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Smith v. Billcassidy

United States District Court, M.D. Louisiana

February 25, 2015



SHELLY D. DICK, District Judge.

This matter is before the Court on the Motion to Dismiss filed by Defendant Bill Cassidy("Cassidy").[1] Plaintiffs Edward Smith and John Hudson ("Plaintiffs"), proceeding pro se, have filed an Opposition [2] to the motion. For the reasons which follow, the Court finds that the motion should be granted.

I. Factual Background

On October 14, 2014, Plaintiffs filed a Petition for Damages [3] against the Honorable Bill Cassidy, former United States Representative for the Sixth Congressional District of Louisiana, now the current Senator for the State of Louisiana. On December 15, 2014, Plaintiffs filed an Amended and Supplemental Petition for Damages [4] adding the United States as a Defendant in this matter. Essentially, Plaintiffs claim that Cassidy has violated their rights under the United States Constitution and a variety of federal and state statutes for failing to report and investigate the Plaintiffs' complaint that the United States Supreme Court Justices denied writs to hear their cases because of the Justices' alleged racial bias against the Plaintiffs. Plaintiffs contend that the Supreme Court's failure to grant their writ of certiorari was an act of treason.[5] Plaintiffs also allege they have reported this misconduct to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) to no avail.[6] Plaintiffs complain that they sent several letters to Cassidy seeking his representation in initiating articles of impeachment against the Supreme Court Justices, and Cassidy has failed to contact the Judiciary Committee Chairman or in any way investigate or carry out their requests.

Senator Cassidy moves to dismiss this action under Rules 12(b)(1), (5), & (6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure for, inter alia, lack of standing, sovereign immunity, insufficient service of process, and failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted. The United States has not appeared in this matter, and the Clerk of Court recently entered an Order [7] granting Plaintiffs' Motion for Entry of Default against the United States.

II. Law and Analysis

A. Motion to Dismiss under Rule 12(b)(1)

Cassidy argues that, because Plaintiffs have failed to establish Article III standing, this Court lacks jurisdiction to hear this case. It is axiomatic that federal courts are courts of limited jurisdiction.[8] The burden of establishing federal jurisdiction rests on the party invoking the federal forum.[9] Pursuant to Rule 12(b)(1), "the district court has the power to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction on any one of three separate bases: (1) the complaint alone; (2) the complaint supplemented by undisputed facts evidenced in the record; or (3) the complaint supplemented by undisputed facts plus the court's resolution of disputed facts."[10] Furthermore, a district court should dismiss where "it appears certain that the plaintiff cannot prove a plausible set of facts that establish subject-matter jurisdiction."[11] "A case is properly dismissed for lack of subject matter jurisdiction when the court lacks the statutory or constitutional power to adjudicate the case."[12] Lack of subject matter jurisdiction may be raised at any time.[13]

The United States Supreme Court instructs that, "the irreducible constitutional minimum of standing contains three elements."[14] These elements are: "(1) an injury in fact' that is (a) concrete and particularized and (b) actual or imminent; (2) a causal connection between the injury and the conduct complained of; and (3) the likelihood that a favorable decision will redress the injury."[15] "The party invoking federal jurisdiction bears the burden of establishing these elements."[16] At the pleading stage, allegations of injury are liberally construed.[17]

Plaintiffs claim they have standing because they have alleged that their Constitutional rights have been violated. This claim is meritless for several reasons. First, Plaintiffs do not have a Constitutional right to have their case heard by the United States Supreme Court. Second, Plaintiffs' dissatisfaction with Cassidy's response, or lack thereof, to their complaints is not the cause of their alleged injury, i.e., the denial of a writ of certiorari by the Supreme Court. Further, Plaintiffs fail to establish the element of redressability because the Court lacks authority to direct a legislator to act in a particular way, engage in specific legislative acts, or initiate investigations.[18] Plaintiffs likewise lack standing to bring criminal charges against Cassidy as "[i]is well-settled that the decision whether to file criminal charges against an individual lies within the prosecutor's discretion, and private citizens do not have a constitutional right to compel criminal prosecution."[19] Thus, dismissal is proper under Rule 12(b)(1).

B. Motion to Dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6)

When a court considers a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), "all well-pleaded facts are viewed in the light most favorable to the plaintiff, but plaintiffs must allege facts that support the elements of the cause of action in order to make out a valid claim."[20] "To avoid dismissal, a plaintiff must plead sufficient facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'"[21] "A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged."[22] The court "do[es] not accept as true conclusory allegations, unwarranted factual inferences, or legal conclusions."[23] Furthermore, "[a] complaint does not suffice if it tenders "naked assertion[s]' devoid of further factual enhancement.'"[24] The Court is also cognizant that it must "liberally construe the briefs of pro se litigants and apply less stringent standards to parties proceeding pro se than to parties represented by counsel."[25]

The Court finds that Plaintiffs' suit is also subject to dismissal because they fail to state a claim upon which relief may be granted. Plaintiffs' suit is based on their dissatisfaction with then-Congressman Cassidy's response to their complaints about the Supreme Court Justices and requests for impeachment proceedings. Plaintiffs contend their Constitutional rights have been violated by Cassidy's failure to protect their rights to be heard by the Supreme Court. However, the jurisprudence is clear that a "Plaintiff has no constitutional right to have [his] Congressman make particular decisions or take particular actions."[26]

For example, in Liao v. Ashcroft, [27] the plaintiff brought suit against various parties, including a judge and a United States Representative. The court granted ...

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