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Thompson v. Federal Bureau of Investigations

United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division

August 12, 2019

KELVIN C. THOMPSON, Plaintiff,
v.
FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATIONS, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          STEPHEN N. LIMBAUGH, JR., UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         This matter is before the Court on the motion of plaintiff Kelvin C. Thompson for leave to commence this civil action without prepayment of the required filing fee. (Docket No. 2). Having reviewed the motion and the financial information submitted in support, the Court finds that it should be granted. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a). Additionally, for the reasons discussed below, the Court will dismiss this action without prejudice for failure to state a claim and for frivolity.

         Legal Standard on Initial Review

         Under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2), the Court is required to dismiss a complaint filed in forma pauperis if it is frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. To state a claim, a plaintiff must demonstrate a plausible claim for relief, which is more than a "mere possibility of misconduct." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 679 (2009). "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." Id. at 678. Determining whether a complaint states a plausible claim for relief is a context-specific task that requires the reviewing court to draw upon judicial experience and common sense. Id. at 679. The court must "accept as true the facts alleged, but not legal conclusions or threadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements." Barton v. Taber, 820 F.3d 958, 964 (8th Cir. 2016). See also Brown v. Green Tree Servicing LLC, 820 F.3d 371, 372-73 (8th Cir. 2016) (stating that court must accept factual allegations in complaint as true, but is not required to "accept as true any legal conclusion couched as a factual allegation").

         When reviewing a pro se complaint under § 1915(e)(2), the Court must give it the benefit of a liberal construction. Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520 (1972). A "liberal construction" means that if the essence of an allegation is discernible, the district court should construe the plaintiffs complaint in a way that permits his or her claim to be considered within the proper legal framework. Solomon v. Petray, 795 F.3d 777, 787 (8th Cir. 2015). However, even pro se complaints are required to allege facts which, if true, state a claim for relief as a matter of law. Martin v. Aubuchon, 623 F.2d 1282, 1286 (8th Cir. 1980). See also Stone v. Harry, 364 F.3d 912, 914-15 (8thCir. 2004) (stating that federal courts are not required to "assume facts that are not alleged, just because an additional factual allegation would have formed a stronger complaint"). In addition, affording a pro se complaint the benefit of a liberal construction does not mean that procedural rules in ordinary civil litigation must be interpreted so as to excuse mistakes by those who proceed without counsel. See McNeil v. United States, 508 U.S. 106, 113 (1993).

         The Complaint

         Plaintiff is a pro se litigant who has filed a civil action against the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).[1] He claims that this Court's jurisdiction is derived from Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964; Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act; 18 U.S.C. § 241; 18 U.S.C. § 242; 18 U.S.C. § 245; Title VII of the Civil Rights Act; the Civil Rights Act of 1866; and the Age Discrimination Act. (Docket No. 1 at 3-4).

         Plaintiff states that he has not lived in Missouri in over ten years. (Docket No. 1 at 6). When he arrived back in the state, he "noticed a lot of [fraudulent] activity on [his] social security account." He alleges that his Social Security checks from June and July of 2019 have been missing. He has reported these "discrepancies" to the Social Security Administration "to no avail." Plaintiff claims that beginning in June, "people impersonating social security employees have committed wire fraud, mail theft, identity theft" and have denied him his Social Security benefits. He further claims that a "real" Social Security employee told him that "these criminals impersonated" Social Security employees and that they "were pressured to commit these crimes by corrupt federal agents." Plaintiff states that these unnamed, unidentified individuals "were advised to submit a [fraudulent] bank account that didn't exist, unlawfully withhold [his] funds and commit other civil rights violations and federal crimes."

         On July 11, 2019, plaintiff went to the United States District Court building in St. Louis. He states that as soon as he walked into the office of the Clerk of Court, a clerk named Beth "was on a phone call with the FBI." Moments later, he asserts, his case was improperly filed and "shipped" to Cape Girardeau, Missouri. He states that it never showed up in the system. When he came back to the Clerk of Court on Friday to file another civil case, he claims that the FBI "advised [Beth] not to file it."

         On July 2, 2019, plaintiff returned to the office of the Clerk of Court, to ask why it was not filed. He was advised that Adobe "was down all day." Then, Beth passed the case to another clerk, who he alleges intentionally "left out vital information." This was fixed when he threatened to file a civil suit.

         Plaintiff concludes his Statement of Claim by asserting that "corrupt federal agents are discriminating against [him], violating [his] civil right, committing other acts of federal crimes and...acts of violence." He states that "[t]his is a travesty [not] only for Missouri but for our Nation."

         In a supplement filed with the Court, plaintiff adds that he is in fear of his safety and his family's safety every day. (Docket No. 4). He states that he is certain that he is "not the first, nor last person to be terrorized by these individuals." Moreover, he states that St. Louis and Missouri have "a history of corruption, violence and injustice" that has caused suffering to many African Americans and minorities.

         Plaintiff seeks $1, 000, 000 in actual damages and $10, 000, 000 in punitive damages to punish defendant and "deter future ...


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