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Canuto v. Pelosi

United States District Court, District of Columbia

December 4, 2019

TERESITA A. CANUTO, Plaintiff,
v.
REP. NANCY PELOSI, et al., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          JAMES E. BOASBERG UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Pro se Plaintiff Teresita Canuto's Complaint alleges that a “paramilitary of illegal aliens” repeatedly sexually assaulted her over the course of five years, mainly while she was drugged or unconscious. She seeks to hold State and Federal representatives accountable for failing to enact legislation that could have - theoretically - sheltered her from the alleged assaults. Because the Complaint strings together a series of farfetched allegations, which Defendants' conduct could not have caused, this Court grants the pending Motions to Dismiss for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction.

         I. Background

         Plaintiff alleges that, between 2014 and 2019, she was “besieged by illegal aliens with sexual assaults and batteries” in her California home while “she and [her] family were put into [a] deep sleep or unconscious[ness].” ECF No. 1 (Pl. Statement of Facts), ¶ 1. She claims that a “paramilitary of illegal aliens, ” id., ¶ 24, that “w[as] affiliated to the group responsible [for] the Sri Lanka Bombing of the Catholic Church, ” ECF No. 9 (Supplemental Complaint), ¶ 6, repeatedly assaulted her on “a scheduled basis.” Pl. SOF, ¶ 14. She believes that the attacks must have been an organized effort, as “this type of domestic terrorism . . . would not be possible without somebody financing or paying the expenses” of the alleged attacks. Id. Canuto says that she later “realized . . . that the task of sexual assaults was transferred to illegal aliens who were accommodated [and] assisted by [her] neighbors.” Id., ¶ 7.

         To support her theory, Plaintiff points to parking patterns around her apartment: “At times, the whole parking area inside was full of many cars/trucks . . . [that] stayed for [a] night after plaintiff was sexually assaulted [and then] would be gone.” Supp. Compl., ¶ 4. “[O]ther illegal aliens that come[] from other states . . . were involved, ” as shown by the fact that “there were cars that surged in the apartment complex . . . and stayed for days sometimes a week with . . . plate licenses from other states.” Pl. SOF, ¶ 14. Canuto also alleges that she “was stalked . . . by many civilians with stickers of U.S. Army and U.S. Navy . . . at the rear of their vehicles.” Id., ¶ 7. Allegedly, this “paramilitary of illegal aliens” “communicate[d] to each other through the use of stickers attached at the back of their cars.” Id., ¶ 24.

         Plaintiff claims that “many illegal aliens were also follow[ing her] whenever [she] went.” Id., ¶ 22. For instance, “after plaintiff was attacked sexually, later plaintiff began to be tailgate[d] by a vehicle along th[e] way in the road. Then sexual assault happened again.” Supp. Compl., ¶ 6. She was also “intimidated” by “a middle eastern feature[d] male adult . . . accompanied [by] . . . a young Hispanic female adult” in a “brand new SUV (Range Rover)” after he “wave[d her] on and did a gesture to look up at him. And after [she] looked up at him, he began dancing half of []his body and right arm while still driving . . . [and] he gave [her] a thumbs up sign and went ahead of [her].” Pl. SOF, ¶ 21.

         The specifics of the alleged assaults remain unclear. As evidence that they occurred, Canuto cites myriad injuries including that her “left eyebrow [was] shaved” and she had “cuts or laceration[s] in body parts.” ECF No. 1 (Complaint) at 4. Additionally, “the attacker le[ft] remnants of his act” after the sexual assaults by “revers[ing her] underwear, ” “fix[ing] the sheet . . . of her couch, ” and “fix[ing] [her] credit or debit cards nicely in her wallet.” Pl. SOF, ¶ 18. Plaintiff described the in-home assaults thus:

Skills in carpentry w[ere] used as a weapon by illegal aliens in penetrating or trespassing the residence of plaintiff. Adult in size and height of pygmies are also used to climb the windows, penetrate the ceiling and enter[] the vent. Then he would open the main door of the apartment to let the attacker come[ ]in and attack[] the plaintiff in [a] deep sleep.

Id., ¶ 22. In one instance, Plaintiff alleges that a “man that followed her in the parking lot of Vons Supermarket was the suspect” in a specific assault. Id., ¶ 13. As proof, she “enclosed evidence of [a] receipt from Vons Supermarket.” Id. Plaintiff alleges that she was unable to catch any of her attackers after “put[ting up] a video camera” in her home because “the people also involved in the planned attack . . . were able to manipulate the records of video and stopped the recording during plaintiff['s] . . . attack[] at night while in deep sleep.” Supp. Compl., ¶ 3.

         As to the named Defendants - members of Congress and State lawmakers - Plaintiff claims that they “negligen[tly] . . . allow[ed] illegal aliens” to infringe on U.S. sovereignty “by establishing their own paramilitary” in California. See Pl. SOF, ¶ 24. She now seeks $20, 000, 000 in damages for each alleged assault, totaling $1, 200, 000, 000 in relief. See Compl. at 6.

         II. Legal Standard

         To survive a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(1), Plaintiff bears the burden of proving that the Court has subject-matter jurisdiction to hear her claims. See Lujan v. Defs. of Wildlife, 504 U.S. 555, 561 (1992); Harris v. Sebelius, 932 F.Supp.2d 150, 151 (D.D.C. 2013). A court has an “affirmative obligation to ensure that it is acting within the scope of its jurisdictional authority.” Grand Lodge of Fraternal Order of Police v. Ashcroft, 185 F.Supp.2d 9, 13 (D.D.C. 2001). Pleadings by pro se plaintiffs are held “to less stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers.” Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520 (1972).

         III. Analysis

         In filing separate Motions to Dismiss, the members of Congress and California Governor Gavin Newsom articulate myriad arguments. The Court need look only to subject-matter jurisdiction, which it lacks because: (1) Plaintiff's claims are “patently insubstantial, ” (2) she has no standing, and (3) even had her claims been ...


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