United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division
DER-YEGHIAYAN, District Judge
matter is before the court on Defendant Burgoyne LLC's
(Burgoyne) motion to dismiss. For the reasons stated below,
the motion to dismiss is granted in part, denied in part, and
the state law claims are dismissed without prejudice.
Chicago Terminal Railroad, Company (CTM) alleges that in
August and September of 2016, Burgoyne installed two fences
across CTM's railroad track. Burgoyne's fences
allegedly prevent CTM from accessing 4, 500 feet of railroad
track extending south to an area in Chicago, Illinois known
as Goose Island. On November 15, 2016, CTM filed the
complaint in this action alleging claims under 49 U.S.C.
§ 10501 (Section 10501)(Count I), 49U.S.C. § 10903
(Section 10903)(Count II), 49U.S.C § 11101 (Section
11101)(Count III), 49 U.S.C § 11121 (Section
11121)(Count IV), a claim alleging a violation of the
Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act,
815 ILCS § 510/1 et seq. (Count V), and a claim
for Declaratory Judgment (Count VI). Burgoyne now moves to
dismiss all claims.
ruling on a motion to dismiss brought pursuant to Federal
Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) (Rule 12(b)(6)), the court
must draw all reasonable inferences that favor the plaintiff,
construe the allegations of the complaint in the light most
favorable to the plaintiff, and accept as true all
well-pleaded facts and allegations in the complaint.
Appert v. Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, Inc., 673 F.3d
609, 622 (7thCir. 2012); Thompson v. III.
Dep't of Prof'l Regulation, 300 F.3d 750, 753
(7th Cir. 2002). A plaintiff is required to include
allegations in the complaint that "plausibly suggest
that the plaintiff has a right to relief, raising that
possibility above a 'speculative level'" and
"if they do not, the plaintiff pleads itself out of
court." E.E.O.C. v. Concentra Health Services,
Inc., 496 F.3d 773, 776 (7th Cir. 2007)(quoting in
part Bell Altanic Corp. v. Twombly, 121 S.Ct. 1955, 1965
(2007)); see also Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, Inc.,
673 F.3d at 622 (stating that "[t]o survive a motion to
dismiss, the complaint must contain sufficient factual
matter, accepted as true, to state a claim to relief that is
plausible on its face, " and that "[a] claim has
facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content
that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that
the defendant is liable for the misconduct
alleged")(quoting Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S.
662 (2009))(intemal quotations omitted).
Counts I-IV and Private Cause of Action
argues that CTM's statutory basis for the claims in
Counts I through IV do not regulate the actions of private
property owners, nor do they create a private right of action
by a rail carrier against a property owner.
argues that Section 10501 fails to grant a rail carrier a
private right of action against a property owner. Section
10501 states that "[s]ubject to this chapter, the
[Surface Transportation] Board has jurisdiction over
transportation by rail earner that is - - only by
railroad" 49 U.S.C. § 10501. Also, Section 10501
states that the Surface Transportation Board has jurisdiction
over "(1) transportation by rail carriers, and the
remedies provided in this part with respect to rates,
classifications, rules. . . practices, routes, services, and
facilities of such carriers; and (2) the construction,
acquisition, operation, abandonment, or discontinuance of
spur, industrial, team, switching, or side tracks, or
facilities, even if the tracks are located, or intended to be
located, entirely in one State. . ." Id.
Section 10501 provides that the jurisdiction is exclusive
"with respect to regulation of rail transportation. . .
." Id. CTM argues that Section 10501 confers
the Surface Transportation Board with broad authority over
every single rail carrier, rail track, and private property
owner. CTM contends that when a party seeks to abandon a
railroad, the party must seek board approval. However,
Burgoyne properly notes that Section 10501 does not confer
jurisdictional authority over private property owners.
Section 10501 does not even mention private property owners.
Also, Burgoyne argues that Section 10501 does not create a
private right of action. CTM argues that the statutory
language contains an implied private right of action with an
implied remedy, namely injunctive relief. However, Section
10501 does not explicitly grant rail earners a private cause
of action, none of the cases cited by CTM support its
argument that a private right of action is implied, and
Section 10501 does not contain rights-creating language to
infer legislative intent. CTM has not cited any case in which
the court favored a private right of action. CTM is asking
the court to go where no court has gone before. Therefore,
the motion to dismiss is granted.
49 U.S.C. § 10903
contends that Section 10903 only imposes obligations on a
rail carrier and does not create a private right of action.
Section 10903 states that "[a] rail carrier providing
transportation subject to the jurisdiction of the Board under
this part who intends to-(A) abandon any part of its railroad
lines; or (B) discontinue the operation of all rail
transportation over any part of its railroad lines, must file
an application thereto with the Board." 49 U.S.C, §
10903. Also, an "abandonment or discontinuance may be
carried out only as authorized under this chapter." 49
U.S.C. § 10903, Section 10903 explicitly applies to a
rail carrier providing transportation and omits any language
governing the actions of a private property owner. Similar to
the aforementioned analysis, the court finds that Section
10903 does not impose any obligations on a private property
owner. Also, CTM has not cited any case in which the court
has found a private right of action. See Chessie
Logistics Co. LLC v. Krinos Holdings, Inc., 2015 WL
1620284 (N.D. 111. 2015)(stating that Section 10903 does not
imply a private right of action); See also Mich. S. R.R.
v. Branch & St. Joseph Cntys. Rail Users Ass'n,
287 F.3d 568, 574 (6th Cir. 2002)(stating that Section 10903
does not create a private right of action by one party to a
private contract against the other party to that same private
contract). Therefore, the motion to dismiss Count II is
49 U.S.C. § 11101
argues that Section 11101 does not impose any duty or
obligation on a private property owner nor does it confer a
private right of action. Section 11101 states that "(a)
A rail carrier providing transportation or service subject to
the jurisdiction of the Board under this part shall provide
the transportation or service on reasonable request." 49
U.S.C. § 11101. Also, "[a] rail carrier shall not
be found to have violated this section because it fulfills
its reasonable commitments under contracts. . . [c]ommitments
which deprive a carrier of its ability to respond to
reasonable requests for common carrier service are not
reasonable." 49 U.S.C. § 11101. Similar to the
court's findings above, Section 11101 applies only to
rail carriers and imposes no duty on private property ...