United States District Court, S.D. Florida
ORDER DENYING MOTION TO SET ASIDE AND DENYING LEAVE
N. SCOLA, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Lydia Belvis, Maria Belvis, Marylou Villacrusis, Humberto
Belvis, and Leah Dorado allege that Defendant Metropolitan
Life Insurance Company improperly paid Defendant Cesar
Palomares the proceeds of a life insurance policy belonging
to non-party Maryann Belivis-Dagli. Their initial complaint
claimed the Court had subject-matter jurisdiction over this
action based on diversity jurisdiction. Notwithstanding this
averment, the complaint went on to allege that Palomares is a
citizen of Florida, like all of the Plaintiffs. Based on the
clear lack of diversity between plaintiffs and defendants,
the Court dismissed the complaint, without prejudice, for
want of subject-matter jurisdiction.
Plaintiffs now ask the Court to set aside the dismissal and
to grant them the opportunity to amend their complaint. The
Plaintiffs submit that their reference to diversity
jurisdiction was “inadvertent.” (Pls.' Mot.
¶ 2, ECF No. 5, 1.) They inform that the Court
“actually has original jurisdiction over this action
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1332 because this action arises
under the laws of the United States, specifically the Federal
Employees' Group Life [Insurance] Act, 5 U.S.C.
§§ 8702, et seq.” (Id. at ¶ 4.)
The Plaintiffs have still not established subject-matter
28 U.S.C. § 1332 governs the jurisdiction of federal
district courts based on diversity. As the Plaintiffs
acknowledge, however, the parties in this case are not
even assuming the Plaintiffs meant § 1331, instead of
§ 1332, they have still failed to establish
subject-matter jurisdiction. The Plaintiffs offer nothing to
support their contention that their claims arise under FEGLIA
and therefore under federal law. Under 28 U.S.C. § 1331,
the “district courts shall have original jurisdiction
of all civil actions arising under the Constitution, laws, or
treaties of the United States.” But, other than the
Plaintiffs' claims for declaratory relief all of their
other claims sound clearly in state law: “breach of
insurance contract”; “intentional interference
with an expectancy of inheritance”; “tortious
interference with a contractual relationship”;
“lack of capacity”; “insane
delusion”; and “undue influence.” Other
than their conclusory jurisdictional claim, the Plaintiffs do
not in any way connect their state-law claims to FEGLIA. Nor
do they contend that FEGLIA itself confers subject-matter
jurisdiction over their claims. Further the Court discerns no
FEGLIA provision providing for a statutory right of action.
Lastly, there is also no indication that the Plaintiffs'
right to relief depends upon the resolution of a substantial
question of federal law. See Herrera v. Metro. Life Ins.
Co., No. 11 CIV. 1901 LAK, 2011 WL 6415058, at *4
(S.D.N.Y. Dec. 19, 2011) (inferring Congress's intention
that claims for benefits under a FEGLIA policy “would
be brought in state courts absent the existence of diversity
of citizenship”). In short, the Plaintiffs, even in
their proposed amended complaint, have not come close to
presenting a remotely arguable basis for this Court's
jurisdiction. Bus. All. For Responsible Dev. v. Storm
Water Mgmt. Auth., Inc., 462 F.Supp.2d 1186, 1189 (N.D.
Ala. 2006) (“a mere reference to a federal statute
under a state law claim does not create federal question
jurisdiction”). They have not properly invoked §
1331 jurisdiction because they have not “plead a
colorable claim ‘arising under' the Constitution or
laws of the United States.” Arbaugh v. Y&H
Corp., 546 U.S. 500, 513 (2006) (citations omitted). The
Court denies the Plaintiffs' request for leave to amend
because the amendment would be futile: the amended complaint
still fails establish the Court's jurisdiction.
Court thus denies the Plaintiffs' motion
to set aside the Court's dismissal and
denies the Plaintiffs' request for leave
to amend their complaint (ECF No. 5).
 The Court has trouble making this leap
because the Plaintiffs' complaint was already dismissed
based on their reliance on this statute section and, further,
in addition to citing it in their motion, the Plaintiffs
again cite § 1332 in their proposed amended
complaint. Nonetheless the Court will afford them the benefit
of the doubt.
 As the Court explained in a prior
order, the Declaratory Judgment Act does not itself confer
jurisdiction. Skelly Oil Co. v. Phillips Petroleum
Co.,339 U.S. 667, 671 (1950). Instead, “[i]ts
remedy may lie only if the court has jurisdiction from some
other source.” Cat Tech LLC v. TubeMaster,
Inc.,528 F.3d 871, 879 (Fed. Cir. ...