United States District Court, D. Maine
RECOMMENDED DECISION AFTER REVIEW OF PLAINTIFF'S
C. NIVISON U.S. MAGISTRATE JUDGE
his amended complaint, Plaintiff seeks to recover damages for
a series of constitutional violations that allegedly began
with a traffic stop on December 1, 2013 and continued for
several years thereafter as Plaintiff interacted with
governmental officials and agencies. (Amended Complaint, ECF
No. 8.) Plaintiff has named twenty defendants, which include
the United States, the state of Maine, governmental
officials, law enforcement officers, and governmental
also filed an application to proceed in forma pauperis (ECF
No. 3), which application the Court granted. (ECF No. 7.) In
accordance with the in forma pauperis statute, a preliminary
review of Plaintiff's amended complaint is
appropriate. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2). Following a
review of the amended complaint, I recommend the Court
dismiss the matter.
federal in forma pauperis statute, 28 U.S.C. § 1915, is
designed to ensure meaningful access to the federal courts
for those persons unable to pay the costs of bringing an
action. When a party is proceeding in forma pauperis,
however, “the court shall dismiss the case at any time
if the court determines, ” inter alia, that the action
is “frivolous or malicious” or “fails to
state a claim on which relief may be granted” or
“seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is
immune from such relief.” 28 U.S.C. §
1915(e)(2)(B). “Dismissals [under § 1915] are
often made sua sponte prior to the issuance of process, so as
to spare prospective defendants the inconvenience and expense
of answering such complaints.” Neitzke v.
Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 324 (1989).
32-count amended complaint, Plaintiff asserts that a December
1, 2013, traffic stop was unlawful, that during the stop law
enforcement officers planted evidence (Amended Complaint
¶¶ 40-41), and that the stop and search of his
vehicle were conducted at the request of the FBI, CIA, and
federal government. (Id. ¶ 64.) Plaintiff also
describes his efforts to contact the FBI, the CIA, the Office
of The Director of National Intelligence, the National
Security Agency and other governmental agencies and officials
as part of his effort to address the constitutional
violations. Citing numerous federal and state statutes,
Plaintiff's complaint includes “criminal
conspiracy” counts and other counts alleging the
deprivation of Plaintiff's constitutional rights.
the statutes upon which Plaintiff relies to support his
claims are federal and state criminal statutes. A violation of a
federal criminal statute does not automatically give rise to
a federal question civil claim. Cf. Merrell Dow Pharm.
Inc. v. Thompson, 478 U.S. 804, 817 (1986) (“We
conclude that a complaint alleging a violation of a federal
statute as an element of a state cause of action, when
Congress has determined that there should be no private,
federal cause of action for the violation, does not state a
claim ‘arising under the Constitution, laws, or
treaties of the United States.'” (quoting 28 U.S.C.
§ 1331)); Dugar v. Coughlin, 613 F.Supp. 849,
852 n.1 (S.D.N.Y. 1985) (noting that alleged violations of
federal criminal statutes will not serve “as a
predicate for a section 1983 claim”). The plain
language of the cited statutes does not authorize a private
cause of action. Plaintiff, therefore, has no federal civil
claim based on the alleged violation of a criminal statute.
Plaintiff's attempt to assert a civil conspiracy claim
under state or federal law, while Plaintiff has alleged
generally there was a conspiracy among the defendants,
“nothing in the complaint” besides conclusory
statements raises “a plausible suggestion of
conspiracy.” See Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly,
550 U.S. 544, 566 (2007); see also Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 686 (2009).
a review of the entirety of Plaintiff's amended complaint
reveals that Plaintiff's allegations are otherwise not
actionable. 28 U.S.C. § 1915 provides a court with
“the unusual power to pierce the veil of the
complaint's factual allegations and dismiss those claims
whose factual contentions are clearly baseless.”
Neitzke, 490 U.S. at 327. “[A] finding of
factual frivolousness is appropriate when the facts alleged
rise to the level of the irrational or the wholly incredible,
whether or not there are judicially noticeable facts
available to contradict them.” Denton v.
Hernandez, 504 U.S. 25, 33 (1992); Golden v.
Coleman, 429 Fed. App'x 73, 74 (3rd Cir. 2011)
(dismissing complaint because the allegations were
“fantastic, delusional, and simply
unbelievable.”) Plaintiff's material factual
allegations against the named defendants and the
circumstances Plaintiff cites in support of his claims can
reasonably be viewed as the type that would warrant dismissal
under the Supreme Court's analysis in Denton.
See Flores v. U.S. Atty. Gen., No.
2:13-CV-00053-DBH, 2013 WL 1122719, at *2 (D. Me. Feb. 26,
2013), report and recommendation adopted, No. 2:13-CV-53-DBH,
2013 WL 1122635 (D. Me. Mar. 18, 2013).
on the foregoing analysis, after a review in accordance with
28 U.S.C. § 1915, I recommend the Court dismiss
Plaintiff's amended complaint.
may file objections to those specified portions of a
magistrate judge's report or proposed findings or
recommended decisions entered pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
636(b)(1)(B) for which de novo review by the district court
is sought, together with a ...