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Miller v. Interurban Transit Partnership

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

August 7, 2019

F. J. MILLER, Plaintiff,
v.
INTERURBAN TRANSIT PARTNERSHIP, et al., Defendants.

          Hon. Paul L. Maloney Judge.

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          RAY KENT UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         This pro se lawsuit is now before the Court on motions to dismiss filed by defendants Grand Valley State University (ECF No. 9) and Interurban Transit Partnership (ECF No. 12), and an amended motion to dismiss filed by defendant City of Grand Rapids (ECF No. 20). The motions are unopposed.[1]

         I. Background

         Plaintiff's complaint alleged, among other things, that defendants Interurban Transit Partnership (“Partnership”), the City of Grand Rapids (“Grand Rapids”), and Grand Valley State University (“GVSU”) are “longtime co conspirators and federal grant recipients, ” who have engaged in “elderabuse, elderlooting, extravagance and brazen disenfrachisement” of “Catholic city bus rate [sic] riders 7, 8, 10, 12, 14, 15, 16, 18 as well as black riders on black routes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 14” in violation of “RICO Act of 1970 (as patterns of corrupt practices and policies), as well as under the Older Americans Act of 1965, Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and fundamental 14th Amendment equal protections.” Compl. at PageID.1-3. The City's amended brief summarized the myriad of claims brought by plaintiff:

Miller's complaint lists many grievances with respect to what he alleges are recent changes to the Rapid's operation: (1) an increase in fares resulting from capping the number of transfers a rider may make on a single ticket; (PageID.6); (2) the addition of a bus line running from downtown Grand Rapids to Defendant GVSU's Allendale, Michigan, campus (the Laker Line) (PageID.1); (3) replacement of existing buses with buses with windows that do not open (PageID.3.); (4) “disenfranchisement” of bus riders of “Catholic” and “black routes” (id.); (5) “gerrymandering” of Defendant ITP's board resulting in disproportionate representation among the participating cities (PageID.5); (6) “offramping” at Central Station that “cuts . . . access” to downtown amenities (PageID.7); (7) the distance certain riders must walk from the nearest stop to various destinations (PageID.9) (8) the width and softness of bus seats (id.); (9) problems with the air conditioning at Central Station and the removal of tables and chairs from the Central Station lobby (id.); and (10) the terms of the employment contract of new ITP CEO (PageID.13, 14.)
Miller also alleges that (1) GVSU bribed two GR Mayors (PageID.11); (2) GVSU created an unnecessary master's degree program with the GR mayor as chairperson (PageID.12); (3) the GR Mayor exploits Central Station for political “cronies” (id.); (4) ITP board has cut the number of meetings (id.); (5) the ITP held an “ambush” meeting to elect a new chair and approve a labor contract (PageID.13).

         City's Amended Brief (ECF No. 21, PageID.85).

         II. Defendants' motions to dismiss (ECF Nos. 9, 12, and 20)

         All three defendants seek dismissal pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(1) for lack of jurisdiction (plaintiff lacks standing because he failed to allege a particularized injury) and Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6) (plaintiff failed to state a claim upon which relief can be granted).

         A. Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(1)

         Defendants contend that plaintiff lacks standing to bring this action and seek dismissal for lack of subject matter jurisdiction pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(1). “Whether a party has Article III standing is properly an issue of a court's subject matter jurisdiction under Rule 12(b)(1).” Crookston v. Johnson, 370 F.Supp.3d 804, 807 (W.D. Mich. 2018). This Court addressed the issue of standing in its order dismissing plaintiff's previous lawsuit against the City:

“The doctrine [of standing to sue] limits t he c ategory of litigants empowered to maintain a lawsuit in federal court to seek redress for a legal wrong.” Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins, 136 S.Ct. 1540, 1547 (2016); see, e.g., Allen v. Write, 468 U.S. 737, 751 (1984).
“[T]he ‘irreducible constitutional minimum' of standing consists of three elements.” Spokeo, 136 S.Ct. at 1547 (quoting Lujan v. Defenders of Wildlife, 504 U.S. 556, 560 (1992)). “The plaintiff must have (1) suffered an injury in fact, (2) that is fairly traceable to the challenged conduct of the defendant, and (3) that is likely to be redressed by a favorable judicial decision.” Id. (citing Lujan, 504 U.S. at 560-61). “The ...

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