Hou v. Bulgari, S.p.A., No. 15 C 8420, Slip Op. (N.D. Ill. Dec. 1, 2015) (Chang, J.).
Judge Chang held that the Court did not have jurisdiction over plaintiff’s claims for return of monies seized from his PayPal account based upon a Lanham Act default judgment against the PayPal account, claiming that it was the incorrect account and should not have been frozen.
There was no question that the Court lacked diversity jurisdiction because the amount in controversy was less than $75,000. The only issue was whether there was subject matter jurisdiction. Plaintiff could not claim that the Lanham Act was the basis for federal question jurisdiction. Plaintiff’s claims and requested relief were not tied to the Lanham Act. Without a federal question, the Court lacked jurisdiction. The Court noted the oddity that a federal district court lacked jurisdiction over a federal judgment, but explained that the case in which the judgment was entered would have jurisdiction because of the underlying Lanham Act claims and ancillary jurisdiction over plaintiff’s claim. The Court further explained that plaintiff should move in the underlying court pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 69(a) which provides procedures for a federal court to enforce a judgment.