The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hon. Joseph H. Rodriguez
MEMORANDUM OPINION & ORDER
This matter comes before the Court on the motion of Defendants New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection ("NJDEP") and Michael Pisani (collectively, "Defendants") to dismiss the case for lack of subject matter jurisdiction pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(1). For the reasons discussed below, the motion is granted.
The substantive facts of Plaintiff's*fn1 underlying dispute relate to the actions of James and Rosario Rapisardi in filling in a drainage pond, an apple orchard, and a seed bed area on their farm in Logan Township, New Jersey. (Compl., "Cause of Action" at 2.) The exact contours of those actions are irrelevant to the motion before the Court and have been given considerable review in the New Jersey state court system; thus they are not recited here. The following proceedings and dates are relevant to the Court's inquiry:
1) October 15, 1993--the NJDEP issued an Amended Administrative Order and Notice of Civil Administrative Penalty Assessment to Rosario and James Rapisardi alleging a violation of the Freshwater Wetlands Protection Act, N.J. Stat. Ann. § 13:9B-1 et. seq. (Motley Certif. at ¶ 1.) Following a hearing in the Office of Administrative Law ("OAL"), the administrative law judge found that the Rapisardis had committed the alleged violations. (Id. at ¶ 2.)
2) September 20, 1995--the Commissioner of the NJDEP adopted the ALJ's decision as the final decision in the case. (Id. at ¶ 3.)
3) October 6, 1997--the Rapisardis filed an appeal in the Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division, whereby the Commissioner's decision was affirmed in part and reversed in part.*fn2 (Id. at ¶¶ 4-5.)
4) February 18, 1998--the New Jersey Supreme Court denied the Rapisardis' petition for certification.*fn3 (Id. at ¶ 6.)
5) On remand from the Appellate Division, the NJDEP referred the penalty issue to the OAL for a hearing. (Id. at ¶ 7.)
6) January 9, 2003--the administrative law judge issued a recalculated penalty for the Rapisardis, which was adopted by the NJDEP on February 28, 2003. (Id. at ¶¶ 7-8.)
7) June 16, 2003--the NJDEP filed a Complaint in the Superior Court of New Jersey, Gloucester County, to enforce the orders against the Rapisardis. (Id. at ¶ 9.)
8) October 3, 2003--the Superior Court entered an Order requiring the Rapisardis to submit a restoration plan for the restoration of the former pond area on their property and to pay a civil penalty within 30 days. (Id. at ¶ 10.)
9) May 28, 2004--the Superior Court entered an Order of Motion in Aid of Litigant's Rights requiring the Rapisardis to submit the restoration plan and pay ...