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Dodge v. Author Solutions, LLC

United States District Court, N.D. California, San Francisco Division

April 10, 2014

GARY REGINALD DODGE, Plaintiff,
v.
AUTHOR SOLUTIONS, LLC, doing business as AUTHOR HOUSE, Defendant.

ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO DISMISS PLAINTIFF'S COMPLAINT Re: ECF No. 16

LAUREL BEELER, Magistrate Judge.

INTRODUCTION

Plaintiff Gary Reginald Dodge sued Author Solutions, LLC[1] ("Author Solutions") for its alleged misconduct in relation to the publication of his book, entitled Acts of War: Jesus/Alexander & JFK. See Complaint, ECF No. 1.[2] Author Solutions moves to dismiss Mr. Dodge's Complaint. See Motion, ECF No. 16. Pursuant to Civil Local Rule 7-1(b), the court finds this matter suitable for determination without oral argument and vacates the May 1, 2014 hearing. Upon consideration of the Complaint, the briefs submitted, and the applicable legal authority, the court GRANTS Author Solutions' motion to dismiss.

STATEMENT

I. THE COMPLAINT

On February 3, 2014, Mr. Dodge filed a handwritten, four-page complaint against Author Solutions seeking, among other things, "double restitution" of $20 million (and up to $100 million if Author Solutions "contests[] and loses" this action) for a "theft of royalties" relating to the publication of Acts of War: Jesus/Alexander & JFK. See Complaint, ECF No. 1 at 1-4. Although neither the Complaint nor the Motion to Dismiss explicitly states it, the court infers that Author Solutions published Mr. Dodge's book. Mr. Dodge's Complaint is handwritten and hard to read, and it does not have any claims or allegations that explain the bases for his alleged damages. See generally Complaint, ECF No. 1. The complaint in its entirety is as follows:

"Acts of War: Jesus/Alexander & JFK" was written by me, Gary Reginald Dodge' in 2003. Since March[] 2004, Author [Solutions] has consistently committed a Theft of Royalties, ' and offering [sic] me only pennies in return for my work.
I, Gary Reginald Dodge, therefore demands [sic], and expects [sic], $10 million in damages for the ten years of stealing increasing sales of the book, "Acts of War: Jesus/Alexander & JFK." I further demand double restitution, ($20 million) because I did not make a ten-million-dollars [sic] loan to Author [Solutions], with an expectation of timely repayment. Author [Solutions], for ten years, committed a "Theft of Royalties" with no intention of paying an equitable payment to me, the author of the book; "Acts of War: Jesus/Alexander & JFK."
I further demand from Author [Solutions] that they cease and desist selling my book, and a return of the eight original copies of documents this writer found in the National Archives in the Lyndon B. Johnson Museum and Library at the University of Texas in Austin. I do further demand, and expect, if Author Solutions contest's [sic], and loses, 1 hundred million dollars ($100, 000, 000), which is the value of "Acts of War: Jesus/Alexander and JFK, " (if I was asked to participate in the promotion and marketing of my book), and for the 10 years of hardship, poverty and humiliation at the hands of my peers.

See Complaint, ECF No. 1 at 2-4. Attached to the complaint are copies of three checks: two for $0.72 each from Authorhouse and one for $150 from Rapid Publishing. Id.

II. PROCEDURAL HISTORY

On February 3, 2014, Mr. Dodge, who is proceeding pro se and has consented to the undersigned's jurisdiction, filed a complaint against Author Solutions. Complaint, ECF No. 1; Consent, ECF No. 8. While the Complaint is not entirely clear, it appears that Mr. Dodge possibly alleges the following claims: (1) copyright infringement in violation of 17 U.S.C. ยง 501(a); (2) injunctive relief; (3) breach of contract; and (4) conversion. See generally, Complaint, ECF No. 1. He also filed an application to proceed in forma pauperis on the same day. Application, ECF No. 3. On February 10, 2014, the court granted his application and directed the United States Marshal to serve Author Solutions with the complaint and summons. 2/10/2014 Order, ECF No. 6.

In late February 2014, Mr. Dodge filed three letters asking the court for assistance with respect to a check. See Letters, ECF Nos. 10-12. In sum, he asked the court to order Author Solutions to stop payment on a claim check that he says was stolen and to issue a replacement check. See id. Mr. Dodge, however, provided no legal basis for his requests, and the court knew nothing about the "claim check" to which he referred. It was also unclear whether his request related to his claims in this action. In light of the impending service on Author Solutions, which would have provided Author Solutions the opportunity to respond to Mr. Dodge's complaint, the court denied Mr. Dodge's requests without prejudice. 3/5/2014 Order, ECF No. 13. An executed summons was filed on March 7, 2014 indicating that Author Solutions was served on February 25, 2014. Summons, ECF No. 14.

Author Solutions did not answer the Complaint. Instead, on March 18, 2014, Author Solutions moved to dismiss Mr. Dodge's Complaint under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). Motion, ECF No. 16. Mr. Dodge opposed the motion on March 21, 2014. Opposition, ECF No. 19. He filed a supplemental opposition April 1, 2014. ...


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