The opinion of the court was delivered by: Honorable Paul L. Maloney
Magistrate Judge Joseph G. Scoville
Granting the Motion to Dismiss or for Summary Judgment of the State Defendants (Doc 12): Dismissing the Complaint as to all Defendants without Prejudice under Rooker-Feldman Doctrine Denying without Prejudice as Moot the Following Motions:
Defendants Adams and Budd's Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings (Doc 20)
Defendants Hutchins, Thatcher, and Somerlott's Motion to Dismiss (Doc 29)
Plaintiff's Motion to Strike Document 11 (the Answer of Adams and Budd) (Doc 27) Plaintiff's Motion to Strike Document 16 (Answer of Hutchins, Thatcher & Somerlott) (Doc 26) Plaintiff's Motion to Strike Docs 20 & 29 (Motions) & Dismiss Attorneys Aseltyne & Bogren(Doc 33)
Keeping the Case Open Pending the Magistrate Judge's Resolution of Remaining Motions
This court has federal-question jurisdiction because the plaintiff, Mr. Jerry James Stanton ("Stanton"), purports to assert claims under the United States Constitution, a federal civil-rights statute (42 U.S.C. § 1983), several provisions of Title 18 of the U.S. Code (§§ 1341 and 1346), and at least two provisions of RICO, 18 U.S.C. §§ 1962 and 1964. See Complaint filed March 4, 2010 ("Comp") at 1-3. Proceeding pro se, Stanton asserts 38 claims against 25 defendants, all of whom are employed by the State of Michigan's executive or judicial branches or one of its county or local government subdivisions' judicial or executive branches:
2 Register of Deeds for Branch County and Hillsdale County (Hutchins and Somerlott)
2 Coldwater Township Assessors (Adams and Budd)
State Treasurer Kleine and Branch County Treasurer Thatcher State AG Cox and Assistant State AG Smith State Tax Tribunal Judge Stimpson Branch County Circuit Court Judge Patrick O'Grady
2 Court of Appeals employees (Counsel Mark Stoddard and Clerk Deitrich)
6 Court of Appeals Judges (Owens, Whitbeck, Borrello, Sawyer, Hoekstra, Shapiro)
7 Supreme Court Justices (Taylor, Cavanagh, Weaver, Kelly, Corrigan, Young, Markman) See Comp ¶ 8. Stanton owns two parcels of real property in the City of Coldwater, Branch County, Michigan, and brings this action to remedy alleged violations of his constitutional and natural rights with regard to those properties, see Comp ¶¶ 244-245, including the right to freely acquire and keep private property without interference or harassment or overriding government claims thereto (consistent with the understanding which prevailed in the colonies and Great Britain before the founding of the United States of America), the right to be left alone, the right to the pursuit of happiness and prosperity, and the right to a republican form of government with checks and balances and strictly limited powers where natural individual rights are not violated even with the approval of a majority of voters or elected officials or judges, see Comp ¶¶ 3-7 (citing Ex A ("Branch County Instrument #2006-07381, Page 34 ¶ 46")) and Comp ¶ 13. Although the caption does not state that Stanton is suing the defendants in their personal capacity, the body of the complaint does state that he is seeking monetary damages against them in that capacity. See Comp at 4, Section III-h.
Among many other types of relief sought in the complaint, Stanton's application for preliminary injunctive relief asked this court to prevent the State of Michigan from requiring him to pay the property taxes which a state tribunal has apparently held that he owes, as a condition precedent to bringing an appeal, by a March 14, 2010 deadline, in the Michigan state system. He contended that this court should effectively reverse or disregard a judgment of the Branch County, Michigan circuit court holding that the law requires such payment in that sequence, on the ground that that court lacked jurisdiction and hence that the resultant judgment is void. The PI application weaves in and relies on themes and legal premises from Stanton's complaint, including the notion that the Michigan tax and judicial system, in so requiring, and in refusing to consider his constitutional objections, violates the Northwest Ordinance of 1787 in some unspecified way, violates his natural and constitutional rights. Stanton explained that he cannot or will not simply pursue a direct appeal to the Michigan Court of Appeals because [T]he Michigan ...