required by federal constitutional or other law to be actionable.
No such effort is alleged. Plaintiff does not claim that the state courts were asked to provide compensation for interruptions of service or to refund any tolls charged during such interruptions. Consequently, even if a federal constitutional or statutory violation could be made out were the assumption correct, the complaint offers no grounds for its conclusory assertion that the assumption is correct. Fact pleading under Fed.R.Civ.P. Rule 8 must set forth enough information to show that a party is entitled to relief and cannot be satisfied by assertions of legal conclusions alone.
Plaintiff claims that the Authorities seek to evade state sunset laws by continuing to issue new bonds so as to retain their ability to collect tolls. See generally Special Project on State Regulatory Reform, 1985 Ariz. St.L.J. No. 2.
Even if I were to exercise my discretion to retain this state law claim in federal court in view of the absence of any federal claim on which relief may be granted, there is no indication that state sunset provisions are to be interpreted as treating steps to make them inapplicable as constituting statutory violations. No factual allegations in the complaint indicate that the decisions of the Authorities which may have the effect of prolonging their right to collect tolls lack independent substance, or that they were merely undertaken to defeat sunset provisions. See Associated Wholesale Grocers v. United States, 927 F.2d 1517 (10th Cir. 1991).
Further, even if the Authorities were acting improperly to perpetuate their powers, plaintiff has not, as already noted, shown personal injury of a kind permitting him to pursue the infractions in this court. Argument essentially suitable for legislative consideration rather than judicial intervention is provided by this complaint, filed by a plaintiff clearly familiar with judicial procedure.
While the current motion to dismiss is on behalf of New York State and the New York State Thruway Authority, those grounds for dismissal set forth above which are not based on the Eleventh Amendment apply with equal force to all three defendants. With respect to such grounds, the failure of plaintiff's pleadings to state claims on which relief can be granted is precisely the same as to all defendants. Accordingly there appears no reason why this dismissal should not benefit Triborough, even though it has not moved. Because, however, the dismissal as to Triborough is sua sponte, plaintiff is allowed 30 days to move for reconsideration. In the absence of such reconsideration, this case will be dismissed in its entirety 30 days from the date of this memorandum order.
For the reasons described above, the Clerk of this Court shall not accept any further complaints filed by plaintiff against the defendants in this case relating in any way to transportation or transportation policy unless plaintiff has obtained prior permission from the court. Any application for such permission filed by plaintiff must attach a copy of this memorandum order.
Under Rule 11, Fed.R.Civ.P., the court is required to consider possible sanctions for filing groundless pleadings or failure to conduct proper investigation prior to filing of pleadings. This Rule is applicable to parties as well as counsel, but the party's level of legal sophistication is a factor in evaluating pleadings by nonlawyers. In this instance, plaintiff, while pro se, appears familiar with litigation procedure.
I conclude that, while plaintiff's claims are insufficient to justify relief, sanctions are inappropriate unless further overlapping lawsuits are filed. The opportunity to challenge existing legal concepts is an important component of access to the courts; under Rule 11 good faith efforts to change existing law are appropriate. In plaintiff's complaints, no baseless factual allegations appear to have been made; instead, plaintiff's assertions are either too conclusory to form a basis for relief or do not state a claim on which relief can be granted even if taken as true. They are not, however, inherently so frivolous as not to invoke this court's jurisdiction to rule on their merit or lack of merit. See Bell v. Hood, 327 U.S. 678, 90 L. Ed. 939, 66 S. Ct. 773 (1946).
Duplicative litigation is, to be sure, clearly impermissible, and plaintiff must understand that further filing of overlapping pleadings may require sanctions.
Dated: White Plains, New York
October 15, 1992
VINCENT L. BRODERICK, U.S.D.J.