United States District Court, District of Columbia
KETANJI BROWN JACKSON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
November 28, 2018, pro se plaintiff John Milner
(“Plaintiff”) filed the instant complaint against
the Supreme Court of the United States and Chief Justice John
Roberts. (Compl., ECF No. 1.) Plaintiff alleges that he went
to the Supreme Court on Friday, November 23, 2018, the day
after Thanksgiving, only to find that the building was
closed. (Id. at 1.) He claims that this closure is a
“betrayal of public trust” and violates 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983. (Id.) Plaintiff requests “$2
million due to the severe impact this has on
society[.]” (Id. at 2.)
Court has reviewed Plaintiff's complaint and, as
explained below, has determined that Plaintiff has failed to
establish that this Court has subject matter jurisdiction
over this matter. Accordingly, it will
DISMISS the instant Complaint sua
sponte. Hurt v. U.S. Court of Appeals for D.C.
Circuit Banc, 264 Fed.Appx. 1 (D.C. Cir. 2008)
(“It was proper for the district court to analyze its
own jurisdiction sua sponte and dismiss the case for
lack of jurisdiction.”) (citation omitted).
III of the United States Constitution limits the judicial
power to deciding ‘Cases and Controversies.'”
In re Navy Chaplaincy, 534 F.3d 756, 759 (D.C. Cir.
2008) (quoting U.S. Const. art. III, § 2). “One of
the controlling elements in the definition of a case or
controversy under Article III is standing.” Hein v.
Freedom From Religion Found., Inc., 551 U.S. 587 (2007)
(internal quotation marks and alteration omitted). A party
has standing for purposes of Article III if his claims
“spring from an ‘injury in fact'-an invasion
of a legally protected interest that is ‘concrete and
particularized,' ‘actual or imminent' and
‘fairly traceable' to the challenged act of the
defendant, and likely to be redressed by a favorable decision
in the federal court.” Navegar, Inc. v. United
States, 103 F.3d 994, 998 (D.C. Cir. 1997) (quoting
Lujan v. Defenders of Wildlife, 504 U.S. 555, 560-61
(1992)). Furthermore, the Supreme Court has
“consistently held that a plaintiff raising only a
generally available grievance about government-claiming only
harm to his and every citizen's interest in proper
application of the Constitution and laws . . . does not state
an Article III case or controversy.” Lujan,
504 U.S. at 573-74.
plaintiff “bears the burden of showing that he has
standing” with respect to the claims that he pleads.
See Food & Water Watch, Inc. v. Vilsack, 79
F.Supp.3d 174, 186 (D.D.C.) (internal quotation marks and
citation omitted), aff'd, 808 F.3d 905 (D.C.
Cir. 2015)). “Significantly, a ‘defect of
standing is a defect in subject matter jurisdiction[,
]'” Haase v. Sessions, 835 F.2d 902, 906
(D. C. Cir. 1987), and federal courts are barred from
“consider[ing] the merits of a [claim] over which it
without jurisdiction[, ]” Firestone Tire &
Rubber Co. v. Risjord, 449 U.S. 368, 379 (1981);
see also Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(h)(3)
(requiring courts to dismiss a complaint “any
time” subject matter jurisdiction is absent);
Kretchmar v. F.B.I., 32 F.Supp.3d 49, 58 (D.D.C.
2014) (dismissing claim for lack of subject matter
jurisdiction where plaintiff failed to allege an injury
sufficient to create Article III standing).
the Plaintiff does not show that he personally suffered any
injury as a result of the Supreme Court being closed the day
after Thanksgiving. Rather, Plaintiff expressly states that
he filed this suit because he “[doesn't] think
government offices should be shut down on a non-holiday day[,
]” (Compl. at 1), and because he believes that this
closure had a “severe impact . . . on society[,
]” (id. at 2). These allegations are nothing
more than the kind of “generally available grievance[s]
about government” that the Supreme Court has long held
are insufficient to vest a plaintiff with Article III
standing. Lujan, 504 U.S. at 573-74.
Plaintiff has not established that he has personally suffered
any injury as a result of the Supreme Court being closed on
November 28, 2018, he has no standing to bring the instant
complaint, and this Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction