United States District Court, W.D. Wisconsin
OPINION & ORDER
D. PETERSON District Judge.
John Jaakkola, a resident of Wakefield, Michigan, has filed a
document titled "Emergency Motion to Prevent Imminent
Death, & Destruction of Federal Criminal Evidences, "
Dkt. 1, that I construe as a civil complaint for injunctive
relief. Plaintiff has been allowed to proceed in forma
pauperis without prepayment of the filing fee for this
next step in this case is to screen plaintiff's
complaint. In doing so, I must dismiss any portion that is
legally frivolous, malicious, fails to state a claim upon
which relief may be granted, or asks for money damages from a
defendant who by law cannot be sued for money damages. 28
U.S.C. § 1915. Because plaintiff is a pro se litigant, I
must read his allegations generously. Haines v.
Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 521 (1972) (per curiam).
reviewing plaintiff's complaint with these principles in
mind, I conclude that the case should be dismissed because
the only plausible claims he has raises against defendant
city of Wakefield are unripe.
complaint suffers from numerous problems. Plaintiff appears
to be a Michigan citizen suing a Michigan municipality about
events that took place in Michigan. This might be reason to
sua sponte transfer the case to a more appropriate
venue. But because I conclude that plaintiff cannot proceed
with any of his claims, I will dismiss it on that basis
rather than waste judicial resources by transferring it only
for it to be dismissed by a court in Michigan.
plaintiff titles his pleading as one for emergency relief to
"Prevent Imminent Death, " it is very difficult to
understand why plaintiff believes that he faces the threat of
physical harm or death from the allegations lying at the core
of his complaint. He names the city of Wakefield, Michigan,
as the defendant, and it is clear that the major thrust of
his allegations is that the city ordered him to demolish a
building he owns. Plaintiff attaches decisions of a Wakefield
hearing examiner and the city council concluding that his
building was found to be a "dangerous building, "
and that plaintiff was given a deadline to demolish it, or
presumably the city would demolish the building on its own.
Plaintiff makes the notation "IN HOSPITAL" on one
of the documents giving him notice for the city council
hearing, Dkt. 1-1, at 3, from which I take that plaintiff is
perhaps saying that he was not able to attend this hearing
for reasons outside his control.
plaintiff's allegations generously, the only colorable
federal claims he might be seeking with regard to the
Wakefield proceedings are a claim under the Takings Clause of
the Fifth Amendment or a due process claim under the
Fourteenth Amendment. But neither claim goes anywhere because
plaintiff has not availed himself of state court remedies
available to him.
courts may not adjudicate a Fifth Amendment takings claim
challenging the application of a local land use regulation
until the regulatory agency has made a final decision and the
property owner has exhausted all available state remedies.
See, e .g., Williamson Cnty. Reg. Planning
Comm'n v. Hamilton Bank, 473 U.S. 172, 192-93
(1985). Here, plaintiff filed this lawsuit without seeking a
direct appeal of the city council's ruling to a state
circuit court, and without pursuing inverse condemnation
proceedings. See Mich. Comp. Laws § 125.542
(adverse decision by city council may be appealed to state
circuit court); Eaton v. Charter Twp. of Emmett, 317
F.App'x 444, 450 (6th Cir. 2008) (takings claim not ripe
in "dangerous building" case because Michigan law
provides for inverse condemnation proceedings).
Williamson County's exhaustion requirement also
applies to plaintiff's related due process claim. See
Braun v. Ann Arbor Charter Twp., 519 F.3d 564, 572 (6th
Cir. 2008) (exhaustion requirement applies to due process
claim ancillary to takings claim); Jarvis-Orr v. Twp. of
Hartford, No. 1:11-CV-1066, 2012 WL 6737740, at *11
(W.D. Mich. Nov. 30, 2012), rep. and rec. adopted,
2012 WL 6737594 (W.D. Mich. Dec. 28, 2012) (due process claim
in "dangerous buildings" case unexhausted under
Williamson County in part because of failure to
appeal township's decision to circuit court).
leaves the remainder of plaintiff's allegations. At first
glance, most of plaintiff's allegations (and the title of
his pleading) seem to have nothing to do with the city
council's decision in his "dangerous building"
case. Rather, plaintiff seems to be saying that he is in
mortal danger, perhaps because of the demolition of his home,
but perhaps because he feels threatened by government
officials unrelated to defendant city of Wakefield.
seeks an injunction "to prevent destruction of my home,
properties, pets, & self - by the City of Wakefield . . .
." Dkt. 1, at 3, but plaintiff's physical safety or
that of his pets or personal property is not plausibly
connected to the "dangerous building" proceedings.
Simply put, the city is not going to demolish a building with
plaintiff or his pets in it.
also alleges that various county or state
officials have attempted to kill him in the past. At least
some of these claims were dismissed in previous federal
litigation for failure to state a claim upon which relief may
be granted. See Jaakola v. Gotham, No. 2:04-cv-111,
slip op. (W.D. Mich. June 2, 2004), rep. and rec.
adopted, No. 2:04-cv-111, slip op. (W.D. Mich. June 21,
2004). Plaintiff goes on to suggest that he was framed for
drunk driving, that he is being poisoned by inhaling vapors
from his neighbor's methamphetamine lab, and that county
law enforcement officials are involved in the drug trade with
his neighbor. Plaintiff also mentions the Foreign
Intelligence Surveillance Act and several criminal statues,
none of which appear to have any connection to the city
possible that plaintiff included some of these allegations
for the purpose of explaining why he did not seek further
relief in state courts (he states, "For all above
reasons, [he] cannot resort to corrupt . . . local courts &
officials for any responsible reliefs." Dkt. 1, at 5).
But even taking his allegations at face value, they do not
adequately explain why he did not appeal the city
council's decision, and plaintiff does not come close to
showing that any substantive claim against these officials is
connected to the city council proceedings for the purposes of
joining them in this lawsuit. Similarly, plaintiff does not
give any reason for including the remainder of his unfocused
allegations in this lawsuit, and I conclude that they cannot
be included under Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 18 and 20.
IT IS ORDERED that:
1. This case is DISMISSED for plaintiff John Jaakkola's
failure to state a claim upon which ...