Argued: December 11, 2019
from the United States District Court for the Eastern
District of Michigan at Flint. No. 4:17-cv-10275-Terrence
George Berg, District Judge.
Douglas W.Van Essen, SILVER & VAN ESSEN, P.C., Grand
Rapids, Michigan, for Appellant.
S. Wilczynski, BLANCO WILCZYNSKI PLLC, Troy, Michigan, for
Douglas W.Van Essen, Elliot J. Gruszka, SILVER & VAN
ESSEN, P.C., Grand Rapids, Michigan, for Appellant.
S. Wilczynski, Orlando L. Blanco, BLANCO WILCZYNSKI PLLC,
Troy, Michigan, for Appellee.
Before: SUTTON, NALBANDIAN, and READLER, Circuit Judges.
SUTTON, CIRCUIT JUDGE.
ordinance, Saginaw County permits just one ambulance service
to operate within its borders. STAT Emergency Medical
Services is not that ambulance service. It objects to the
exclusivity. STAT has complied with all of the Michigan
requirements for providing ambulance services in the State,
and proceeded several years ago to offer its services in the
county anyway. Rather than enforce its ordinance against
STAT, Saginaw County filed this declaratory judgment action
in federal court against the company, seeking a ruling that
the County's chosen means of delivering local ambulance
services complies with state law, the Sherman Antitrust Act,
and the U.S. Constitution. The district court dismissed the
case for lack of jurisdiction. Because federal courts have
the power to tell parties what the law is, Marbury v.
Madison, 5 U.S. (1 Cranch) 137, 177 (1803), not what it
might be in a potential enforcement action by the government,
Steel Co. v. Citizens for a Better Env't, 523
U.S. 83, 101-02 (1998), no jurisdiction exists. We affirm.
in central Michigan, Saginaw County is home to nearly 200,
000 residents. Under local law, a single company provides the
county's ambulance services. The contractor responds to
residents' medical emergencies from start to finish. It
handles the 911 calls, operates the county's emergency
dispatch service, and staffs the ambulances. The County
signed its first contract along these lines in 2009, when it
selected Mobile Medical Response for the job. As is often
true of exclusivity arrangements, the two sides benefitted
from the deal. The County guaranteed Mobile Medical the
exclusive right to operate within its borders. In return,
Mobile Medical pledged to serve all eight of Saginaw
County's cities and incorporated villages, and, perhaps
most importantly, all twenty-seven of its rural townships.
2011, STAT Emergency Medical Services, a competing ambulance
company, entered the Saginaw market. It initially provided
only patient-transport services for insurer Health Plus as
part of a contract that covered six Michigan counties. But
STAT's work for Health Plus caught the attention of
several municipalities dissatisfied with Mobile Medical's
response times and fees. Birch Run, a township within Saginaw