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William C. Bond v. United States Department of Justice

July 2, 2012


The opinion of the court was delivered by: Royce C. Lamberth, Chief Judge,



The point of a motion to alter or amend a previous judgment under Rule 59(e) is not to cry over spilled milk; rather, litigants should use this opportunity to highlight new evidence that would correct clear error or prevent manifest injustice. Unfortunately, the plaintiff-who believes that he is a modern incarnation of David in his epic battle against Goliath (here, the Government and the Washington Post)-has illustrated none of these. Plaintiff has filed lawsuit after lawsuit, the most recent on September 23, 2010, alleging, among other claims, that this Court conspired with Goliath to prevent him from obtaining justice. But, plaintiff's claims were dismissed pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) in December 2011. Now pending before the Court is plaintiff William C. Bond's Motion to Alter or Amend the Court's December 6, 2011 Judgment and Memorandum Opinion. Upon consideration of the Motion, the Oppositions, the Replies thereto, the applicable law, and the entire record herein, the Court denies the plaintiff's Motion for the reasons set forth below.


Plaintiff's "highly embellished" *fn2 manuscript of his life story sets the stage for this protracted litigation that has endured, in a variety of Courts and forms, for more than ten years. Am. Compl. ¶ 1, Oct. 20, 2010, ECF No. 6.Plaintiff filed the instant suit on September 23, 2010 against two categories of defendants: the United States Department of Justice ("DOJ") and DOJ officials (collectively "Federal defendants"), and the Washington Post and its reporter, Manuel Roig-Franzia (collectively "the Post"). Plaintiff's claims against both categories of defendants are best understood coupled with a brief history of his past claims.

A. Factual History

In 2001, Bond discovered that someone stole the manuscript of his fictionalized autobiography. Am. Compl. ¶ 2, Oct. 20, 2010, ECF No. 6. He then filed suit against the alleged thieves in Maryland for conversion and invasion of privacy. Id. ¶9. When the District Court ruled in favor of the defendants in that case, he appealed the decision to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, which affirmed and awarded substantial attorney's fees. Id. ¶¶ 3, 7. Rather than cut his losses, plaintiff became increasingly paranoid. He believed that the defendants and the Federal judges assigned to his case were conspiring against him, and that the defendants lied during trial. Id. ¶11--14. Attempting to expose these alleged misdeeds, Bond referred the matters of perjury and judicial misconduct to the United States Attorney's Office for the District of Maryland ("USAO") in 2004. Id. ¶ 15. The USAO's office declined Bond's referral in writing, citing "discretion" as a basis for its decision not to investigate. Id. ¶ 22. In the "summer and fall" of 2006, Bond sought reconsideration of the USAO's decision, which the USAO again declined. Id. ¶ 24. In response, Bond filed three related actions in Federal Court: a FOIA request seeking the USAO's "'final report," and two actions alleging "fraud upon the Court" on the part of the defendants in the Maryland case. Id. ¶ 25. The Federal District Court again dismissed Bond's complaints and the Fourth Circuit affirmed. Id. ¶ 26. Undeterred by his lack of success, Bond petitioned the Supreme Court for writs of certiorari in 2008 and 2009. Id. ¶ 27.Unsurprisingly, the Supreme Court denied both petitions. Id. ¶¶ 40, 43.

While a denial of certiorari by the Supreme Court ends the legal journey for most litigants, Bond decided that his case had to be heard. Plaintiff filed suit in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia on September 23, 2010, seeking damages and mandamus relief for violations of his constitutional rights with respect to the Federal defendants for violating the "civil rights laws of the United States, i.e., 42 USC [sic] § 1981 et. seq." Id. 2. He alleges that since 2004, the Federal defendants have acted with callous disregard for plaintiff and his property, and have treated him prejudicially because of his juvenile-delinquent past and the criminal subject matter of his manuscript. Id. ¶ 71.

Seeking public recognition of his legal battle, Bond pitched a story about his impending petitions in the Supreme Court to a Washington Post reporter, Manuel Roig-Franzia. Id. ¶ 29. That Bond felt comfortable to pitch a story to this particular reporter is peculiar, since the same journalist had previously written a piece about Bond that he characterized as "unflattering" in 2001. Id. Nevertheless, Bond fully cooperated with Roig-Franzia regarding the content of the upcoming article, agreeing to sit for multiple photographs and interviews. Id. ¶ 39. When the long-awaited article appeared in the Washington Post in 2009, Bond found himself "surprised and humiliated" by the piece because Roig-Franzia included numerous subjects that they had allegedly agreed would remain off the record. Id. ¶ 52.

Feeling slighted by the actions of both Roig-Franzia and the Washington Post (for failing to supervise its employee), Bond filed suit in this Court, seeking damages and injunctive relief for the common law torts of intentional infliction of emotional distress, fraud, negligent misrepresentation, and for breach of contract. Id. ¶ 96. He also alleges civil rights violations under "the D.C. Criminal code 22-3221 [sic] . . . and the Federal civil rights act." Id. 2. Bond states that Roig-Franzia knowingly misled him by making continual false representations to him. Id. ¶ 91. Bond also maintains that there are "unknown individuals" at the Post who "are filled with ill will, spite and hatred" toward him and who "have taken actual acts to cause [him] harm." Id. ¶ 103. He further alleges that the Post failed to supervise Roig-Franzia and that it failed "to right the wrong" it committed by publishing a "defamatory article." Id. ¶ 102.

B. Procedural History

After plaintiff filed his Complaint, both categories of defendants filed motions to dismiss. Post Mot. Dismiss, Nov. 24, 2010, ECF No. 10; Federal Defs.' Mot. Dismiss, Dec. 30, 2010, ECF No. 24. On December 6, 2011, this Court issued its Memorandum Opinion and Judgment, granting the defendants' Motions to Dismiss and denying plaintiffs' Motion to Strike and Motion for Leave to File a Second Amended Complaint. Mem. Op. 2, Dec. 6, 2011, ECF No. 46. This Court determined that Bond's Amended Complaint was futile and that it failed to establish either subject matter jurisdiction or state a claim upon which relief could be granted with respect to the Federal defendants. Id. at 17. With regard to the Post, this Court dismissed plaintiff's suit on similar grounds.*fn3 Id. at 25. In response, plaintiff filed the instant Motion to Alter or Amend the Court's Judgment, Motion for Relief from Judgment, Motion for Discovery and Motion to Expedite with Request for a Hearing. Mot. Alter/Amend1, Jan. 3, 2012, ECF No. 50.

Plaintiff offers the following arguments to persuade the Court that reconsideration is warranted. First, plaintiff asks this Court to reconsider its final Judgment, pursuant to Rule 59(e), arguing that "newly discovered evidence" proves the existence of a conspiracy against him. Id. at 17. Plaintiff also raises the issue of his photographs for the first time, arguing that the Washington Post should cease publishing them. Id. at 30. Although this Court dismissed his claim because it was untimely, plaintiff now argues that a District of Columbia law-the discovery rule, which is a statutory rule that applies when there is an obscure connection between an alleged injury in fact and tortious conduct-should have prevented his claim from being dismissed in the first place. Id. at 19. Plaintiff also argues that even if his claim was untimely, the Bivens rule-which allows a party to recover against Federal officials in their individual capacities-saves his claim because he has now individually named the Federal defendants responsible for his woes. Id. at 18. Plaintiff's final argument in support of reconsideration alleges that this Court committed a "clear error" when it dismissed his claim pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6), arguing that instead, it should have evaluated his claim utilizing a Rule 56 Summary Judgment standard. Id. at 13. Plaintiff's second motion requests reconsideration pursuant to Rule 60(a); plaintiff alleges that this Court made ...

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