United States District Court, D. Hawaii
ORDER: (1) GRANTING APPLICATION TO PROCEED WITHOUT
PREPAYING FEES AND COSTS; AND (2) DISMISSING COMPLAINT WITH
LEAVE TO AMEND
Michael Seabright, Chief United States District Judge
April 18, 2017, pro se Plaintiff Lizabeth-Emi Bendeck
(“Plaintiff”) filed a document titled “Bill
in Equity to Declare an Absolute Deed to be a Mortgage;
Exoneration of Surety; To Construct a Trust upon the
Grantee/Trustee; and Notice of Merger in the Equity
Jurisdiction” (“Complaint”), ECF No. 1, and
an application to proceed in forma pauperis (“IFP
Application”), ECF No. 2. Based on the following, the
court GRANTS Plaintiff's IFP Application, and DISMISSES
Plaintiff's Complaint with leave to amend.
IFP Application indicates that she receives monthly social
security income of $1, 680; and has assets of $100 in a bank
account, a car worth $800, and household furnishings worth
$1, 200. IFP Appl. ¶¶ 2-5. The IFP Application
further indicates that Plaintiff has monthly medical expenses
of $1, 600, and owes a total of $434, 355.86 for a mortgage
loan. Id. ¶¶ 6, 8. Because Plaintiff has
made the required showing under 28 U.S.C. § 1915 to
proceed in forma pauperis (i.e., without prepayment of fees),
the court GRANTS Plaintiff's IFP Application.
filed the instant action to determine whether
Defendants“ha[ve] the authority to
foreclose” real property “located at 43 Pakalana
St., Hilo, Hawaii” (the “subject
property”). Compl. at 9-10. Although not entirely
clear, the Complaint appears to allege that on January 6,
2006, Plaintiff executed a promissory note for $110, 000 for
a mortgage loan from Home 123, secured by the subject
property. Id. at 10, 15. Sometime thereafter, the
promissory note/mortgage was transferred to RAMP, and
Morgan/Chase became the loan servicer. Id. at 10.
The remainder of the Complaint is largely unintelligible,
apparently purports to explain that Plaintiff's
“debt was paid at closing, ” and that Plaintiff
is now “the lender and RAMP the borrower.”
Id. at 10, 16.
seeks an order declaring that Plaintiff holds superior title
to the subject property; and injunctive relief preventing
Defendants from foreclosing the subject property, and
ordering Defendants to reimburse Plaintiff for payments she
made on the loan and for proceeds obtained through
Defendants' use of the promissory note as a security
instrument. Id. at 21.
asserts that this court has diversity jurisdiction over this
action, contending that she “is neither a citizen nor
resident of the United States; but is a private American,
living on the land known as Hawaii, ” and Defendants
“are United States citizens.” Id. at 5.
More specifically, Plaintiff alleges that Defendants are
“residents of . . . Hawaii, Ohio, Minnesota, and
California.” Id. at 6.
Standards of Review
court may dismiss sua sponte a complaint for lack of
subject matter jurisdiction. Fiedler v. Clark, 714
F.2d 77, 78-79 (9th Cir. 1983); Belleville Catering Co.
v. Champaign Mkt. Place, L.L.C., 350 F.3d 691, 693 (7th
Cir. 2003) (“[I]nquiring whether the court has
jurisdiction is a federal judge's first duty in every
case.”); Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(h)(3). “Federal courts
are courts of limited jurisdiction, ” possessing
“only that power authorized by Constitution and
statute.” United States v. Marks, 530 F.3d
799, 810 (9th Cir. 2008) (quoting Kokkonen v. Guardian
Life Ins. Co., 511 U.S. 375, 377 (1994)). Plaintiff
bears the burden of establishing subject matter jurisdiction.
Kokkonen, 511 U.S. at 377. At the pleading stage,
Plaintiff must allege sufficient facts to show a proper basis
for the court to assert subject matter jurisdiction over the
action. Johnson v. Columbia Props. Anchorage, L.P.,
437 F.3d 894, 899 (9th Cir. 2006); Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(1).
addition, the court must subject each civil action commenced
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a) to mandatory screening, and
order the dismissal of any claims it finds “frivolous,
malicious, failing to state a claim upon which relief may be
granted, or seeking monetary relief from a defendant immune
from such relief.” 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B);
see, e.g., Calhoun v. Stahl, 254 F.3d 845,
845 (9th Cir. 2001) (per curiam) (holding that “the
provisions of 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B) are not limited
to prisoners”); Lopez v. Smith, 203 F.3d 1122,
1126-27 (9th Cir. 2000) (en banc) (stating ...