Heller v. CACL Federal Credit Union, Civ. A. No. 91-2870.

CourtUnited States District Courts. 3th Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of Pennsylvania)
Writing for the CourtRobert E. Kelly, Duane, Morris and Heckscher, Harrisburg, Pa., for CACL Federal Credit Union
Citation775 F. Supp. 839
Docket NumberCiv. A. No. 91-2870.
Decision Date21 October 1991
PartiesJohn HELLER v. CACL FEDERAL CREDIT UNION, National Credit Union Administration, and John Doe, et al.

775 F. Supp. 839

John HELLER
v.
CACL FEDERAL CREDIT UNION, National Credit Union Administration, and John Doe, et al.

Civ. A. No. 91-2870.

United States District Court, E.D. Pennsylvania.

October 21, 1991.


775 F. Supp. 840

Richard F. Stevens, Stevens and Johnson, Allentown, Pa., Joel B. Wiener, Wiener and Wiener, Allentown, Pa., for John Heller.

David Zalesne, Asst. U.S. Atty., Philadelphia, Pa., Paul T. Sosnowski, National Credit Union Admin., Washington, D.C., for National Credit Union Admin.

Robert E. Kelly, Duane, Morris and Heckscher, Harrisburg, Pa., for CACL Federal Credit Union.

David E. Shakespeare, Pennsylvania Credit Union League, Harrisburg, Pa., for amicus curiae, Pennsylvania Credit Union League.

OPINION

CAHN, District Judge.

The defendants in this case, CACL Federal Credit Union "CACL" and the National Credit Union Administration "NCUA", have moved to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction,1 or, in the alternative, for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.2 For the reasons set forth below, the court finds that it is without subject matter jurisdiction to consider the plaintiff's complaint. The case is therefore dismissed pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(1).

I. Factual Background

The defendant CACL is a federally chartered and insured credit union located in Mar-Lin, Pennsylvania. Because it is a federally chartered credit union, CACL is subject to the requirements of the Federal Credit Union Act, 12 U.S.C. § 1751 et seq. "the Act". The defendant NCUA is the agency empowered to enforce the Act and to make rules for its administration. See 12 U.S.C. § 1752(a); 12 U.S.C. § 1766(a). Pursuant to its mandate, the NCUA requires all federal credit unions to maintain fidelity bonds covering, inter alia, credit union board members. See 12 U.S.C. § 1761(b)(2); 12 U.S.C. § 1766(h); 12 C.F.R. 701.20.

John Heller, the plaintiff in this action, was a duly elected CACL board member. On September 11, 1990, CUMIS Insurance Society informed CACL that it was terminating the plaintiff's bond.3 Although the plaintiff appealed CUMIS' decision to terminate his bond, the appeal was unavailing. Because the plaintiff was no longer bonded, he was removed from CACL's board on September 15, 1990.

Despite the loss of his bond and his subsequent inability to obtain a substitute bond, the plaintiff decided to run for reelection

775 F. Supp. 841
to CACL's board. On April 18, 1991, the day before CACL's elections were to be held, the NCUA issued a temporary cease and desist order pursuant to 12 U.S.C. § 1786(f)(1). The order, in effect, prevented CACL from seating the plaintiff as a board member unless and until he could be bonded

Even though the plaintiff had been unable to secure a fidelity bond, he was elected to the board as a write in candidate. After his election, the remaining CACL board members refused to seat the plaintiff, citing the NCUA cease and desist order. On May 6, 1991, the plaintiff filed this suit, claiming that 1) the cease and desist order of April 18, 1991 is invalid; 2) the cease and desist order was issued in retaliation for the plaintiff's opposition to certain NCUA policies; 3) the NCUA requirements that credit union board members be bonded are invalid; and 4) that the plaintiff should be seated as a CACL board member.

II. Standards for Dismissal Pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(1)

Since federal courts are courts of limited jurisdiction, see Argentine Republic v. Amerada Hess Shipping Corp., 488 U.S. 428, 433, 109 S.Ct. 683, 687, 102 L.Ed.2d 818 (1989); Bender v. Williamsport Area School District, 475 U.S. 534, 541, 106 S.Ct. 1326, 1331, 89 L.Ed.2d 501 (1986); Marbury v. Madison, 5 U.S. (1 Cranch) 137, 173-76, 2 L.Ed. 60 (1803); Employers Ins. of Wausau v. Crown Cork & Seal Co., 905 F.2d 42, 45 (3d Cir.1990), the plaintiff in any action bears the burden of proving that federal jurisdiction is proper. See Kehr Packages, Inc. v. Fidelcor, Inc., 926 F.2d 1406, 1409 (3d Cir.), cert. denied, ___ U.S. ___, 111 S.Ct. 2839, 115 L.Ed.2d 1007 (1991); Mortensen v. First Federal Savings and Loan Ass'n, 549 F.2d 884, 891 (3d Cir.1977). Although the standard for dismissal pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(1) is similar to the standard for dismissal pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6), see Mortensen, 549 F.2d at 890; Rannels v. Hargrove, 731 F.Supp. 1214, 1216 (E.D.Pa.1990), there is one critical difference. When a defendant argues that the court cannot have subject matter jurisdiction over the claim (as opposed to arguing that the claim, as pleaded, does not set forth a basis for federal jurisdiction), the court is not required to accept the allegations of the plaintiff's complaint as true. Instead, "there is substantial authority that the trial court is free to weigh the evidence and satisfy itself as to the existence of its power to hear the case." Mortensen, 549 F.2d at 891. See also Haase v. Sessions, 835 F.2d 902, 908 (D.C.Cir.1987).4

III. The Absence of a Private Right of Action

In his complaint, the plaintiff claims that jurisdiction over this case is proper pursuant to 12 U.S.C. § 1786. See Complaint ¶ 2.5 This claim must fail because 12 U.S.C. § 1786 does not create a private right of action. 12 U.S.C. § 1786 provides, in the relevant part, as follows:

Within ten days after the credit union concerned or any institution-affiliated party has been served with a temporary cease-and-desist order, the credit union or such party may apply to the United States district court for the judicial district in which the home office of the credit union is located, or the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, for an injunction setting aside, limiting, or suspending the enforcement, operation, or effectiveness of such order pending the completion of the administrative proceedings pursuant to the notice of charges served upon the credit union or such party under paragraph (1) of
775 F. Supp. 842
subsection (e) of this section, and such court shall have jurisdiction to issue such injunction.

12 U.S.C. § 1786(f)(2). Since the statute clearly states that a suit to set aside a cease and desist order issued by the NCUA may only be brought by a credit union or the institutional affiliate of a credit union, see In re Conservatorship of United Independent Federal Credit Union, Charter Number 01603, 768 F.Supp. 42, 45 (E.D.N.Y.1991), a private citizen, such as the plaintiff in this case, may bring suit only if a private right of action is implied under the statute.

The inquiry into whether a private right of action should be implied under a statute which does not expressly provide such a right is governed by the four factors set forth by the Supreme Court in Cort v. Ash, 422 U.S. 66, 95 S.Ct. 2080, 45 L.Ed.2d 26 (1975). In that case, the Court stated that

in determining whether a private remedy is implicit in a statute not expressly providing one, several factors are relevant. First, is the plaintiff "one of the class for whose especial benefit the statute was enacted" — that is, does the statute create a federal right in favor of the plaintiff? Second, is there any indication of legislative intent, explicit or implicit, either to create such a remedy or to deny one? Third, is it consistent with the underlying purposes of the legislative scheme to imply such a remedy for the plaintiff? And finally, is the cause of action one traditionally relegated to state law, in an area basically the concern of the States, so that it would be inappropriate to infer a cause of action based solely on federal law?

Cort, 422 U.S. at 78, 95 S.Ct. at 2088 (emphasis in original) (citations omitted).

Later Supreme Court cases have made it clear that the determinative Cort factor is the second one — the intent of Congress. See Transamerica Mortgage Advisors Inc. v....

To continue reading

Request your trial
12 practice notes
  • Bruns v. National Credit Union Admin., No. 95-56843
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (9th Circuit)
    • August 25, 1997
    ...under that section. E.g., Ridenour v. Andrews Fed. Credit Union, 897 F.2d 715, 720-21 (4th Cir.1990); Heller v. CACL Fed. Credit Union, 775 F.Supp. 839, 842 (E.D.Pa.1991); Montford v. Robins Fed. Credit Union, 691 F.Supp. 347, 351 (M.D.Ga.1988); National Temple Non-Profit Corp. v. National ......
  • Fucci v. Graduate Hosp., Civil Action No. 95-5799.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 3th Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of Pennsylvania)
    • June 27, 1997
    ...896 F.Supp. 1401, 1414 (E.D.Pa.1995); Cooper v. City of Chester, 810 F.Supp. 618, 625 (E.D.Pa.1992); Heller v. CACL Fed. Credit Union, 775 F.Supp. 839, 843 (E.D.Pa.1991). The merits of at least some of plaintiff's state claims are arguable and their resolution may require a more intricate a......
  • Perry v. OCNAC #1 Fed. C.U., Civil No. 19-167 (NLH/KMW)
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 3th Circuit. United States District Courts. 3th Circuit. District of New Jersey
    • October 28, 2019
    ...670 F.2d 726 (7th Cir. 1982) ; Ridenour v. Andrews Fed. Credit Union, 897 F.2d 715 (4th Cir. 1990) ; Heller v. CACL Fed. Credit Union, 775 F. Supp. 839 (E.D. Pa. 1991) ; Rosenberg, 726 F. Supp. at 573 ; Montford v. Robins Fed. Credit Union, 691 F. Supp. 347 (M.D. Ga. 1988) ); see Barroga-Ha......
  • Smith v. Dearborn Financial Services, Inc., No. 92-1432
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (6th Circuit)
    • January 7, 1993
    ...670 F.2d 726 (7th Cir.1982); Ridenour v. Andrews Fed. Credit Union, 897 F.2d 715 (4th Cir.1990); Heller v. CACL Fed. Credit Union, 775 F.Supp. 839 (E.D.Pa.1991); Rosenberg v. A T & T Employees Fed. Credit Union, 726 F.Supp. 573 (D.N.J.1989); and Montford v. Robins Fed. Credit Union, 691 F.S......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
12 cases
  • Fucci v. Graduate Hosp., Civil Action No. 95-5799.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 3th Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of Pennsylvania)
    • June 27, 1997
    ...896 F.Supp. 1401, 1414 (E.D.Pa.1995); Cooper v. City of Chester, 810 F.Supp. 618, 625 (E.D.Pa.1992); Heller v. CACL Fed. Credit Union, 775 F.Supp. 839, 843 (E.D.Pa.1991). The merits of at least some of plaintiff's state claims are arguable and their resolution may require a more intricate a......
  • Perry v. OCNAC #1 Fed. C.U., Civil No. 19-167 (NLH/KMW)
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 3th Circuit. United States District Courts. 3th Circuit. District of New Jersey
    • October 28, 2019
    ...670 F.2d 726 (7th Cir. 1982) ; Ridenour v. Andrews Fed. Credit Union, 897 F.2d 715 (4th Cir. 1990) ; Heller v. CACL Fed. Credit Union, 775 F. Supp. 839 (E.D. Pa. 1991) ; Rosenberg, 726 F. Supp. at 573 ; Montford v. Robins Fed. Credit Union, 691 F. Supp. 347 (M.D. Ga. 1988) ); see Barroga-Ha......
  • Bruns v. National Credit Union Admin., No. 95-56843
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (9th Circuit)
    • August 25, 1997
    ...under that section. E.g., Ridenour v. Andrews Fed. Credit Union, 897 F.2d 715, 720-21 (4th Cir.1990); Heller v. CACL Fed. Credit Union, 775 F.Supp. 839, 842 (E.D.Pa.1991); Montford v. Robins Fed. Credit Union, 691 F.Supp. 347, 351 (M.D.Ga.1988); National Temple Non-Profit Corp. v. National ......
  • Smith v. Dearborn Financial Services, Inc., No. 92-1432
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (6th Circuit)
    • January 7, 1993
    ...670 F.2d 726 (7th Cir.1982); Ridenour v. Andrews Fed. Credit Union, 897 F.2d 715 (4th Cir.1990); Heller v. CACL Fed. Credit Union, 775 F.Supp. 839 (E.D.Pa.1991); Rosenberg v. A T & T Employees Fed. Credit Union, 726 F.Supp. 573 (D.N.J.1989); and Montford v. Robins Fed. Credit Union, 691 F.S......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT