United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana
LOURDES T. ARCHBOLD-GARRETT DAVID L. GARRETT
NEW ORLEANS CITY METRO/DURR GROUP
ORDER AND REASONS
NATURE OF MOTION AND RELIEF SOUGHT
this Court are Defendant City of New Orleans'
(“City”) “Motion to Dismiss Pursuant to
Rule 12(b)(1)”, (Rec. Doc. 14), and Plaintiffs'
“Opposition to the Defendant City of New Orleans'
Motion to Dismiss Pursuant to Rules 12(b)(1) and (6)”
(Rec Doc. 19). For the reasons that follow, IT IS ORDERED
that Defendant's Motion to Dismiss IS GRANTED.
FACTUAL BACKGROUND AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
October 28, 2016, Plaintiffs filed the instant case against
Defendants City of New Orleans and Metro/Durr Group, alleging
that they are entitled to relief pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §
1983 for the City's alleged denial of due process and
just compensation in violation of the Fourth, Fifth, and
Fourteenth Amendments. (Rec. Doc. 2 at 1). Plaintiffs invoke
federal question subject matter jurisdiction pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 1331, 28 U.S.C. § 1343(a)(3), and 28
U.S.C. § 1367. Id. Plaintiffs allege that the
City violated the requirements of due process and just
compensation by demolishing Plaintiffs' blighted
structure at 7729 I-10 Service Road in New Orleans without
notifying Plaintiffs prior to the demolition. Id. at
to their complaint, Plaintiffs purchased the blighted
property from the City on October 2, 2015. Id. at
3. Following this sale, the City demolished the
structures on the property on January 27, 2016 and
subsequently instituted proceedings against Plaintiffs
seeking to recover the cost of the demolition on April 16,
19, 2017, the City filed the instant “Motion to Dismiss
Pursuant to Rule 12(b)(1).” (Rec. Doc. 14). The City
requests that this court dismiss all of Plaintiffs'
claims because Plaintiffs failed to seek compensation in
state court, rendering their claims unripe for review and
leaving this Court without subject matter jurisdiction.
Id. at 1.
City first asserts that this Court lacks subject matter
jurisdiction over Plaintiffs' takings claim because
Plaintiffs failed to file an inverse condemnation suit in
state court prior to this action, and thus the claim is
unripe for review. (Rec. Doc. 14-1 at 3-4). Additionally, the
City asserts that this Court lacks subject matter
jurisdiction over Plaintiffs' procedural due process
claim because Plaintiffs have alleged no separate injury from
their takings claim. Furthermore, Defendant argues that a due
process claim related to a takings claim must first be
resolved according to state court procedures to be ripe.
Id. at 4-5. Finally, the City asserts that this
Court lacks jurisdiction over Plaintiffs' Fourth
Amendment claim because resolution of the claim requires
further factual development of Plaintiffs' takings claim
and is thus unripe. Id. at 5-6.
contend that they did attempt resolution of their claim
through letters to the City but that the City failed to
respond. (Rec. Doc. 19 at 1-3). Plaintiffs attempt
to differentiate their case from others that found takings
claims to be unripe because they were not first redressed in
state court by arguing that the demolition of Plaintiffs'
structure was in itself a final decision by a City agency for
which Plaintiffs were afforded no hearing or notice.
Id. at 4-5. Plaintiffs also argue that the statute
justifying the City's demolition of their structure
contains no means for redress. Id. at 7-8.
Plaintiffs contend that their Fifth Amendment claim was not a
taking of their property for public use but rather was an
abuse of police power, and thus the inverse condemnation
procedures do not adequately address their claims.
Id. at 9. Plaintiffs note that if the case is
dismissed, Plaintiffs may not be able to join Defendant
Metro/Durr Group in a state court proceeding. Id. at
Plaintiffs argue that state court inverse condemnation
proceedings are inadequate because there is no way to enforce
a civil Judgment against the Defendant City. Id.
Plaintiffs cite to the $34 million owed to more than six
hundred final state court judgments as evidence that a
judgment in a state inverse condemnation proceeding would be,
in effect, unenforceable. Id. at 10-11.
FACTUAL AND LEGAL FINDINGS
City has moved for dismissal of Plaintiffs claims pursuant to
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1) for lack of subject
matter jurisdiction. Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(1). The Court
dismisses a case under Rule 12(b)(1) for lack of subject
matter jurisdiction if it lacks that statutory or
constitutional power to adjudicate the case. Home
Builders Ass'n of Miss., Inc. v. City of Madison,
143 F.3d 1006, 1010 (5th Cir. 1998). The burden of proof is
on the party asserting jurisdiction. Ramming v. United
States, 281 F.3d 158, 161 (5th Cir. 2001). The standard
of review for a Rule 12(b)(1) motion to dismiss for lack of
subject matter jurisdiction is the same as that for a Rule
12(b)(6) motion. Benton v. United States, 960 F.2d
19, 21 (5th Cir. 1992). Thus, the Court cannot dismiss the
complaint unless it appears beyond a doubt that the plaintiff
cannot prove a plausible set of facts in support of his claim
which would entitle him to relief. See Bell Atl. Corp. v.
Twombly, 127 S.Ct. 1955 (2007). Additionally, the Court
must accept all well-pleaded facts as true, viewing them in
the light most favorable to the plaintiff. AFL-CIO v.
Murphy Oil USA, Inc., 2007 WL 4365393 at*1 (E.D. La.
III of the Constitution limits federal courts' subject
matter jurisdiction to “cases” and
“controversies, ” which includes the requirement
that the case be ripe for review. United Transp. Union v.
Foster, 205 F.3d 851, 857 (5th Cir. 2000).
“Ripeness separates those matters that are premature
because the injury is speculative and may never occur from
those that are ...