United States District Court, W.D. North Carolina, Asheville Division
Reidinger United States District Judge
MATTER is before the Court on the Plaintiff's
Motion to Seal [Doc. 1]; the Plaintiff's Emergency Motion
for Equitable Tolling [Doc. 3]; and the Plaintiff's
Application to Proceed in District Court without Prepaying
Fees or Costs [Doc. 4]. The Court will dismiss this action
sua sponte for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.
Plaintiff, who identifies himself only as “C.P.,
” brings this action against a number of Defendants --
who are identified only as “John Doe, ”
“R.B., ” “MHI, ” “Officer
Doe” and “Paramedic Doe” -- for damages
arising from his allegedly “unlawful medical
detainment” and wrongful involuntary commitment. [Doc.
2 at 3, 9]. The Plaintiff alleges that he was transported by
Paramedic Doe to the emergency room of Defendant MHI without
the Plaintiff's consent after Officer Doe of the
Asheville Police Department and unnamed private guards
“observed Plaintiff sunbathing in the nude on private
property.” [Id. at 11 ¶ 7]. Once at the
emergency room, the Plaintiff was evaluated by Defendant
R.B., a licensed clinical social worker. [Id. at 12
¶ 9]. The Plaintiff alleges that Defendant R.B., among
other things, “lacked the cultural competency to
evaluate or treat Plaintiff in consideration with
Plaintiff's worldview” and “made no
meaningful effort to research, learn, or understand
Plaintiff's history, culture, religion, or
worldview” prior to filing an involuntary commitment
petition. [Id. at 12 ¶ 12]. As a result, the
Plaintiff contends, Defendant R.B.'s “personal and
religious worldview caused her to perceive Plaintiff's
comments as nonsensical and/or delusional, ” and he
alleges that Defendant R.B. “falsified an affidavit
stating that Plaintiff met the [involuntary commitment]
criteria of N.C. Gen. Stat. § 122C-3(11) by exhibiting
symptoms of a mental illness and predictable
dangerousness.” [Id. at 13 ¶¶ 15,
Plaintiff alleges that, based on Defendant R.B.'s
affidavit, the Plaintiff was deprived of his liberties and
unlawfully detained. [Id. at 13-14 ¶¶
17-21]. He further alleges that while he was being unlawfully
detained at MHI, Defendant John Doe “violently punched
Plaintiff in the eye.” [Id. at 14 ¶ 21].
The Plaintiff does not specify whether John Doe was an
employee of MHI or another patient of the facility.
Plaintiff alleges that by seeking an involuntary commitment
order, Defendant R.B.
was acting to ameliorate her own interests and that of the
state . . . . In essence, RB's actions were the
State's actions. By virtue of the powers and privileges
granted to RB under the state's mental health statutes,
RB was acting to further the interests of the state by
carrying out the state's [involuntary commitment] policy.
[Id. at 15 ¶ 24]. He further alleges that
Defendant R.B. “was acting in close relationship
with” Officer Doe, Paramedic Doe, and an unnamed county
deputy sheriff to obtain the involuntary commitment order.
[Id. at 16 ¶ 25].
on these factual allegations, the Plaintiff asserts a number
of causes of action. The Plaintiff asserts both federal
question and diversity as bases for the Court's
jurisdiction. With respect to his claim of diversity
jurisdiction, the Plaintiff asserts that the amount in
controversy exceeds $75, 000. He further alleges that he is a
citizen of the State of “Mohamed, ” and that the
named Defendants are citizens of North Carolina. [See
id. at 3 ¶ B.1.a.; 10-11 ¶¶
2-6]. The Plaintiff asserts a number of state
law claims against the Defendants, including claims for
medical negligence/malpractice, negligence per se,
negligent misrepresentation, “lack of informed consent,
” false imprisonment, assault and battery, and
“vicarious liability.” [Id. at 16-24].
only federal cause of action asserted is under 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983. In that claim, the Plaintiff alleges that the
“Defendants acted under a [sic] color of state law,
custom, or policy in subjecting Plaintiff to a deprivation of
his rights, privileges, and immunities secured by the Organic
Constitution for the United States of America, stare decisis
and federal laws. Defendants deprived Plaintiff of his
liberty and property without due process of law.”
[Id. at 23 ¶ 58].
STANDARD OF REVIEW
district courts are courts of limited jurisdiction.
United States ex rel. Vuyyuru v. Jadhav, 555 F.3d
337, 347 (4th Cir. 2009). “Thus, when a district court
lacks subject matter jurisdiction over an action, the action
must be dismissed.” Id. The lack of subject
matter jurisdiction is an issue that may be raised at any
time. See Ellenburg v. Spartan Motors Chassis, Inc.,
519 F.3d 192, 196 (4th Cir. 2008); Fed.R.Civ.P.
12(h)(3) (“If the court determines at any time that it
lacks subject-matter jurisdiction, the court must dismiss the
burden is on the Plaintiff to plead facts sufficient to
establish the existence of subject matter jurisdiction.
See Lovern v. Edwards, 190 F.3d 648, 654 (4th Cir.
1999). In reviewing the Plaintiff's allegations, the
Court must accept as true any “allegations for which
there is sufficient factual matter to render them plausible
on their face.” Hutton v. Nat'l Bd. of
Examiners in Optometry, Inc., 892 F.3d 613, 620 (4th
Cir. 2018) (citation and internal quotation marks omitted).
Subject Matter Jurisdiction
Federal Question Jurisdiction
28 of the United States Code, Section 1331 provides that
“[t]he district courts shall have original jurisdiction
of all civil actions arising under the Constitution, laws, or