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Thompson v. Unknown

United States District Court, M.D. Louisiana

April 12, 2019

JOHNNY THOMPSON (#89353)
v.
UNKNOWN

          NOTICE

          RICHARD L. BOURGEOIS, JR. UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         Please take notice that the attached Magistrate Judge's Report has been filed with the Clerk of the United States District Court.

         In accordance with 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1), you have fourteen (14) days after being served with the attached Report to file written objections to the proposed findings of fact, conclusions of law and recommendations therein. Failure to file written objections to the proposed findings, conclusions, and recommendations within 14 days after being served will bar you, except upon grounds of plain error, from attacking on appeal the unobjected-to proposed factual findings and legal conclusions of the Magistrate Judge which have been accepted by the District Court.

         ABSOLUTELY NO EXTENSION OF TIME SHALL BE GRANTED TO FILE WRITTEN OBJECTIONS TO THE MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S REPORT.

         MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

         The pro se plaintiff, an inmate confined at the Louisiana State Penitentiary, Angola, Louisiana, filed this proceeding pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against unnamed defendants, referenced as “the states”, seeking to assert constitutional violations suffered by his ancestor's during the Civil War.

         Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e) and 1915A, this Court is authorized to dismiss an action or claim brought by a prisoner who is proceeding in forma pauperis or is asserting a claim against a governmental entity or an officer or employee of a governmental entity if satisfied that the action or claim is frivolous, malicious or fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted. An action or claim is properly dismissed as frivolous if the claim lacks an arguable basis either in fact or in law. Denton v. Hernandez, 504 U.S. 25, 31 (1992), citing Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 325 (1989); Hicks v. Garner, 69 F.3d 22, 24-25 (5th Cir. 1995).

         A claim is factually frivolous if the alleged facts are “clearly baseless, a category encompassing allegations that are ‘fanciful,' ‘fantastic,' and ‘delusional.'” Id. at 32-33. A claim has no arguable basis in law if it is based upon an indisputably meritless legal theory, “such as if the complaint alleges the violation of a legal interest which clearly does not exist.” Davis v. Scott, 157 F.3d 1003, 1005 (5th Cir. 1998). The law accords judges not only the authority to dismiss a claim which is based on an indisputably meritless legal theory, but also the unusual power to pierce the veil of the factual allegations. Denton v. Hernandez, supra, 504 U.S. at 32. Pleaded facts which are merely improbable or strange, however, are not frivolous for purposes of § 1915. Id. at 33; Ancar v. Sara Plasma, Inc., 964 F.2d 465, 468 (5th Cir. 1992). A § 1915 dismissal may be made any time, before or after service or process and before or after an answer is filed, if the court determines that the action “is frivolous or malicious; fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted; or seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from such relief.” See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2) and Green v. McKaskle, 788 F.2d 1116, 1999 (5th Cir. 1986).

         In his Complaint, the plaintiff asserts that certain persons who served in the Civil War should be compensated through their offspring for their loss of income and good name, and seeks a temporary restraining order against the Internal Revenue Service mandating that it prove its jurisdiction over individuals who served in the Civil War.

         Before this Court can consider the merits of a legal claim, the person seeking to invoke the jurisdiction of the court must establish the requisite standing to sue. The Supreme Court has articulated the constitutional requirements for standing as follows: (1) the plaintiff must have suffered an “injury in fact, ” (i.e ., a “concrete and particularized” invasion of a “legally protected interest”); (2) causation (i.e., a “fairly ... trace[able]” connection between the alleged injury in fact and the alleged conduct of the defendant); and (3) redressability (i.e., it is likely and not merely speculative that the injury will be redressed by a favorable decision or remedied by the relief plaintiff seeks in bringing suit.) Lujan v. Defenders of Wildlife, 504 U.S. 555, 560-561 (1992).

         In the instant matter, the plaintiff has not alleged that he himself has suffered any injury, and any inferred harm is too speculative to form the basis for a federal suit. Rather, it appears that the plaintiff is seeking to be compensated for harm suffered by his ancestors. Even if the plaintiff had standing to bring suit, which he does not, the statute of limitations arising out of any constitutional violations suffered by his ancestors during the Civil War has long since expired. As such, the plaintiff fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted.

         To the extent that the plaintiff's allegations may be interpreted as seeking to invoke the supplemental jurisdiction of this court over potential state law claims, a district court may decline the exercise of supplemental jurisdiction if a plaintiff's state law claims raise novel or complex issues of state law, if the claims substantially predominate over the claims over which the district court has original jurisdiction, if the district court has dismissed all claims over which it had original jurisdiction, or for other compelling reasons. 28 U.S.C. § 1367. In the instant case, having recommended that the plaintiff's federal claims be dismissed, the Court further recommends that the exercise of supplemental jurisdiction be declined.

         RECOMMENDATION

         It is recommended that the Court decline the exercise of supplemental jurisdiction over any potential state law claims, and that this action be dismissed, with prejudice, for failure to state a claim upon which relief may be ...


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