United States District Court, D. Oregon
Butler Forest Grove, Pro se Plaintiff
OPINION & ORDER
A. HERNÁNDEZ United States District Judge
Plaintiff Janell Butler brings this action against Oregon
Health & Science University (“OHSU”) and Dr.
Kathryn Schabel. Plaintiff also moves to proceed in forma
pauperis. The Court finds that Plaintiff is unable to
pay the filing fee and grants the Motion. However, the Court
lacks subject matter jurisdiction to hear Plaintiff's
case and dismisses her Complaint.
may dismiss a complaint filed in forma pauperis at
any time, if the court determines that:
action or appeal-
(i) is frivolous or malicious;
(ii) fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted;
(iii) seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is immune
from such relief
28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B). As the Ninth Circuit has
instructed, however, courts must “continue to construe
pro se filings liberally.” Hebbe v. Pliler,
627 F.3d 338, 342 (9th Cir. 2010). A pro se complaint
“must be held to less stringent standards than formal
pleadings drafted by lawyers.” Id. (quoting
Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007) (per
curiam)). A pro se litigant will be given leave to amend his
or her complaint unless it is clear that the deficiencies of
the complaint cannot be cured by amendment. Lopez v.
Smith, 203 F.3d 1122, 1130-31 (9th Cir. 2000).
marked the checkbox in her Complaint indicating that the
basis for federal court jurisdiction in this case is federal
question. Compl. at 3, ECF 2. When prompted to list the
specific federal law at issue in her case, Plaintiff wrote:
“patient violation - malpractice - experimental
procedure.” Id. In her handwritten attachment
to the Complaint, Plaintiff explains that OHSU and Dr.
Schabel negligently performed an unauthorized experimental
procedure on her which has caused her immense pain and
suffering. See Pl's. Handwritten Compl. at 6-8,
ECF 1. Plaintiff seeks damages commensurate with settlement
awards from allegedly similar cases ranging in the millions
district courts are courts of limited jurisdiction, meaning
they can only hear certain types of cases. Kokkonen v.
Guardian Life Ins. Co. of Am., 511 U.S. 375, 377 (1994).
As a general rule, there are two ways to invoke a district
court's subject matter jurisdiction: by raising a
so-called “federal question” or by bringing a
suit in which the plaintiff and all defendants are residents
of different states and the amount in controversy is more
than $75, 000 (“diversity jurisdiction”).
Exxon Mobil Corp. v. Allapattah Servs., Inc., 545
U.S. 546, 552 (2005).
question jurisdiction is controlled by 28 U.S.C. § 1331,
which states that “[t]he district courts shall have
original jurisdiction of all civil actions arising under the
Constitution, laws, or treaties of the United States.”
In other words, to invoke federal question jurisdiction, the
plaintiff must plead in ...