United States District Court, C.D. California
September 16, 2014
MICHAEL TERRY, Plaintiff,
UNITED STATES, et al., Defendants.
RECOMMENDATION OF UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
CHARLES F. EICK, Magistrate Judge.
This Report and Recommendation is submitted to the Honorable Valerie Baker Fairbank, United States District Judge, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. section 636 and General Order 05-07 of the United States District Court for the Central District of California.
On September 9, 2014, Plaintiff filed a paid Complaint purporting to state claims against the United States of America and fictitious "Doe" Defendants for alleged constitutional violations and tort claims. Plaintiff alleges that the National Security Agency ("NSA") and others are using radio frequency "directed energy" weapons to send "voices" to Plaintiff's head, including but not limited to "voices" claiming to be Satan and God. The alleged voices assertedly cause Plaintiff to experience terror, suicidal feelings, sleep deprivation, sickness, headaches and psychiatric emergencies. Plaintiff "has endured 19 years of being roughed up by DEWS [directed energy weapons], sleep deprived and harassed by perps who push his buttons" (Complaint, ¶ 22). Plaintiff seeks damages in the sum of $120 million, damages for alleged medical costs and an injunction removing Plaintiff's name from an alleged "NSA Target List."
Typically, claims such as those alleged by Plaintiff have been asserted by indigent plaintiffs, and have suffered swift dismissal as "frivolous" under the federal in forma pauperis statute, 28 U.S.C. section 1915(e)(2)(B)(1) or its predecessor, 28 U.S.C. section 1915(d). See e.g., Banks v. An Unknown Named Number of Federal Judges and U.S. Covert Government Agents, 562 Fed.App'x 133 (3d Cir. 2014) (upholding dismissal of complaint alleging that federal judges and others subjected Plaintiff to a "Voice to Skull" technology); McGinnis v. Freudenthal, 2011 WL 2312094 (10th Cir. June 10, 2011) (upholding dismissal of frivolous complaint alleging plaintiff was subjected to electromagnetic torture); Ezike v. Na. R.R. Passenger Corp., 2009 WL 247838 (7th Cir. Feb. 3, 2009) (remanding for dismissal of complaint alleging that plaintiff was the victim of a conspiracy involving various employers, the teamsters, people of Indian descent, AMTRAK police and armed secret agents); Mendes v. United States, 88 Fed.Cl. 759 (Fed. Cl.), appeal dismissed, 375 Fed.App'x 4 (Fed. Cir. 2009) (upholding dismissal of frivolous complaint alleging that "zealot, fanatical women" employed by the FBI and CIA used "laser beam technology" against plaintiff); Ayres v. Obama, 2013 WL 5754953, at *2 (D. Hawai'i Oct. 22, 2013) (allegations that FBI implanted biochips in plaintiff and her family to turn them into "a living vegetable or a New World Order slave" were "so fantastic' and fanciful' as to be clearly baseless"); Athans v. Starbucks Coffee Co. , 2007 WL 1673883 (D. Ariz. June 11, 2007) (dismissing as frivolous complaint which alleged, inter alia, that Starbucks joined law enforcement agencies and other commercial establishments to administer a chemical to plaintiff to prevent him from stalking); Foggy v. United States Gov't, 2007 WL 1667394 (D. Idaho June 5, 2007) (plaintiff alleged the government used satellite to put "Hollywood voices" in her head to instruct her to molest and kill her son); Hairston v. Cheney, 2004 WL 1368795 (N.D. Ill. June 16, 2004) (dismissing as frivolous a complaint alleging that defendants inserted a camera into the plaintiff and conducted cosmic and weight gain experiments on her); Jones v. North Atlantic Treaty Org., 1998 WL 136511 (E.D. Pa. Mar. 23, 1998) (two NATO member states allegedly "picked" plaintiff's head, publicly aired his thoughts and mumblings, and caused him to be besieged by older women); McCorkle v. Ameritech, 1993 WL 524703 (N.D. Ill.Dec. 13, 1993) (United States Navy and plaintiff's employer allegedly harassed plaintiff by means of hypnosis, placement of electronic receivers into plaintiff's sinuses, head, pelvis and rectum, placement of equipment in plaintiff's home to induce sleep deprivation, and use of shock discipline); Carrasco v. U.S. Gov't Justice Dep't Strike Force , 792 F.Supp. 603 (N.D. Ill. 1992) (government allegedly surgically placed monitoring device in plaintiff's brain to record his dreams for law enforcement agencies and made him an experiment for sex therapy); Chambers v. Webster, 1990 WL 81339 (E.D. Pa. June 5, 1990) (officials of CIA, Secret Service, Justice Department, Nuclear Regulatory Commission and state prison system allegedly conspired to harass plaintiff by means of electroshock therapy, telekineses, voice synthesizers, hypnotism, mental telepathy, and cybernetics); Shibuya v. George Washington Univ., 1987 WL 14638 (D.D.C. Aug. 25, 1987) (university employees allegedly monitored plaintiff and exposed her thoughts to the public by use of microwaves and lasers, used drugs, microwaves, lasers or hypnosis to induce artificial noises and smells in plaintiff, and retarded plaintiff's ability to take New York and District of Columbia bar examinations).
Plaintiff presently is not in forma pauperis. Accordingly, Plaintiff is not subject to the restrictions on frivolous complaints contained in 42 U.S.C. section 1915. However, a federal court lacks subject matter jurisdiction to consider claims that are "so insubstantial, implausible, foreclosed by prior decisions of this Court, or otherwise completely devoid of merit as not to involve a federal controversy." Steel Co. v. Citizens for a Better Environment , 523 U.S. 83, 89 (1998) (citations and internal quotations omitted); Hagans v. Lavine , 415 U.S. 528, 537 (1974) (court lacks subject matter jurisdiction over claims that are "essentially fictitious, " "obviously frivolous" or "obviously without merit"); Franklin v. Murphy , 745 F.2d 1221, 1227 n.6 (9th Cir. 1984) (court may dismiss frivolous paid complaint for lack of subject matter jurisdiction).
Plaintiff's frivolous, delusional and fanciful allegations do not confer subject matter jurisdiction on this Court. See Bivolarevic v. U.S. CIA, 2010 WL 890147 (N.D. Cal. Mar. 8, 2010) (court lacked jurisdiction over claims that CIA subjected plaintiff to "voice to skull technology" as a "mind control weapon"); Strode v. Dep't of Defense, 2004 WL 1572655 (W.D.N.Y. June 2, 2004) (dismissing paid complaint which alleged that government agents transmitted from their bodies "electomagnetic extremely low frequency radio energy from master satellites"); O'Brien v. United States Dep't of Justice , 927 F.Supp. 382 (D. Ariz. 1995), aff'd, 76 F.3d 387 (9th Cir. 1996) (unpublished disposition) (plaintiff alleged that various defendants including the United States Department of Justice, Ted Kennedy, Andy Williams, Johnny Mathis, Janet Reno, Neil Diamond, Nancy Reagan, the Phoenix Suns, Charles Barkley, the Arizona governor, the Arizona attorney general, and National Basketball Association Commissioner David Stern had assaulted the plaintiff using electronic and satellite equipment, contaminated the plaintiff with germs, and conspired to dictate whom she should marry; court dismissed the action for lack of subject matter jurisdiction because the allegations were "so bizarre and delusional that they [were] wholly insubstantial"); Doran v. McGinnis , 158 F.R.D. 383 (E.D. Mich. 1994) (dismissing paid complaint as frivolous, where plaintiff alleged prison officials implanted "telepathic mind control device" in his brain to control his mind and bodily functions).
For the foregoing reasons, IT IS RECOMMENDED that the Court issue an Order: (1) accepting and adopting this Report and Recommendation; (2) dismissing the Complaint and the action without prejudice for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.