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20110422 Opinion Supporting Dismissal of Complaint

20110422 Opinion Supporting Dismissal of Complaint

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Published by Terry Hurlbut
Opinion describing why plaintiffs lack standing
Opinion describing why plaintiffs lack standing

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Published by: Terry Hurlbut on Apr 23, 2011
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Case3:10-cv-04814-FLW-DEADocument31Filed
04/21/11
Page1of20PagelD:358
NOTFORPUBLICATION[16,26]
UNITEDSTATESDISTRICTCOURTDISTRICTOFNEWJERSEY
NICHOLASE.PURPURA,etal.,PlaintiffsCivilActionNo.10-04814v.
OPINION
KATHLEENSEBELIUSetal.Defendants
WOLFSON,UnitedStatesDistrictJudge:
PresentlybeforetheCourtisamotionbyDefendantsKathleenSebelius,TimothyF.GeithnerandHilda
L.
Solis,individuallyandintheirofficialgovernmentalcapacities(collectively"Defendants"),todismisstheComplaintofPlaintiffs,prose,NicholasE.PurpuraandDonaldR.Laster,Jr.forlackofsubjectmatterjurisdictionpursuanttoFed.
R.
Civ.P.12(b)(1
V
ThisactionisoneofmanychallengestothePatientProtectionandAffordableCareAct("ACA"or"Act"),broughtbyvariousindividualsandorganizationsthroughoutthecountry.IntheComplaint,PlaintiffsallegethattheActviolatesnumerousConstitutionalprovisionsandconflictswithseveralfederalstatutes.Asaresult,PlaintiffsseekadeclarationthattheActis
1
TheCourtiscompelledtonotethatalthoughPlaintiffsclaimtorepresent"WethePeople"andthe"citizensoftheStateofNewJersey,"Compl.~~2,11,Plaintiffsarenotattorneysandthislawsuithasnotbeenbroughtasaclassaction.Moreover,noindividualsignedtheComplaintotherthanthenamedPlaintiffs.Thus,theCourtconsidersthisasachallengetotheActbroughtsolelyonbehalfofthetwoindividualPlaintiffs-Messrs.PurpuraandLaster.
 
Case3:10-cv-04814-FLW-DEADocument31Filed
04/21/11
Page2of20PagelD:359
unconstitutionalandaskthisCourttoenjoinDefendantsfromitsenforcement.
In
response,DefendantsfiledtheinstantMotiontoDismissunderFed.
R.
Civ.P.12(b)(1)arguingthattheComplaintdoesnotestablishPlaintiffs'standingtochallengetheAct.Specifically,DefendantscontendthattheComplaint"revealsnothingaboutplaintiffsotherthantheirnames,theiraddresses,theiraffiliationswithvariouspoliticalgroupsinNewJersey,andtheirdisapprovalofthechallengedstatute."Defs'Br.at1.TheCourthasconsideredthemotionwithoutoralargumentpursuanttoFed.R.Civ.P.7S,zForthereasonssetforthbelow,Defendants'motionisGRANTEDandtheComplaintisDISMISSED.
1.BACKGROUND
OnMarch23,2010,PresidentBarackObamasignedintolawthePatientProtectionandAffordableCareAct,Pub.
L.
No111-148,124Stat.199(2010),amendedbyHealthCareandEducationReconciliationActof2010,Pub.
L.
No.111-152,124Stat.1029(2010).TheAct,a
2
TheCourtunderstandsthatPlaintiffshaverequestedoralargument.FederalRuleofCivilProcedure78expresslygrantsadistrictjudgewidediscretiontodecidewhethertohearoralargumentonaparticularmotion,orinstead,todecideitonthepapers.Fed.R.Civ.P.78.Similarly,theDueProcessClauseoftheFifthAmendmentdoesnotcompeloralargumentoncivilmotions.Seee.g.,Greenev.WCIHoldingsCorp.,136F.3d313,316(2dCir.1998)("wefindnomerit
in
[appellant's]claimthatadismissalofacomplaintwithoutanoralhearingviolatesdueprocess.");DaycoCorp.v.GoodyearTire
&
RubberCo.,523F.2d389,391(6thCir.1975)(denialofanoralhearingbeforegrantingamotiontodismissdoesnotviolate"fundamentalnotionsoffaimessanddueprocessoflaw");Sparkv.CatholicUniv.,510F.2d1277,1280(D.C.CiL1975)("dueprocessdoesnotincludetherighttooralargumentonamotion");DredgeCorp.v.Penny,338F.2d456,464n.14(9thCiL1964)("Theopportunitytobeheardorallyonquestionsoflawisnotaninherentelementofproceduraldueprocess,evenwheresubstantialquestionsoflawareinvolved.").BecauseofthelimitednatureofthisCourt'sinquiry,theCourtfindsthatoralargumentwouldbeanunnecessaryuseoftheparties'andthisCourt'sresourcesandthismotionwillbedecidedonthepapers.2
 
Case3:10-cv-04814-FLW-DEADocument31Filed
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broadpieceofhealthcarereformlegislation,wasenactedto"provideaffordablehealthinsurance,andtoreducethenumberofuninsuredAmericans'andtheescalatingcoststheyimposeonthehealthcaresystem."NewJerseyPhysicians,Inc.v.Obama,No.lO-1489,2010WL5060597,at
*
1(D.N.J.Dec.8,2010)(SDW)(quotingThomasMoreLawCtr.v.Obama,720F.Supp.2d882,886(E.D.Mich.2010)).AspartoftheefforttoprovidehealthinsurancetouninsuredAmericans,theActincludesarequirementtomaintainminimumessentialcoverage("IndividualMandate")whichprovidesthat"[a]napplicableindividualshallforeachmonthbeginningafter2013ensurethattheindividual,andanydependentoftheindividualwhoisanapplicableindividual,iscoveredunderminimumessentialcoverageforsuchmonth."26V.S.c.§SOOO(A)(a)(2010)YAccordingtoCongress,theIndividualMandateisessentialbecauseabsentsucha"requirement,manyindividualswouldwaittopurchasehealthinsuranceuntiltheyneededcare,"andsucharesultwouldunderminetheAct'spurposeofloweringthenumberofuninsuredAmericans.Act§§lS01(a)(2)(G),10106(a).Importantly,ifanindividualfailstoobtainminimumessentialcoverage,"amonetarypenaltywillbeimposedandincludedinthattaxpayer'staxreturn."Id.§SOOOA(b).TheAct,however,providesvariousexceptionstothepenaltyincludingthatnopenaltyshallbeimposed
3
An"applicableindividual"isdefinedasanyindividualotherthan
(l)
thosewithcertainreligiousexemptions;(2)thosenotlawfullypresentintheUnitedStates;and(3)thoseincarcerated.Id.
§
SOOOA(d).
4
TheActdefines"minimumessentialcoverage"as(1)agovernment-sponsoredhealthcareprogram(e.g.Medicare,Medicaid);(2)coverageunderaneligibleemployer-sponsoredplan;or(3)othereligiblehealthcareplansobtainedthroughthemarket.rd.§SOOOA(t).
3

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