United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Louisville
Anderson, pro se Plaintiff
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
B. Russell, Senior Judge.
matter is before the Court upon a Motion to Dismiss for Lack
of Subject Matter Jurisdiction brought by the United States
of America, on behalf of its Agencies, the Department of
Justice, the Internal Revenue Service and the Social Security
Administration (collectively, “Defendants”). [DN
16.] The time has passed for Plaintiff Artis Anderson
(“Plaintiff”) to respond. This matter is ripe for
adjudication. For the following reasons, Defendants'
have filed the instant Motion seeking to have this Court
dismiss Plaintiff's claim against the named federal
defendants, the Department of Justice (“DOJ”),
the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”), and the
Social Security Administration (“SSA”), arguing
that this Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction over the
claim Plaintiff has brought against them. Plaintiff initiated
this suit in June of 2017, suing numerous defendants in
addition to the above-named ones, arguing violations of
various state and federal laws, as well as violations of his
federal Constitutional rights. The factual background of this
case has been laid out in more detail in this Court's
Memorandum Opinion and Order denying Plaintiff's Motion
for a Preliminary Injunction. [See DN 24.] One of
Plaintiff's claims, and the one that is the subject of
the instant Motion, seeks a writ of mandamus compelling
Defendants to institute criminal prosecutions for the alleged
wrongs that have been committed against Plaintiff.
move to dismiss Plaintiff's claims against them pursuant
to Federal Rule Civil Procedure 12(b)(1). As the Supreme
Court has made clear, “[f]ederal courts are courts of
limited jurisdiction. They possess only that power authorized
by Constitution and statute…, which is not to be
expanded by judicial decree….” Kokkonen v.
Guardian Life Ins. Co. of Am., 511 U.S. 375, 377 (1994)
(internal citations omitted). Thus, “[i]t is to be
presumed that a cause lies outside this limited jurisdiction,
” and “the burden of establishing the contrary
rests upon the party asserting jurisdiction….”
Id. (internal citations omitted).
Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1) provides that a party to a
lawsuit may file a motion asserting that the court lacks
“subject matter jurisdiction” over the case.
“Subject matter jurisdiction is always a threshold
determination, ” Am. Telecom Co. v. Leb., 501
F.3d 534, 537 (6th Cir. 2007), and “may be raised at
any stage in the proceedings.” Schultz v. Gen. R.V.
Ctr., 512 F.3d 754, 756 (6th Cir. 2008). “A Rule
12(b)(1) motion can either attack the claim of jurisdiction
on its face, in which case all allegations of the plaintiff
must be considered as true, or it can attack the factual
basis for jurisdiction, in which case the trial court must
weigh the evidence and the plaintiff bears the burden of
proving that jurisdiction exists.” DLX, Inc. v.
Kentucky, 381 F.3d 511, 516 (6th Cir. 2004). “A
facial attack on the subject-matter jurisdiction alleged in
the complaint questions merely the sufficiency of the
pleading.” Gentek Bldg. Prods., Inc. v.
Sherwin-Williams Co., 491 F.3d 320, 330 (6th Cir. 2007).
Where the Motion makes a factual attack, the Court must
“weigh the conflicting evidence to arrive at the
factual predicate that subject-matter does or does not
exist.” Id. “If the court determines at
any time that it lacks subject matter jurisdiction, the court
must dismiss the action.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(h)(3).
action, Plaintiff seeks a writ of mandamus to compel
Defendants “to commence a criminal investigation into
allegations of wrongdoing made in
the…complaint.” [DN 16, at 1.] Pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 1361, “[t]he district courts shall have
original jurisdiction of any action in the nature of mandamus
to compel an officer or employee of the United States or
an agency thereof to perform a duty owed to the
plaintiff.” (emphasis added). As the Supreme Court has
instructed, “[t]he extraordinary remedy of mandamus
under 28 U.S.C. § 1361 will issue only to compel the
performance of ‘a clear nondiscretionary
duty.'” Pittston Coal Grp. v. Sebben, 488
U.S. 105, 121 (1988) (quoting Heckler v. Ringer, 466
U.S. 602, 616 (1984)). It is clear, then, that “the
remedy of mandamus is a drastic one, ” Allied Chem.
Corp. v. Daiflon, Inc., 449 U.S. 33, 34 (1980), which is
“available only if (1) the plaintiff has a clear right
to relief; (2) the defendant has a clear duty to act; and (3)
there is no other adequate remedy available to the
plaintiff.” Carson v. United States Office of
Special Counsel, 633 F.3d 487, 491 (6th Cir. 2011). It
follows, then, that “[m]andamus is not an appropriate
remedy if the action that the [plaintiff] seeks to compel is
discretionary.” Id. (citing Heckler,
466 U.S. at 616).
present case, the remedy Plaintiff seeks, and the government
action he seeks to compel, is that of a criminal
investigation into alleged wrongs that have befallen him. [DN
1, at 18; DN 6, at 8.] Indeed, in his first Complaint,
Plaintiff expressly states in his prayer for relief that he
seeks “[m]andamuses [sic] against the Defendants, DOJ,
IRS, and SSA requiring them to investigate the allegations
contained in this Complaint to determine if federal criminal
statutes have been violated.” [Id.] Plaintiff
seeks relief this Court cannot give.
looking to the Supreme Court for guidance, the Court finds a
definitive answer: “an agency's decision not to
prosecute or enforce, whether through civil or criminal
process, is a decision generally committed to an agency's
absolute discretion.” Heckler v. Chaney, 470
U.S. 821, 831 (1985). This discretion is important due
“to the general unsuitability for judicial review of
agency decisions to refuse enforcement.” Id.
Indeed, “the agency must not only assess whether a
violation has occurred, but whether agency resources are best
spent on this violation or another, whether the agency is
likely to succeed if it acts, whether the particular
enforcement…best fits the agency's overall
policies, and…whether the agency has enough
resources….” Id. Precedent makes clear
that decision of the DOJ, IRS, and SSA whether prosecute,
allocate resources to, or otherwise investigate the criminal
statutes Plaintiff alleges have been violated is a matter
left purely to the discretion of Defendants. As such,
jurisdiction under the Mandamus Act does not exist. Because
the Court has determined that it does not have jurisdiction
over this claim, pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
12(h)(3) it must dismiss Plaintiff's claim against the
DOJ, the IRS, and the SSA.