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Dentinger v. Holy Church

United States District Court, D. South Dakota, Southern Division

June 26, 2019

PHILIP THOMAS DENTINGER, Plaintiff,
v.
THE HOLY CHRUCH AND ALL CHURCHES USING THE HOLDY NAME HIGHEST RANKING PAID LEADERS AND EMPLOYEES WHOM RANK AS PASTORS, PRIESTS, AND 'HOLY CHURCH ELITE GROUP' Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER DISMISSING COMPLAINT

          LAWRENCE L. PIERSOL ATTEST UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         BACKGROUND

         On June 24, 2019, Plaintiff, Philip Thomas Dentinger, filed a Complaint against the following defendants: "The Holy Church and all churches using the Holy name (highest ranking paid leaders and employees whom rank as Pastors, Priests, and 'Holy Church Elite Group', (collectively referred to as "the Defendants"). Doc. 1. In his Complaint, Plaintiff alleges that the Defendants have committed the tortious act of hurting, harming, and raping people and persons without their consent. Plaintiff states that he is alleging tort law claims for "negligence, negligence per se, assault, battery, violent misconduct by licensed and voted officials, outrageous behavior, and misrepresenting the Holy Church as a place of peace and positivity." Plaintiff also alleges that the Defendants are in breach of: False Claims Act, Antitrust, Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations, and Freedom of Information Act.

         In his claim for relief, Plaintiff askes the Court to permanently close "all churches which are Holy and which use the Holy name and all businesses and organizations which use the Holy name." Plaintiff also seeks monetary damages in the amount of $812, 500 because he alleges that he has personally been hurt by the battery and assault practices of the Defendants upon his mind and body.

         Plaintiff has filed an Application to Proceed in Forma Pauperis, Doc. 2, and a Motion to Appoint Counsel, Doc. 3.

         For the following reasons, Plaintiffs Application to Proceed in Forma Pauperis and Motion to Appoint Counsel are denied and Plaintiffs complaint is dismissed for lack of jurisdiction.

         DISCUSSION

         "[F]ederal courts are courts of limited jurisdiction." United States v. Afremov, 611 F.3d 970, 975 (8th Cir. 2010). A district court "has a special obligation to consider whether it has subject matter jurisdiction in every case." Hart v. United States, 630 F.3d 1085, 1089 (8th Cir. 2011). "This obligation includes the concomitant responsibility 'to consider sua sponte [the court's subject matter] jurisdiction . . . where . . . [the court] believe[s] that jurisdiction may be lacking.'" Id. (quoting Clark v. Baka, 593 F.3d 712, 714 (8th Cir. 2010) (per curiam)).

         The subject matter jurisdiction of this Court may derive from the citizenship of the parties, see 28 U.S.C. § 1332, a federal question posed by the underlying lawsuit, see 28 U.S.C. § 1331, or special circumstances covered by federal statute.

         A. Federal Question Jurisdiction

         Although Plaintiff cites generally various federal laws as the basis" for this Court's jurisdiction, Plaintiffs statement of his own causes of action allege torts committed by the Defendants and do not arise under any of these federal statutes. See Vaden v. Discover Bank, 556 U.S. 49, 60 (2009) (citing Louisville & Nashville R. Co. v. Mottley, 221 U.S. 149, 152 (1908) (stating that the plaintiffs statement of his own cause of action must show that it is based upon [federal law])). Accordingly, the Court concludes that federal question jurisdiction is lacking in this case.

         B. Diversity Jurisdiction

         Diversity jurisdiction requires "complete diversity, that is 'where no defendant holds citizenship in the same state where any plaintiff holds citizenship.'" Junk v. Terminix Int'l Co.,628 F.3d 439, 445 (8th Cir. 2010) (quoting In re Prempro Prods. Liab. Litig.,591 F.3d 613, 620 (8th Cir. 2010)). It appears from Plaintiffs Complaint that he is a resident of Sioux Falls, South Dakota. The Defendants in this matter include all churches using the Holy Name and all highest ranking paid leaders and employees whom rank as Pastors, Priests, and 'Holy Church Elite Group'. Because the named defendants in this case are not any identifiable entities or persons, no claim is stated. If, however, the Defendants are taken to include all churches and ...


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