United States District Court, District of Columbia
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
RANDOLPH D. MOSS JUDGE
Vitaly Pilkin and Vladimir Miroshnichenko are citizens of the
Russian Federation, and, appearing pro se, bring
this suit against Sony Entertainment LLC and Sony Corporation
(collectively “Sony”), the law firm Hogan Lovells
LLP, and the United States Department of Justice and Attorney
General Jefferson Sessions “in his official
capacity” (collectively “Federal
Defendants”), seeking damages for an alleged criminal
conspiracy to deprive them of profits from their Russian
patent. Dkt. 1 at 1, 3. Although Plaintiffs' 152-page
complaint is not the picture of clarity, it appears that
their principal argument is that Sony and Hogan Lovells
conspired to undermine Plaintiffs' patent in legal
proceedings in Russia, actions which Plaintiffs allege
violated a number of United States statutes. Plaintiffs seek
monetary damages of $340, 000, 000 “based on the
doctrine of unjust enrichment[.]” Id. at 4.
Plaintiffs further argue that the Federal Defendants are
liable for their losses because the Department of Justice
failed to investigate and to prosecute Sony and Hogan Lovells
for criminal activity, thereby “aid[ing] Sony Group
companies and Hogan Lovells” and “defraud[ing]
the United States.” Id.
28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2), the Court must dismiss a case
“at any time” it determines that the complaint
“fails to state a claim upon which relief can be
granted” or “seeks monetary relief against a
defendant who is immune from such relief.” Even more
fundamentally, federal courts have an obligation to ensure
that they have subject matter jurisdiction over any and all
claims pending before them. See Fed. R. Civ. P.
12(h)(3) (requiring the Court to dismiss an action “at
any time” it determines that subject matter
jurisdiction is wanting). For the reasons explained below,
the Court will dismiss the complaint against the Federal
Defendants for want of subject matter jurisdiction.
against the Department of Justice and the Attorney General in
his official capacity must be treated as a suit against the
United States. See Kentucky v. Graham, 473 U.S. 159,
166 (1985). Claims against the United States for money
damages, however, are barred by sovereign immunity unless a
waiver of that immunity is “unequivocally expressed in
statutory text.” Lane v. Pena, 518 U.S. 187,
192 (1996). Here, Plaintiffs allege that the United States is
liable for money damages because they provided the Federal
Defendants with “arguments and proofs which evidence[d]
that for several years Sony Group Companies, [and] Hogan
Lovells . . . with high probability committed an FCPA
violation and [a] RICO offense, ” Dkt. 1 at 103, and
the Federal Defendants did not investigate or prosecute Sony
and Hogan Lovells based on that information, id. at
106 (alleging that the Federal Defendants “committed
acts that obstructed a lawful governmental function by means
that were dishonest, ” in violation of “the U.S.
Attorneys' Manual (Title 9, 9-42.001[)]” and
“18 U.S.C. § 371”).
have not identified-and cannot identify-any statute that
waives the sovereign immunity of the United States for claims
premised on the failure of the Department of Justice to
investigate allegations of criminal misconduct or to bring
criminal charges against a third party. Certainly, nothing in
the United States Attorneys' Manual purports to authorize
suits against the United States, see United States v.
North, No. 88-cr-80, 1988 WL 148491, at *1 n.2 (D.D.C.
Nov. 10, 1988) (“The United States Attorney's
Manual . . . . does not have the force of law.”), nor
is it possible to construe anything contained in 18 U.S.C.
§ 371 or RICO to do so. And, although the Federal Tort
Claims Act authorizes certain suits for money damages against
the United States, that waiver of sovereign immunity does not
apply to “[a]ny claim based upon . . . the exercise or
performance or the failure to perform a discretionary
function or duty on the part of a federal agency or an
employee of the Government.” 28 U.S.C. § 2680(a).
Here, no statute, regulation, or policy mandates that the
Department of Justice initiate a criminal investigation or
bring criminal charges, and judicial
“second-guessing” of whether the Department
should do so is not only at odds with the purposes of the
discretionary function exception, see United States v.
Gaubert, 499 U.S. 315, 323 (1991), but would raise
significant separation of powers concerns, see Heckler v.
Chaney, 470 U.S. 821, 832 (1985).
the United States has not waived its sovereign immunity, the
Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction over Plaintiffs'
claims against the Federal Defendants, and those claims must
on the Court's own motion, it is hereby
that this action should be, and is hereby,
DISMISSED against the United States
Department of Justice and United States Attorney General