United States District Court, W.D. New York
JAMES A. WEST A/K/A WESS, Plaintiff,
DECISION AND ORDER
FRANK P. GERACI, JR. CHIEF JUDGE
James West a/k/a James Wess (“Plaintiff'),
commenced this action alleging violations of the Americans
with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), Section 504 of the
Rehabilitation Act (“Rehabilitation Act”), and
various federal Constitutional rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983. ECF. No. 29.
pending before the Court is Defendant's Motion to Dismiss
for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. ECF No. 153.
matter has a convoluted history spanning nearly thirteen
years. As of July 31, 2017, one claim survived
Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment. The remaining
claim asserted violation of the ADA and Rehabilitation Act on
the basis that Defendant failed to provide Plaintiff with a
requested reasonable accommodation in connection with his
service on the Inmate Grievance Committee. ECF Nos. 102, 115.
unsuccessful attempts at mediation, see ECF No. 121,
a trial on the ADA/Rehabilitation Act claim was scheduled for
January 22, 2018.
December 29, 2017, Defendant sent Plaintiff an Offer of
Judgment in the amount of $500.00 pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P.
68, which Plaintiff rejected.
the final pre-trial conference on January 16, 2018,
Plaintiff's counsel informed the Court that Plaintiff
would move forward seeking only nominal damages. On January
19, 2018, Defendant delivered to Plaintiff's counsel one
dollar in United States currency. ECF No. 156-1 at 4-5.
Defendant argues that as of January 19, 2018, there is no
longer a case in controversy because it has tendered the full
payment of nominal damages to Plaintiff's counsel for the
benefit of Plaintiff. It requests that the Court enter
judgment against DOCCS in the amount of one dollar ($1.00).
ECF No. 153.
connection with the pending motion, the parties appeared
telephonically on January 19, 2018. At that time Plaintiff
did not oppose dismissal or object to entry of judgment
against DOCCS in the amount of one dollar ($1.00), but rather
reserved his right to appeal his previously-dismissed claims
pursuant to this Court's July 31, 2017, Decision and
Order granting partial summary judgment in favor of
Defendant. See ECF No. 115.
reasons that follow, Defendant's Motion to Dismiss is
the court determines at any time that it lacks subject-matter
jurisdiction, the court must dismiss the action.”
Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(h)(3). A court must ensure at all times that
it has subject- matter jurisdiction because any ruling or
judgment issued without it would be only hypothetical in
nature. See Steel Co. v. Citizens for a Better
Env't,523 U.S. 83, 101 (1998). One factor that can
deprive a court of subject-matter jurisdiction is the absence
of a live controversy. “To qualify as a case fit for
federal-court adjudication, an actual controversy must be
extant at all stages of review, not ...