United States District Court, District of Columbia
KEITH R. CALDWELL, SR., Plaintiff,
DAVID J. SHULKIN, et al., Defendants.
E. BOASBERG UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
se Plaintiff Keith R. Caldwell seeks more than $5
million in damages for allegedly deficient medical care he
received at the Bay Pines Medical Center, a facility operated
by the Department of Veterans Affairs in Bay Pines, Florida.
See Compl. at 2, 30. Caldwell initially brought
these claims in the Middle District of Florida, where his
Third Amended Complaint was dismissed for failure to conform
to the requirements of the Federal Tort Claims Act. See
Caldwell v. U.S. Dep't of Veterans Admin., 2015 WL
2356021 (M.D. Fla. May 15, 2015), aff'd sub nom.
Caldwell v. Klinker, 646 Fed.Appx. 842 (11th Cir. 2016).
Plaintiff now seeks to pursue his case in this Court, but his
current effort faces an additional hurdle: he has been
enjoined from filing “any new civil action [in this
District] without first seeking leave to file such
complaint.” Caldwell v. Obama, 6 F.Supp.3d 31,
52 (D.D.C. 2013), appeal dismissed, No. 14-5085
(D.C. Cir. 2014). Although Defendants dispute the merits of
Caldwell's claims and the appropriateness of his choice
of venue in their Motion to Dismiss or Transfer, the Court
need look no further than his failure to comply with the
judicial orders of this District. The Court will thus grant
Defendants' Motion and dismiss the case without
prejudice; he may seek leave to refile if he so wishes.
to Caldwell's Complaint, he is a “90% disable[d]
22-year Army retired officer, ” Compl. at 26, who
suffers from “blackout episodes” and
mental-health issues. Id. at 9-10. As a result of
one such blackout episode, Caldwell broke his neck while
attending a baseball game in August 2014. Id. at 9.
While in treatment for this injury, Caldwell was subsequently
diagnosed with “Shy Dragger [sic] Syndrome,
” a neurological disease. Id. Plaintiff
alleges a number of instances of deficient care at the Bay
Pines Medical Center, primarily regarding his neck injury and
diagnosis, as well as the Center's purported failure to
provide him adequate mental-health treatment. Id. at
5-14. Naming VA healthcare employees, the (former) Secretary
of the VA, the agency itself, and the Bay Pines Medical
Center as Defendants, Caldwell's Complaint raises claims
under Florida's Baker Act, the FTCA, 42 U.S.C. §
9501, and the “14th / 15th Amendment[s]” of the
Constitution. Id. at 26-29.
filings, however, make no reference to his extensive prior
dealings in this District. As a result of prolonged
employment- and tax-related litigation against his former
employer and various federal officials - including, inter
alia, former President Barack Obama, Chief Justice John
Roberts, and the judges who presided over his cases, see
Caldwell, 6 F.Supp.3d at 41 - Judge Howell found that
Caldwell's “repeated filings of meritless
complaints in this district is both vexatious and harassing
to the parties named as defendants and imposes an unwarranted
burden on the ‘orderly and expeditious administration
of justice.'” Id. at 52 (quoting Urban
v. United Nations, 768 F.2d 1497, 1500 (D.C. Cir.
1985)). The court consequently enjoined him from “any
subsequent filing in the District Court for the District of
Columbia without first seeking leave from the Court”
and “explain[ing] what new matters are raised to
warrant the filing of a new complaint.”
Caldwell, 6 F.Supp.3d at 52; see also No.
13-1438, ECF No. 8 (2013 Order). In seeking leave, Caldwell
was instructed to “include a concise description of
the allegations contained in such complaint.” 2013
does not dispute Defendants' claim that he is the Keith
R. Caldwell, Sr. subject to the 2013 Order; indeed, his
instant Complaint and his 2013 claims were filed using the
same phone number. See ECF No. 1 at 31 (listing 2018
phone number); No. 13-1438, ECF No. 1 at 37 (listing 2013
phone number). “[C]ourts faced with injunctions
limiting access to the courts by vexatious litigants [should]
first address the applicability vel non of such
injunctions.” Dantzler v. EEOC, 810 F.Supp.2d
312, 320 (D.D.C. 2011) (quoting Stitch v. United
States, 108 Fed.Appx. 32, 33 n.2 (2d Cir. 2004)). Given
that the injunction remains in force and “[t]he proper
course of action is for courts to require parties to abide by
the terms of pre-filing injunctions, ” Perry v.
United States, 548 Fed.Appx. 614, 616 (Fed. Cir. 2013),
Plaintiff's case will be dismissed without prejudice.
Caldwell remains free to file his claims in this District if
granted leave by Chief Judge Howell.
the Court is cognizant that “Caldwell is a pro
se litigant, rather than an attorney, the application of
the law remains the same.” Caldwell, 2015 WL
2356021 at *8. This includes compliance with court orders.
Since Plaintiff failed to seek leave prior to filing the
current action, his claims will be dismissed ...