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Roum v. Fenty

March 22, 2010


The opinion of the court was delivered by: Henry H. Kennedy, Jr. United States District Judge


Plaintiff Buony Roum, proceeding pro se, brings this action against the Mayor of the District of Columbia, Adrian Fenty, the District of Columbia Chief of Police, Cathy Lanier, and the head of the District of Columbia's city council, Vincent Gray (collectively "defendants") in their official capacities. Roum's allegations center around several alleged conspiracies against him by defendants and various government agencies. In his complaint, Roum alleges miscellaneous violations of Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, FISA 50 U.S.C. §§§§§§§§ 1801 et seq., 1802 et seq., 1804, 1805, 1811, 1824(e)(1)(A)(ii), 1829, 1844 of 1978 as amended July 10, 2008, and violation of his civil rights, privacy, First, Second, Third, Fourth, Eight, Fourteen [section 1] Amendments to the Constitution of the United States, [and] Article I section 9.

Compl. ¶ 1 (alterations in original).*fn1 Roum also brings claims arising from an alleged failure to comply with the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act ("FOIA") as well as claims of false arrest, false imprisonment, assault, and malicious prosecution. Before the Court are defendants' motion to dismiss Roum's complaint [#12] and Roum's motion for summary judgment [#14]. Upon consideration of the motions, the opposition thereto, and the record of this case, the Court concludes that defendants' motion to dismiss must be granted and Roum's motion for summary judgment must be denied as moot.


Roum filed this action on February 26, 2009. In his complaint, Roum alleges a vast and intricate conspiracy involving numerous federal agencies and officials, the Metropolitan Police Department ("Police Department"), and ordinary citizens, to surveil, experiment upon, kidnap, and poison Roum. According to the complaint, the various participants in the conspiracy have: illegally tapped his phones; conducted daily physical searches of his residence and property; falsely labeled him a terrorist; contaminated his bed and clothing with radioactive chemicals, poisoned his food and toothpaste, planted radioactive nano-technology in his home, "illegally planted microelectrodes" in his brain; inserted a "roving wiretap" in his chest; used an "Active Denial System" to map his brain and alter his dreams; injected H5N1 viral fluid into his lungs in an attempt to create a global pandemic; exposed him to immunosuppressive radioactive elements to create HIV/AIDS symptoms; disseminated his private information to police departments and foreign intelligence agencies; kidnapped him and placed him in a mental hospital where he was exposed to psychiatric drugs similar to LSD; and denied his FOIA request for access to any files that the Federal Bureau of Investigation ("FBI"), the Central Intelligence Agency ("CIA"), or the Department of Justice may have about him.

Roum also asserts that he has been falsely arrested and charged with various crimes on June 25, 2006, October 13, 2006, July 11, 2007, and December 9, 2007. All, or at least most, of the resulting cases against Roum have been dismissed.*fn2 Finally, Roum alleges that he was falsely arrested on April 24, 2008, an arrest that Roum asserts led to his wrongful conviction on October 23, 2009.

Defendants now move to dismiss Roum's complaint pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1) and Roum moves for summary judgment.*fn3


A motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(1) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure "tests whether the court has subject matter jurisdiction over the action." Bernard v. U.S. Dep't of Def., 362 F. Supp. 2d 272, 277 (D.D.C. 2005). Under Rule 12(b)(1), "the plaintiff bears the burden of establishing the factual predicates of jurisdiction by a preponderance of the evidence." Erby v. United States, 424 F. Supp. 2d 180, 182 (D.D.C. 2006) (citing Lujan v. Defenders of Wildlife, 504 U.S. 555, 561 (1992)). "The court, in turn, has an 'affirmative obligation to ensure that it is acting within the scope of its jurisdictional authority.'" Abu Ali v. Gonzales, 387 F. Supp. 2d 16, 17 (D.D.C. 2005) (quoting Grand Lodge of Fraternal Order of Police v. Ashcroft, 185 F. Supp. 2d 9, 13 (D.D.C. 2001)). The court must accept all the complaint's well-pled factual allegations as true and draw all reasonable inferences in the plaintiff's favor. Thompson v. Capitol Police Bd., 120 F. Supp. 2d. 78, 81 (D.D.C. 2000). "The court is not required, however, to accept inferences unsupported by the facts alleged, or legal conclusions that are cast as factual allegations." Smith v. Koplan, 362 F. Supp. 2d 266, 268 (D.D.C. 2005) (citing Scott v. England, 264 F. Supp. 2d 5, 7 (D.D.C. 2002)). Although pleadings filed by pro se litigants are to be liberally construed, see Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520 (1972), a pro se litigant may not ignore the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Jarrell v. Tisch, 656 F. Supp. 237, 239 (D.D.C. 1987).


A. Roum's First, Second, Third, Fourth, and Eighth Amendment; Article 1, § 9; FISA; USA PATRIOT Act; and Title VII Claims Must Be Dismissed Pursuant to Rule 12(b)(1) Because They Are Frivolous.

It is well settled in this Circuit that "the federal courts are without power to entertain claims otherwise within their jurisdiction if they are 'so attenuated and unsubstantial as to be absolutely devoid of merit.'" Lewis v. Bayh, 577 F. Supp. 2d 47, 54 (D.D.C. 2008) (quoting Hagans v. Lavine, 415 U.S. 528, 536-37 (1974)). Dismissal is appropriate under Rule 12(b)(1) when a complaint is so "patently unsubstantial" that it presents no question suitable for decision. Id. (quoting Best v. Kelly, 39 F.3d 328, 330 (D.C. Cir. 1994). A complaint that is "patently unsubstantial" is not merely doubtful or questionable, but is "essentially fictitious." Best, 39 F. 3d at 330. Such claims include those that "advance bizarre conspiracy theories" or "fantastic government manipulations of [one's] will or mind." Id.; see also Roum v. Bush, 461 F. Supp. 2d 40, 46 (D.D.C. 2006) ("Complaints that are comprised of 'fanciful claims' and 'bizarre conspiracy theories' are generally subject to dismissal on that basis.").

Here, the gravamen of Roum's claims is that defendants have participated in a vast and ongoing conspiracy against him involving numerous federal and local agencies and officers. He alleges that these agencies have employed the use of various chemicals and technologies to regularly conduct experiments and surveillance on him over a period spanning more than ten years. See Compl. ¶¶ 31-52.*fn4 These allegations are precisely the type of unrealistic assertions that this Court must dismiss for lack of jurisdiction. See Roum, 461 F. Supp. 2d at 46 (citing Bestor v. Lieberman, 2005 WL 681460, at *1 (D.D.C. Mar. 11, 2005)). Accordingly, any claims related to Roum's conspiracy allegations must be dismissed under Rule 12(b)(1).

Roum's First, Second, Third, Fourth, and Eighth Amendment claims all arise from, and are entwined with, his conspiracy allegations. In asserting his First Amendment claim, Roum alleges that his phones have been tapped and his conversations monitored. Compl. ¶ 7.*fn5 His Second Amendment claim arises from allegations that his October 23, 2009 conviction was the result of an ongoing Bush Administration conspiracy to prevent him from buying a handgun Id. ¶ 66. Roum's Third Amendment claim arises from an alleged quartering of a National Security Agency operative in his house. Id. ¶ 30. His Fourth Amendment claim arises from allegations of various and repeated clandestine, physical searches of his home over a ten year ...

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