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SWIN RESOURCE SYS. v. LYCOMING CTY.
February 10, 1988
Swin Resource Systems, Inc., Plaintiff
Lycoming County, Pennsylvania, acting through the Lycoming County Solid Waste Department; Dolly M. Wilt, Gene Smith, Lora P. Morningstar,; all in their respective official capacities as Commissioners of Lycoming County, Pennsylvania and in each of their individual capacities; and Wayne I. Alexander, Defendants
The opinion of the court was delivered by: CONABOY
Richard P. Conaboy, United States District Judge
The Defendants herein are the County of Lycoming, the present Commissioners of the County, and the manager of the Lycoming County Solid Waste Department. The County is a political subdivision of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and operates a landfill in Lycoming County, through the Lycoming County Solid Waste Department. The landfill is situated on lands owned by the United States Bureau of Prisons and is operated under a permit granted to the County by the Bureau of Prisons.
The Plaintiff owns and operates a municipal solid waste processing facility in Hemlock Township, Columbia County, Pennsylvania. The Swin facility receives municipal solid waste from New Jersey and Eastern Pennsylvania. It separates tires, wood pallets, appliances and cardboard from other solid wastes. The items separated out are sold and shipped to businesses in Pennsylvania, other states, and other countries which have a commercial need for them. The solid waste which is not recycled is compacted into 40 inch by 30 inch by 60 inch bales in preparation for shipment to landfills. These bales are transported to duly permitted landfills such as the landfill operated by the named Defendants.
By this action the Plaintiff seeks to enjoin the Defendants from imposing on it volume restrictions, and increased rates for disposal at the landfill. The increased rates were made effective by the Defendants as of September 14, 1987 and the Plaintiff argues these increased rates effectively prevent it from using the landfill.
The matter is presently before us on a motion to dismiss filed on behalf of all Defendants. The motion has been fully briefed and is ripe for disposition. Because we find no basis for federal court jurisdiction, we will grant the motion to dismiss.
The parameters of the motion are best outlined by referring to the arguments made by the Plaintiff against the motion to dismiss; they are as follows:
A. The imposition by the Defendants of arbitrary volume restrictions and discriminatory disposal fees violated the Commerce Clause of the United States Constitution.
B. Swin has an enforceable long-term contract with Defendants.
C. Swin has a "property right" for due process purposes and thus may pursue its Section 1983 claim.
D. Charging a prohibitively high rate to Swin violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.
E. Swin may bring an action pursuant to 43 U.S.C. § 931(c) and need not join the United States as an indispensable party.
In considering a motion to dismiss we accept as true all well-pleaded allegations and draw all inferences in favor of the non-moving party. We are cognizant, too, of the directions of guiding law which holds that a complaint should not be dismissed unless it appears beyond doubt that the Plaintiff can prove no set of facts in support of his claim which would entitle him to relief. Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 78 S. Ct. 99, 2 L. Ed. 2d 80 (1957); Regency Catering Services v. City of Wilkes-Barre, 640 F. Supp. 29 (M.D. Pa. 1985). In reaching our decision in this case we have in fact given to the Plaintiff the ...
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