The opinion of the court was delivered by: Urbina, District Judge.
GRANTING THE DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO DISMISS
This matter comes before the court on the defendant's motion to dismiss
pursuant to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1) and (6). The
plaintiff, Edward G. Tinsley ("the plaintiff" or "Mr. Tinsley"), brought
this pro se suit for damages under the Federal Tort Claims Act ("FTCA"),
28 U.S.C. § 2671 et seq. The plaintiff claims
that federal judges wrongfully dismissed his civil lawsuit.
Specifically, the plaintiff alleges that the dismissal and its subsequent
affirmance violated his Seventh Amendment right to trial by jury and were
conducted in the clear absence of jurisdiction. See Compl. at 4. The
federal-judge defendants include the Honorable Peter J. Messitte, United
States District Judge in the District of Maryland, and the Honorable H.
Emory Widener, Francis D. Murnaghan, Jr., and James Dickson Phillips,
Jr., United States Court of Appeals Judges in the Fourth Circuit. Because
the federal-judge defendants filed a certification pursuant to
28 U.S.C. § 2679 certifying that they had acted within the scope of
their authority as employees of the United States, the United States
("the defendant") is the only defendant in this matter. See Mot. to Dis.
The defendant moves to dismiss this action under Rule 12(b)(6) on the
ground that the federal-judge defendants are immune from the plaintiffs
FTCA suit. See Mot. to Dis. at 5-7. The plaintiff asserts that judicial
immunity does not cover the judges' alleged violations of his
constitutional rights. See Pl.'s Opp'n at 7. He also pleads a cause of
action under Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents of the Federal Bureau of
Narcotics, 403 U.S. 388, 91 S.Ct. 1999, 29 L.Ed.2d 619 (1971), which he
moves for leave to include in an amended complaint.*fn1 See id. at
The defendant also moves to dismiss this action under Rule 12(b)(1) on
the ground that the court lacks subject-matter jurisdiction because the
plaintiff failed to timely file his administrative tort claim. See Mot. to
Dis. at 4-5. The plaintiff counters that he did file within two years of
his injury and moves to amend his complaint to that effect. See Pl.'s
Opp'n to Mot. to Dis. ("Pl.'s Opp'n") at 5-7.
The court holds that judicial immunity bars both the plaintiffs Bivens
claims and his FTCA claims. Because the plaintiff has failed to state a
claim for which relief can be granted, the court will grant the
defendant's motion to dismiss.
Mr. Tinsley's complaint centers on a string of lawsuits he has filed
since 1994. In April 1994, he filed a civil lawsuit in the Circuit Court
for Prince George's County, Maryland, against TRW, Incorporated, Equifax
Credit Information Services and Trans Union Corporation for violations of
the Fair Credit Reporting Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1681 et seq. See Compl.,
Ex. 1 at 7. The defendants removed that case to the United States
District Court in Maryland. After the plaintiff and Trans Union signed a
stipulation of dismissal, the United States District Court in Maryland
granted summary judgment to the remaining defendants, TRW and Equifax.
See id. The court held that Mr. Tinsley "raised no genuine issue of
material fact as to violation of FRCA by Defendants." See Tinsley v.
TRW, 879 F. Supp. 550, 552 (D.Md. 1995). Mr. Tinsley appealed this case
to the Fourth Circuit, which affirmed the district court's judgment in an
unpublished per curiam opinion dated August 15, 1995. See Compl., Ex. 1
at 7. The United States Supreme Court denied Mr. Tinsley's petition for a
writ of certiorari on January 8, 1996. See id. at 7-8.
Later in 1996, Mr. Tinsley filed a second suit in the United States
District Court in
Maryland, raising the same issues against the same parties. See id. at
7; Mot. to Dis. at 2. Once again, the court granted summary judgment for
the defendants, this time holding that yes judicata barred the suit. See
Compl., Ex. 1 at 8. In the case at bar, Mr. Tinsley contends that the
grant of summary judgment by Judge Messitte was a violation of his
Seventh Amendment right to a trial by jury. See Compl. at 4-5. In
December 1996, Mr. Tinsley appealed this Second dismissal to the Fourth
Circuit. A panel of the Fourth Circuit affirmed Judge Messitte's decision
on December 31, 1996. See Mot. to Dis. at 2. Mr. Tinsley also appealed
Judge Messitte's order denying his "motion for entry of final
judgment."*fn2 Judges Widener, Murnaghan, and Phillips affirmed this
order on May 8, 1997. See id. In his present complaint, Mr. Tinsley
claims the appellate judges lacked subject-matter jurisdiction because the
district court failed to enter a final judgment in his second suit. See
Compl. at 5-7. On May 13, 1997, Mr. Tinsley filed a petition for rehearing
with the Fourth Circuit. The Fourth Circuit denied his petition on July 7,
1997. See Mot. to Dis. at 2.
Meanwhile, on April 25, 1997, Mr. Tinsley filed a third suit in the
United States District Court in Maryland, seeking damages under the FTCA
against the United States for Judge Messitte's grant of summary judgment
in his second suit. See Tinsley v. United States, 1997 WL 580586 (D.Md.
1997). On May 6, 1997, the United States District Court in Maryland
dismissed the action, holding that the United States had not waived its
sovereign immunity. See id. at *1.
Challenging the decisions with respect to his second suit, Mr. Tinsley
filed an administrative tort claim with the Administrative Office of the
United States Courts ("AOUSC") on July 1, 1999. On July 30, 1999, the
AOUSC denied his claim in full. See Compl. at 13; Mot. to Dis. at 3.
Mr. Tinsley filed his complaint in this court on January 28, 2000. On
March 29, 2000, the federal-judge defendants filed a certification
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2679, certifying that they had acted within
the scope of their authority as employees of the United States. See Mot.
to Dis. at 4. Thus, the United States became the sole defendant in this
matter. See 28 U.S.C. § 2679 (d)(2).
In his complaint, Mr. Tinsley claims that the defendant does not have
judicial immunity for its actions under the FTCA. See Compl. at 11. He
claims the federal-judge defendants "knowingly usurped, or took
jurisdiction of Tinsley v. TRW Inc., PJM-96-372, claimed to be acting as
a court, and acted erroneously." See id. at 17. Mr. Tinsley demands
judgment against the defendant in the amount of $2,567,796.00. He claims
he demonstrated these damages during his second suit in the United States
District Court in Maryland. See id. at 19. He also demands interest from
July 7, 1997, the date on which his case "was dismissed ...