but the Supreme Court reversed, once again finding no justiciable case or controversy to be presented. While the plaintiff could surely proceed against the city for damages, he had not demonstrated -- nor could he -- the presence of "a real and immediate threat that he would again be stopped for a traffic violation, or for any other offense, by an officer or officers who would illegally choke him into unconsciousness without any provocation or resistance on his part." Id. at 105.
The lesson of Lyons and its predecessors is, simply, that federal jurisdiction does not extend to disputes which exist for the moment only in the mind of the plaintiffs. Applying that teaching to the instant case, the Court finds that Haase has not demonstrated that there is a substantial probability that he will ever again be subjected to such treatment as he received last January 16th. Accepting as true his assertion that he intends to return to Nicaragua in the near future to pursue his journalistic interests, and that he will once again be required on his return to submit to some sort of appropriate border search, unless he intends to provoke a confrontation for his own purposes, it would be a most unusual coincidence were he again to excite suspicion by carrying a list of names and addresses behind a picture frame,
or the FBI would again be asked for its literary advice on the importability of items in his possession, in the course of which agents and/or Customs officials would once more find it necessary to seize and copy his personal papers.
Plaintiff's anecdotal evidence purporting to demonstrate the existence of a "policy" of the Customs Service and the FBI of subjecting travellers returning from Nicaragua to intrusive searches and seizures for the purpose of gathering general intelligence is no more probative of the fact than was similar evidence in Rizzo probative of official condonation of police brutality. Hearsay reports of several other recent returnees from Nicaragua having had books and papers seized by Customs officials were presented to the Court in the affirmations of plaintiff's counsel, but even had the accounts been submitted with the requisite evidentiary formality, and their resemblance to the instant case were unmistakable, the record would still not support a finding of the existence of an inter-agency conspiracy to engage in unlawful, probably unconstitutional, conduct on the scale which would be required to make it reasonably certain that what happened to Haase before would happen again. See Rizzo v. Goode, 423 U.S. at 372.
At this point plaintiff clearly has no standing to vindicate the rights of any other travellers to Nicaragua but himself, see, e.g., Valley Forge Christian College v. Americans United, 454 U.S. at 474; Warth v. Seldin, 422 U.S. 490, 499, 45 L. Ed. 2d 343, 95 S. Ct. 2197 (1975), and although Haase urges that he should be permitted to engage in discovery in an attempt to uncover additional evidence to confirm his suspicions, the allegations are altogether too phantasmal to warrant discovery of the magnitude which would be necessary to bring such a covert "policy" to light. If such an inquiry is to be made, Congress must do it. See Laird v. Tatum, 408 U.S. at 14-15.
In the absence of any substantial showing of an actual present or immediately threatened injury to Haase himself -- amounting to more than his mere discomfiture at being selected for some special scrutiny when he returns from Nicaragua in the future -- the Court concludes he is without standing to seek any more relief than defendants have already agreed to afford him. It is, therefore, for the foregoing reasons, this 14th day of May, 1985,
ORDERED, that defendants' motion to dismiss is granted; and it is
FURTHER ORDERED, that, upon condition defendants deposit the copies of all documents seized from plaintiff on January 16, 1985, under seal in the Registry of this Court within 10 days, and make no use of any information derived therefrom hereafter, the complaint shall stand dismissed with prejudice.