United States District Court, District of Columbia
matter is before the Court on its initial review of
Plaintiff, James Nathan Fry's, pro se complaint
and application for leave to proceed in forma
pauperis. Plaintiff brings claims against all defendants
styled under select subsections of the Racketeer Influenced
and Corrupt Organizations Act ("RICO"). The Court
will grant the in forma pauperis application and
dismiss the case.
Kyle, Colloton. Bright & Shepherd ("Judicial
has sued four Judges, one of the United States District Court
for the District of Minnesota, and three current/former of
the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit.
[See Compl. caption; see also Compl. at
¶¶ 10-15]. It appears that Judge Kyle presided over
Plaintiffs trial and sentencing, and that Judges Colloton,
Bright, and Shepherd presided over Plaintiffs post-trial
proceedings. Plaintiff alleges that the Judicial Defendants
all obstructed justice by engaging in wrongdoing arising out
of: grand jury procedure; the styling of indictments; and the
criminal charges, and/or false implication of additional
charges, filed against him. Plaintiff postures all
allegations under RICO, namely 18 U.S. Code § §
1962 and 1964, based on non- specific allegations that the
Defendants' conduct consisted of a scheme to defraud the
Plaintiff out of his personal and business assets.
[See Compl. at ¶¶ 10-16].
on the allegations in the complaint, all of the actions
allegedly were committed by these Defendants while they were
acting in a judicial capacity. Such actions are thus
protected under the doctrine of judicial immunity. Judges are
absolutely immune from suits for money damages for "all
actions taken in the judge's judicial capacity, unless
these actions are taken in the complete absence of all
jurisdiction." Sindram v. Suda, 986 F.2d 1459,
1460 (D.C.Cir.1993); Caldwell v. Kagan, 865
F.Supp.2d 35, 42 (D.D.C. 2012) ("Judges have absolute
immunity for any actions taken in a judicial or
quasi-judicial capacity."). Courts have further
specified that RICO claims are barred under the doctrine of
judicial immunity. See, e.g., Thomas v. Wilkins, 61
F.Supp, 3d 13 (D.D.C. 2014). This District has explained that
"RICO claims must be denied if they simply constitute
another way of attacking a judge's rulings, " and
that judicial immunity "applies where the
RICO-challenged acts are judicial in nature."
Id. at 20 (internal citations omitted).
because the acts underlying the Plaintiffs RICO claims were
"judicial in nature, " they are protected by the
judicial immunity doctrine. Further, a judicial act does not
become less judicial by virtue of an allegation of malice,
corruption or conspiracy. Id. Therefore, all claims
against the Defendants, Kyle, Colloton, Bright and Shepherd,
shall be dismissed.
Alexander, Svcndsen, Lewis, Rank, Dixon & Docherty
also brings claims against six Assistant United States
Attorneys, specifically, Defendants, Alexander, Svendsen,
Lewis, Rank, Dixon, and Docherty, all of whom appear to have
played a role in investigating and/or prosecuting his case,
in full or in part. [See Compl. caption; see
also Compl. at ¶¶ 10> 12-15]. Plaintiff
makes some respective combination of allegations against
these Defendants that he also made against the Judicial
Defendants, as discussed supra. See Id. Plaintiff
wages one additional allegation specific to Defendant
Alexander; Plaintiff claims Defendant Alexander obtained
plaintiffs unlawful arrest without a valid warrant and
without evidence. [See Compl. at ¶ 11]. All of
these allegations are again styled as RICO claims.
See Compl. at ¶¶10-15].
a prosecutor proceeds in the clear absence of all
jurisdiction, absolute immunity exists for those
prosecutorial activities intimately associated with the
judicial phase of the criminal process." Gray v.
Bell, 712 F.2d 490, 499 (D.C. Cir.1983) (absolute
prosecutorial immunity for even quasi-judicial actions),
cert, denied, 465 U.S. 1100 (1984). The AUSA
Defendants were acting within their designated authority to
pursue criminal charges. Judicial and quasi-judicial
activities include the initiation of a prosecution and the
presentation of the government's case. Id;
Expeditions Unlimited Aquatic Enter., Inc. v. Smithsonian
Inst., 566 F.2d 289, 292 (D.C. Cir. 1977); Imbler v.
Pachtman, 424 U.S. 409 (1976). Whether to present a case
to a grand jury, whether to file an information, whether and
when to prosecute, whether to dismiss or charge an indictment
against particular defendants, which witnesses to call, and
what other evidence to present, are all advocatory decisions
and thus absolutely immunized. Imbler, 424 U.S. at
431; District of Columbia v. Jones, 919 A.2d 604,
611 (D.C. 2007); Moore v. Valder, 65 F.3d 189,
193-94 (D.C. Cir. 1995). The Court therefore concludes that
these Defendants are protected by prosecutorial immunity, and
that dismissal is proper.
King & Hovcy ("Witness Defendants')
brings claims against two government Witness Defendants.
[See Compl. caption; see also Compl. at
¶ 16]. Plaintiff has sued Defendants Hovey (FBI Agent)
Klug (IRS Agent), who both participated in the investigation
of Plaintiffs case and then testified as prosecutorial
witnesses against the Plaintiff. Plaintiff alleges that both
Defendants committed perjury and misrepresented certain
records shown to the jury. [See Compl. at ¶
16]. Again, Plaintiff alleges that this was done by way of
unexplained wire and/or mail fraud under RICO, in attempts to
defraud the Plaintiff of his assets. See id.
immunity for witnesses protects them from suits bringing
civil damages, rendering them absolutely immune from
liability in cases involving constitutional claims. See
Briscoe v. LaHue, 460 U.S. 325 (1983); Briggs v.
Goodwin, 712 F.2d 1444 (D.C. Cir. 1983), cert.
denied, 464 U.S. 1040 (1983). Even if the Plaintiffs
allegations of conspiracy were sufficient, such allegations
do not defeat this immunity. See Martin v. Malhoyt,
830 F.2d 237, 258 n. 57 (D.C. Cir. 1987). Further, this Court
rejects Plaintiffs attempt to avoid the repercussions of
immunity by bringing these claims under RICO. Federal Courts
have held that, in enacting 18 U.S.C. § 1964, there was
no intention to create a loophole abrogating existing
immunities protecting government officials and witnesses from
civil damage claims. See, e.g., Thillens, Inc. v.
Community Currency Exch. Ass'n of Illinois, Inc.,
729 F.2d 1128, 1130-31 (7th Cir.), cert, dismissed, 469 U.S.
976 (1984); see also Sellers v. General Motors Corp., 590
F.Supp. 502 (E.D. PA 1984). Therefore, these Defendants are
protected by absolute immunity from civil liability, and they
do not lose that protection merely because the Plaintiff has
couched his allegations under RICO. See Id.
Attorney General of the United States (Obama
Plaintiff has filed suit against the Attorney General of the
United States (during the Obama Administration). [See Compl.
captions; see also Compl. at pp. 14-15]. The United States
possesses sovereign immunity from suit for money damages
except to the extent that it expressly consents to suit.
Dalehite v. United States, 346 U.S. 15, 30 (1953).
Furthermore, sovereign immunity also bars suit for money
damages against officials in their official capacities absent
a specific waiver by the government. Clark v. Library of
Congress, 750 F.2d 89, 103 (D.C.Cir.l984). Plaintiff has
neither pleaded nor established that ...