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Wright v. United States

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

June 9, 2014

FRANKLIN H. WRIGHT, Plaintiff,
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Defendant.

ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO DISMISS AND DENYING AS MOOT PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR LIBRARY ACCESS [Re: ECF Nos. 29 & 31]

LAUREL BEELER, Magistrate Judge.

INTRODUCTION

Franklin H. Wright, who is representing himself, sued Defendant United States of America, asserting claims for negligence, harassment, assault, breach of implied contract, violation of California Business and Professions Code section 6068, and constitutional violations involving the Department of Justice, including the U.S. Attorney's Office, the U.S. Marshals Service, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Central Intelligence Agency. See First Amended Complaint ("FAC"), ECF No. 10.[1] The court granted the Government's motion to dismiss, and Mr. Wright filed a Second Amended Complaint ("SAC"), ECF No. 30. The SAC asserts claims for breach of contract under several legal theories against the FBI and the United States Attorney's Office. See id. The Government moves to dismiss all claims based on sovereign immunity and for failure to state a claim under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). See Motion to Dismiss ("Motion"), ECF No. 31. In a separate motion, Mr. Wright asks the court for an order reinstating his access to U.S. Courts Library for the Northern District of California, a privilege that was revoked on April 3, 2014. See ECF No. 29. Pursuant to Civil Local Rule 7-1(b), the court finds this matter suitable for determination without oral argument and vacates the June 5, 2014 hearing. For the reasons discussed, the court GRANTS the Government's motion to dismiss and DENIES Mr. Wright's motion to reinstate his library access.

STATEMENT

I. PROCEDURAL HISTORY

In December 2013, Mr. Wright filed a complaint on behalf of "Jesse Schwartz, Sr. [apparently his father]; the Office of the President of the United States; and the U.S. Senate's Select Committee on Intelligence" against the Secretary of the Navy, the Attorney General of the United States, and the Director of the FBI. Complaint, ECF No. 1. He also filed a motion to proceed in forma pauperis, which the court granted. ECF Nos. 3, 6. On January 15, 2014, Mr. Wright filed the FAC on behalf of himself naming the Government as the sole Defendant. See FAC, ECF No. 10. The Government moved to dismiss on March 7, 2014. See Motion to Dismiss the FAC, ECF No. 18. Mr. Wright opposed the motion, and the Government filed a reply. See ECF Nos. 22, 26. The court also allowed Mr. Wright to amend his opposition brief. See ECF No. 24, Order, ECF No. 28. On April 7, 2014, the court granted the Government's motion to dismiss without prejudice and with leave to amend within 28 days. See Order, ECF No. 28 at 11.

On April 22, 2014, Mr. Wright filed a Motion to Obtain Access to Phillip C. Burton Building's Library During Normal Business Hours ("Library Motion"). ECF No. 29. The Government has not filed an opposition to the Library Motion. See generally Docket. Mr. Wright filed the SAC on May 2, 2014. See SAC, ECF No. 30. On May 15, 2014, the Government moved to dismiss the claims in the SAC. Motion, ECF No. 31. Mr. Wright opposed the Government's motion, Opp'n, ECF No. 33, and the Government filed a Reply, ECF No. 36.

II. THE LIBRARY MOTION

In the Library Motion, Mr. Wright states that from October 2013 through March 2014, he used the U.S. Courts Library for the Northern District of California approximately three times per week. See Library Motion, ECF No. 29 at 1-2. On April 3, 2014, Mr. Wright received an e-mail with an attached letter from United States District Judge William Alsup, this District's Library Liaison Judge. Id. at 2, Ex. 1. In the letter, Judge Alsup explained that under the Northern District of California's Civil Local Rule 77-7 and the "Rules for the Use of the U.S. District Court Library and the Conduct Policy for Visitors, " the Library Liaison Judge and Branch Librarian had the discretion to revoke access privileges for non-judicial patrons. See id. Ex. 1, ECF No. 29 at 5-6. The letter explained that Judge Alsup and the Branch Librarian were exercising their discretion to revoke Mr. Wright's library privileges due to an "ongoing pattern of disruptive conduct" detailed in the letter. Id. The letter further stated: "[s]hould you have an information need in a case pending in this Court that requires access to the Library, you may seek a court order reinstating library access to the extent needed to satisfy that need." Id. at 6.

Mr. Wright now argues that he needs access to the Court Library resources including limited free copies, access to Federal Reporters and Federal Supplements, free wi-fi, and law journals. Id. at 2-3. Mr. Wright also argues that he needs access to the Court Library's copies of the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and economics textbooks in connection with another case pending in this district. Id.

III. CLAIMS AND ALLEGATIONS IN THE SECOND AMENDED COMPLAINT

The SAC begins with a procedural history of this case. It alleges that after the court dismissed Mr. Wright's claim, he filed an administrative claim with the Department of Justice under the Federal Tort Claims Act. SAC, ECF No. 30 at 2. On April 9, 2014, as a courtesy to Mr. Wright, the U.S. Attorney's Office in San Francisco sent letters to the DOJ, including one to the Tort Claim Division. Id. Both letters included the SF-50 form and the FAC. Id. On May 2, 2014, Mr. Wright received notification that his FTCA claim to the DOJ was incomplete. Id.

A. Breach of Contract Against the FBI

The SAC's first claim is for breach of contract. Id. at 4-6. Mr. Wright alleges that the FBI failed to "investigate and retrieve" video recordings related to a "2007 potential wrongful arrest and assault & battery committed against [Mr. Wright]" and "the September 28th-29th, 2013 events in the lounge of the Marriot Marquis" that are related to one of Mr. Wright's earlier lawsuits. See SAC at 5. The FBI also allegedly failed to "vet" the following: (1) "potential crime" related to Mr. Wright's previous bankruptcy proceedings; (2) "potential government corruption in Chicago, IL relating to lawsuits filed by Plaintiff from Jan 2nd, 2007-2011;" (3) "potential government corruption in Akron, Ohio" involving individuals who may be creating "a low-cost labor pool;" and (4) "potential government corruption in San Francisco, CA relating to homeless budget allocation and abuse" as alleged in another case that Mr. Wright filed in this district. Id. at 5-6. Finally, the FBI did not inform Mr. Wright of the Government's involvement and reasoning in each of these instances. Id. Mr. Wright alleges that the FBI thus breached its statutory obligations under 28 U.S.C. § 535 and that this constitutes a breach of contract. Id.

The second breach of contract claim is that the FBI failed to investigate Mr. Wright's claim that he was assaulted in the Marriott Marquis while he was "a traveler and non-resident to California." See SAC at 8. He asked the FBI to investigate the matter but the FBI refused to investigate or inform Mr. Wright of an investigation. Id. at 8. Thus, the FBI failed to fulfill its obligations under 28 U.S.C. §§ 535 and 540A, and this also constitutes a breach of contract. Id. at 7-8.

B. Breach of Contract Against the U.S. Attorney's Office

The SAC alleges that Assistant U.S. Attorneys denied Mr. Wright access to computer equipment, access to U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag, and assistance in investigating his claims. Id. at 9. These actions constituted a breach of California Business and Professions Code § 6068 and a breach of contract. Id. at 9-10.

C. Damages and Requested Relief

The SAC alleges that as a result of the Government's actions, Mr. Wright has not been able to obtain adequate legal counsel. Id. at 10-11. Mr. Wright seeks legal representation in the form of a retainer (not to exceed $9, 999) for services from a Bay Area law firm subject to his approval. Id. at 11. In the alternative, Mr. Wright asks that the U.S. Attorney's office represent him and either (1) investigate his allegations regarding his employers, the Stone Park, Illinois Police Department, Mr. Wright's bankruptcy attorney and trustee, and the incidents in Akron, Ohio that are documented in Mr. Wright's litigation against Marriott, or (2) "[i]nform [him] of U.S. Government intentions and involvment in writing and in response hereto." Id. at 11-12.

ANALYSIS

I. LEGAL ...


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