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DUMAS v. MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL PROPERTIES

June 21, 2000

GRETCHEN DUMAS, AS GUARDIAN AD LITEM FOR NICHOLAS CHASET, ON BEHALF OF THEMSELVES AND ALL OTHERS SIMILARLY SITUATED, PLAINTIFFS,
V.
MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL PROPERTIES, INC., MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL PLAYERS ASSN., ET AL., DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Brewster, Judge

ORDER

INTRODUCTION

Plaintiffs herein, alleged residents of New York and California, claim to be purchasers, or the guardian ad litem of purchasers, of trading cards. Plaintiffs allege that they purchased trading cards in the hope of winning "chase"*fn1 cards, redeemable in bonus cash prizes. Defendants are alleged residents of New York, California, Virginia, and Canada. On April 18, 2000, this Court ordered Plaintiffs to show cause as to why the claim brought under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act ("RICO"), 18 U.S.C. § 1961-1968, should not be dismissed for lack of standing under § 1964(c) of RICO. The hearing for this Court's Order to Show Cause ("OSC") was held on June 7, 2000 with counsel for all parties present.

The Court re-reviewed all pleadings, motions, and briefs heretofore filed as well as all briefs filed in response to the OSC. The Court having heard oral argument by counsel and being fully advised in the premises, now therefore issues the following ORDER:

(1) The prior order of May 14, 1999 denying Defendants' Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss is hereby vacated nunc pro tunc;
(2) The RICO claim is dismissed pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6) without leave to amend on the ground that Plaintiffs lack standing as required by § 1964(c) of RICO; and
(3) All pendant claims are dismissed without prejudice pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1367.

(4) The Clerk shall close the file.

DISCUSSION

A. Standing Requirement under 18 U.S.C. § 1964 (c)

Pursuant to this Court's April 18, 2000 Order to Show Cause, the issue before this Court is whether Plaintiffs have met the requirement of 18 U.S.C. § 1964 (c) in order to have standing to bring a lawsuit against Defendants for their alleged gambling activity. Standing under 18 U.S.C. § 1964 (c) requires an ability to state a claim for harm to a person's "business or property" resulting from conduct violative of 18 U.S.C. § 1962.

1. Section 1964(c)

Section 1964(c) provides in pertinent part: "Any person injured in his business or property by reason of a violation of section 1962 of this chapter may sue therefore in any appropriate United States district court and shall recover threefold the damages he sustains and the cost of the suit, including a reasonable attorney's fee. . . ." 18 U.S.C. ยง 1964 (c) (emphasis added). Federal courts have established that RICO was "intended to combat organized crime, not to provide a federal cause of action and treble damages to every tort plaintiff" Oscar v. University Students Cooperative Assn., 965 F.2d at 783, 786 (9th Cir. 1992). Although this additional requirement of ...


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