United States District Court, District of Columbia
Thomas K. Jenkins Plaintiff,
United States District Court et al., Defendants.
matter is before the Court on its initial review of plaintiff
spro se complaint and application for leave to
proceed in forma pauperis. The Court will grant the
application and dismiss the complaint for lack of subject
matter jurisdiction. 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
courts are courts of limited jurisdiction. They possess only
that power authorized by Constitution and statute," and
it is "presumed that a cause lies outside this limited
jurisdiction." Kokkonen v. Guardian Life Ins. Co. of
Am., 511 U.S. 375, 377 (1994) (citations omitted). Under
the doctrine of sovereign immunity, the United States may be
sued only upon consent, which must be clear and unequivocal.
United States v. Mitchell, 445 U.S. 535, 538 (1980)
(citation omitted). A waiver of sovereign immunity "must
be unequivocally expressed in statutory text, and [it cannot]
be implied." Lane v. Pena, 518 U.S. 187, 192
(1996) (citations omitted). A party seeking relief in the
district court must at least plead facts that bring the suit
within the court's jurisdiction. See Fed. R.
Civ. P. 8(a). Failure to plead such facts warrants dismissal
of the action.
is incarcerated in Baltimore, Maryland. He sues the United
States District Court in Greenbelt, Maryland, and the Federal
Medical Center in Butner, North Carolina ("FMC
Burner"). Plaintiff alleges:
Acting under color of law and against the dignity of the
people of the State - on or about the years of 2016, 2017,
2018[, ] the United States District Court did with reckless
disregards to rule provision and the United States
constitution -willfully, intentionally, purposely, and
pugnaciously violate my constitutional rights, and my civil
rights in furtherance of their - conspiracy to illegally
Compl. at 1. Plaintiff then proceeds to recount events that
took place during his criminal prosecution, see Id.
at 2-5, alleging, among other things, that "they . . .
engaged in a tyrannical prosecution and judgeship,"
id. at 3-4. Regarding the Federal Medical Center,
plaintiff alleges that "[t]hey even employed both
FMC's Butner and Devens - to play competency games with
me." Id. at 5. He accuses staff at the Butner
facility of, among other things, inducing his "psychotic
behavior," stealing his "legal effects,"
opening his legal mail, and generally interfering with his
right to represent himself presumably in court proceedings.
Id. at 5-8.
the Federal Tort Claims Act ("FTCA"), 28 U.S.C.
§§ 1346, 2671-80, see Compl. Caption,
plaintiff seeks "compensatory, nominal, punitive and
monetary damages in the amount of $100, 000, 000.00,"
Compl. at 8. The FTCA waives the United States'
immunity under certain circumstances, but not for torts
predicated as here on constitutional
violations. Fed. Deposit Ins. Corp. v. Meyer,
510 U.S. 471, 478 (1994). Accordingly, plaintiffs FTCA claim
is hereby on sovereign immunity grounds.
"patently insubstantial" complaint may be dismissed
on jurisdictional grounds as well. Tooley v.
Napolitano, 586 F.3d 1006, 1009 (D.C. Cir. 2009).
Plaintiffs complaint against the district court arises from
the actions of "federal judges who have done nothing
more than their duty" and thus constitutes "a
meritless action." Fleming v. United States,
847 F.Supp. 170, 172 (D.D.C. 1994), cert, denied 513
U.S. 1150 (1995); see Caldwell v. Kagan, 777
F.Supp.2d 177, 179 (D.D.C. 2011) (finding "claims
against the district and court of appeals judges .. .
patently frivolous because federal judges are absolutely
immune from lawsuits predicated, as here, for their official
acts"). Accordingly, the complaint against the district
court is hereby dismissed for this additional reason with
prejudice. See Firestone v. Firestone, 76
F.3d 1205, 1209 (D.C. Cir. 1996) (per curiam) ("A
dismissal with prejudice is warranted . . . when a trial
court 'determines that the allegation of other facts
consistent with the challenged pleading could not possibly
cure the deficiency.'") (quoting Jarrell v.
United States Postal Serv., 753 F.2d 1088, 1091 (D.C.
Cir. 1985) (emphasis omitted)).
Under the FTCA, "the term
'Federal agency' includes ... the judicial.. .
branch[.]" 28 U.S.C. § 2671.
 To the extent that the complaint may
be construed as including non-constitutional claims based on
plaintiffs treatment at FMC Butner, see Compl. at
6-7, dismissal still would be required because there is no
indication that plaintiff has exhausted his administrative
remedies under the FTCA by presenting a claim "to the
appropriate Federal agency" and obtaining a final
written denial or allowing six months to pass without a final
disposition. 28 U.S.C. § 2675(a). And under the law of
this circuit, the presentment requirement is
"jurisdictional." Simpkins v. District of
Columbia Gov't, 108 F.3d 366, 371 (D.C. Cir.
A separate order accompanies this