Aames v. United States of America et al
ORDER - the Court GRANTS Defendant Jackson County's Motion to Dismiss 4 ; GRANTS the United States' Motion to Dismiss 14 and GRANTS the State of Missouri's Motion for Leave to File Responsive Pleading Out of Time 24 .The Court DENIES Plaintiff's Motion for Default Judgment against State of Missouri 19 and DENIES plaintiff's Motion for Order of Default 27 . Signed on 3/17/17 by District Judge Fernando J. Gaitan, Jr. (Enss, Rhonda)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE
WESTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI
ANDREW B. AAMES,
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, ET AL.,
Currently pending before the Court is Defendant Jackson County, Missouri’s
Motion to Dismiss (Doc. # 4); the United States’ Motion to Dismiss (Doc. # 14); plaintiff’s
Motion for Default Judgment against State of Missouri (Doc. # 19); State of Missouri’s
Motion for Leave to File Responsive Pleading Out of Time (Doc. # 24) and plaintiff’s
Motion for Order of Default (Doc. # 27).
On March 23, 2016, plaintiff filed a Complaint against the United States of America,
the State of Missouri, Jackson County, Missouri and unnamed John Does 1 to 99. In
his Complaint, plaintiff states that jurisdiction is based on a federal question – whether
“specific sex-offender-related county ordinances are pre-empted by Federal law.” (Doc.
# 1). Plaintiff also alleges that the Court has ancillary and pendant jurisdiction to decide
whether the Jackson County ordinances are preempted by Missouri state law. Plaintiff
is also asserting a 42 U.S.C. § 1983 claim, alleging that his “continuing, lifelong, sexoffender registration requirements, as applied, are cruel, degrading, and unusual.”
Plaintiff describes the actual dispute as follows:
Case 4:16-cv-00255-FJG Document 30 Filed 03/17/17 Page 1 of 14
Plaintiff Aames was convicted in 2008 of a sex-offense in California. Since
that time, he has been required to register as a ‘sex-offender.’ In
November of 2014, he attempted to update his registration here in
Jackson County, Missouri. He appeared on four consecutive days, but
was sent away each time, allegedly to obtain further information, or
documented proof of ‘online identifiers.’ . . .On or about February 2, 2015,
plaintiff was cited and charged with violating the two above-mentioned
Jackson County local ordinances. One for failing to register in his birth
month, the other for failing to obey an officer. He had an initial court date
set for April first, last year, in Independence, Missouri. New charges were
filed against Aames on or about March tenth, 2016, for alleged
registration-related insufficiencies. He faces fines of up to two-thousand
dollars, and incarceration of up to two years, under the county ordinances,
or perhaps, more serious penalties, which are completely out-of-proportion
to logical penalties for his original offer of a kiss to a fifteen year-old gal.
(Plaintiff’s Complaint, pp. 6-7). Plaintiff then requests the following relief be granted by
the Court: 1) declare the two Jackson County ordinances be stricken and declared
illegal, void and contrary to law; 2) grant plaintiff relief from Mo.Rev.Stat. § 589.400, the
Missouri sex-offender registration requirements; 3) declare that SORNA is
unconstitutional because it is enacted in violation of the Tenth Amendment to the
Constitution; 4) declare that Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act, Megan’s
Law, Pam Lychner Sexual Offender Tracking Law and the Campus Crimes Prevention
Act are unconstitutional; 5) declare the Missouri sex offender registration statutes
vague, ambiguous, overbroad, burdensome, waste of time/money, unconstitutional,
against public policy, violative of due process rights, equal protection rights and cruel
and unusual punishment; 6) declare that the Missouri sex offender registration statutes
violate the separation of powers clause and unduly infringe on the rights of the judiciary
to determine outcomes of criminal cases; 7) declare that the federal sex-offender
registration statutes violate the separation of powers clause and unduly infringe on the
rights of the judiciary to determine outcomes of criminal cases; 8) declare that the
Case 4:16-cv-00255-FJG Document 30 Filed 03/17/17 Page 2 of 14
Jackson County sex-offender related statutes are preempted by state law and 9)
declare that the Jackson County sex offender registration statutes are vague,
ambiguous, overbroad, burdensome, waste of time/money, unconstitutional, against
public policy, violate due process rights, equal protection and constitute cruel and
In addition to his challenges to the sex offender laws, plaintiff is also seeking relief
related to election laws. Plaintiff is seeking a declaration that if Senator Ted Cruz,
Bernie Sanders or Ben Carson seek to place themselves on the November presidential
ballot, that they must be listed by their legal names. Additionally, plaintiff is seeking a
declaration that Ted Cruz is a natural born Cuban citizen.
To survive a motion to dismiss under 12(b)(6), Aa complaint must contain sufficient
factual matter, accepted as true, to state a claim for relief that is plausible on its face.@
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662,129 S.Ct. 1937, 1949, 173 L.Ed.2d 868 (2009)
(quoting Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 167
L.Ed.2d 929 (2007)). A pleading that merely pleads Alabels and conclusions@ or a
Aformulaic recitation@ of the elements of a cause of action, or Anaked assertions@
devoid of Afurther factual enhancement@ will not suffice. Id. (quoting Twombly).
ADetermining whether a complaint states a plausible claim for relief will . . . be a
context-specific task that requires the reviewing court to draw on its judicial
experience and common sense.@ Id. at 1950. Under Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6) we must
accept the plaintiff=s factual allegations as true and grant all reasonable inferences in
the plaintiff=s favor. Phipps v. FDIC, 417 F.3d 1006, 1010 (8th Cir. 2005).
Case 4:16-cv-00255-FJG Document 30 Filed 03/17/17 Page 3 of 14
In Driesen v. Smith, No. C13-4037-MWB, 2014 WL 24234 (N.D.Iowa Jan. 2,
2014), aff’d, 584 Fed.Appx. 292 (8th Cir. 2014), the Court explained the standards for
A motion attacking the court’s subject matter jurisdiction is governed by
Federal Rule Civil Procedure 12(b)(1). A Rule 12(b)(1) motion can either
attack the complaint’s claim of jurisdiction on its face or it can attack the
factual basis for jurisdiction. . . . In a facial challenge to jurisdiction, all of
the factual allegations concerning jurisdiction are presumed to be true and
the motion is successful if the plaintiff fails to allege an element necessary
for subject matter jurisdiction. . . . If the [defendant] wants to make a
factual attack on the jurisdictional allegations of the complaint, the court
may receive competent evidence such as affidavits, deposition testimony,
and the like in order to determine the factual dispute.
Id. at * 6 (internal citations omitted).
A. Sex Offender Registration Laws
In 2006, Congress enacted the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act
(“SORNA”), as part of the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act., Pub.L. 109248, Tit. I, 120 Stat. 590. Doe v. Keathley, 344 S.W.3d 759, 762 (Mo.App. 2011).
SORNA requires sex offenders to “register, and keep the registration
current, in each jurisdiction where the offender resides, where the offender
is an employee, and where the offender is a student.” 42 U.S.C.§
16913(a). Individuals subject to SORNA’s registration requirements are
identified in 42 U.S.C. § 16911(1), which provides that “[t]he term ‘sex
offender’ means an individual who was convicted of a sex offense.” A sex
offense is defined as “a criminal offense that has an element involving a
sexual act or sexual contact with another,” 42 U.S.C. § 16911(5)(A)(i), or
“a criminal offense that is a specified offense against a minor.” 42 U.S.C.§
16911(5)(A)(ii). A “specified offense against a minor includes “criminal
sexual conduct involving a minor,” 42 U.S.C.§ 16911(7)(H), and “any
conduct that by its nature is a sex offense against a minor.” 42 U.S.C. §
James v. Missouri State Highway Patrol, 505 S.W.3d 378, 381 (Mo.App. 2016). In
enacting SORNA, Congress instructed states to pass legislation establishing their own
Case 4:16-cv-00255-FJG Document 30 Filed 03/17/17 Page 4 of 14
sex offender registration systems and requiring sex offenders to register. Missouri’s
Sex Offender Registration Act is known as “SORA.” This statute was originally enacted
in 1994 and was later amended in 2006. Mo.Rev.Stat. § 589.400.1(7) provides that any
person required to register under federal law, i.e., SORNA, must also register with the
chief law officers of their county of residence in Missouri. Keeney v. Fitch, 458 S.W.3d
838, 842 (Mo.App. 2015). In Horton v. State, 462 S.W.3d 770 (Mo.App. 2015), the
The interplay between the federal registration requirements pursuant to
SORNA and Missouri’s registration requirements pursuant to SORA has
been well-documented. . . .SORA requires a Missouri resident to register
as a sex offender if he or she “has been or is required to register under . .
.federal . . .law. . .” Section 589.400.1(7). SORNA provides “a sex offender
shall register. . .in each jurisdiction where the offender resides.” 42 U.S.C.
Id. at 774.
B. Plaintiff’s Status
Plaintiff states in his Complaint that in 2008, he was convicted of a sex-offense in
California and since that time has been required to register as a sex offender. The
Government attached as an exhibit to its Motion to Dismiss, documents relating to
plaintiff’s California Bar disciplinary proceedings1. In ruling on a Motion to Dismiss,
“[m]aterials attached to the complaint as exhibits may be considered in construing the
sufficiency of the complaint.” Droney v. Fitch, No. 4:10-CV-114CAS, 2011 WL 890704
at *2, (E.D.Mo. Mar. 14, 2011), aff’d., 423 Fed.Appx. 669 (8th Cir. 2011). Although
Plaintiff states in the Complaint, that he is a member of the California bar. The
Government attached as an exhibit to its Motion to Dismiss documents reflecting that
Aames stipulated to misconduct warranting discipline. As a result, he was suspended
for two years, stayed, placed on three years of probation with a 15 month actual
suspension and was ordered to take the MPRE and comply with Rule 9.20 of the
California Rules of Court.
Case 4:16-cv-00255-FJG Document 30 Filed 03/17/17 Page 5 of 14
matters outside the pleading may not be considered in deciding a Rule 12 motion,
documents embraced by the complaint are not considered matters outside the pleading.
See Ashanti v. City of Golden Valley, 666 F.3d 1148, 1150-51 (8th Cir. 2012).
“Documents necessarily embraced by the pleadings include those documents whose
contents are alleged in a complaint and whose authenticity no party questions, but
which are not physically attached to the pleading.” Id. at 1151(internal citations and
The California State Bar proceedings included in the Government’s exhibit contained
the following stipulation regarding plaintiff’s conviction:
On September 9, 2008, Respondent, at the age of 53, visited a neighbor’s
garage sale at their invitation and spent some time speaking to his
neighbor’s daughter, then-aged 15 years old, who appeared to him to be
age 18. Before parting ways and returning home, Respondent held the 15year old girl by the waist and leaned in to kiss her on the cheek, but she
managed to step away before Respondent actually made contact with her
face. Respondent was charged and convicted with one count of annoying
or molesting a child under the age of 18 in violation of Penal Code section
647.6, subdivision (a)(1). A jury found Respondent guilty on the sole
count, and a trial court placed Respondent on probation for three years
including 120 days in County jail. A violation of Penal Code section
647.6(a) (Annoy/Molest Child Under the Age of 18 Years), a
(Doc. # 14-1, p.7).
In his Complaint, plaintiff alleges that in November 2014, he attempted to update
his registration in Jackson County, Missouri, but was sent away to obtain additional
information. He also alleges that in February 2015, he was cited and charged with
violating the Jackson County ordinances that require him to register as a sex offender
and also for failing to obey an officer. He states that new charges were filed in March
2016 for registration related insufficiencies. However, plaintiff has provided no further
Case 4:16-cv-00255-FJG Document 30 Filed 03/17/17 Page 6 of 14
details regarding these charges or their disposition. The Court takes judicial notice of
the fact that pursuant to a search conducted through the Missouri State Highway
Patrol’s Sex Offender Registry, the plaintiff is listed as compliant with his registration
requirements.2 See Fed.R.Evid. 201(b), (c), and (f). The statute defines “compliant” to
mean that the offender is registering as required.
The parties have not addressed whether plaintiff has standing to assert his claims,
but the Court is under an obligation to assure itself that subject matter jurisdiction exists.
See Arbaugh v. Y & H Corp., 546 U.S. 500, 514, 126 S.Ct. 1235, 163 L.Ed.2d 1097
(2006). The Court in Niang v. Carroll, No. 4:14CV1100JMB, 2016 WL 5076170
(E.D.Mo. Sept. 20, 2016) explained:
This independent obligation to ensure justiciability arises because the
federal courts are tribunals of limited jurisdiction. See Kokkonen v.
Guardian Life Ins. Co. of America, 511 U.S. 375,377 (1994). For instance,
Article III of the Constitution limits the jurisdiction of federal courts to
“Cases” and “Controversies.” See U.S.Cont., Art. III, § 2. The standing
doctrine gives meaning to this limitation by identifying those disputes
which are appropriately resolved through the judicial process. Lujan v.
Defenders of Wildlife, 504 U.S. 555,560 (1992). To establish Article III
standing, a plaintiff must show: (1) an injury in fact; (2) a sufficient causal
connection between the injury and the conduct complained of; and (3) a
likelihood that the injury will be redressed by a favorable decision. Id. at
Id. at *8.
In the instant case, plaintiff alleged that on February 2, 2015, he was cited and
charged with violating two Jackson County ordinances and that on March 10, 2016, new
registration related insufficiency charges were filed. He states that he faces fines of up
to $2,000 and incarceration of up to two years. Plaintiff provides no further details as to
The search was conducted at http://www.mshp.dps.missouri.gov on March 16, 2017.
Case 4:16-cv-00255-FJG Document 30 Filed 03/17/17 Page 7 of 14
the disposition or current status of these charges. However, even if these charges have
been disposed of, the Court finds that because there is a potential for future injury,
plaintiff has standing to pursue his claim. In Whitner v. City of Pagedale, No.
4:15CV1655RWS, 2016 WL 915303 (E.D.Mo. Mar. 10, 2016), the court stated:
“An ‘injury-in-fact’ is ‘an invasion of a legally protected interest which is (a)
concrete and particularized and (b) actual or imminent, not conjectural or
hypothetical.’” [ABF Freight Sys., Inc. v. Int’l Bhd. Of Teamsters], 654 F.3d
at 959 (quoting Lujan, 504 U.S. at 560). “In assessing whether the plaintiff
has alleged a sufficiently particularized and concrete injury, the court must
accept all factual allegations in the complaint as true and draw all
inferences in the plaintiff’s favor.” Young Am. Corp. v. Affiliated Computer
Servs. (ACS), Inc., 424 F.3d 840, 843 (8th Cir.2005).
Id. at *4. In Whitner, the plaintiff alleged that she had received a building inspection
report which threatened her with a summons or fines as the deadline for bringing her
home into compliance had elapsed. Additionally, the City had given no indication that it
would not proceed with its enforcement of the building code provisions. The Court found
that while plaintiff had to allege a threat of injury that is both “real and immediate, she
‘does not have to await the consummation of threatened injury to obtain preventive
relief.’” Id. (quoting Smith v. Ark. Dep’t. of Correction, 103 F.3d 637, 643 (8th Cir. 1996)).
In the instant case, the Court finds that although there is some uncertainly regarding the
status of plaintiff’s charges, if he were to fail to register under the sex offender statues
and ordinances, he would suffer a concrete injury, because he would be subject to fines
and imprisonment. Having determined that plaintiff has standing, the Court will now
address the merits of plaintiff’s claims.
D. Declaratory Judgment Act
Plaintiff titled his Complaint as one for Declaratory Relief filed pursuant to the
Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2201. “The Declaratory Judgment Act allows a
Case 4:16-cv-00255-FJG Document 30 Filed 03/17/17 Page 8 of 14
court to ‘declare the rights and other legal relations of any interested party seeking such
declaration’ if presented ‘a case of actual controversy within its jurisdiction’. . . .” Id.
“[T]he phrase ‘case of actual controversy’ in the Act refers to the type of ‘Cases’ and
‘Controversies’ that are justiciable under Article III.” Medimmune, Inc. v. Genentech,
Inc., 549 U.S. 118,127, 127 S.Ct. 764, 166 L.Ed.2d 604 (2007). It should also be noted
that “The Declaratory Judgment Act is procedural; it does not expand federal court
jurisdiction.” Bacon v. Neer, 631 F.3d 875, 880 (8th Cir. 2011). Plaintiff did not separate
his Complaint into individual counts, nor did he assert any particular claim against any
of the specific defendants. However, plaintiff’s allegations can broadly be grouped as
follows: 1) Challenges to SORNA; 2) Challenges to Missouri SORA; 3) Challenges to
Jackson County ordinances.
1. Constitutional Challenges to SORNA
Plaintiff seeks a declaration that SORNA is unconstitutional because it was enacted
in violation of the Tenth Amendment. Plaintiff also seeks a declaration that various
other statutes related to sex offenders are also unconstitutional for the same reason.
Plaintiff also alleges that the federal sex offender registration statutes violate the
separation of powers clause and unduly infringe on the rights of the judiciary branch to
determine the outcome of criminal cases.
With regard to the constitutionality of SORNA, courts have consistently rejected
claims arguing that SORNA is unconstitutional under the Tenth Amendment. United
States v. Smith, 655 F.3d 839, 848 (8th Cir. 2011), cert. granted, judgment vacated, 132
S.Ct. 2712 (2012), opinion reinstated in part, 504 Fed.Appx. 519 (8th Cir. 2012).3 See
The initial opinion in this case was vacated with instructions to reconsider in light of
Case 4:16-cv-00255-FJG Document 30 Filed 03/17/17 Page 9 of 14
also U.S. v. Neel, 641 Fed.Appx. 782, 793 (10th Cir.), cert.denied, 136 S.Ct.
2421(2016)(“Our position accords with that of every other circuit to have addressed the
issue.”). U.S. v. White, 782 F.3d 1118, 1128 (10th Cir.2015)(“We join all of the federal
circuits to have considered this issue in holding that SORNA does not violate the Tenth
Plaintiff also argues that SONRA violates the nondelegation doctrine. In U.S. v.
Kuehl, 706 F.3d 917 (8th Cir. 2013), the court stated:
The nondelegation doctrine is rooted in the principle of separation of
powers. It is derived from Article I, section I of the United States
Constitution: “All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a
Congress of the United States. . . .” U.S. Const. art. I, §1. . . .However, not
all delegations of legislative authority are prohibited. “So long as Congress
‘shall lay down by legislative act an intelligible principle to which the
person or body authorized to [exercise the delegated authority] is directed
to conform, such legislative action is not a forbidden delegation of
legislative power.’” Mistretta v. United States, 488 U.S. 361, 372, 109
S.Ct.647, 102 L.Ed.2d 714 (1989)(quoting J.W. Hampton, Jr.,& Co. v.
United States, 276 U.S. 394, 409, 48 S.Ct. 348, 72 L.Ed. 624 (1928)). . . .
We conclude that SORNA provides the Attorney General with an
intelligible principle, and is a valid delegation of legislative authority.
Id. at 919-20. See also U.S. v. Manning, 786 F.3d 684, 685 (8th Cir.) cert.denied, 136
S.Ct. 278 (2015)(Noting that this argument was rejected by Kuehl and all other circuits
that have considered the issue).
Aames also argues that SORNA violates numerous other provisions of the
Constitution, however, he provides neither an explanation nor a discussion of how these
statutes violate such provisions. As noted above, a pleading that merely pleads Alabels
and conclusions@ or a Aformulaic recitation@ of the elements of a cause of action, or
Reynolds v. United States, 132 S.Ct. 975, 181 L.Ed.2d 935 (2012). On remand, the
Eighth Circuit held Reynolds did not affect its Tenth Amendment analysis and that
portion of the opinion was reinstated.
Case 4:16-cv-00255-FJG Document 30 Filed 03/17/17 Page 10 of 14
Anaked assertions@ devoid of Afurther factual enhancement@ will not suffice.
Plaintiff also makes a passing reference in his Complaint that jurisdiction is based
on 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff alleges that his “continuing, lifelong sex offender
registration requirements, as applied, are cruel, degrading and unusual.” He also states
that “[i]t is wholly arbitrary that sex offenders such as plaintiff are required to comply
with burdensome registration requirements, residency restrictions, restrictions of
movement, restrictions of employment, and like.” (Plaintiff’s Complaint, pp. 5-6). “To
state a claim under §1983, a plaintiff must prove the (1) violation of a constitutional right,
(2) committed by a state actor, (3) who acted with the requisite culpability and causation
to violate the constitutional right.” Estate of Schwartz v. Assisted Recovery Centers of
America, LLC, No. 4:16CV673JMB, 2017 WL 840542, *5 (E.D.Mo. Mar. 3, 2017). The
Court finds that plaintiff cannot state a §1983 claim because SORNA’s registration
scheme has been held to be non-punitive, so it cannot constitute cruel and unusual
punishment under the Eighth Amendment. Rideout v. Holder, No. 1:09CV82LMB, 2009
WL 2982899, *2 (E.D.Mo. Sept. 14, 2009). Additionally, “[t]o be cognizable under
§1983, a claim must allege that the defendant was personally involved in or directly
responsible for the incidents that deprived the plaintiff of his constitutional rights.”
Thompson v. Dotson, No. 4:17-CV-785CAS, 2017 WL 769910, *3 (E.D.Mo. Feb. 28,
2017) (quoting Martin v. Sargent, 780 F.2d 1334, 1338 (8th Cir. 1985)). In the instant
case, plaintiff has failed to allege that any person took any actions that deprived him of
his constitutional rights. As such, the Court finds that plaintiff has failed to show that
SORNA is unconstitutional or violates any of his constitutional rights. Accordingly, the
Court hereby GRANTS defendants’ Motions to Dismiss plaintiff’s federal claims.
Case 4:16-cv-00255-FJG Document 30 Filed 03/17/17 Page 11 of 14
2. Challenges to Missouri SORA statute & Jackson County Ordinances
Plaintiff asks that the Court exercise its ancillary/pendent jurisdiction to grant him
relief under Mo.Rev.Stat.§589.400(7) and (8) to relieve him from the Missouri sexoffender registration statutes. “When a district court dismisses federal claims over which
it has original jurisdiction, the balance of interests usually ‘will point toward declining to
exercise jurisdiction over the remaining state law claims.’” In re Canadian Import
Antitrust Litig., 470 F.3d 785, 792 (8th Cir. 2006)(quoting Carnegie-Mellon Univ. v.
Cohill, 484 U.S. 343, 350 n.7, 108 S.Ct. 614, 98 L.Ed.2d 720 (1988)). Accordingly,
because the Court has determined that plaintiff has failed to state any federal claims,
the Court will dismiss plaintiff’s state law claims. “Congress unambiguously gave district
courts discretion in 28 U.S.C. § 1367(c) to dismiss supplemental state law claims when
all federal claims have been dismissed.” Gibson v. Weber, 433 F.3d 642, 647 (8th
Cir.2006). Additionally, the Court finds that the Missouri statutes provide a means for
individuals to file petitions and have their names removed from the registry in certain
specified instances. Any determinations related to petitions for removal are more
appropriately filed in state court. See Mo.Rev.Stat. §589.400.
E. Election Claims
Additionally, in his petition, plaintiff also requests that the Court declare that if Ted
Cruz or Bernie Sanders or Ben Carson seek to place themselves or have themselves
placed on the November Presidential or Vice-Presidential ballot, that they must be listed
by their legal names and not by their nicknames. Plaintiff also seeks a declaration that
Ted Cruz is a natural born Cuban citizen or alternatively a declaration that he is a
natural born Canadian citizen. Plaintiff states that he believes that he is a registered
Case 4:16-cv-00255-FJG Document 30 Filed 03/17/17 Page 12 of 14
Missouri voter, but even if he is not, his requests for election related declaratory relief
can be viewed as the requests of a “private attorney general.”
In Schwartz v. Cruz, 179 F.Supp.3d 743 (S.D.Tex. 2016), the plaintiff asked the
Court to declare that United States Senator Ted Cruz, was ineligible to serve as
President of the United States because he was born in Canada and is not a natural born
citizen. The Court found that plaintiff had not and could not satisfy the injury in fact
element of standing. The Court noted that four other federal courts have recently dealt
with declaratory judgment actions or requests for injunctive relief relating to Cruz’s
alleged ineligibility to run for President. The Court in Schwartz noted that in each
instance, the cases were dismissed for lack of standing. Similarly, in this instance, the
Court finds that plaintiff lacks standing to assert this claim. As the Court in Schwartz
noted, “it is well settled that this type of general harm is not a cognizable interest for
purposes of Article III Standing.” Id. at 748 (quoting Schlesinger v. Reservists Comm.
To Stop the War, 418 U.S. 208, 220, 94 S.Ct. 2925, 41 L.Ed.2d 706 (1974)).
Secondly, plaintiff asks that the Court declare that if Presidential candidates Ted
Cruz, Bernie Sanders and Ben Carson seek to place or have themselves placed on the
November presidential ballot, that they be listed by their legal names and not by their
nicknames. As with plaintiff’s previous challenge, the court finds that plaintiff lacks
standing to assert a claim based on a candidate’s use of a nickname as opposed to
their legal name. “[S]everal courts have held that an individual citizen does not have
standing to challenge a candidate’s eligibility to serve as president.” Schwartz, Id. at
747. The Court finds that this logic would also apply to bar any challenges to a
candidates’ name on the ballot.
Case 4:16-cv-00255-FJG Document 30 Filed 03/17/17 Page 13 of 14
Accordingly, for the reasons stated above, the Court hereby GRANTS Defendant
Jackson County’s Motion to Dismiss (Doc. # 4); GRANTS the United States’ Motion to
Dismiss (Doc. # 14) and GRANTS the State of Missouri’s Motion for Leave to File
Responsive Pleading Out of Time (Doc. # 24).
The Court DENIES Plaintiff’s Motion for Default Judgment against State of
Missouri (Doc. # 19) and DENIES plaintiff’s Motion for Order of Default (Doc. # 27).
Date: March 17, 2017
Kansas City, Missouri
S/ FERNANDO J. GAITAN, JR.
Fernando J. Gaitan, Jr.
United States District Judge
Case 4:16-cv-00255-FJG Document 30 Filed 03/17/17 Page 14 of 14
Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.
Why Is My Information Online?