United States District Court, District of Columbia
JULIO C. LOPEZ-PENA, Plaintiff,
DONALD J. TRUMP, et al., Defendants.
matter, brought pro se, is before the Court on
review of the complaint and plaintiffs application for leave
to proceed in forma pauperis. The Court will grant
the in forma pauperis application and dismiss the
case pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b)(1) (requiring
immediate dismissal of a prisoner's action upon a
determination that the complaint fails to state a claim upon
which relief may be granted).
se litigants must comply with the Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure. Jarrell v. Tisch, 656 F.Supp. 237, 239
(D.D.C. 1987). Rule 8(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure requires complaints to contain "(1) a short
and plain statement of the grounds for the Court's
jurisdiction [and] (2) a short and plain statement of the
claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief."
Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a); see Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S.
662, 678-79 (2009); Ciralsky v. CIA, 355 F.3d 661,
668-71 (D.C. Cir. 2004). The Rule 8 standard ensures that
defendants receive fair notice of the claim being asserted so
that they can prepare a responsive answer and an adequate
defense and determine whether the doctrine of res
judicata applies. Brown v. Califano, 75 F.R.D.
497, 498 (D.D.C. 1977).
a prisoner at Allenwood Federal Correctional Institution,
located in White Deer, Pennsylvania, sues the President of
the United States, the U.S. Attorney General, the Assistant
Director of the Office of U.S. Attorneys, the Deputy Director
of the U.S. Marshal Service, the Associate General Counsel of
the U.S. Marshal Service, and two John Does. The action
proceeds as one under the Freedom of Information Act
("FOIA"), see 5 U.S.C. § 552.
Plaintiff alleges that "[h]is efforts to utilize the
Freedom of Information Act appear to have been either
refused, neglected, hidden, or ignored by the government.
[He] requested the documents twice (from the clerk of courts
then FOIA, then filed a 'Motion for Disclosure' in
his criminal case (Criminal No. 09-CR-00558) to no avail, or
even response." He requests disclosure of certain
documents and directs the Court "to make a finding of
fact and law" regarding his underlying arrest,
indictment, and conviction.
jurisdiction extends to claims arising from an agency's
improper withholding of records requested in accordance with
agency rules. See 5 U.S.C. §§
552(a)(3)(A), (4)(B)(1); McGehee v. CIA, 697 F.2d
1095, 1105 (D.C. Cir. 1983) (quoting Kissinger v.
Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, 445 U.S.
136, 150 (1980)). Plaintiff does not allege that an agency
has improperly withheld records responsive to a properly
submitted FOIA request. See Marcusse v. U.S. Dep't of
Justice Office of Info. Policy, 959 F.Supp.2d 130, 140
(D.D.C. 2013) (An "agency's disclosure obligations
are triggered by its receipt of a request that
'reasonably describes [the requested] records' and
'is made in accordance with published rules stating the
time, place, fees (if any), and procedures to be
followed.' ") (quoting 5 U.S.C. §
552(a)(3)(A)). The instant complaint neither references a
FOIA request number nor contains any other information,
e.g, a copy of the actual request(s) submitted. In
fact, it is unclear what specific document(s) plaintiff even
FOIA authorizes suit against federal agencies but does not
create a right of action against individual employees of the
agency. United States Dep't of Navy, 732 F.Supp.
240, 241 (D.D.C. 1990). Plaintiff has sued only individual
defendants, which is improper. See Id. Again, it is
unclear which agency, if any, allegedly fielded any FOIA
request(s) from plaintiff.
of these reasons, plaintiff has failed to state a viable
claim under the FOIA. For the stated reasons, this case will
be dismissed. A separate Order accompanies this Memorandum
 Plaintiff was sentenced and convicted
in the Southern District of New York. See United States
v. Cromitie, No. 7:2009cr00558 (S.D.N.Y. filed Jun. 6,
2009). To the extent that plaintiff seeks review of his
underlying arrest, indictment, and conviction, such claim
must be addressed to the sentencing court in a motion under
28 U.S.C. § 2255. See Taylor v. U.S. Bd of
Parole,194 F.2d 882, 883 (D.C. Cir. 1952); Ojo v.
Immigration & Naturalization Serv.,106 F.3d 680,
683 (5th Cir. 1997). Section 2255 provides that "[a]
prisoner in custody under sentence of a court established by
Act of Congress claiming the right to be released upon the
ground that the sentence was imposed in violation of the
Constitution or laws of the United States, or that the court
was without jurisdiction to impose such sentence, or that the
sentence was in excess of the maximum authorized by law, or
is otherwise subject to collateral attack, may move the court
which imposed the sentence to vacate, set aside or correct
the sentence." 28 U.S.C. § 2255(a). Therefore,
plaintiff has no recourse in this Court, nor is such a claim
appropriate within a FOIA matter. Furthermore, FOIA