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Moreland v. U.S. Post Office General

United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division

May 18, 2015

WILLIAM MORELAND, Plaintiff,
v.
U.S. POST OFFICE GENERAL, Defendant.

OPINION AND ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO DISMISS (ECF NO. 7)

PAUL D. BORMAN, District Judge.

Plaintiff William Moreland ("Plaintiff") filed his pro se complaint against the United States Postmaster General on August 14, 2014. (ECF. No. 1). On October 3, 2014, the United States filed a motion to dismiss based on lack of subject matter jurisdiction and failure to state a claim pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1) and 12(b)(b). (ECF No. 7). Plaintiff then filed a response on October 23, 2014 (ECF No. 10) and the United States thereafter filed its reply (ECF No. 12).

The Court finds there is no need for oral argument on the present motion. See E.D. MICH. LR 7.1(f)(2). For the following reasons, Court GRANTS Defendant's Motion to Dismiss.

I. BACKGROUND

Plaintiff alleges that on September 29, 2013, he moved to his residence, located at 17360 Trinity Street, Detroit, Michigan. (Compl. at 1). In November 2014, Plaintiff claims that he introduced himself to his mail carrier and she complained to him that other people in the neighborhood were "not getting their mail because of your dog." (Id. ).

Thereafter, Plaintiff alleges that his mail carrier refused to deliver his mail or did deliver it but wrote "threats in big letters across the front of them". (Id. ). Plaintiff has attached copies of mail that have the phrases "big dog on side of house" and "dog mess blocking sidewalk" to support his claims. (Compl., Ex. A).

Plaintiff also alleges his mail carrier stole or lost his mail. (Compl. at 3). As a result of having his mail stolen or lost, Plaintiff's medical treatment was delayed and his application for disability benefits was lost. Additionally, other court documents had to be re-sent to him. (Id. ). Plaintiff asserts that these actions were in violation of federal laws and states that such actions constituted "Negligence, Hate Crimes and Abuse of Office". (Compl. at 4). Plaintiff seeks punitive damages base on his claims. (Id. ).

II. STANDARD OF REVIEW

The United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit has described motions to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1) as falling within two categories:

A facial attack is a challenge to the sufficiency of the pleading itself. On such motion, the court must take the material allegations of the petition as true and construed in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party.... a factual attack, on the other hand, is not a challenge to the sufficiency of the pleading's allegations, but a challenge to the factual existence of subject matter jurisdiction. On such a motion, no presumptive truthfulness applies to factual allegations.... And the court is free to weigh the evidence and satisfy itself as to the existence of its power to hear the case.

United States v. Ritchie, 15 F.3d 592, 598 (6th Cir. 1994) (internal citations omitted) (emphasis in original). "Under a facial attack, all of the allegations in the complaint must be taken as true, much as with a Rule 12(b)(6) motion." Carrier Corp. v. Outokumpu Oyj, 673 F.3d 430, 440 (6th Cir. 2012) (citation omitted). In the instant action, the United States has set forth a facial attack where it alleges Plaintiff has failed to allege facts that create jurisdiction. According, the Court must take Plaintiff's allegations as true. See Nichols v. Muskingum College, 318 F.3d 674, 677 (6th Cir. 2003).

The United States has also moved to dismiss Plaintiff's complaint based FED. R. CIV. P. 12(b)(6). Rule 12(b)(6) allows for the dismissal of a case where the complaint fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. When reviewing a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6), a court must "construe the complaint in the light most favorable to the plaintiff, accept its allegations as true, and draw all reasonable inferences in favor of the plaintiff." DirectTV, Inc. v. Treesh, 487 F.3d 471, 476 (6th Cir. 2007). But the court "need not accept as true legal conclusions or unwarranted factual inferences." Id. (quoting Gregory v. Shelby County, 220 F.3d 433, 446 (6th Cir. 2000)). The Supreme Court had held that "a plaintiff's obligation to provide the grounds' of his entitle[ment] to relief' requires more than labels and conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do. Factual allegations must be enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative level...." Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007) (internal citations omitted). Dismissal is only appropriate if the plaintiff has failed to offer sufficient factual allegations that make the asserted claim plausible on its face. Id. at 570; see also Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (holding "[t]hreadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not suffice.").

Further, the Court is mindful that a pro se litigant's complaint must be liberally construed and held to "less stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers." Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520 (1972); Jourdan v. Jabe, 951 F.2d 108, 110 (6th Cir. 1991) ("[T]he allegations of a complaint drafted by a pro se litigant are held to less stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers in the sense that a pro se ...


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