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Alexander v. State

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

March 29, 2017

CARNELL ALEXANDER, Plaintiff,
v.
STATE OF MICHIGAN, GOVERNOR RICK SNYDER, COUNTY OF WAYNE, WAYNE COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT, WAYNE COUNTY PROSECUTOR, MICHIGAN DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES, MICHIGAN ATTORNEY GENERAL BILL SCHUETTE, WAYNE COUNTY FRIEND OF THE COURT, and WAYNE COUNTY SPECIAL PROSECUTOR KATHRYN MAYER, Defendants.

          ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANTS' MOTIONS TO DISMISS [Dkt. Nos. 9, 10, 11]

          Denise Page Hood Chief Judge, United States District Court

         I. INTRODUCTION

         On April 18, 2016, Plaintiff filed a seven-count Complaint against Defendants State of Michigan, Governor Rick Snyder, Michigan Attorney General, and Michigan Department of Human Services (“State Defendants”), the County of Wayne and Wayne County Prosecutor Kim Worthy (“Wayne County Defendants”), Wayne County Circuit Court, Wayne County Friend of the Court, and Wayne County Special Prosecutor Kathryn Mayer (“State Court Defendants”). On August 26, 2016, Motions to Dismiss were filed by the State Defendants (Dkt. No. 9), the Wayne County Defendants (Dkt. No. 10), and the Wayne County Defendants (Dkt. No. 11). Each of the Motions to Dismiss has been briefed. A hearing on all three Motions to Dismiss was held on December 7, 2016, at 3:30 p.m.

         For the reasons that follow, the Court grants all three Motions to Dismiss.

         II. BACKGROUND

         Between 1984 and 1992 Plaintiff was incarcerated within the Michigan Department of Corrections, except for a period of time in 1990 (Dkt. No. 1 Complaint, ¶¶ 18, 23). In 1989, a paternity suit was initiated in Wayne County Circuit Court on behalf of Edna Hood to determine whether Plaintiff was the father of her child (Dkt. No. 1 (Complaint), ¶ 14; Dkt. No. 9, Ex. 1 (March 9, 2015 Order Denying Defendant's Emergency Motion for Relief from Judgment) and Ex. 2 (April 13, 2015 Order Denying Defendant's Motion for Reconsideration)). A Default Order of Filiation and for Support against Plaintiff was entered by the Wayne County Circuit Court on August 7, 1989 (Dkt. No. 1, ¶ 20; Dkt. No. 9, Ex. 1 and Ex. 2).

         In September, 2009, the Michigan Department of Attorney General brought felony charges against Plaintiff for failure to pay child support (Dkt. No. 1, ¶ 27; Dkt. No. 9, Ex. 3 (Felony Information, Felony Complaint and Felony Warrant)). In October, 2012, Plaintiff pled guilty to the felony non-support charge (Dkt. No. 1, ¶ 28). On December 12, 2012, Plaintiff was placed on probation for 60 months (Dkt. No. 9, Ex. 4 (Order of Probation Felony Non Support)). In July 2013, Plaintiff underwent paternity testing which established that the child was not his (Dkt. No. 1, ¶¶ 30, 31). On February 10, 2015, the felony non-support case against Plaintiff was dismissed on a motion by the Department of Attorney General (Dkt. No. 1, ¶ 37; Dkt. No. 9, Ex. 5 (Order of Dismissal)).

         On January 21, 2015, Plaintiff filed an Emergency Motion for Relief from Judgment of the August 7, 1989 Default Order of Filiation and for Support (Dkt. No. 9, Ex. 6 (Emergency Motion)). On March 9, 2015, the Family Division of the Wayne County Circuit Court issued its Order Denying Plaintiff's Emergency Motion for Relief from Judgment (Dkt. No. 9, Ex. 1). On April 13, 2015, the Family Division of the Wayne County Circuit Court issued its Order Denying Plaintiff's Motion for Reconsideration of the Order Denying Plaintiff's Emergency Motion for Relief from Judgment (Dkt. No. 9, Ex. 2).

         III. APPLICABLE LAW

         A. Rule 12(b)(1)

Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(1) provides for the dismissal of an action for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. A Rule 12(b)(1) motion for lack of subject matter jurisdiction can challenge the sufficiency of the pleading itself (facial attack) or the factual existence of subject matter jurisdiction (factual attack). United States v. Ritchie, 15 F.3d 592, 598 (6th CiDkt. No. 1994). A facial attack goes to the question of whether the plaintiff has alleged a basis for subject matter jurisdiction, and the court takes the allegations of the complaint as true for purposes of Rule 12(b)(1) analysis. Id.
A factual attack challenges the factual existence of subject matter jurisdiction. In the case of a factual attack, a court has broad discretion with respect to what evidence to consider in deciding whether subject matter jurisdiction exists, including evidence outside of the pleadings, and has the power to weigh the evidence and determine the effect of that evidence on the court's authority to hear the case. Id. Plaintiff bears the burden of establishing that subject matter jurisdiction exists. DLX, Inc. v. Commonwealth of Kentucky, 381 F.3d 511, 516 (6th Cir. 2004).

Cartwright v. Garner, 751 F.3d 752, 759-60 (6th Cir. 2014).

         B. Rule 12(b)(6)

         A Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss tests the legal sufficiency of the Plaintiff's complaint. Accepting all factual allegations as true, the court will review the complaint in the light most favorable to the plaintiff. Eidson v. Tennessee Dep't of Children's Servs., 510 F.3d 631, 634 (6th Cir. 2007). As a general rule, to survive a motion to dismiss, the complaint must state sufficient “facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.” Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007). The complaint must demonstrate more than a sheer possibility that the defendant's conduct was unlawful. Id. at 556. Claims comprised of “labels and conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do.” Id. at 555. Rather, “[a] claim has facial ...


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