United States District Court, District of Columbia
FRANKLIN C. SMITH, Plaintiff,
KEVIN STAN DAILEY, et al., Defendants.
a prisoner designated to Virginia Beach City Jail, filed a
pro se complaint ("Compl."), various
notices, motions, exhibits, and applications for leave to
proceed in forma pauperis ("IFP"). He
failed, however, to file a certified copy of his trust fund
account statement as required by 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(2).
On June 21, 2019, the court issued an order directing
plaintiff to provide this information within 30 days or
suffer dismissal of this matter without prejudice.
See ECF No. 3. Plaintiff failed to comply with that
directive and the matter was dismissed on August 8, 2019.
See ECF No. 10.
August 22, 2019, plaintiff filed a motion for
reconsideration, see ECF No. 11, arguing that he had
provided the requisite financial information, and also
arguing that he never received the appropriate prisoner trust
account form. The motion for reconsideration was granted on
September 4, 2019, reopening the case, enclosing a blank copy
of the trust account form, and directing plaintiff to
complete and file the form within 30 days. See ECF
No. 13. On September 25, 2019, plaintiff submitted his
financial information, see ECF No. 14, in accordance
with this court's directives. Therefore, the court may
now turn to plaintiffs complaint, supplemental filings, and
pending motion. The court will grant the IFP application and
dismiss the case pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§
1915(e)(2)(B) and 1915A(b)(1), by which the court is required
to dismiss a case if it determines that the action is
frivolous. The pending motion for relief from judgment,
see ECF No. 12, will be denied as moot, as it
requests the same relief which was already granted as part of
plaintiffs motion for reconsideration.
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)). A complaint that lacks "an
arguable basis either in law or in fact" is frivolous,
Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 325 (1989), and a
"complaint plainly abusive of the judicial process is
properly typed malicious," Crisafi v. Holland,
655 F.2d 1305, 1309 (D.C. Cir. 1981).
sues approximately 31 parties and, through his subsequent
filings, requests to add additional defendants. See
Compl. at 1-5; see also, e.g., ECF No. 16.
Defendants range from United States District Court Judges,
court clerks, state prison officials and employees, federal
officials, prosecutors and other attorneys, and IBM
employee(s). See Compl. at 1-5. Many of the intended
defendants, however, cannot even be understood. The prolix
complaint totals over 30 pages, which is then supplemented by
approximately 30 more pages of additional filings, which only
compound the existing errors. Plaintiff self-identifies as a
as a "civil rights litigator," id. at 6,
and alleges that is a victim of attempted "murder for
hire," id. at 7-8, "compounded animosity
within public officials and families," id. at
9, and "compounded animosity among judicial officials
and their friends[, ]" id. at 10. Plaintiff
alleges a wide-ranging government conspiracy executed by
secret informants, which resulted in his conviction and
sentencing, loss of financial gain, and various attempts at
his life, see Id. at 11-19, including one made by a
"gangster posing as a lawn service[, ]"
id. at 8. Any substantive claims or issues involving
defendants are unclear, as the complaint and its supplemental
filings consist of rambling and unconnected statements and
court cannot exercise subject matter jurisdiction over a
frivolous complaint. Hagans v. Lavine, 415 U.S. 528,
536-37 (1974) ("Over the years, this Court has
repeatedly held that the federal courts are without power to
entertain claims otherwise within their jurisdiction if they
are 'so attenuated and unsubstantial as to be absolutely
devoid of merit.' ") (quoting Newburyport Water
Co. v. Newburyport, 193 U.S. 561, 579 (1904));
Tooley v. Napolitano, 586 F.3d 1006, 1010 (D.C. Cir.
2009) (examining cases dismissed "for patent
insubstantiality," including where the plaintiff
allegedly "was subjected to a campaign of surveillance
and harassment deriving from uncertain origins."). A
court may dismiss a complaint as frivolous "when the
facts alleged rise to the level of the irrational or the
wholly incredible," Denton v. Hernandez, 504
U.S. 25, 33 (1992), or "postulat[e] events and
circumstances of a wholly fanciful kind,"
Crisafi, 655 F.2d at 1307-08.
instant complaint satisfies this standard. In addition to
failing to state a claim for relief or to establish federal
jurisdiction, the complaint and its subsequent supplemental
filings are deemed frivolous. Consequently, the complaint and