United States District Court, S.D. Florida
JOHN A. MATTERA and RHINO ISLAND CAPITAL, Plaintiffs,
ULTIMATE MOTORS, INC. and MICHAEL GORDON, Defendants.
A. Mattera, pro se
ALTMAN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
CAUSE came before the Court upon the screening
provisions of 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2). On November 16,
2018, pro se Plaintiff John A. Mattera
(“Plaintiff”) filed a Complaint against the
Defendants, Ultimate Motors, Inc. and Michael Gordon [ECF No.
1]. On January 30, 2019, the Plaintiff filed a Motion for
Leave to Proceed in forma pauperis (“IFP
Motion”) [ECF No. 5]. Even construing the
Plaintiff's pleading liberally, the Court does not find a
basis for federal question jurisdiction. The Plaintiff has
merely alleged a contractual dispute with a private party-a
dispute that appears to be entirely ancillary to the
disposition of his criminal case.
federal court not only has the power but also the obligation
at any time to inquire into jurisdiction whenever the
possibility that jurisdiction does not exist arises.”
Fitzgerald v. Seaboard Sys. R.R., Inc., 760
F.2d 1249, 1251 (11th Cir. 1985) (citations omitted).
“[O]nce a federal court determines that it is without
subject matter jurisdiction, the court is powerless to
continue.” Univ. of S. Ala. v. Am. Tobacco
Co., 168 F.3d 405, 410 (11th Cir. 1999).
the Court must liberally construe pro se pleadings,
“pro se litigants are nonetheless required to
conform their pleadings to procedural rules.” Hanna
v. Florida, 599 Fed.Appx. 362, 363 (11th Cir. 2015)
(citation omitted). To state a claim for relief, a pleading
must contain: “(1) a short and plain statement of the
grounds for the court's jurisdiction ; (2) a short and
plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is
entitled to relief; and (3) a demand for the relief
sought.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a) (alteration added). To
survive a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim,
“a complaint must contain sufficient factual matter,
accepted as true, to ‘state a claim to relief that is
plausible on its face.'” Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting Bell Atl.
Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). Pleadings
must present “more than labels and conclusions, and a
formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action
will not do.” Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555
Plaintiff purports to state four separate causes of action:
1) “Violation of Asset Freeze and Florida UCC
Regulations”; 2) “Breach of
Contract/Fraud”; 3) “Conversion/Civil Theft in
Violation of Florida Statute 772.11”; and 4)
“Unjust Enrichment.” See generally Pl.
Compl. The Plaintiff makes no attempt to state a cause of
action that might trigger federal question jurisdiction. Only
in passing, in Count I, does the Plaintiff even reference a
federal statute-18 U.S.C. § 402, a federal criminal
contempt statute that does not create a private right of
action. Pl. Compl. ¶ 22.
Plaintiff, a private citizen, may not enforce the federal
criminal code. In any event, 18 U.S.C. § 402 does not
provide a private right of action for violations of its
terms. Johnson v. Champions, 990 F.Supp.2d 1226,
1245 (S.D. Ala. 2014) (“Absent some expression of
Congressional intent to create a private right of action, a
plaintiff cannot maintain a civil claim against a defendant
for violation of a federal criminal statute.”); see
also Gonzaga Univ. v. Doe, 536 U.S. 273, 283-84 (2002)
(“The question of whether Congress intended to create a
private right of action is definitively answered in the
negative where a statute by its terms grants no private
rights to any identifiable class.”) (citations
omitted); Love v. Delta Air Lines, 310 F.3d 1347,
1352-53 (11th Cir. 2002) (indicating that criminal statutes
generally do not provide a private cause of action). The
Plaintiff cannot state a claim for relief under 18 U.S.C.
§ 402, and the Court does not otherwise have
jurisdiction to entertain the Plaintiffs claims. Accordingly,
The Court hereby ORDERS that the Complaint
[ECF No. 1] be DISMISSED without prejudice.
The Clerk is instructed to mark the case as
CLOSED, and all pending motions are
DENIED as moot.
 The Plaintiff has not paid the
required filing fee, and therefore the screening provisions
of 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e) apply. Under that statute, courts
“shall dismiss” a suit “any time  the
court determines that . . . (B) the action or appeal: (i) is
frivolous or malicious; (ii) fails to state a claim on which
relief may be granted; or (iii) seeks monetary relief against
a defendant who is immune from such relief.”
Id. § 1915(e)(2) (alterations added).
 Federal courts have “original
jurisdiction of all civil actions arising under the
Constitution, laws, or treaties of the United States.”
28 U.S.C. § 1331.
 The Complaint also does not invoke the
Court's diversity jurisdiction, 28 U.S.C. §
1332-which makes sense because at least one Plaintiff and one
Defendant are ...