United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Orlando Division
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
C. IRICK, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
cause comes before the Court for consideration without oral
argument on the following motion:
MOTION: MOTION TO DISMISS PLAINTIFF'S COMPLAINT,
AND AMENDED COMPLAINT (Doc. 11)
FILED: December 6, 2018
THEREON it is ORDERED that
the motion is GRANTED in part.
October 25, 2017, Plaintiff Mahesh Ramchanndani and two of this
family members, proceeding pro se, filed a Complaint
that contained allegations in relation to a commercial lease;
there was no indication in the Complaint as to why this Court
had subject matter jurisdiction over that case. Mahesh
Ramchandani et al. v. Sunit Sanghrajka et al.,
6:17-cv-1848-CEM-DCI (M.D. Fla.) at Doc. 1 (hereafter the
First Case). Thus, on November 17, 2017, the Court
entered an Order to Show Cause (First OTSC) why that case
should not be dismissed for lack of federal subject matter
jurisdiction. Doc. 6. In his response to the First OTSC,
Plaintiff claimed that the Court had jurisdiction over this
matter pursuant to the Fair Housing Act (FHA). First Case at
Doc. 12 at 1-3. But Plaintiff's cause of action revolved
around a commercial lease, not a residential lease.
See First Case at Docs. 1; 12; see 42
U.S.C. §§ 3602, 3604-3606. Thus, Plaintiff failed
to demonstrate that the Court had federal question
jurisdiction over that matter. Plaintiff also claimed that
the Court had diversity jurisdiction over that matter. First
Case at Doc. 12 at 3-4. But Plaintiff did not provide the
citizenship of Defendants. Id. Moreover, although
Plaintiff stated that he resided in Virginia, Plaintiff did
not make any allegations regarding his own citizenship.
on January 4, 2018, the Court again ordered Plaintiff to show
cause in writing why that case should not be dismissed for
lack of federal subject matter jurisdiction. First Case at
Doc. 13 (the Second OTSC). In the Second OTSC, the Court
directed that, to the extent Plaintiff was claiming federal
question jurisdiction, Plaintiff must specifically list all
statutes, laws, or constitutional provisions that are at
issue in this case. See 28 U.S.C. § 1331. To
the extent Plaintiff was claiming diversity jurisdiction,
Plaintiff was required to state the citizenship of each and
every party and state the amount in controversy. See
28 U.S.C. § 1332.
January 31, 2018, Plaintiff filed an Amended Complaint. First
Case at Doc. 16. In the Amended Complaint, Plaintiff
purported to state a claim pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §§
1981, 1982, 1983, in relation to alleged discrimination and
civil rights violations, apparently on the basis of
Plaintiff's national origin. Id. Although
Plaintiff made various references to state statutes as well,
the only actual claim for relief tied to a specific legal
theory was made pursuant to § 1982, when Plaintiff
requested that the Court: “Declare Defendant's
actions complained of herein to be violation of Act of 1968
as amended, 42 U.S.C. § 1982.” Doc. 16 at 11.
Plaintiff also requested damages in the amount of $160,
000.00, but there was no clear legal basis for that request.
Id. at 10-11. Further, it appeared that Plaintiff
had abandoned the FHA claim, as it was not in the Amended
undersigned then entered a Report recommending that the case
be dismissed without prejudice on several grounds. First Case
at Doc. 24. First, the undersigned found that Plaintiff
simply failed to allege any facts sufficient to state a
federal claim pursuant to §§ 1981, 1982, or 1983.
In particular, the undersigned stated:
As their only basis for their §§ 1981, 1982, and
1983 claim(s), Plaintiffs' recite from an email from
Defendant Willow Shambeck (a realtor) to Plaintiffs'
relator: “Deal is approved but being that their money
is in India I need 4 months deposit. 1 month of that will be
for the first month's rent.” Doc. 16 at 3.
According to Plaintiffs, that email “was a
discriminating statement about the Plaintiff(s) being from
India and insisted more money for security deposit on June
20, 2016, violates the rights of the Plaintiff(s) to enjoy
the same entitlements as any other U.S. citizen, ”
giving rise to liability pursuant to §§ 1981, 1982,
and 1983. The remainder of the lengthy Amended Complaint
contains allegations of various facts relating to a failed
frozen yogurt franchise, Plaintiffs' eventual eviction
from the space leased to operate that franchise, and the
state court eviction proceedings. Id. There is no
other mention of any allegedly discriminatory conduct or
violation of federal law. See id. Plaintiffs'
sole allegation that a Defendant required four months'
deposit because Plaintiffs' money was in India is not
sufficient to state a cause of action under §§
1981, 1982, or 1983.
Case at Doc. 24. Thus, the undersigned recommended dismissal
of the federal claims.
the undersigned addressed the Court's subject matter
jurisdiction and found that Plaintiff had failed to
sufficiently allege that jurisdiction, despite being given
three opportunities to do so. First Case at Doc. 24. The
undersigned found that Plaintiff had failed to allege a
federal claim giving rise to federal question jurisdiction
and (because Plaintiff explicitly stated that diversity
jurisdiction existed) found that if Plaintiff had alleged a
state claim, he failed to sufficiently allege the
parties' citizenship. Id. Thus, the undersigned
recommended dismissal of the Amended Complaint without
prejudice. Id. Plaintiff objected to the Report,
and, on September 18, 2018, the Court entered an Order
overruling those objections and dismissing the First Case
without prejudice. First Case at Docs. 25; 56.
weeks later, on October 2, 2018, Plaintiff filed the
Complaint in this case. Doc. 1. One week after that,
Plaintiff filed the Amended Complaint, which remains the
operative pleading. Doc. 5. The Amended Complaint appears to
contain two counts: a claim for a violation of 42 U.S.C.
§ 1982 (Count I); and a claim pursuant to Florida's
Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act (FDUTPA) (Count II).
allegations in this case revolve around the same core of
facts as those in the First Case; this case concerns a failed
frozen yogurt franchise. The three Defendants in this case
are a subset of the six in the First Case. But other than in
the opening paragraph and the certificate of service, the
Defendants are never mentioned individually in the Amended
Complaint. Throughout the Amended Complaint, allegations are
made against “Defendant(s)” with no
differentiation as to whether an allegation - or even a
particular count - relates to one or all of the Defendants.
Further, under the heading “Parties, ” Plaintiff
states as follows:
6) During all times mentioned here in, Defendant(s) are a
Limited Liability Company duly authorized and existing under
and by the virtue of the laws of the State of Florida. with
an office and principal place of business ...