United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Fort Myers Division
DAVID S. HASTINGS, individually and as successor in interest to Remedy Neutraceuticals Inc. Promissory Note dated May 22, 2012 Plaintiff,
U.S. BANK NATIONAL ASSOCIATION, Defendant.
POLSTER CHAPPELL UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
the Court is a sua sponte review of the file.
Proceeding pro se, Plaintiff David Hastings filed a
“Motion to Set Aside Judgment of Foreclosure Pursuant
to Florida Rules of Civil Procedure 1.540(b)(3)” (Doc.
1). In state court, Defendant U.S. Bank National Association
obtained a final foreclosure judgment. Hastings appealed that
judgment, but the state appellate court dismissed the appeal.
Now, Hastings asks this Court to set aside the state-court
judgment. He alleges U.S. Bank lacked standing and committed
fraud on the state court, leading to a flawed final judgment.
begin, there is no complaint here. Instead, Hastings filed
this Motion. (Doc. 1). Because Hastings is pro se and the
Motion resembles a pleading, however, the Court construes
this as a complaint. See, e.g., Smith v.
McDonough, No. 3:07-cv-546-J-32HTS, 2007 WL 1796264, at
*3 (M.D. Fla. June 20, 2007) (construing a pro se
plaintiff's motion as a complaint).
courts have limited jurisdiction and must inquire into
jurisdiction sua sponte whenever it may be lacking.
See Kokkonen v. Guardian Life Ins. Co. of
Am., 511 U.S. 375, 377 (1994). “[W]ithout
jurisdiction the court cannot proceed at all.”
Univ. of S. Ala. v. Am. Tobacco Co., 168 F.3d 405,
410 (11th Cir. 1999) (citation omitted). District courts have
jurisdiction over federal questions and diversity cases. 28
U.S.C. §§ 1331; 1332.
are several jurisdictional issues here.
the Complaint pleads federal question jurisdiction. A federal
question must appear on the face of a well-pleaded complaint
for jurisdiction to exist. E.g., Holmes Grp.,
Inc. v. Vornado Air Circulation Sys., Inc., 535 U.S.
826, 830-31 (2002). But Hastings does not raise a federal
question. So there is no federal question jurisdiction. At
the end, the Complaint mentions in passing that U.S. Bank
violated Hastings' due process rights. (Doc. 1 at 10-11).
But due process claims require state action. And U.S. Bank is
not a state actor.
the complaint pleads diversity jurisdiction. Hastings alleges
he is a citizen of California and Oregon. Yet an individual
can be domiciled only in one state. E.g.,
Molinos Valle Del Cibao, C. por A. v. Lama, 633 F.3d
1330, 1346 (11th Cir. 2011) (“Every individual has but
one domicile and is a citizen of only one state.”).
Hastings also identifies U.S. Bank as “a nationwide
banking institution with its corporate headquarters in
Minnesota.” (Doc. 1 at 2). That is not enough. “A
corporation is a citizen of both the state of its
incorporation and the state where it has its principal place
of business.” Lee v. Am. Equity Inv. Life
Ins., No. 2:18-cv-648-FtM-99MRM, 2019 WL 448353, at *1
(M.D. Fla. Feb. 5, 2019) (citing Hertz Corp. v.
Friend, 559 U.S. 77, 130 (2010)). Because the Complaint
does not identify U.S. Bank's state of incorporation, it
has not shown complete diversity of the parties.
more, the Complaint asks this Court to set aside a
state-court judgment under Florida Rule of Civil Procedure
1.540. Leaving aside the fact that a federal court cannot
simply set aside a state-court judgment, Florida law does not
allow “a cause of action for fraud on the court under
Rule 1.540 in a court that is different from the one in which
the fraud was committed.” Manzaro v.
D'Alessandro, 229 So.3d 843, 845 (Fla. Dist. Ct.
App. 2017) (quoting Fla. Evergreen Foliage v. E.I. Dupont
De Nemours & Co., 336 F.Supp.2d 1239, 1272 (S.D.
Fla. 2004)). Simply put, the relief Hastings seeks here
“must be brought in the court where the fraud was
purportedly committed.” Id.
those reasons, the Court dismisses the Complaint for lack of
subject-matter jurisdiction. But the Court allows Hastings
one chance to amend. However, the Court notes Hastings never
paid the filing fee. If Hastings chooses to refile, he must
also pay the filing fee or move to proceed in forma
it is now
1. The Complaint (Doc. 1) is DISMISSED without
2. Plaintiff may FILE an amended complaint
on or before November 29, 2019, in
accordance with this Order. If so, Plaintiff must pay the
filing fee or file a motion to proceed in forma
pauperis. The failure to respond will result in
the Court closing this case without further notice.