time to serve the summons on the defendants. See
Dkt. No. 5.
IN FORMA PAUPERIS
review of Lifchits motion for leave to proceed in forma
pauperis, the Court concludes that he is without income
or assets to pay the $400.00 filing fee. The motion is
SCREENING OF THE ACTION
plaintiff seeks to file a complaint without prepayment of the
filing fee, summonses do not issue until the Court reviews
the complaint and determines that it satisfies the
substantive requirements of 28 U.S.C. § 1915. Section
1915 authorizes federal courts to dismiss a complaint if the
claims therein lack an arguable basis in law or in fact, fail
to state a claim on which relief may be granted, or seek
monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from such
relief. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2).
addition to screening, the Court has an independent
obligation to inquire, sua sponte, into its subject
matter jurisdiction. 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.”); McCulloch v. Velez, 364 F.3d 1, 5
(1st Cir. 2004). It is long-settled that “[t]he party
invoking federal jurisdiction has the burden of establishing
that the court has subject matter jurisdiction over the
case.” Amoche v. Guar. Trust Life Ins. Co.,
556 F.3d 41, 48 (1st Cir. 2009) (citing cases).
conducting this review, the Court liberally construes the
complaint because the plaintiff is proceeding pro
se. Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520-21
(1972); Rodi v. New Eng. Sch. of Law, 389 F.3d 5, 13
(1st Cir. 2004). However, as set forth below, plaintiff's
allegations are insufficient to establish diversity
courts 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 between ...
citizens of different states.” 28 U.S.C. §
1332(a)(1). Given the fact that the parties in this action