United States District Court, D. New Hampshire
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
K. Johnstone, United States Magistrate Judge
the court is plaintiff Mary Maxwell's complaint (Doc. No.
1). Because Maxwell is proceeding pro se and has paid the
filing fee, the matter is before the court to determine if
the court has subject matter jurisdiction over the case. See
Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(h)(3); LR 4.3(d)(3). The court construes the
complaint liberally in light of Maxwell's pro se status.
See Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007) (per
III Standing and Jurisdiction
Article III of the Constitution, standing is a prerequisite
to subject matter jurisdiction that [courts] must address,
sua sponte if necessary, when the record reveals a colorable
standing issue.” Rivera v. IRS, 708 Fed.Appx.
508, 513 (10th Cir. 2017). “In essence the question of
standing is whether the litigant is entitled to have the
court decide the merits of the dispute or of particular
issues.” Warth v. Seldin, 422 U.S. 490, 498
(1975). “Standing under Article III . . . requires that
an injury be concrete, particularized, and actual or
imminent; fairly traceable to the challenged action; and
redressable by a favorable ruling.” Monsanto Co. v.
Geertson Seed Farms, 561 U.S. 139, 149 (2010). The
requirement that the complaint allege facts showing an injury
that is fairly traceable to the alleged wrongful conduct
requires that there “‘be a causal connection
between the injury and the conduct complained of,
'” rather than “‘to some third
party's independent action, '” Council of Ins.
Agents & Brokers v. Juarbe-Jiménez, 443
F.3d 103, 108 (1st Cir. 2006) (citation omitted).
The [plaintiff] bears the burden of establishing these
elements. Since they are not mere pleading requirements but
rather an indispensable part of the plaintiff's case,
each element must be supported in the same way as any other
matter on which the plaintiff bears the burden of proof,
i.e., with the manner and degree of evidence required at the
successive stages of the litigation. At the pleading stage,
general factual allegations of injury resulting from the
defendant's conduct may suffice . . . .
Lujan v. Defs. of Wildlife, 504 U.S. 555, 561 (1992)
claims that defendants including the FBI; prosecutors and
public defenders; the Watertown, Massachusetts, Chief of
Police; the Chief of Emergency Medicine at the Beth Israel
Deaconess Hospital; the Boston Globe; MIT; the Director of
the Federal Bureau of Prisons; and the National Geographic
Society, have engaged in conduct in connection with the
Boston Marathon bombing prosecution of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev
which violates the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt
Organizations Act (“RICO”), 18 U.S.C. §
1962. Maxwell, who does not allege that she was a direct
participant in the investigation, prosecution, defense, or
detention of Tsarnaev,  asserts here that she suffered stress
and financial loss as a result of the alleged RICO
violations, consisting of the cost of filing a petition for a
writ of error coram nobis in federal court in Massachusetts;
the cost of mailing a petition to the Massachusetts General
Court regarding her concerns; the cost of producing her own
book on the case; travel costs to produce a video in Sydney,
Australia; and opportunity costs for the time she could have
spent marketing her other books and plays.
the costs alleged in the Complaint are pleaded in a manner
that could make them fairly traceable to the named
defendants' alleged wrongful conduct. “A mere sense
of grievance does not establish standing, not even when
coupled with the self-inflicted injury of litigation burdens
and expenses.” 13A Charles Wright, Arthur Miller, and
Edward Cooper, Federal Practice and Procedure, Jurisdiction
and Related Matters § 3531.4 (3d ed. 2008). The costs
plaintiff has alleged are voluntarily incurred and so
completely due to her own actions as to “‘break
the causal chain'” required to establish standing.
Petro-Chem Processing, Inc. v. EPA, 866 F.2d 433,
438 (D.C. Cir. 1989) (citation and footnote omitted); see
also Diamond v. Charles, 476 U.S. 54, 70 (1986)
(intervenor's liability for attorney fee award is
consequence of decision to intervene which is not fairly
traceable to subject matter of litigation). Accordingly, the
complaint lacks the allegations necessary to invoke Article
III standing, and the district judge should dismiss this
action for lack of jurisdiction.
foregoing reasons, the court should dismiss the complaint for
lack of subject matter jurisdiction. Any objections to this
Report and Recommendation must be filed within fourteen days
of receipt of this notice. See Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b)(2). The
fourteen-day period may be extended upon motion. Failure to
file specific written objections within the specified time
waives the right to appeal the district court's order.
See Santos-Santos v. Torres-Centeno, 842 F.3d 163,
168 (1st Cir. 2016).
Defendants listed in the case caption
are the FBI; (former) United States Attorney for the District
of Massachusetts Carmen Ortiz; William Frick; federal public
defender Miriam Conrad; Watertown, Massachusetts Chief of
Police Edward Deveau; Dr. Richard Wolfe, Department of
Emergency Medicine, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center; the
Director of the Federal Bureau of Prisons; the Boston Globe,