United States District Court, D. Massachusetts
PAUL J. McMANN, EILEEN R. McMANN, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, Plaintiffs,
CHARLES BAKER, et. al. Defendants.
ORDER ON MOTION TO DISMISS (DOC. NO. 23)
Sorokin United States District Judge
Paul and Eileen McMann filed a pro se complaint against
various Massachusetts officials including the Governor,
Secretary of Transportation, and Attorney General. Doc. No.
1. The McManns challenge the constitutionality of two
Massachusetts statutes: Mass. Gen. Laws. ch. 62C § 47B,
which authorizes the suspension, revocation, non-issuance, or
non-renewal of a delinquent taxpayer's driver's
license or vehicle registration, and Mass. Gen. Laws. ch. 62C
§ 47A, which authorizes the suspension or revocation and
non-renewal of a delinquent taxpayer's professional
licenses. Essentially, the McManns contend that the United
States Constitution bars the revocation or suspension of
these various state issued licenses when, as they allege is
the case here, the McManns have no funds with which to pay
their outstanding tax debts. The complaint also purports to
bring a class action on the same bases.
McManns lack standing to bring the claims challenging §
47B (“the driver's license claims”). Both
plaintiffs had their driver's licenses reinstated
pursuant to hardship status prior to serving the complaint on
the defendants. See Doc. No. 23-6. As defendants
note, because the McManns had not yet received the
confirmation of hardship status at the time they filed the
complaint, the notice granting hardship would have mooted the
case if there was in fact standing to begin with. Doc. No.
23-1 at 7 n.6. No. matter the status at the outset of the
case, it is undisputed that both McManns are currently
approved for hardship status and their driver's licenses
have been reinstated. Doc. No. 30-1 (approving the McManns
for an additional period of hardship status beginning
February 20, 2019). Though the McManns assert that their
hardship status is only temporary, the possibility that this
status will not be renewed is merely speculative harm, which
is not sufficient to confer standing. Without an active
injury, the plaintiffs may not properly assert a claim.
See Lujan v. Defs. of Wildlife, 504 U.S. 555, 560
(1992) (holding that a plaintiff only has standing if she has
suffered an injury which is “(a) concrete and
particularized, and (b) actual or imminent, not conjectural
or hypothetical”). The driver's license claims are
therefore DISMISSED for lack of standing, or alternatively,
claims relating to § 47A (“the professional
license claims”) only relate to Mr. McMann insofar as
the complaint asserts that he is the only one of the two
named plaintiffs who had a professional license revoked.
However, Mr. McMann also lacks standing to assert the
professional license claims. The Court takes judicial notice
of Mr. McMann's 2013 criminal conviction and recognizes
that Massachusetts law allows professional boards to suspend
or revoke a license of someone who has been convicted of a
criminal offense. See Mass. Gen. Laws. ch. 112,
§ 61(4). In order to have standing, a plaintiff must
show that it is “likely, as opposed to merely
speculative, that the injury will be redressed by a favorable
decision.” Lujan, 504 U.S. at 560 (quotation
marks and citations omitted). Given his criminal conviction,
Mr. McMann has not alleged sufficient facts to support
plausibly the conclusion that his injury (the suspension or
revocation of his professional license) is likely to be
redressed by a favorable decision by this Court, and
therefore, he does not have standing to bring the
professional license claims. Furthermore, the professional
license claims are not ripe for the reasons discussed in the
defendants' memorandum. Doc. No. 23-1 at 12-14.
Accordingly, the professional license claims are DISMISSED.
a class action suit with multiple claims, at least one named
class representative must have standing with respect to each
claim.” William Rubenstein, 1 Newberg on Class Actions
§ 2:5 (5th ed.). Because neither plaintiff has standing
with respect to any of the claims in the complaint, there may
be no class action. See Simon v. E. Kentucky 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.”).
Court further notes that the McManns filed the complaint pro
se, but a class can only be represented by counsel who is
qualified to do so.
foregoing reasons, the motion to dismiss, Doc. No. 23, is
ALLOWED in its entirety.
United States v. Paul J.
McMann, No. 10-CR-10387-RWZ (D. ...