United States District Court, S.D. Ohio, Eastern Division
Deavers Magistrate Judge.
OPINION AND ORDER
MICHAEL H. WATSON, JUDGE.
February 27, 2017, Magistrate Judge Deavers, pursuant to 28
U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2) and 1915A, conducted an
initial screen of Plaintiff Caroline Keeble's
("Plaintiff') complaint, ECF No. 3, and issued a
Report and Recommendation (R&R) recommending that each of
Plaintiffs claims be dismissed, ECF No. 4. Plaintiff objected
to the R&R on March 14, 2017, ECF No. 5.
Rule of Civil Procedure 72(b)(2) provides that "[w]ithin
14 days after being served with a copy of the recommended
disposition, a party may serve and file specific written
objections to the proposed findings and
recommendations." Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b)(2). "The
district judge must determine de novo any part of the
magistrate judge's disposition that has been properly
objected to. The district judge may accept, reject, or modify
the recommended disposition; receive further evidence; or
return the matter to the magistrate judge with
instructions." Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b)(3). Therefore, the
Court will review the magistrate judge's recommendation
in this case de novo.
brought this action under 42 U.S.C. § 1985(3) against a
number of Defendants, including President Donald J. Trump,
challenging a January 27, 2017, Executive Order 13769
("Executive Order 1") signed by President Trump
that suspended visa issuance and the United States refugee
program for seven countries and their nationals. Compl.
¶ 1, ECF No. 3. The vast majority of the Complaint is
legal argument or references to hardships faced by other
people as a result of Executive Order 1 rather than factual
allegations that would inform the Court of the alleged injury
suffered by Plaintiff herself. The Court will summarize in
this opinion those facts that relate to Plaintiff.
is a Muslim American citizen who was born in the United
States. Compl. 3, ECF No. 3. Plaintiff alleges that,
subsequent to the issuance of Executive Order 1, "an
undetermined number of Muslims, including Muslims who had
already been issued visas, green card holders and Christians
who had been issued visas prior to the order [were] detained
in U.S. airports and prevented entry." Id. at
¶ 9. Plaintiff alleges that she is "the ex wife of
a Muslim national who is from a predominately Muslim country
with whom she has a son." Id. at ¶ 51. The
"predominately Muslim country" in which her
ex-husband lives is not one of the seven countries listed in
Executive Order 1. Id. Plaintiff also has permanent
custody of a minor niece who will be traveling to that
speaking, Plaintiff alleges that she is concerned that she
and her extended family may be prevented from returning to
the United States if they travel abroad. Id. In
support of this, Plaintiff states that after the enactment of
Executive Order 1, some attorneys warned against traveling to
predominantly Muslim countries. Id. Plaintiff states
that if she were not allowed to travel with the assurance
that she could re-enter the United States, she would suffer a
"significant financial loss." Id.
Plaintiff states that she has been "directly affected
and possibly injured" by Executive Order 1. Id.
at ¶ 52. Finally, Plaintiff states that she and her
family have suffered from "extreme anxiety and
uncertainty" due to Executive Order 1. Id. At
seeks both injunctive relief overturning Executive Order 1 as
well as damages for psychological stress placed upon
Plaintiff and her family. Id. at 22.
initial matter, Plaintiffs claims for injunctive relief are
moot. On March 6, 2017, President Trump issued Executive
Order No. 13780 ("Executive Order 2"), which
expressly revoked Executive Order 1. 82 Fed. Reg. 13209 (Mar.
6, 2017). Executive Order 2 restricted entry by foreign
nationals from six listed countries for ninety days.
Id. Subsequently, "[t]he temporary restrictions
in [Executive Order 2] expired" and lower court
decisions that had enjoined enforcement of Executive Order 2
were deemed moot by the Supreme Court. Trump v.
Hawaii, 201 L.Ed.2d 775, 785, 138 S.Ct. 2392 (2018)
(citing Trump v. IRAP, 138 S.Ct. 252, 199 L.Ed.2d
203 (2017) (finding that the appeal no longer presented a
live case or controversy)). Similarly here, a claim for
injunctive relief based on Executive Order 1 presents no live
case or controversy and is moot.
Plaintiffs claims for damages, they must be dismissed because
she lacks standing. "Article III of the Constitution
limits federal courts' jurisdiction to certain
'Cases' and 'Controversies.'"
Clapper v. Amnesty Intern. USA, 568 U.S. 398, 408
(2013). "One element of the case-or-controversy
requirement is that plaintiffs must establish that they have
standing to sue." Id. (internal citations and
quotation marks omitted). Standing is a threshold issue such
that if "a party does not have standing to bring an
action .. a court has no jurisdiction over the matter and an
order of dismissal must be entered." Greater
Cincinnati Coal, for the Homeless v. City of Cincinnati,
56 F.3d 710, 715 (6th Cir. 1995) (citation omitted). "To
establish Article III standing, an injury must be
'concrete, particularized, and actual or imminent; fairly
traceable to the challenged action; and redressable by a
favorable ruling.'" Clapper, 568 U.S. at
409 (internal citations omitted). The alleged injury may not
be too speculative for Article III purposes, which means the
injury must be "certainly impending."
Id. (citation omitted). It will not suffice to
allege possible future injury. Id.
claimed injury is simply too speculative to entitle her to
Article III standing. Plaintiff is a United States citizen,
and, therefore, she was never subject to the terms of the
Executive Order. Furthermore, the country to which Plaintiff
and her family wished to travel was not one of the seven
countries listed in the Executive Order. There was no
impending injury to Plaintiff at any time, but rather a
speculative concern based on what Plaintiff heard from
third-party sources regarding the Executive Order. This type
of hypothetical, or conjectural injury, does not suffice. See
Friends of the Earth, Inc. v. Laidlaw Envtl. Servs.,
Inc., 528 U.S. 167, 180(2000).
admission of sorts that Executive Order 1 did not inflict a
particularized injury on Plaintiff, she states in her
Complaint that she "is not attempting to speak for those
adversely affected by [Executive Order 1], yet as a U.S.
citizen she has a Constitutional interest in the Executive
order and its affects [sic] on her country..." Compl.
¶ 50, ECF No. 3. This type of generalized grievance is
simply not enough to confer standing. While the Court is
sympathetic to the fear that Plaintiff and her family may
have experienced, it simply does not rise to the level of