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Hilska v. Jones

July 11, 2003

JOUKO M. HILSKA, PLAINTIFF,
v.
BOISFEUILLET JONES JR. ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Ricardo M. Urbina, United States District Judge

Document Nos. 3, 4

MEMORANDUM OPINION DENYING DEFENDANT JONES'S MOTION TO DISMISS; DIRECTING THE PLAINTIFF TO PERFECT SERVICE ON DEFENDANT JONES AND FOREIGN DEFENDANT SANÉ; GRANTING THE FEDERAL DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO DISMISS AS TO FEDERAL DEFENDANT DUFRENSE BUT DENYING THE MOTION AS TO THE OTHER FEDERAL DEFENDANTS; GRANTING THE FEDERAL DEFENDANTS' ALTERNATIVE MOTION FOR A MORE DEFINITE STATEMENT; AND DIRECTING THE PLAINTIFF TO CLARIFY THE JURISDICTIONAL GROUNDS AS RELATED TO THE FOREIGN DEFENDANTS

I. INTRODUCTION

This matter comes before the court on certain defendants' motions to dismiss the pro se plaintiff's complaint. Defendant Boisfeullet Jones Jr. seeks dismissal of the claims against him pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(5) or (6). Defendants President George W. Bush, Attorney General John Ashcroft, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, former President William J. Clinton, United States Immigration Judge Jill H. Dufrense, and Immigration and Naturalization Service ("INS") Deportation Officer Judy Thomas*fn1 (collectively, "the federal defendants") ask the court to dismiss the claims against them pursuant to Rules 8(a) and 12(b)(6). In the alternative, the federal defendants want the plaintiff to provide a more definite statement of his claims under Rule 12(e). In light of the plaintiff's failure to properly effect service on defendant Jones and the relaxed procedural requirements accorded to pro se litigants, the court directs the plaintiff to perfect service on defendant Jones and denies defendant Jones's motion to dismiss. Because the record indicates that the plaintiff has not effected service on foreign defendant Pierre Sané, the court directs the plaintiff to perfect service on him as well. In addition, the court grants the federal defendants' motion to dismiss as to federal defendant Dufrense but denies their motion as to the other federal defendants. The court grants the federal defendants' alternative motion for a more definite statement, however, to ensure that the federal defendants remaining in the action have sufficient knowledge of the claims against them. On a final note, the court instructs the plaintiff to clarify the grounds for asserting this court's jurisdiction over all of the foreign defendants except for foreign defendant Sané.

II. BACKGROUND

A. Factual Background

In bringing this action, the pro se plaintiff, a native and citizen of Finland, seeks compensatory relief from the federal defendants; the foreign defendants, including former Secretary General of Amnesty International Pierre Sané of Senegal;*fn2 and defendant Jones, the publisher of the Washington Post.*fn3 Compl. at 1-3, 7.

The plaintiff alleges, inter alia, that the defendants are responsible for various misdeeds including "suppression of matters, destroying documents, blackmailing, organizing illegal action,... extortion, neglecting one's duty,... illegal imprisonment, assault[],... and falsifying documents." Id. at 4. The plaintiff also claims that the INS wrongfully deported him from the United States. Id. at 6. In addition, the plaintiff promises that if the court allows this action to proceed, he will reveal "the tragic and premature deaths of five Americans and two Europeans." Id.

The events giving rise to this action can be separated into three immigration proceedings. The first set of proceedings began sometime in 1995 when the INS denied the plaintiff's application for asylum and subsequently deported him. Id. at 4.

In July 1999, the plaintiff triggered the second set of proceedings when he attempted to re-enter the United States. Id. Ex. D at 1-2. The INS found the plaintiff to be inadmissible into the country and referred the matter to the immigration court, whereupon the plaintiff requested political asylum from Finland. Id. At this point, the evidentiary record is in conflict. According to the immigration court, federal defendant Dufrense then denied the plaintiff's request for asylum. Id. Ex. D at 5-6. According to the plaintiff, however, she initially granted him asylum, but federal defendant President Clinton later invalidated her decision. Id. at 5. In July 2000, the INS once again deported the plaintiff from the United States. Id. The third and final set of proceedings began in December 2000 when the plaintiff reentered the United States. Id. Upon his re-entry, the plaintiff was arrested and eventually deported in June 2001. Id. at 5-6.

B. Procedural History

The plaintiff filed his complaint on May 28, 2002. Almost four months later, the plaintiff filed an affidavit documenting his efforts to serve the summons and complaint on the defendants via registered mail.*fn4 Return of Service/Aff. at 1, Exs. 1-17.

On September 23, 2003, defendant Jones filed his motion to dismiss pursuant to Rule 12(b)(5) or (6), asserting both that the plaintiff did not properly effect service on him and that the complaint fails to include any allegations against him. Def. Jones's Mot. at 2. On December 2, 2002, having obtained an extension of time from the court, the federal defendants filed their motion to dismiss pursuant to Rules 8(a) and 12(b)(6)*fn5 asserting that the complaint fails to give them notice of the plaintiff's claims. Fed. Defs.' Mot. at 3-4. In the alternative, the federal defendants seek a more definite statement of the plaintiff's claims against them under Rule 12(e). Id. at 4.

On January 13, 2003, the court issued an order directing the plaintiff to respond to the motions to dismiss and advising him that the court may treat the motions as conceded if he fails to file a response by February 7, 2003. Order dated Jan. 13, 2003. On March 3, 2003, after learning that the plaintiff mailed a response to the defendants, the court directed the plaintiff to file that response with the court by March 14, 2003. Order dated Mar. 3, 2003. On March 17, 2003, the plaintiff late-filed a response.*fn6 The Clerk of the Court then mailed a copy of the plaintiff's March 17, 2003 response to the defendants to ensure that it was consistent with the copy they had received from the plaintiff. Notice dated Apr. 24, 2003. The defendants, with the exception of the foreign defendants, notified the court of discrepancies between the plaintiff's March 17, 2003 response and the response served on them, and provided the court with a copy of the latter. Defs.' Notice filed Apr. 30, 2003. Accordingly, after determining that the plaintiff's March 17, 2003 response did not match the response actually served on the defendants, the court struck that response and substituted it with the actual response served on the defendants. Order dated May 12, 2003. Because the record now contains the plaintiff's correct response to the defendants' motions to dismiss, the court can proceed to rule on those motions.

III. ANALYSIS

A. Legal ...


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