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Tartt v. United States

United States District Court, District of Columbia

October 21, 2019

DERRICK B. TARTT, Plaintiff,
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA et al., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          TIMOTHY J. KELLY, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Derrick B. Tartt, proceeding pro se, asserts that he is the victim of a sprawling conspiracy perpetrated by almost 100 individuals and institutions, as he has alleged in at least one previous lawsuit. Many of these defendants have moved to dismiss the complaint on a variety of grounds, including that the Court lacks subject-matter jurisdiction. For the reasons stated below, the Court agrees that it lacks subject-matter jurisdiction and will dismiss the complaint with prejudice as to all defendants.

         I. Background

         Tartt filed the instant 208-page, 798-paragraph complaint against 93 separate defendants, including two insurance companies; several lawyers and law firms; the United States Departments of Justice, Labor, and the Treasury; members of the United States military, State of Illinois officials, several federal district court judges (one of whom is deceased); and roughly half the judges of the Seventh Circuit. ECF No. 1 (“Compl.”) at 15-17.[1] Collectively, Tartt contends, they comprise “the Conspirators.” Id.

         Tartt alleges that defendants are responsible for 17 counts of unlawful activity ranging from violations of the Administrative Procedures Act, the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 (USERRA), the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and several Illinois statutes, as well as for fraud upon the court, perjury, obstruction of justice, and constitutional violations. See generally Compl. Although Tartt's complaint is rambling and often incoherent, his core allegation is that he was a victim of a large, multi-year conspiracy through which defendants coordinated to discriminate against him and deny him certain employment or other benefits largely by the way they handled his prior litigation. See Id. Tartt includes a footnote on the first page of his complaint stating, in part, that:

The courts, employers, federal, and state of IL agencies have conspired to complicate, suppress, deceive and deny rights and benefits through fraud upon the court, violation of the 13th Amendment by Judge Norgle without due process (14th) and the USA for 23 years, involuntary servitude, a slave, qualifies plaintiff for reparations criterial by Norgle's-Plaintiff is “alive” not a descendent [sic].

Id. at 15. Additionally, Tartt complains of other, unrelated wrongs, including legal malpractice related to his mortgage applications. Id. at 132-34.

         “To make matters worse, ” Tartt alleges, “the United States has been abusing and torturing [him] with Radio Frequency Implant Devices.” Id. at 92. Tartt explains that “according to an ex-naval officer trained to abuse ‘Targeted Individuals' and others, there are over 300, 000 civilian and military persons being abused and tortured with implants, ” and that he “will have permanent and irreversible damage to body and possible lose both lower extremities” if the torture does not stop. Id. at 118. According to Tartt:

This demonstrates just how connected this conspiracy is and “voluminous, ” involving federal and state courts, 7 federal agencies, 4 state of IL agencies, including both Attorney Generals [sic], possibly 20 or more judicial officers, 12 employers named and unnamed, multiple military and private citizens, major unnamed and named corporations (unnamed includes Apple, Comcast/Infinity, & Microsoft) and the numerous laws both state and federal “the Conspiracy” is willing to violate to protect the USA conspiracy and “secrets” (RFID) from the public to avoid paying the debt owed the Plaintiff for signing the “Early Commission ROTC” contract, August 25, 1978 at age 18.

Id. at 218-19. For these and other violations, Tartt seeks damages, see generally Compl., and other relief, including “[s]anctions and impeachment of Judges, Easterbrook, Ripple, Williams, Posner, Kanne, Manion and Norgle, ” id. at 162.

         Tartt has also moved for preliminary relief, seeking, in part, an injunction “to cease and desist illegal (or legal) activity by the United States of America and co-defendants to torture with RFID, harass, embarrass or humiliate, interfere with professional and personal freedom and activity in violation of the U.S. Constitution, local, state and federal laws by the defendants or any one [sic] on their behalf.” ECF No. 50 at 22. He explains that defendants “need[] to provide detailed information of location, how used or turned off or removed (safely), when inserted by whom and how.” Id. at 23. And he asks the Court, under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60, to “[v]acate all order [sic] due to ‘fraud on the court'” in his earlier lawsuits. Id.

         As noted, this is not Tartt's first foray into the federal courts. Nor is it the first time he has advanced the same or similar conspiracy theories. In December 2000, Tartt filed two cases in the Northern District of Illinois: one against Northwest Suburban Anesthesiologists (NSA), and the other against both NSA and Northwest Community Hospital (NCH). See Tartt v. Nw. Cmty. Hosp., No. 00-7960 (CN), 2004 WL 2254041, at *1 (N.D. Ill. 2004) (describing both cases). Both suits were eventually dismissed with prejudice-the first for failure to state a claim and the second on res judicata grounds. See Tartt v. Nw. Cmty. Hosp., 453 F.3d 817, 820-21 (7th Cir. 2006). The Seventh Circuit affirmed. Id. at 823. Then, in November 2013, Tartt filed another suit in the Northern District of Illinois against NSA and NCH, as well as about 60 other defendants, including lawyers and judges involved in his previous lawsuits. See Tartt v. Magna Health Sys., No. 13-cv-8191, 2014 WL 4087220, at *1 (N.D. Ill. Aug. 19, 2014). In that 1060-paragraph, 278-page pleading, Tartt alleged that the defendants “participated in a vast campaign of discrimination that began with and snowballed from an allegedly improper delay of his ROTC officer commission in the early 1980s” and that “over the next three decades” they conspired to commit fraud against him, deny him employment benefits, force him into servitude, and use “enhancement and torture to further their cause of ‘denying benefits of employment.'” Id. (quoting Am. Compl. ¶ 8).

         On the court's own motion, Judge Robert M. Dow, Jr. of the Northern District of Illinois dismissed with prejudice all claims against the NSA, NCH, the federal judge defendants, the United States, several federal and state agencies, and the attorneys involved in his prior lawsuits. Id. at *4-6. The court then dismissed without prejudice the remainder of Tartt's claims for failure to state a short and plain statement of the grounds for relief under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a). Id. at *5-6. The court also imposed a sanction of $100 on Tartt for filing frivolous claims against federal judges. Id. After Tartt filed his fourth amended complaint, Judge Dow, Jr., dismissed all his remaining claims with prejudice under Rules 12(b)(6) and 8(a). Tartt v. Magna Health Systems, No. 13-8191, 2016 WL 6585281, at *2-10 (N.D. Ill. Nov. 7, 2016). The Seventh Circuit affirmed and imposed an additional sanction of “$1, 500 for filing a frivolous appeal.” Tartt v. Magna Health Sys., No. 17-1023, 2017 WL 4772538 (7th Cir. Feb. 14, 2017), cert. denied, 138 S.Ct. 120 (2017), reh'g denied, 138 S.Ct. 466 (2017).

         Since Tartt filed the instant complaint, several defendants moved to dismiss. ECF Nos. 11, 14, 24, 27, 28, 31, 36, and 45. At least one defendant challenged the Court's subject-matter ...


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