United States District Court, District of Columbia
E. BOASBERG UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
suit accusing the Federal Bureau of Investigation of failing
to act on several of his farfetched tips, pro se
Plaintiff Patrick Maguire is refreshingly blunt. If, he tells
the Court, his tale of terrorist and drug-cartel sightings
“all seems like some work of fiction, ” the Court
should “feel free to dismiss” the Complaint. The
Court indeed has its doubts about some of Maguire's
observations, but it need not air them in this Opinion. It is
enough to find that, because Plaintiff has not shown that
he has suffered any injury from the FBI's
alleged reticence, he lacks standing to bring this lawsuit.
originally filed this suit in the Superior Court for the
District of Columbia before Defendant removed it here.
See ECF No. 1. Although the Court could have
dismissed the case at that time for failure to state a claim
- the Complaint read, in its entirety, “(Negligence of
obligation)” - it instead gave Maguire a second chance
by ordering him to file an Amended Complaint that set out his
allegations and the relief sought. See Minute Order
of Dec. 16, 2016.
did so, somewhat. On January 5, 2017, he filed a document
titled “Trial by Jury of 12, ” ECF No. 4, which
the Court took to be his Amended Complaint. See
Minute Order of Jan. 9, 2017. After Defendant moved to
dismiss, see ECF No. 6, Plaintiff filed an
opposition, see ECF No. 8, whose facts the Court may
also consider here. See Brown v. Whole Foods Market
Group, Inc., 789 F.3d 146, 152 (D.C. Cir. 2015).
pleadings are at times difficult to follow, but a central
theme emerges. He appears to be suing the FBI for failing to
act on a number of tips he provided the agency through its
website. He claims to have given the Bureau information
regarding, among others, cartel kingpin Joaquin “El
Chapo” Guzman, Al-Qaeda boss Ayman Al-Zawahiri,
convicted murderer and Black Liberation Army member Joanne
Chesimard, and Boston mobster James “Whitey”
Bulger. See Am. Compl. at 2; Pl. Resp. at 1. He
recounts a number of sightings, from the alarming (“Al
Queda [sic] on a bus in Phoenix, AZ, ” Am.
Compl. at 2) to the suspicious (“an athletic white guy
with a folder [with] Boston Marathon [bombing?] Information
in it, ” Pl. Resp. at 2) to the commonplace (“an
African American claiming to be from NYC, ”
id.). The FBI apparently did not act on these tips,
although it bears mention that two of the aforementioned
individuals are currently in custody. According to Plaintiff,
this amounts to “selective” enforcement of the
law. See Am. Compl. at 4. He now files this suit -
styled as a “personal tort, ” qui tam,
and “whistleblower” action - to compel the Bureau
to “do [its] job instead of playing politics.”
Id. at 1-3. He also appears to take issue with the
FBI's offering of a reward for information, but does not
flesh out this grievance. Id. at 2.
here contends that Maguire both lacks standing and fails to
state a claim. In other words, it seeks dismissal under both
Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(1) and 12(b)(6). The Court need consider
only the former. Article III of the Constitution limits the
power of the federal judiciary to the resolution of
“Cases” and “Controversies.” Because
“standing is an essential and unchanging part of the
case-or-controversy requirement of Article III, ”
Lujan v. Defenders of Wildlife, 504 U.S. 555, 560
(1992), finding that a plaintiff has standing is a necessary
“predicate to any exercise of [the Court's]
jurisdiction.” Florida Audubon Soc'y v.
Bentsen, 94 F.3d 658, 663 (D.C. Cir. 1996); see also
Allen v. Wright, 468 U.S. 737, 750 (1984) (discussing
case-or-controversy requirement). “This limitation is
no mere formality: it ‘defines with respect to the
Judicial Branch the idea of separation of powers on which the
Federal Government is founded.'” Dominguez v.
UAL Corp., 666 F.3d 1359, 1361 (D.C. Cir. 2012) (quoting
Allen, 468 U.S. at 750).
doctrine of standing “requires federal courts to
satisfy themselves that ‘the plaintiff has alleged such
a personal stake in the outcome of the controversy as to
warrant [his] invocation of federal-court
jurisdiction.” Summers v. Earth Island Inst.,
555 U.S. 488, 493 (2009) (citing Warth v. Seldin,
422 U.S. 490, 498-99 (1975)). “To establish Article III
standing, an injury must be ‘concrete, particularized,
and actual or imminent; fairly traceable to the challenged
action; and redressable by a favorable ruling.'”
Clapper v. Amnesty Int'l USA, 133 S.Ct. 1138,
1147 (2013) (quoting Monsanto Co. v. Geertson Seed
Farms, 561 U.S. 139, 149 (2010)). “[T]he
[p]laintiff's factual allegations in the complaint . . .
will bear closer scrutiny in resolving a 12(b)(1) motion'
than in resolving a 12(b)(6) motion for failure to state a
claim.” Grand Lodge of the Fraternal Order of
Police v. Ashcroft, 185 F.Supp.2d 9, 13-14 (D.D.C. 2001)
(quoting 5A Charles A. Wright & Arthur R. Miller,
Federal Practice and Procedure § 1350 (2d ed.
pleadings fail to establish standing for multiple reasons.
Most fatally, they allege no injury. To demonstrate his
standing here, Maguire must contend that he suffered a
distinct harm that can be traced to Defendant's alleged
failure to act on his information. See Valley Forge
Christian College v. Americans United for Separation of
Church and State, Inc., 454 U.S. 464, 472 (1982). That
injury must be “concrete and particularized” and
“actual or imminent, not conjectural or
hypothetical.” Lujan, 504 U.S. at 560
(citations omitted). Plaintiff, however, simply has not
alleged how he was injured - if at all - by the FBI's
failure to take action in response to his tips.
extent that the Court may do the work for him, it finds no
cognizable injury on the facts alleged. Plaintiff does not
claim that he has been denied reward money advertised by the
FBI in its online postings. Nor does he assert that he was
personally harmed by any of the outlaws he reported. Instead,
he maintains that this case is “about how things are
and are not enforced by the FBI, ” and “waste . .
. or mishandling [of] money.” Pl. Resp. at 1-2. This
injury is neither concrete nor particularized. Rather, it is
just “injury to the interest in seeing that the law is
obeyed, ” which has been held too abstract and
unspecific to form the basis of a justiciable case or
controversy. See FEC v. Akins, 524 U.S. 11, 24
(1998) (quoting Coleman v. Miller, 307 U.S. 433, 460
(1939) (Frankfurter, J., dissenting)); see also Whitner
v. U.S., No. 11-14458, 2012 WL 88284, at *1-2 (E.D.
Mich. Jan. 11, 2012) (“The investigation and
prosecution of crimes is a discretionary function of the FBI,
and the Plaintiff lacks standing to challenge any decision by
the FBI with regards to an alleged failure to
Plaintiff's allegations do not state a cognizable injury,
the Court will issue a contemporaneous Order dismissing the
case without ...