Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

State v. United Boatmen of New York

March 9, 2009

THE STATE OF NEW YORK, ALEXANDER B. GRANNIS, AS COMMISSIONER OF THE NEW YORK STATE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION, AND THE NEW YORK STATE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION, PLAINTIFFS,
v.
UNITED BOATMEN OF NEW YORK, INC., NEW YORK FISHING TACKLE TRADE ASSOCIATION, INC., AND THE FISHERMEN'S CONSERVATION ASSOCIATION, INTERVENOR-PLAINTIFFS
v.
CARLOS GUTIERREZ, IN HIS OFFICIAL CAPACITY AS SECRETARY OF THE UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE, THE UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE, CONRAD C. LAUTENBACHER, IN HIS OFFICIAL CAPACITY AS UNDER SECRETARY OF COMMERCE AND AS ADMINISTRATOR FOR THE NATIONAL OCEANIC AND ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATION, JAMES W. BALSIGER, IN HIS OFFICIAL CAPACITY AS ACTING ASSISTANT ADMINISTRATOR FOR THE NATIONAL MARINE FISHERIES SERVICE, AND THE NATIONAL MARINE FISHERIES SERVICE, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Sifton, Senior Judge

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

Plaintiffs the State of New York, Alexander B. Grannis as Commissioner of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (together, "plaintiffs"), along with intervenor-plaintiffs United Boatmen of New York, Inc. ("UBNY"), New York Fishing Tackle Trade Association, Inc. ("NYFTTA"), and the Fishermen's Conservation Association ("FCA") (together, "intervenor-plaintiffs"), bring this action against defendants Carlos Gutierrez, in his official capacity as Secretary of the United States Department of Commerce, the United States Department of Commerce, Conrad C. Lautenbacher, in his official capacity as Under Secretary of Commerce and Administrator for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, James W. Balsiger, in his official capacity as the Acting Assistant Administrator for the National Marine Fisheries Service, and the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (the "ASMFC" or "Commission"). Plaintiffs claim that the final management rule for the 2008 recreational summer flounder fishery issued by the Department of Commerce (the "DOC"), through the National Marine Fisheries Service (the "NMFS"), pursuant to the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, as amended in 1996 by the Sustainable Fisheries Act, 16 U.S.C. §§ 1801, et seq. (the "MSA"), violates the MSA as well as standards of decision making under the Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. § 701, et seq. (the "APA"). In addition to these claims, intervenor-plaintiffs further claim that that the final management rule for the 2008 recreational summer flounder fishery issued by the ASMFC violates the ASMFC Compact & Rules and Regulations, Pub. L. 77-539 (1942), as amended by Pub. L. 81-721 (1950) ("ASMFC Compact"), the Atlantic Coastal Fisheries Cooperative Management Act, Pub. L. 103-206, 16 U.S.C. §§ 5101-5108 (the "ACFCMA" or "Fisheries Act"), the ASMFC Interstate Fisheries Management Program Charter (hereinafter "ISFMP Charter," available at http://www.asmfc.org/publications/), and the APA.

Presently before this Court is defendant ASMFC's motion to dismiss intervenor-plaintiffs' Complaint in Intervention ("Intv. Cplt."), insofar as that Complaint states a claim against ASMFC, for failure to state a claim pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) on the grounds that intervenor-plaintiffs have no right of action against ASMFC. For the reasons set forth below, defendant ASMFC's motion is denied.

BACKGROUND

Familiarity with the underlying facts and statutory background of this case are presumed, based on my prior decision in this matter. See New York v. Gutierrez, No. 08-CV-2503, 2008 WL 5000493 (E.D.N.Y. Nov. 20, 2008). Acronyms employed here are defined in the November 20, 2008 memorandum opinion. What follows is a recent procedural history of the instant motion.

On November 20, 2008, I permitted intervenor-plaintiffs to intervene in this action and to join ASMFC as a defendant. Id. I reasoned that intervenor-plaintiffs had a colorable claim to a right of action against ASMFC on the grounds that ASMFC is a "quasi-federal agency," such that ASMFC's actions are subject to judicial review under the APA. Id. at 13. I noted, however, that my decision was rendered "without prejudice to ASMFC's right to move to dismiss on the ground that it is not a quasi-federal agency, or on such other grounds as may exist." Id. at 14.

On December 19, 2008, intervenor-plaintiffs filed their Complaint in Intervention. In addition to mirroring plaintiffs' claims against the federal defendants and asserting an additional claim, the Complaint in Intervention states claims against ASMFC for violations of the ASMFC Compact, the Fisheries Act, the ISFMP Charter, and the APA. Intv. Cplt. ¶¶ 2-3.

On January 2, 2009, ASMFC filed the instant motion to dismiss.

DISCUSSION

I. Motion to Dismiss Standard

In considering a motion pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6), a court should construe the complaint liberally, "accepting all factual allegations in the complaint as true, and drawing all reasonable inferences in the plaintiff's favor," Chambers v. Time Warner, Inc., 282 F.3d 147, 152 (2d Cir. 2002) (internal citations and quotations omitted), although "mere conclusions of law or unwarranted deductions" need not be accepted. First Nationwide Bank v. Helt Funding Corp., 27 F.3d 763, 771 (2d Cir. 1994). In a motion to dismiss, "[t]he issue is not whether a plaintiff will ultimately prevail but whether the claimant is entitled to offer evidence to support the claims." Villager Pond, Inc. v. Town of Darien, 56 F.3d 375, 378 (2d Cir. 1995). Dismissal is appropriate only when it "appears beyond a doubt that the plaintiff can prove no set of facts which would entitle him or her to relief." Sweet v. Sheahan, 235 F.3d 80, 83 (2d Cir. 2000).

Nevertheless, to survive a 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, the allegations in the complaint must meet the standard of "plausibility." See Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 1970 (2007). Although the complaint need not provide "detailed factual allegations," id. at 1964; see also ATSI Commc'ns v. Shaar Fund, Ltd., 493 F.3d 87, 98 n.2 (2d Cir. 2007)(applying the standard of plausibility outside Twombly's anti-trust context), it must "amplify a claim with some factual allegations . . . to render the claim plausible." Iqbal v. Hasty, 490 F.3d 143, 157-58 (2d Cir. 2007) (emphasis in original). In other words, the complaint must provide "the grounds upon which [the plaintiff's] claim rests through factual allegations sufficient 'to raise a right to relief above the speculative level.'" ATSI Commc'ns, 493 F.3d at 98 (quoting Twombly, 127 S.Ct. at 1965). In addition, a complaint should be dismissed under Rule 12(b)(6) if a court finds that the plaintiff's claims are barred as a matter of law. Conopco, Inc. v. Roll Intern., 231 F.3d 82, 86 (2d Cir. 2000).

II. ASMFC's Motion to Dismiss

The discrete issue presented here is whether intervenor- plaintiffs have a private right of action against ASMFC. Neither the ASMFC Compact, the acts of Congress approving it, see Pub. L. No. 77-539 (1942); Pub. L. 81-721 (1950), nor the Fisheries Act, nor the ISFMP Charter expressly provide for judicial review of ASMFC actions. In the absence of express Congressional authorization, the question is whether Congress intended to create an implied right of action against the ASMFC, or whether another federal statute authorizes suit against the ASMFC. See, e.g., Alexander v. ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.