United States District Court, N.D. Iowa, Western Division
Leonard T. Strand, Chief Judge
matter is before me on a motion (Doc. No. 6) to dismiss filed
by defendant Facebook Inc. (Facebook). Plaintiff Jeremiah
Davis has filed a resistance (Doc. No. 9) and Facebook has
replied (Doc. No. 10). Oral argument is not necessary. N.D.
Iowa L.R. 7(c).
commenced this action on August 31, 2018, by filing a pro se
motion (Doc. No. 1) to proceed in forma pauperis, along with
a proposed complaint (Doc. No. 1-1). I granted the motion to
proceed in forma pauperis, and ordered the Clerk of Court to
file Davis' complaint. Doc. No. 2. The complaint contains
the following description of Davis' claim:
My claim involves my share distribution during 2012 [Initial
Public Offering (IPO)] of Facebook. I've filed a claim
with the SEC and need documentation of my share distribution
to follow up with the SEC ([Security] and Exchange
Commission) and provide [documentation] for that claim as
well. As it is [privileged] [documentation] and not public
knowledge. And it is preventing [me] from accessing, voting;
any rights involved with shareholder rights. The distribution
was for 59, 000, 000 [convertible] shares both class B and
class A shares. And since it is [privileged] information it
[would] take a federal court to unseal the documentation.
Doc. No. 3 at 6. Davis further states that the amount in
controversy exceeds $75, 000 because his claim involves
“59, 000, 000 class [B] and A shares that convert to
over 421, 000, 000.” Id. at 3. Davis invokes
this court's diversity of citizenship jurisdiction under
28 U.S.C. § 1332. In his resistance to the motion to
dismiss, Davis adds that he is seeking to uncover “a
registration statement for the distribution of shares”
which can be filed confidentially by “emerging growth
companies” during such a company's IPO. Doc. No. 9
at 1. As best as I can discern, Davis is seeking to unseal
Facebook's Form S-1 registration statement, which was
filed with the SEC prior to Facebook's IPO.
November 20, 2018, Facebook filed a motion to dismiss under
Rule 12(b)(1) and 12(b)(6) for lack of federal subject-matter
jurisdiction and failure to state a claim.
Subject Matter Jurisdiction
rules of procedure permit a pre-answer motion to dismiss
“for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction.”
“The existence of subject-matter jurisdiction is a
question of law that this court reviews de novo.”
ABF Freight Sys., Inc. v. Int'l Bhd. Of
Teamsters, 645 F.3d 954, 958 (8th Cir. 2011). The party
seeking to invoke federal jurisdiction . . . carries the
burden, which may not be shifted to another party. Great
Rivers Habitat Alliance v. FEMA, 615 F.3d 985, 988 (8th
Jones v. United States, 727 F.3d 844, 846 (8th Cir.
2013). Dismissal for lack of subject matter jurisdiction
pursuant to Rule 12(b)(1) is permissible on the basis of a
defense or exception to jurisdiction. See, e.g., Herden
v. United States, 726 F.3d 1042, 1046 (8th Cir. 2013).
party limits its attack to the face of the complaint, the
attack is a facial challenge to subject matter jurisdiction.
Jones, 727 F.3d at 846 (citing BP Chems. Ltd. v.
Jiangsu Sopo Corp., 285 F.3d 677, 680 (8th Cir. 2002)).
On a facial challenge, “‘the court restricts
itself to the face of the pleadings, and the non-moving party
receives the same protections as it would defending against a
motion brought under Rule 12(b)(6).'” Id.
(quoting Osborn v. United States, 918 F.2d 724, 729
n.6 (8th Cir. 1990)). Those protections include treating the
complainant's factual allegations as true and dismissing
only if ...