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Rattler v. Department of Health and Human Services

United States District Court, District of Columbia

October 16, 2014

CLYDE LACY RATTLER, Plaintiff,
v.
DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, et al., Defendants.

MEMORANDUM OPINION

ROYCE C. LAMBERTH, District Judge.

This matter is before the Court on review of plaintiff's pro se complaint. The Court concludes that the complaint is frivolous and that it must be dismissed. See 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(1)(B)(i), 1915A(b)(1).

According to plaintiff, he applied for supplemental security income ("SSI") benefits in 1983, Compl. ¶ 2, and since has "made numerious [sic] attempt[s] to secure... SSI benefits an[d] other Federal disability benefits... to no avail[, ]" id. ¶ 4. Further, in denying his application for benefits, defendants allegedly have committed treason, id. ¶ 6, engaged in a conspiracy, id. ¶ 10, breached an express or implied contract, id. ¶ 15, committed fraud, id. ¶ 20, committed theft, id. ¶ 28, and have attempted to murder him, id. ¶ 37, among other wrongs. Plaintiff therefore has demanded "a court order... to comple [sic] the Department of Health and Human Services to award [him] Ten Hundred Zillion... dollars each month." Id. ¶ 5; see id. ¶ 9. In addition, plaintiff asks that the Court "award [him] supernatural powers[, ] the right... to do as [he] wishs [sic] and a court order For Plaintiff['s] immediate release from prison." Id. ¶ 9; see id. ¶¶ 13, 18, 23, 27, 36, 40.

The court is mindful that a complaint filed by a pro se litigant is held to a less stringent standard than that applied to a formal pleading drafted by a lawyer. See Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520 (1972). Nevertheless, the court must dismiss a case "at any time if the court determines that... the action... is frivolous or malicious [or] fails to state a claim on which relief can be granted[.]" 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B). A district judge has "not only the authority to dismiss a claim based on an indisputably meritless legal theory, but also the unusual power to pierce the veil of the complaint's factual allegations and dismiss those claims whose factual contentions are clearly baseless." Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 327 (1989); see Brandon v. District of Columbia Bd. of Parole, 734 F.2d 56, 59 (D.C. Cir. 1984) (finding that complaint may be dismissed as frivolous for lack of "an arguable basis in law and fact"). The instant complaint falls squarely within this category: its factual allegations are clearly baseless, and it utterly lacks any arguable basis in law.

The instant complaint bears a marked resemblance to that filed in a prior case.[1] What begins with an allegation of the denial of an application for SSI benefits in 1983 "disintegrates into a variety of unsubstantiated claims" of treason, conspiracy, breach of contract, theft, fraud, and violation of equal protection rights, Rattler v. Dep't of Health & Human Servs., No. 12-1427, 2012 WL 3757508, at *1 (D.D.C. Aug. 29, 2012), as plaintiff has alleged here, see generally Compl. ¶¶ 6-43. The instant complaint, too, "presents the type of fantastic or delusional scenarios warranting dismissal under § 1915(e)(2) as frivolous, " Rattler, 2012 WL 3757508, at *1, and, accordingly, the Court will dismiss the complaint with prejudice.

An Order consistent with this Memorandum Opinion is issued separately.


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