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Clayton Utterback, et al v. Timothy F. Geithner

December 9, 2010

CLAYTON UTTERBACK, ET AL., PETITIONERS,
v.
TIMOTHY F. GEITHNER, RESPONDENT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Emmet G. Sullivan United States District Judge

MEMORANDUM OPINION

Pending before the Court are respondent's motion to dismiss, petitioners' two motions for summary judgment, petitioners' motion for judicial notice in support of their motion for summary judgment, and petitioners' motion for leave to file an amended complaint. Upon consideration of the motions, the responses and replies thereto, the applicable law, the entire record, and for the reasons set forth below, the respondent's motion to dismiss the action is GRANTED, petitioners' motions for summary judgment are DENIED, petitioners' motions for judicial notice in support of their motion for summary judgment is DENIED, and petitioners' motion for leave to file an amended complaint is DENIED.

I. BACKGROUND

Petitioners describe themselves as "Clayton Utterback, Ryan Kirk, James Utterback who use various UCC ALPHA Trade names, i.e. CLAYTON T. UTTERBACK and other designations to help identify financial accounts, interests, and for other purposes." Pet'rs' Proposed Sec. Am. Compl. ¶ 2. On November 11, 2009, they filed a petition titled "Petition for Writ of Mandamus to Compel Performance for Accounting, Account Stated, Unjust Enrichment and Specific Performance and Probate the Estate," in which they named Timothy Geithner, Queen Elizabeth II, and "Does 1 through 50" as respondents. In response to a motion for a more definite statement filed by Mr. Geithner, which the Court granted on February 22, 2010, petitioners filed an Amended Complaint on May 28, 2010, identifying only Mr. Geithner as a respondent. In their Amended Complaint, petitioners list numerous purported causes of action including "extension of credit," "money loaned," breach of contract, breach of trust, negligence, conversion, unjust enrichment, accounting, constructive trust, an action "for Appoint [sic] Special Master," declaratory judgment, declaratory relief, summary judgment on a Uniform Commercial Code claim, and an action to "remove blocked account status from petitioners' accounts." Am. Compl. ¶¶ 76-102.

Respondent filed a motion to dismiss on June 10, 2010 pursuant to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 8(a), 10(b), and 12(b)(6). Petitioners filed a motion for summary judgment on July 6, 2010. Both motions are now ripe for review by this Court.*fn1

II. STANDARD OF REVIEW

Rule 8(a) requires that "[a] pleading that states a claim for relief must contain . . . a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief. . . ."

Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a)(2). The pleadings of pro se parties, such as petitioners in the instant action, are "to be liberally construed, and a pro se complaint, however inartfully pleaded, must be held to less stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers." Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007) (internal citations and quotation marks omitted). Nevertheless, "although a court will read a pro se plaintiff's complaint liberally," a pro se complaint, no less than any other complaint, "must present a claim on which the Court can grant relief." Chandler v. Roche, 215 F. Supp. 2d 166, 168 (D.D.C. 2002) (citing Crisafi v. Holland, 655 F.2d 1305, 1308 (D.C. Cir. 1981)).

A motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6) tests the legal sufficiency of a complaint. Browning v. Clinton, 292 F.3d 235 (D.C. Cir. 2002). A complaint must present "enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face" and "above the speculative level." Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544 (2007). In considering a 12(b)(6) motion, the Court must construe the complaint "'liberally in the plaintiff's favor,' 'accept[ing] as true all of the factual allegations'" alleged in the complaint. Aktieselskabet AF 21 November 2001 v. Fame Jeans Inc., 525 F.3d 8, 15 (D.C. Cir. 2008) (alteration in original) (quoting Kassem v. Wash. Hosp. Ctr., 513 F.3d 251 (D.C. Cir. 2008)). Indeed, a plaintiff is entitled to "the benefit of all inferences that can be derived from the facts alleged." Kowal v. MCI Commc'ns Corp., 16 F.3d 1271 (D.C. Cir. 1994). A court need not, however, "accept inferences drawn by plaintiffs if such inferences are unsupported by the facts set out in the complaint. Nor must [a] court accept legal conclusions cast in the form of factual allegations." Id. "Threadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not suffice." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S. Ct. 1937, 1949 (2009). "[O]nly a complaint that states a plausible claim for relief survives a motion to dismiss." Id.

Summary judgment should be granted only if the moving party has shown that there are no genuine issues of material fact and that the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 56; Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 325 (1986); Waterhouse v. District of Columbia, 298 F. 3d 989, 991 (D.C. Cir. 2002). A fact is genuine "'if the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving party.'" Steele v. Schafer, 535 F. 3d 689, 692 (D.C. Cir. 2008) (quoting Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986)). Facts are material if they "'might affect the outcome of the suit under the governing law.'" Id. (quoting Anderson, 477 U.S. at 248). The party seeking summary judgment bears the initial burden of demonstrating an absence of genuine issues of material fact. Celotex, 477 U.S. at 322. In determining whether a genuine issue of material facts exists, the Court must view all facts in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party. See Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 597 (1986); Keyes v. District of Columbia, 372 F. 3d 434, 436 (D.C. Cir. 2004). "When a motion for summary judgment is properly made and supported, an opposing party may not rely merely on allegations or denials in its own pleading; rather, its response must . . . set out specific facts showing a genuine issue for trial." Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(e)(2); see also Celotex, 477 U.S. at 324.

III. ANALYSIS

A. Respondent's Motion to Dismiss

Having reviewed the Amended Complaint filed by petitioners, the Court concludes that petitioners have wholly failed to provide the "short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief, in order to give the defendant fair notice of what the . . . claim is and the grounds upon which it rests." Twombly, 550 U.S. at 167 (internal citations omitted). Instead, despite over a dozen lengthy filings by petitioners, the basis for petitioners' action against respondent remains somewhat of a mystery. As best the Court can ascertain, petitioners seek billions of dollars in compensation from Mr. Geithner and the Treasury Department based on allegations that petitioners had a role in the 2008 Emergency Economic Stabilization Act. Petitioners allege that:

The Federal Reserve Bank increase of FED profits in 2009 amounted to greater than $52.1 Billion dollars, is [sic] because of special work product program developed by Petitioners, intervening to prevent the collapse of the United States Government, putting a floor under U.S. economy, . . . re-fund the banking system, protect the ...


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