United States District Court, D. Massachusetts
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
ALLISON D. BURROUGHS, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
reasons stated below, the Court allows plaintiff's motion
for leave to proceed in forma pauperis [ECF No. 2], dismisses
the complaint for lack of subject matter jurisdiction, and
certifies that any appeal would be futile and thus not
“taken in good faith” within the meaning of 28
U.S.C. § 1915(a)(3).
August 29, 2017, Plaintiff George A. Kersey
(“Kersey”) filed a self-prepared, class action
complaint naming Donald J. Trump, individually, as the sole
defendant [ECF No. 1] (“Compl.”). With the
complaint, Kersey also filed an Application to Proceed in
District Court without Prepaying Fees or Costs [ECF No. 2].
alleges that he is a citizen of Rhode Island and that he
receives mail at post office boxes in Framingham,
Massachusetts, and Narragansett, Rhode Island [Complaint
¶ 9]. Kersey alleges that he “participated in the
Second World War against Nazism” and now files this
action “to defend the Constitution and to remove [the
Defendant] from office” [Id.]. Kersey seeks to
bring this suit as a class action on behalf of more than 100
proposed class members [Id. ¶ 16] pursuant to
the Tenth Amendment of the United States Constitution
[Id. ¶ 11]. In the section of the Complaint titled
“IV. FACTUAL ALLEGATIONS” plaintiff alleges:
22. Defendant is a well-known business entrepreneur. It would
appear that his principal present goals are to engage in
atomic warfare with [N]orth Korea and promote his business
interests in the Soviet Union, where he [is] more popular
than in the United States, with the blessing of his friend
and war-criminal Putin. Defendant is know[n] for his many
business activities, many of which fail and have to be
rescued by others. It is time to rescue the United States.
Court's records indicate that Kersey has appeared in this
Court both as an attorneyand as a pro se litigant. See e.g.
Kersey v. Staples, 17-11267-NMG (pending); Kersey v.
Am. Honda Fin. Corp., 16-12631-FDS (pending); Kersey
v. Peoples' United Bank, et al., 16-12414-PBS
(closed); Kersey v. Becton Dickinson and Co.,
16-10495-LTS (closed); Kersey, et al. v. Prudential Ins.
Agency LLC, 15-14186-GAO (closed); Fraser, et al. v.
Gortons, 12-10479-RGS (closed); Kersey v. Sears
Roebuck & Co., 08-11720-RWZ (closed); and Kersey
v. Sears Roebuck & Co., 08-10800-RWZ (closed).
Kersey has since been disbarred. In re George E.
Kersey, 444 Mass. 65 (2005).
review of Kersey's motion to proceed in forma
pauperis, the Court concludes that he is without income
or assets to pay the $400.00 filing fee. Since plaintiff is
proceeding pro se, the Court will construe his complaint
generously. Hughes v. Rowe, 449 U.S. 5, 9 (1980);
Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520 (1972).
has an obligation to inquire sua sponte into its own subject
matter jurisdiction. See McCulloch v. Velez, 364
F.3d 1, 5 (1st Cir. 2004). A federal court is a court of
limited jurisdiction, and may adjudicate only those cases
authorized by the Constitution and by Congress. See
Kokkonen v. Guardian Life Ins. Co., 511 U.S. 375, 377
(1994). “If 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); see Arbaugh v. Y
& H Corp., 546 U.S. 500, 506 (2006) (“The
objection that a federal court lacks subject-matter
jurisdiction may be raised by a party, or by a court on its
own initiative, at any stage in the litigation, even after
trial and the entry of judgment.” (internal citation
III of the Constitution limits the jurisdiction of federal
courts to cases or controversies. U.S. Const. art. III,
§ 2, cl. 1. These prerequisites reflect the
“common understanding of what it takes to make a
justiciable case.” Steel Co. v. Citizens for a
Better Env't, 523 U.S. 83, 102 (1998). Consequently,
Kersey must show that: (1) he personally has suffered some
actual or imminent injury as a result of the challenged
conduct; (2) the injury can fairly be traced to that conduct;
and (3) the injury likely will be redressed by a favorable
decision from the court. Lujan v. Defenders of
Wildlife, 504 U.S. 555, 560-61 (1992). “‘The
party invoking federal jurisdiction bears the burden of
establishing' standing.” Clapper v. Amnesty
Int'l USA, 568 U.S. 398, 411-12 (2013) (quoting
Lujan, 504 U.S. at 561); see also Simon v.
Eastern Ky. Welfare Rights Org., 426 U.S. 26, 40 n.20
(1976) (“That a suit may be a class action, however,
adds nothing to the question of standing, for even named
plaintiffs who represent a class must allege and show that
they personally have been injured, not that injury has been
suffered by other, unidentified members of the class to which
they belong and which they purport to represent.”
(citation and quotation marks omitted)). “Plaintiffs
may not establish their standing to bring suit merely because
they disagree with a government policy or because they share
the ‘generalized interest of all citizens in
constitutional governance.'” Moss et al. v.
Spartanburg Cnty. Sch. Dist. Seven, 683 F.3d 599, 604-05
(4th Cir. 2012) (quoting Schlesinger v. Reservists Comm.
to Stop the War, 418 U.S. 208, 217 (1974)). If a
plaintiff does not have standing to bring suit, then the
Court lacks jurisdiction to decide the case on its merits.
United States v. AVX Corp., 962 F.2d 108, 113 (1st
the Court concludes that Kersey's attempt to invoke the
jurisdiction of this Court falls short of the constitutional
requirements for standing. Kersey has failed to allege any
direct personal injury, actual or imminent, that he has
suffered as a result of Defendant's alleged actions.
Despite Kersey's numerous allegations concerning
President Trump's fitness for office and the damage
allegedly caused, Kersey's challenge is essentially a
statement of dissatisfaction with various political decisions
and actions taken by President Trump. Although Kersey
describes harm that has been done to others, including an
allegation that the Defendant is partly responsible for
injuries sustained during recent protests in Charlottsville,
Virginia, as well as generalized harms, the complaint fails
to show how President Trump specifically injured Kersey in a
manner apart from the general population. For example,