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Cedric Greene v. Direct TV, Inc.
Tenth Circuit Courthouse - Denver, Colorado
Case Number: 17-4145
Judge: Carlos F. Lucero
Court: United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit on appeal from the District of Utah (Salt Lake County)
Plaintiff's Attorney: Not Available
Defendant's Attorney: Not Available
Description: Cedric Greene appeals the district court’s determination that it lacked subject
matter jurisdiction over this action. Although we agree with that conclusion, we
remand with instructions to dismiss without prejudice.
Greene filed suit against Direct TV, Inc. in the U.S. District Court for the
District of Utah, asserting claims for false advertisement, breach of contract, and
negligence. He alleged that the district court had jurisdiction because the case posed
a federal question. A magistrate judge recommended dismissal for lack of subject
* After examining the briefs and appellate record, this panel has determined
unanimously that oral argument would not materially assist in the determination of
this appeal. See Fed. R. App. P. 34(a)(2); 10th Cir. R. 34.1(G). The case is therefore
ordered submitted without oral argument. This order and judgment is not binding
precedent, except under the doctrines of law of the case, res judicata, and collateral
estoppel. It may be cited, however, for its persuasive value consistent with
Fed. R. App. P. 32.1 and 10th Cir. R. 32.1.
United States Court of Appeals
January 9, 2018
Elisabeth A. Shumaker
Clerk of Court
matter jurisdiction. Over Greene’s objections, the district court adopted the
recommendation and dismissed the case with prejudice. This timely appeal followed.
The district court was correct to dismiss this case for lack of subject matter
jurisdiction. “Any federal court must, sua sponte, satisfy itself of its power to
adjudicate in every case and at every stage of the proceeding, and the court is not
bound by the acts or pleadings of the parties.” Harris v. Ill.-Cal. Express Inc., 687
F.2d 1361, 1366 (10th Cir. 1982) (italics omitted). To establish federal question
jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1331, a question of federal law must appear on the
face of the plaintiff’s well-pleaded complaint. Rice v. Office of Servicemembers’
Grp. Life Ins., 260 F.3d 1240, 1245 (10th Cir. 2001). A plaintiff must demonstrate
either “that federal law creates the cause of action,” Morris v. City of Hobart, 39 F.3d
1105, 1111 (10th Cir. 1994) (quotation omitted), or that his state-created cause of
action “necessarily turn[s] on a substantial question of federal law,” Rice, 260 F.3d at
1245. Greene’s complaint does not identify any federal statute furnishing the
relevant causes of action or a substantial question of federal law raised by his claims.
However, “a dismissal for lack of subject matter jurisdiction is without prejudice and
does not have a preclusive effect.” Garman v. Campbell Cty. Sch. Dist. No. 1, 630
F.3d 977, 985 (10th Cir. 2010).
We also take this opportunity to caution Greene to carefully reflect on the
legitimacy of any future claims he may bring in this court. “This court has ordered
comprehensive filing restrictions on litigants who have repeatedly abused the
appellate process.” Ford v. Pryor, 552 F.3d 1174, 1181 (10th Cir. 2008).
Outcome: We therefore VACATE the district court’s dismissal with prejudice and
REMAND with instructions to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction without prejudice.