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Thompson v. Cool Valley Police Department

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

August 16, 2019

KELVIN C. THOMPSON, Plaintiff,
v.
COOL VALLEY POLICE DEPARTMENT, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          JONN A. ROSS, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         This matter is before the Court upon the motion of plaintiff Kelvin C. Thompson[1] for leave to proceed in forma pauperis in this civil action. Upon consideration of the motion and the financial information provided in support, the Court concludes that plaintiff is unable to pay the filing fee. The motion will therefore be granted. Additionally, the Court will dismiss the complaint.

         Standard of 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 may be granted. An action is frivolous if it "lacks an arguable basis in either law or fact." Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 328 (1989). An action fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted if it does not plead "enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face." Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007).

         The term "'frivolous,' when applied to a complaint, embraces not only the inarguable legal conclusion, but also the fanciful factual allegation." Neitzke, 490 U.S. at 328. While federal courts should not dismiss an action commenced in forma pauperis if the facts alleged are merely unlikely, the court can properly dismiss such an action if the allegations in the complaint are found to be "clearly baseless." Denton v. Hernandez, 504 U.S. 25, 32-33 (1992) (citing Neitzke, 490 U.S. 319). Allegations are clearly baseless if they are "fanciful," "fantastic," or "delusional," or if they "rise to the level of the irrational or the wholly incredible." Id.

         The Complaint[2]

         Plaintiff brings this action against the Cool Valley Police Department. He invokes this Court's federal question jurisdiction, and states he brings his case pursuant to Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, the Rehabilitation Act, 18 U.S.C. §§ 241-242, 245, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, The Civil Rights Act of 1866 (§ 1981), and 34 U.S.C. § 12601.

         In the complaint and in a supplement to the complaint, plaintiff alleges that ever since he filed lawsuits against local police departments and FBI agents, those defendants have enlisted the help of the Cool Valley Police Department and other municipal police departments to surveil and harass him. He alleges that uniformed and undercover officers follow him "24/7" and waste "millions of dollars a day in government resources to follow me to Walmart just to see me buy a loaf of bread or to Taco Bell just to see me do a #1 or #2. Literally looking under stalls." Plaintiff estimates that if this continues, $1.2 billion in taxpayer money could be wasted, and he alleges that this wrongdoing is why hundreds of thousands of crimes are unsolved. Specifically, plaintiff writes: "It's because of situations like mine where law enforcement is wasting taxpayers monies watching a middle age 60 year old African American Male take a dump or buy a hot dog at a hot dog stand. This while horrendous crimes are occurring every 30 seconds, absolutely absurd."

         Plaintiff also alleges that the defendant and other entities have "enlisted operatives and thugs from in and out of the state Yahweh members, Nation of Islam and masonic members to harass me and disrupt my everyday life. They poison food, steal mail and intentionally wreck my vehicles in an attempt to kill or lame me." He writes: "Yes, I am saying that these criminally corrupt law enforcement entities are enlisting common criminals to help them harass, discriminate against me and to violate my civil rights. These individuals harass my family, slash my tires, steal my mail, intentionally wreck my cars trying to kill or lame me and even poison the food at grocery stores I cater to in an attempt to poison me." He alleges that the defendant and other entities are conspiring with "rogue thugs" from Georgia, the Carolinas, New York, California, Alabama and "especially Illinois," all of whom constantly harass him. He alleges that "[a]ll these entities have formed an alliance to destroy and violate my civil and human rights to live without fear of death or any other harm." The complaint and supplemental document continue in this manner.

         As relief, plaintiff wants the Court to punish, fine, suspend, terminate, and/or imprison the people who engaged in the above-described behavior, and to award him "$100, 000 in actual damages and $1, 000, 000 million in punitive damages."

         After filing the complaint and supplemental document, plaintiff filed a letter. Therein, plaintiff writes he noticed that cases he filed regarding law enforcement were assigned to Magistrate Judges. He writes: "I find this ironic and almost impossible that randomly all these civil cases have been assigned to Magistrate Judges. These powerful entities with unlimited funds can't be afraid of an old man? Finally, corruption and criminal activity at any level are criminal acts and makes the culprits BLATANTLY CRIMINALS. A TRILLION DOLLAR OPERATION with thousands of agents and unlimited funding are still remarkably fundamentally and systematically corrupt, racist and lack the morality and integrity of great men. Have Ye no dignity or pride?" (ECF No. 7/filed August 7, 2019) (emphasis in original).

         Discussion

         The complaint is subject to dismissal pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(i) because it is frivolous. A pleading is frivolous, and therefore subject to dismissal under § 1915(e), if it "lacks an arguable basis either in law or in fact." Neitzke, 490 U.S. at 325. The Supreme Court has held that federal courts should not sua sponte dismiss an action commenced in forma pauperis if the facts alleged are merely unlikely; however, such an action can be dismissed if the plaintiffs allegations are found to be "fanciful," "delusional," or "fantastic," or if they "rise to the level of the irrational or the wholly incredible." Denton, 504 U.S. at 32-33.

         Here, as set forth above, plaintiffs allegations are based upon being constantly surveilled by law enforcement entities and stalked and harassed by operatives and "rogue thugs" who were enlisted by, and in a conspiracy with, those entities. Considering the complaint as a whole, it obviously rises "to the level of the irrational or the wholly incredible," id, and the Court therefore determines that the complaint is frivolous and subject to summary dismissal pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(i). See Tooley v. Naplitano, 586 F.3d 1006, 1009-10 (D.C. Cir. 2009) (claims of constant surveillance by government were "flimsier than doubtful or questionable ...essentially ...


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