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Cofield v. United States

United States District Court, D. Columbia.

August 20, 2014

KEENAN K. COFIELD, Plaintiff,
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, et al., Defendants

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[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

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KEENAN K. COFIELD, Dr., Individually and . . . to include . . . all others who are similarly situated . . . . , Plaintiff, Pro se, Westover, MD.

For UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA, II, President of the United States of America, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF STANDARDS AND TECHNOLOGY, SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION, FEDERAL COMMUNICATION COMMISSION, FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION, CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES UNITED STATES SENATE, Defendants: Shuchi Batra, LEAD ATTORNEY, U.S. ATTORNEY'S OFFICE, Washington, DC.

For INTERNET CORPORATION FOR ASSIGNED NAMES AND NUMBER, Defendant: Tara Lynn R. Zurawski, JONES DAY, Washington, DC.

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MEMORANDUM OPINION

KETANJI BROWN JACKSON, United States District Judge.

Plaintiff Keenan K. Cofield (" Plaintiff" ) is a Maryland state prisoner incarcerated at the Eastern Correctional Institution in Westover, Maryland.[1] In December of 2013, Plaintiff lodged a complaint in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia against the United States and various federal agencies, President Barack Obama, the United States House of Representatives, and the United States Senate (collectively, " Federal Defendants" ), as well as the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (" ICANN" ) and that organization's President, Rod Beckstrom. Plaintiff demands billions of dollars in damages and injunctive and declaratory relief.

On January 15, 2014, the House of Representatives removed the case to this Court pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § § 1442, 1446, with the consent of the remaining Federal Defendants. (Notice of Removal, ECF No. 1.) On February 5, 2014, the Court granted the House of Representatives' motion to dismiss in light of Plaintiff's consent to the dismissal. ( See Order, ECF No. 6.) Presently before the Court is the remaining Federal Defendants' motion to dismiss under Rules 12(b)(1) and 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure or for summary judgment under Rule 56. ( See Fed. Defs.' Mot. to Dismiss, or in the Alternative, Mot. for Summ. J., ECF No. 9, at 1.)[2] In addition, ICANN has moved to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(5) for insufficient service of process. ( See Defs.' Internet Corp. for Assigned Name and Numbers & Richard Beckstrom's Mot. to Dismiss, ECF No. 27; Mem. In Supp. of Defs. Internet Corp. for Assigned Name and Numbers & Rod Beckstrom's Mot. to Dismiss (" ICANN's Mem." ), ECF No. 27-2, at 1.) Plaintiff has filed a response to the Federal Defendants' motion and has moved for summary judgment or a default judgment " specifically against Defendants ICANN[.]" (Pl.'s Mot. for Summ. J., or in the Alternative Mot. for Default J. & Response to U.S. Gov't's Only Mot. to Dismiss, ECF No. 13.)

Because this Court concludes that it lacks jurisdiction over Plaintiff's claims against the Federal Defendants, the Court will GRANT the Federal Defendants' motion under Rule 12(b)(1), and will REMAND Plaintiff's case against ICAAN and Beckstrom to the Superior Court.[3] A separate

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order consistent with this opinion will follow.

I. BACKGROUND

The two-count complaint in this matter is perplexing. The Court has read it liberally and considers the following information to be relevant to the disposition of the case.

Plaintiff alleges that, in approximately 1997 or 1998, the Department of Commerce (via the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration) issued a proposal that " allowed for the creation and formation of" ICANN. (Compl., ECF No. 1-1, at 7.) According to Plaintiff, ICANN is " a California non-profit, which . . . oversees, the Internet, regulates Domain names, web addresses, the organization in charge of creating hundreds of additional address suffixes, and more." ( Id.; s ee also ICANN's Mem. at 2 (explaining that ICAAN is a Los Angeles, California-based " not-for-profit public benefit corporation" that " administers the Internet's domain name system [] on behalf of the Internet community, pursuant to a series of agreements with the United States Department of Commerce." (citation omitted)).) Plaintiff also describes ICANN as " a single white owned non-profit government controlled business monopoly[.]" (Compl. at 9.) He states that " [a]ll [he] wants is the legal right for the process and competition to be fair, to be ...


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