The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hochberg, District Judge.
This matter comes before the Court upon motions by defendants
Essex County Board of Freeholders, Essex County Improvement
Authority and the New Jersey State Department of Human Services
to dismiss plaintiffs' complaint in its entirety for lack of
subject matter jurisdiction and failure to state a claim upon
which relief can be granted. See Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(1),
12(b)(6). This Court has reviewed the submissions of the parties
without oral argument pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 78, and for the
reasons stated below, the motions to dismiss will be
Plaintiffs are members of the National Alliance of Mentally Ill
of Essex, (hereinafter "NAMI"), an organization whose principal
activities are vigorous advocacy for the rights of the mentally
ill and for improved mental health services for the mentally ill;
Ashley Goodman, citizen of Essex County and parent of a patient
at the Essex County Hospital Center; John Gaykowski, a citizen of
Essex County; and Arthur Siebelist, a taxpayer and resident of
Essex County and NAMI's past president. (Complt. ¶ 1.) Defendants
are the Essex County Board of Chosen Freeholders, Essex County
Executive, James Treffinger, Essex County Improvement Authority,
and the New Jersey State Department of Human Services.
Essex County Hospital Center (hereinafter "ECHC") houses 350
patients; 250 are long term patients who are wards of the County
of Essex. (Complt. ¶ 5, 7.) For the last 100 years, ECHC has been
located on 60-80 acres of land in suburban Essex County, which is
part of 600 acres of Essex County know as "Hilltop." (Complt. ¶
5, 7.) These surroundings provide ECHC's patients with
substantial recreational space. (Complt. ¶ 17).
On April 14, 1999, the Board of Freeholders of Essex County
adopted a resolution stating that the County of Essex had
determined that ECHC is "physically deficient, lacking in modern
conveniences and in need of significant major repairs and
renovations in order to bring it up to date." (Pl. Opp. Br. Ex. 1
at 1.) The County determined that the most efficient and
financially sound option is to relocate ECHC to an existing
facility and identified the former United Hospital campus as a
suitable and desirable location for ECHC. (Pl. Opp. Br. Ex. 1 at
1.) The resolution approved a Memorandum of Understanding entered
into by the County and New United Corp. for the purchase of a
portion of the former United Hospital campus and authorized the
County Executive to negotiate and enter into an agreement for the
purchase of the land and to procure professional services to plan
and design renovations, alterations and construction. (Pl. Opp.
Br. Ex. 1 at 2.)
Plaintiffs assert violations of the Protection and Advocacy for
Mentally Ill Individuals Act of 1986 (hereinafter "PAMII"),
42 U.S.C. § 9501, 10801, and 10841, the Americans with Disabilities
Act of 1990, as amended, 42 U.S.C. § 12132, New Jersey statutory
and common law and the New Jersey Constitution. They contend that
the proposed purchase of the United Hospital property and the
proposed move of the ECHC patients to the new facility is a per
se violation of the patients' rights because: (1) the
recreational space is insufficient (complt. ¶ 15); (2) there may
be electronic surveillance of the new facility (complt. ¶ 15); (3)
patients may be subject to monitoring in the form of ankle
bracelets (complt. ¶ 15); (4) a 12 to 15 foot fence may be
erected around the new facility (complt. ¶ 15); and (5) the
urban setting of the new facility threatens the safety of the
ECHC patients (complt. ¶ 17, 18).
The defendants have moved to dismiss plaintiffs' complaint for
lack of subject matter jurisdiction pursuant to Fed. R.Civ.P.
12(b)(1) because: (1) plaintiffs lack statutory standing; (2)
plaintiffs lack Article III standing; and (3) the case is not
ripe for adjudication. Defendants also move to dismiss pursuant
to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6) for failure to state a cause of action
upon which relief can be granted.
In evaluating a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss for failure to
state a claim, a court may consider only the complaint, exhibits
attached to the complaint, matters of public record, and
undisputedly authentic documents if the plaintiff's claims are
based upon those documents. Pension Benefit Guar. Corp. v. White
Consol. Industries, 998 F.2d 1192, 1196 (3d Cir. 1993), cert.
denied, 510 U.S. 1042, 114 S.Ct. 687, 126 L.Ed.2d 655 (1994).
Motions to dismiss under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6) for failure to
state a cause of action result in a determination on the merits
at an early stage of plaintiff's case. Mortensen v. First
Federal Savings and Loan Ass'n, 549 F.2d 884, 891 (3d Cir.
1977). As a result, "plaintiff is afforded the safeguard of
having all its allegations taken as true and all inferences
favorable to plaintiff will be drawn." Id. In order to grant a
12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, the Court must find that plaintiffs
will be unable to prevail even if they prove all of the
allegations in the complaint, basing its decision solely on the
legal sufficiency of the complaint. Id.
In evaluating a motion to dismiss under 12(b)(1) for lack of
subject matter jurisdiction, the Court must first determine
whether defendant's motion attacks the complaint as deficient on
its face, or whether defendant's motion attacks the existence of
subject matter jurisdiction in fact. Mortensen, 549 F.2d at
891. Where defendant's 12(b)(1) motion facially attacks the
complaint, the Court must take all allegations in the complaint
as true. Id. Where however, defendant attacks the Court's
subject matter jurisdiction in fact, no presumptive truthfulness
attaches to plaintiff's allegations and the Court may weigh the
evidence to satisfy itself that subject matter jurisdiction
exists in fact. Id. at 891. Plaintiff bears the burden of proof
that subject matter jurisdiction does in fact exist. Id.
Here, the defendants challenge the complaint on its face. As
such, the allegations of plaintiffs' complaint are taken as true
in this ...