United States District Court, District of Columbia
E. Boasberg, United States District Judge.
se Plaintiff and former NFL cornerback Dimitri Patterson
is currently detained at the Turner Guilford Knight
Correctional Center in Miami-Dade County. In the hopes of
procuring his release, he has besieged various courts
(including the U.S. Supreme Court) with myriad legal filings.
In this action, he sues judges in those courts and their
clerks for not docketing his briefs or granting him relief.
He also names the Department of Justice as having violated
his rights by arresting him. He seeks $10 million in damages
and prays to have a variety of court actions enjoined or
compelled. Defendants have now filed a Motion to Dismiss,
contending that this Court lacks subject-matter jurisdiction
over some of his counts and that he has not stated a claim as
to others. Concluding that Defendants are protected under
judicial and sovereign immunity and that Plaintiff has failed
to properly articulate any cognizable claim, the Court will
grant the Motion and dismiss the case.
not always clear, Plaintiff's prolix Complaint catalogs
an extensive and varied list of grievances he claims to have
suffered at the hands of federal judges, court clerks, and
DOJ. The Court offers a brief summary of the 83-page
late 2017 and early 2018, Plaintiff repeatedly contacted DOJ
by phone and mail to complain of “conspiracies to
deprive him of his constitutional rights and intentional
tortious acts committed against him by the municipalit[y] of
Miami-Dade County.” ECF No. 12 (Am. Compl.),
¶¶ 23-26, 28, 30-36. He was told that his case had
been entered but would not be addressed for at least 120
days. Id., ¶ 33.
alleges that on May 7, 2018, he was stopped by “two
non-uniformed U.S. Marshals and eight non-uniformed Orange
County Florida Police Officers” inside the Orlando
Waldorf Astoria Hotel pool bathroom. Id., ¶ 44.
He and his girlfriend, Kathy Thabet, repeatedly requested to
see a warrant and badge identification but claim neither was
ever presented. Id., ¶¶ 44, 48-49, 51.
Plaintiff was subsequently arrested and taken to the Orange
County Jail, where he was “illegally detain[ed] on a
‘no bond' hold without the legal chain of
documentation.” Id., ¶ 53. On May 9,
Miami-Dade County Correctional Officers then transported him
to the Turner Guildford Knight Correctional Center, where he
was detained in “24-hour solitary confinement in the
psych ward for three days.” Id., ¶¶
months later, on October 23, 2018, Plaintiff alleges that he
was once again arrested (for an unspecified charge)
“without a valid warrant” by Orange County Police
Department officers at a gas station. Id.,
¶¶ 61-64. On December 27, after legal proceedings
not clearly described in his Complaint, he was sentenced to
120 days' imprisonment for “Direct Criminal
Contempt.” Id., ¶ 66. As of today, he
remains detained at Turner Guilford Knight Correctional
Center, although he does not explain why. Id.,
his direct criminal proceeding may have ended, his legal
journey was just beginning. On both February 1 and February
12, 2019, Plaintiff's mother filed Emergency Petitions
for Writs of Habeas Corpus to the Eleventh Circuit.
Id., ¶¶ 73, 77. On both occasions,
Eleventh Circuit Judge Robin S. Rosenbaum transferred the
petition to the Southern District of Florida. Id.,
¶¶ 76, 80-82. On February 25, Plaintiff's
mother filed another Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus to
the Eleventh Circuit in person, but the clerk's office
refused to receive or file it. Id., ¶¶
83-88. She also filed an Emergency Motion for Preliminary
Injunction on May 28, 2019, which Judge Robert N. Scola, Jr.
of the United States District Court for the Southern District
of Florida denied. Id., ¶¶ 142, 152.
up the ladder, she also filed a Petition for Writ of Habeas
Corpus with the U.S. Supreme Court on February 8, 2019.
Id., ¶ 90. After failing to receive any
information regarding the processing and docketing of her
petition on behalf of her son, she filed a second petition on
February 14. Id., ¶¶ 92-96. The petition
was returned four days later for defects in filing.
Id., ¶ 98. She repeated the process on February
28, achieving no greater success. Id., ¶¶
102-05. On March 14, she filed a fourth Petition for Writ of
Habeas Corpus along with Petitions for Writs of Certiorari
and Mandamus. Id., ¶ 106. The petitions, again,
were returned for defects in filing. Id.,
¶¶ 109-15. She tried again on March 29, but to no
avail. Id., ¶¶ 117-24.
has also filed a total of eleven civil actions in the United
States District Court for the Middle District of Florida.
Id., ¶ 136. On May 3, 2019, for instance, he
initiated a defamation suit against the Miami Herald Media
Company there, which Middle District Judge John E. Steele
then transferred to the Southern District of Florida.
Id., ¶¶ 137-41.
with his treatment by the assorted Judges and Clerks and by
DOJ, Plaintiff now brings this suit, which contains multiple
constitutional and tort claims against U.S. Supreme Court
clerks for refusing to file his petitions, other federal
clerks and judges for refusing to file and hear his petitions
and transferring his cases, as well as DOJ for neglecting to
address his civil-rights complaints and for the tortious acts
committed by U.S. Marshals. He lists myriad Fourth and Fifth
Amendment violations, statutory violations, common-law torts,
and Bivens counts. As relief, Plaintiff contends
that he is entitled to damages in the form of $10 million.
Id., ¶ 433. He further requests a permanent
injunction “enjoining and restraining all Defendants
named in this complaint.” Id., ¶ 434.
Defendants now move to dismiss the Complaint in its entirety.
evaluating Defendants' Motion to Dismiss, the Court must
“treat the complaint's factual allegations as true
. . . and must grant [P]laintiff ‘the benefit of all
inferences that can be derived from the facts
alleged.'” Sparrow v. United Air Lines,
Inc., 216 F.3d 1111, 1113 (D.C. Cir. 2000) (quoting
Schuler v. United States, 617 F.2d 605, 608 (D.C.
Cir. 1979)) (citation omitted); see also Jerome Stevens
Pharms., Inc. v. FDA, 402 F.3d 1249, 1250 (D.C. Cir.
2005). The pleading rules are “not meant to impose a
great burden upon a plaintiff, ” Dura Pharms., Inc.
v. Broudo, 544 U.S. 336, 347 (2005), and he must thus be
given every favorable inference that may be drawn from the
allegations of fact. Sparrow, 216 F.3d at 1113.
Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) provides for the dismissal
of an action where a complaint fails “to state a claim
upon which relief can be granted.” Although
“detailed factual allegations” are not necessary
to withstand a Rule 12(b)(6) motion, “a complaint must
contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to
‘state a claim to relief that is plausible on its
face.'” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662,
678 (2009) (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550
U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). The Court need not accept as true,
then, “a legal conclusion couched as a factual
allegation, ” nor an inference “unsupported by
the facts set out in the [C]omplaint.” Trudeau v.
Fed. Trade Comm'n, 456 F.3d 178, 193 (D.C. Cir.
2006) (quoting Papasan v. Allain, 478 ...