United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division
JOHNSON COLEMAN, UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT JUDGE
Court called the case for oral argument on Defendant
International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators Local
17's Motion to Dismiss on June 10, 2019. Plaintiff
Maurice Pearson did not appear nor contact the Court, even
though the Court called the case a second time thirty minutes
after the set time. Defendant's Motion to Withdraw
Argument  and Motion to Dismiss  are granted. In
light of the Court's order, the Court denies Plaintiff
Maurice Pearson's motions for attorney representation
, , and  as moot. Civil case is terminated.
Maurice Pearson alleges that in March 2008 he began taking
classes as an apprentice insulator at defendant International
Association of Heat and Frost Insulators Local 17
(“Local 17”). He began working as an insulator
with Local 17 in August 2014. Pearson alleges that Local 17
refused to provide job opportunities to him because he did
not accept jobs within the territory limits. Pearson alleges
that he was unable to complete a job in Aurora due to trouble
with his car radiator, but Local 17 refused to accept
Pearson's car issues as a legitimate reason for not
showing up for work.
further alleges a variety of mistreatment by various managers
within Local 17 from 2008 to 2014. First, Pearson asserts
that Local 17 refused to allow him to gain the necessary work
credit hours required for a promotion from apprentice to
journeyman. Next, Pearson alleges that Local 17 business
managers failed to respond when Pearson reported that a
foreman was harassing him at a job location. Pearson further
alleges that Tim Keane informed him in March 2018 that he
must retake and pass the fourth year exam or he would have to
exit the apprentice program. Pearson alleges that he
experienced obstacles setting up test preparation and that
the apprentice teacher discriminated against Pearson when he
took the fourth year test the first time by giving answers to
some members of the class, but not to Pearson.
filed a Complaint in October 2018 against Local 17, alleging
two counts of discrimination on the basis of race in
violation of the Illinois Human Rights Act
(“IHRA”). Local 17 moves to dismiss the Complaint
pursuant to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1) and
12(b)(6). Local 17 argues that the Court does not have
subject matter jurisdiction over this case because Pearson
has not alleged a claim arising under federal law and
diversity of citizenship does not exist between the parties.
Although Pearson has filed a brief opposing Local 17's
motion, he does not respond to Local 17's jurisdictional
arguments. Therefore, Pearson concedes that his claims
against should be dismissed. See Alioto v. Town of
Lisbon, 651 F.3d 715, 721 (7th Cir. 2011).
Court must dismiss any action for which it lacks subject
matter jurisdiction pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 12(b)(1). As the party asserting jurisdiction,
plaintiff has the burden of establishing it under Rule
12(b)(1). Glaser v. Wound Care Consultants, Inc.,
570 F.3d 907, 913 (7th Cir. 2009). When considering Rules
12(b)(1) and 12(b)(6) motions to dismiss, the Court accepts
all of the plaintiff's allegations as true and views them
in the light most favorable to the plaintiff. Lavalais v.
Vill. of Melrose Park, 734 F.3d 629, 632 (7th Cir.
2013). Pro se motions, particularly, should be construed
liberally. Otis v. Demarasse, 886 F.3d 639, 644 (7th
Cir. 2018). However, “even pro se litigants must follow
rules of civil procedure.” Cady v. Sheahan,
467 F.3d 1057, 1061 (7th Cir. 2006). To survive a 12(b)(6)
motion to dismiss, a complaint must contain allegations that
“state a claim to relief that is plausible on its
face.” Lavalais, 734 F.3d at 632 (internal
quotations omitted). The plaintiff does not need to plead
particularized facts, but the allegations in the complaint
must be sufficient to “raise a right to relief above
the speculative level.” Bell Atl. Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 167 L.Ed.2d
district courts are “courts of limited
jurisdiction.” Healy v. Metro. Pier &
Exposition Auth., 804 F.3d 836, 845 (7th Cir. 2015).
This Court has subject matter jurisdiction through federal
question jurisdiction or diversity jurisdiction. Original
“federal question” jurisdiction exists for
“all civil actions arising under the Constitution,
laws, or treaties of the United States.” 28 U.S.C.
§ 1331. “Diversity” jurisdiction exists over
all civil actions in which two requirements are met. First,
there must be complete diversity of citizenship between all
named plaintiffs and all named defendants. See 28
U.S.C. § 1332(a); Howell v. Tribune Entertainment
Co., 106 F.3d 215, 217 (7th Cir. 1997) (complete
diversity of citizenship means that “none of the
parties on either side of the litigation may be a citizen of
the state of which a party on the other side is a
citizen”). Second, the matter in controversy must
“exceed the sum or value of $75, 000, exclusive of
interest and costs.” 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a). The
Seventh Circuit requires “scrupulous adherence to the
limitations on the subject-matter jurisdiction of the federal
courts.” Meyerson v. Harrah's E. Chi.
Casino, 299 F.3d 616, 617 (7th Cir. 2002) (per curiam).
Pearson asserts that this Court has federal question
jurisdiction pursuant to two federal statutes, 28 U.S.C.
§ 1338 and 15 U.S.C. § 1121. 28 U.S.C. § 1338
generally outlines federal court exclusive jurisdiction over
matters relating to patents, copyrights, and trademarks. 15
U.S.C. § 1121, commonly known as the Lanham Act, is the
primary federal law governing trademarks. Pearson, however,
alleges that Local 17 discriminated against him in violation
of the IHRA, which is an Illinois state provision that
provides a comprehensive scheme of remedies and
administrative procedures to redress alleged human rights
violations. See 775 ILCS 5/2-101, et seq.
These employment allegations bear no relationship to either
of the federal statutes alleged by Pearson to support
Pearson's amended civil cover sheet indicates that
federal question jurisdiction exists under 18 U.S.C. §
245, which outlines certain civil rights violations under the
federal criminal code. As a private citizen, Pearson has no
standing to initiate a criminal prosecution. See Bilal v.
Wolf, No. 06 C 6978, 2009 WL 1871676, at *7
(N.D. Ill. June 25, 2009) (Hart, J.). Thus, the allegations
in the Complaint do not outline a federal cause of action.
diversity jurisdiction is not present because Pearson and
Local 17 are both citizens of Illinois. See Smart v.
Local 702 Int'l Bhd. of Elec. Workers, 562 F.3d 798,
803 (7th Cir. 2009). Because this Court does not have subject
matter jurisdiction over this matter, the Court does not
address Local 17's alternative Rule 12(b)(6) arguments
jurisdiction, this case cannot continue before this Court.
Consequently, Local 17's Motion to Dismiss  is
granted, and Plaintiffs Complaint is dismissed. In light of
the Court's order, the Court denies ...