United States District Court, D. Connecticut
ORDER ON MOTION TO DISMISS COUNT II
R. Underhill United States District Judge.
Bloom (“Bloom”), a resident of Shelton,
Connecticut, brought a two-count action against Shelton Mayor
Mark Lauretti (“Lauretti”) for illegally
endorsing and promoting religion and Shelton Police Chief
Shawn Sequiro (“Sequiro”) for illegally endorsing
and promoting religion and failure to enforce federal
immigration law. Sequiro has moved to dismiss Count Two of
the complaint, on the grounds that Bloom lacks standing to
bring that claim. For the following reasons, I grant in part
and deny in part Sequiro's motion (Doc. #18).
commenced this action by filing a two-count pro se complaint
on August 11, 2017. Compl., Doc. # 1. In Count One, he is
suing Lauretti for “illegally endorsing/promoting
religion” by refusing to remove a sign with the message
“God Bless Shelton Police” from outside the
Police Station. Id. at 3. In Count Two, he is suing
Sequiro on two grounds: (1) illegally endorsing/promoting
religion because he is “aware of the illegal
sign;” and (2) failure to enforce federal immigration
support of his claim that Sequiro failed to enforce federal
immigration law, Bloom alleges the following. On June 2, 2017
he saw six “young [L]atino men” working in
Shelton and tried speaking with them, but there was a
language barrier. Id.. Upon hearing one of the men
say “boss not here, ” Bloom reported the crew to
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) and
Shelton Police. Id. He believed the men to be
illegal aliens and “from what [he] had seen and heard,
a reasonable man could suspect that a crime was being
committed.” Id. at 3-4. Shelton Police refused
to investigate and Bloom set up a meeting with Sequiro to
discuss the issue, but Sequiro did not show up for the
meeting. Id. at 4. In his request for relief, Bloom
demands that Sequiro and the Shelton Police comply with
federal immigration laws and policies. Id.
moved, on December 27, 2017, to dismiss the entirety of Count
Two, arguing that Bloom lacks sufficient standing to bring
the claim. Mot. to Dismiss, Doc. # 18. He argues only,
though, that Bloom lacks standing to bring a claim that
Sequiro has failed to enforce federal immigration policies.
Sequiro does not take issue with Bloom's standing to
bring a claim regarding the sign outside of the Police
Department against Lauretti (Count One) or Sequiro (Count
Two). Accordingly, both First Amendment claims may proceed.
motion to dismiss the immigration portion of Count Two,
Sequiro argues that Bloom has failed to sufficiently allege a
“concrete or particular injury” that he has faced
because of Sequiro's alleged failure to enforce
immigration policies and failure to meet with Bloom. Mem.
Supp. Sequiro's Mot. Dismiss, Doc. # 19, at 3.
Additionally, Sequiro argues that “the alleged failure
of enforcement of federal immigration law is not [causally]
connected to [Sequiro's] failure to meet with
[Bloom].” Id. at 4. In response, Bloom argues
that he has suffered actual injury to his “patriotism
as an American and a veteran” because of Sequiro's
alleged refusal to enforce immigration laws.
Standard of Review
relates to the subject matter jurisdiction of the court, and
a motion to dismiss for lack of standing is therefore
properly brought under Rule 12(b)(1). Connecticut v.
Physicians Health Svcs. Of Conn., Inc., 287 F.3d 110,
114 (2d Cir. 2002). The Second Circuit has stated that the
district court should consider a challenge to subject matter
jurisdiction before addressing other grounds for dismissal.
See Rhulen Agency, Inc. v. Alabama Ins. Guaranty
Ass'n, 896 F.2d 674, 678 (2d Cir. 1990).
order to establish standing, a plaintiff must satisfy three
First, the plaintiff must have suffered an injury in fact-an
invasion of a legally protected interest which is (a)
concrete and particularized . . . and (b) actual or imminent,
not conjectural or hypothetical. . . . Second, there must be
a causal connection between the injury and the conduct
complained of-the injury has to be fairly …
trace[able] to the challenged action of the defendant, and
not … the[e] result [of] the independent action of
some third party not before the court. . . . Third, it must
be likely, as opposed to merely speculative, that the injury
will be redressed by a favorable decision.
Lujan v. Defenders of Wildlife, 504 U.S. 555, 560-61
(1992) (citations omitted) (footnote omitted) (internal
quotation marks omitted). The first element, requiring a
showing that the plaintiff suffered an “injury in
fact” requires more than just “an injury to a
cognizable interest.” Id. at 563. The injury
in fact element “requires that the party seeking review
be himself among the injured.” Id. It is not
enough for a plaintiff to assert a general grievance about
the government, in which his only claimed injury is “to
his and every citizen's interest in proper
application” of the law. Id. at 573-74. A
plaintiff lacks standing where the relief sought “no
more directly and tangibly benefits him than it does the
public at large.” Id. at 574.
the “legally protected interest” Bloom alleges is
his perceived right as an American citizen to have
immigration laws be enforced by the police. He alleges that
the improper application of immigration law by Sequiro, or,
rather, the non-application, invades upon his
perceived right. That alleged injury, however, is precisely
the type that is insufficient to confer standing upon a
plaintiff. Lujan, 504 U.S. 573-74. He does not have
standing to sue merely because he is a citizen; standing
requires something more than that, which he has not