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Paul Renfro Harbison, Jr v. U.S. Senate Committee On Foreign Relations

March 14, 2012


The opinion of the court was delivered by: Judge Beryl A. Howell


In a span of less than two months, Plaintiff Paul Renfro Harbison, Jr., a pro se litigant, filed three complaints in this Court against dozens of federal and state officials, government agencies, members of the Judiciary, law firms, and private citizens. One complaint has already been reviewed and disposed of by this Court, and two complaints remain pending.*fn1 The plaintiff's claims appear to stem from divorce proceedings initiated in 2007 by his alleged wife in Spotsylvania, Virginia Circuit Court, which led to his subsequent indictment for unlawful marriage and bigamy. His claims in the two remaining actions pending in this Court include wide-ranging allegations of violations of the United States and Korean Constitutions, kidnapping, human trafficking, forced marriage, and war crimes violations. Seven Motions to Dismiss, pursuant to Rules 12(b)(1), 12(b)(5), and 12(b)(6), have been filed in these matters and are currently before the Court.*fn2 For the reasons explained below, the Court will consolidate the plaintiff's lawsuits into a single action, grant the pending motions to dismiss, and sua sponte dismiss the complaints with prejudice against the non-moving defendants.


Presently before this Court are motions to dismiss by some of the defendants named in two complaints filed by the plaintiff. On October 17, 2011, the plaintiff filed a 76-page complaint with allegations enumerated in 86 numbered paragraphs against 48 defendants in Harbison v. U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, et al.,Case No. 11-cv-1828 (BAH). On November 8, 2011, the plaintiff filed an 89-page complaint with allegations enumerated in 99 numbered paragraphs against 36 defendants in Harbison v. Sec'y of the Army, et al., Case No. 11-cv-1965 (BAH). The first complaint is styled as a "Writ of Habeas Corpus" and a "Writ of Error" and also includes allegations of "War Crimes Violations." See Case No. 11-cv-1828, ECF No. 1 ("Compl. I"). The second complaint alleges, inter alia, violations of the United States Constitution, the Republic of Korea Constitution, various federal and Virginia statutes, various international treaties, and includes claims of "Manifest Fraud;" "Human Trafficking;" "Slavery;" "War Crimes Violations;" "Crimes Against Humanity;" "Human Rights Violations;" and "Judicial Misconduct." See Case No. 11-cv-1965, ECF No. 1 ("Compl. II").

Despite the differences in legal theories asserted in the two complaints, the factual allegations and defendants are largely overlapping. Specifically, the defendants named in the complaints may be grouped as follows:

1. U.S Senate Committee on Foreign Relations and U.S. House Committee on Foreign Affairs ("Congressional Defendants");*fn3

2. Department of Defense; Secretary of Defense; Department of the Army; Secretary of the Army; General Thurman, Commander, U.S. Forces, Korea ("USFK"); Colonel McKitrick, USFK Judge Advocate (collectively, "U.S. Military Defendants");*fn4

3. Robert L. Gregory, Dennis W. Shedd, Barbara M. Kennan, Robert E. Paine; Dennis W. Donhal (collectively, "Federal Judicial Defendants");*fn5

4. Commonwealth of Virginia; Bob McDonnell as Governor of Virginia; Kenneth T. Cuccinelli, II, as the Commonwealth's Attorney General; Assistant Attorney General Christy W. Monolo; Spotsylvania County Prosecutors Edith M. Min, John C. Bowers, Matthew B. Lowery, and William Neely; Henrico County Prosecutor Wade Kizar; Spotsylvania County Sheriff Howard Smith; Spotsylvania County Deputy Charles Carey (collectively, "Commonwealth and County Official Defendants");*fn6

5. David Beck; Joseph Ellis; Gary A. Hicks; Margaret W. Deglau; Theodore Markow; Jean Harrison Clements; Cleo E. Powell; Robert J. Humphreys (collectively, "Commonwealth and County Judicial Defendants");*fn7

6. Owens & Owens, PLC; W. Joseph Owens, III; Kimberly A. Skiba; Sullivan & Secklii; Carolyn Secklii; Junko Ezure; Makoto Ezure; Megumi Ezure (collectively, "Civilian Defendants");*fn8 and

7. Korean Constitutional Court Chief Justice; Seoul Seodaemun Police Station Superintendent; Yong Suk Cho; Jin Suk Hyun (collectively "Korean Defendants").*fn9

The two complaints consist of sweeping allegations of wrongdoing by the defendants and by other named and unnamed parties. As noted, the plaintiff's allegations stem from the plaintiff's divorce and subsequent indictment for unlawful marriage and bigamy. In both complaints, the plaintiff claims to be a "white, American citizen" who is "unmarried" and "has never married or divorced in Virginia." See Compl. I at ¶¶ 1, 2; Compl. II at ¶¶ 1, 4. He states that he has been married only once, to Kyung Ae Harbison, with whom he was legally divorced in October, 2003. Compl. I at ¶ 2; Compl. II at ¶ 5. Nevertheless, the plaintiff details in the complaints that another person, Junko Ezure, filed for divorce from the plaintiff in Spotsylvania Circuit Court in 2007, and that the plaintiff "counterclaimed that the marriage was fraudulent." Compl. I at ¶ 3; Compl. II at ¶ 6. Indeed, the plaintiff denies that he voluntarily or legally married Junko Ezure (also known as Junko Harbison). Compl. I at ¶ 2; Compl. II at ¶ 5. According to a "Report and Certificate of Marriage" issued by the U. S. Embassy in Seoul, Korea, however, the plaintiff "participated in a marriage ceremony" with Junko Ezure in November, 2002, which was before his divorce from Kyung Ae Harbison was final. Harbison v. Harbison, No. LC 07-1128, (Va. Cir. Ct. Jan. 7, 2009) (ECF 1, Ex. A). Accordingly, the Circuit Court found, on January 7, 2009, that the marriage to Junko Ezure was "absolutely void" pursuant to Virginia Code §§20-38.1(a)(1) and 20-43 because the plaintiff was still married at the time of his marriage to Junko Ezure. Id. During the pendency of the divorce proceedings, the plaintiff apparently was arrested for "stalking" Junko Ezure, and indicted by a state grand jury for bigamy and unlawful marriage. Harbison v. Commonwealth of Va., No. 10-cv-297, 2010 WL 3655980, at *1-2 (E.D. Va. Aug. 11, 2010). "The charges were subsequently nolle presequied on the motion of the Assistant Attorney for the Commonwealth in January 2009." Id. at *2.

Although both the divorce proceedings and the criminal charges were resolved, the plaintiff continued to seek judicial review. He appealed the Circuit Court's decision to declare his marriage to Junko Ezure void, which was summarily affirmed by the Court of Appeals of Virginia on January 12, 2010. Id. at *1. Following dismissal of the criminal charges against him, he filed a Petition for Writ of Mandamus to the Supreme Court of Virginia, which was refused on May 27, 2010. Id. at *2. The plaintiff then filed a 56-page complaint on May 5, 2010, in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia against some of the Commonwealth and County Official and Judicial Defendants and Civilian Defendants in this case, alleging various constitutional violations committed against the plaintiff in the prior divorce and criminal proceedings in state court, as well as violations of treaties between the United States and Japan and Korea. Id. at *1-2. On September 10, 2010, that case was dismissed. See Harbison v. ...

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