United States District Court, C.D. California
WOMEN IN MEXICO CITY & MEXICO, Individually, & FREDERICK BANKS as next friend thereto & Individually, Petitioner
CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY, et al., Respondents.
J. STANDISH UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
ORDER DISMISSING PETITION
D. WRIGHT II UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
December 11, 2019, a putative 28 U.S.C. § 2241 habeas
petition was filed in this District [Dkt. 1,
“Petition”]. The Petition was filed by Frederick
Banks, a convicted criminal incarcerated in Allegheny County
Jail in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, who purports to be acting
as “next friend” on behalf of, and as the
“self-appointed agent” for, all women in Mexico
and in Mexico City, as well as to seek individual relief on
his own behalf. The only person who has signed the Petition
is Banks, who mailed the Petition to the Court from Allegheny
County Jail and who seeks leave to proceed on an in forma
Petition names as Respondents: the Central Intelligence
agency (“CIA”); Michael Atkinson, who is
identified as “Intelligence Inspector General”;
Harvard University; and Yale University. Two alleged habeas
claims are set forth in the Petition. As Ground One, Banks
alleges that the CIA is using “Microwave Hearing”
satellite technology remotely to cause Mexican men to
sexually harass, assault and kill two Mexican women a day in
Mexico City and Mexico. Banks alleges that the CIA is doing
this to retaliate for Mexico allowing immigrant caravans to
“besiege” the Southern Border of the United
States. He also alleges that this CIA conduct violates FISA.
As Ground Two, Banks alleges that Harvard and Yale are aware
of the above “crimes” yet have allowed the CIA to
recruit at both colleges for operatives to commit them and,
further, did nothing to “curb the FISA abuses on
foreigners and U.S. citizens.” As relief, Banks asks
the Court to: enjoin Harvard and Yale from allowing their
students to accept positions with the CIA until his
allegations are fully investigated; and discharge petitioners
from “CIA FISA restraint & control.”
is not a stranger to this District, nor to District and
Circuit Courts across the United States. As the Court
previously has noted (see, e.g., No.
5:19-cv-00780-ODW (GJS), Dkt. 3; No. 2:19-cv-08514-ODW (GJS),
Dkt. 3), Banks is a well-known bringer of frivolous lawsuits
across the country. Pursuant to Rule 201 of the Federal Rules
of Evidence, the Court has taken judicial notice of the
federal court case dockets and filings available through the
PACER and Westlaw systems relating to Banks, which show
(without a precise count) many, many hundreds (if not well
over 1, 000) of federal court proceedings initiated by Banks
over the past decade.
Banks has a prior criminal history that the Court will not
recount here, it is significant that, recently, Banks was
tried by jury in the United States District Court for the
Western District of Pennsylvania and was found guilty of
multiple counts of wire fraud and one count of aggravated
identity theft on November 8, 2019. Banks is awaiting
sentencing, which is scheduled for Spring 2020, and remains
in custody. See Docket in No. 2:15-cr-00168 (W.D.
Pa.). Banks also is “a notorious frequent filer”
in the federal court system, who has had hundreds of cases
dismissed at the pleading stage as frivolous. Banks v.
Song, No. 1:17-cv-00339 (D. Haw. July 25, 2017) (Order
Dismissing Action and Denying In Forma Pauperis Application);
see also Banks v. Cuevas, No. 4:17CV2460, 2018 WL
1942192, at *1 (N.D. Ohio April 25, 2018) (describing Banks
as a “frequent filer of frivolous actions in federal
and state courts”); Banks v. Song, No.
17-00093, 2018 WL 3130940, at *1-*2 (D. Guam Jun. 26, 2018)
(finding lawsuit filed by Banks related to his Western
District of Pennsylvania prosecution that essentially was the
same suit that he had filed in a number of other Districts in
the United States to be “malicious” and
improperly filed in the District of Guam); Banks v. New
York Police Dept., No. 4:15-CV-75-RLW, 2015 WL 1414828,
at *2-*3 (E.D. Mo. Mar. 26, 2015) (dismissing as legally
frivolous and malicious mandamus action brought by Banks
seeking relief based upon, inter alia, the deaths of
Eric Garner and Michael Brown).
federal courts began dismissing Banks's civil cases under
28 U.S.C. § 1915(g) due to his numerous “strikes,
” he began filing 28 U.S.C. § 2241 or other types
of petitions in an attempt to avoid the Section 1915(g)
limitation on his ability to file actions without prepayment
of the filing fee. See Banks v. Valaluka, No.
1:15-cv-01935 (N.D. Ohio Nov. 18, 2015) (Order denying leave
to proceed in forma pauperis and dismissing
purported mandamus action).) As one District Court described
Banks is a well-established, multi-district, frequent filer,
who has brought over 350 cases in the Northern District of
Ohio, the District of Massachusetts, the Southern District of
Mississippi, the District of Columbia, the Southern District
of New York, the Western District of New York, the District
of Colorado, the District of Arizona, the Southern District
of Florida, the Middle District of Florida, the Eastern
District of North Carolina, the Middle and Western Districts
of Pennsylvania, the Eastern District of Missouri, the
Eastern District of New Jersey, the Eastern District of
Arkansas, the Western District of Oklahoma, the District of
Utah, and the District of Alaska. All of these cases were
dismissed as frivolous. He has been declared to be subject to
three strike provision of 28 U.S.C. § 1915(g) on
numerous occasions. Undeterred, Banks utilizes § 2241 to
circumvent the application of § 1915(g).
Banks v. Greene, No. 4:18-cv-0884, 2018 WL 4615938,
at *1 n.1 (N.D. Ohio, Sept. 25, 2018).
addition to numerous courts having found Banks's
case-initiating filings to be frivolous, Banks has been
designated as a vexatious litigant. See, e.g., Banks v.
Pope Francis, No. 2:15-cv-01400 (W.D. Pa. Dec. 8, 2015)
(Order designating Petitioner as a vexatious litigant). That
vexatious litigant designation has been ordered extended to
cover filings made by Banks on behalf of any other persons,
whether as a purported “next friend” or
otherwise, unless and until he has complied with the
requirements of the original vexatious litigant designation
order. See United States v. Miller, 726 Fed.
App'x 107 (June 7, 2018) (affirming district court order
so extending scope of vexatious litigant order entered
the most cursory review of his cases available through the
PACER system shows, Banks has a history of filing delusional
and meritless actions on his own behalf or on behalf of
others with whom he has no connection, often (as here)
alleging electronic surveillance by the CIA or others.
See, e.g., Banks v. Crooked Hilary, No.
2:16-cv-07954 (C.D. Cal. Oct. 26, 2016) (Order denying leave
to proceed in forma pauperis and discussing some of
the prior decisions finding Petitioner's actions to be
frivolous and delusional); Schlemmer v. Central
Intelligence Agency, No. 2:15-cv-01583 (W.D. Pa. Dec.
15, 2015) (Order dismissing with prejudice a 28 U.S.C. §
2241 habeas petition filed by Petitioner as purported
“next friend” on behalf of a criminal defendant
with whom he had no relationship); Valaluka, supra
(Order at 2: “Banks has not limited his frivolous
filings to cases he files in his own name, but has expanded
his efforts by filing cases and motions on behalf of other
prisoners, often without their knowledge or consent.”).
The instant Petition is yet one more example of this
vexatious and improper litigation behavior.
claims alleged in the Petition are plainly meritless and
frivolous to the extent that they purport to be raised under
the guise of a habeas action. No. cognizable and viable theory
of habeas relief has been stated as to anyone, much
less as to the women located in Mexico on whose behalf this
habeas petition purportedly is brought, none of whom are in
custody in the United States. There is no habeas relief that
any federal court could provide based on the allegations of
the Petition and federal habeas plainly is not an available
mechanism to effect change in this respect, namely, to
prevent men in Mexico from sexually harassing and/or
assaulting and/or killing Mexican women. In addition, Banks
has not stated any basis whatsoever for federal habeas relief
on his own individual behalf, and in any event, this District
would be the wrong venue for any such action, given that
Banks is not incarcerated here and was not convicted here.
The matters alleged in the Petition simply do not involve
situations in which federal habeas jurisdiction properly can
equally critical, and obvious, defect in the Petition is that
Banks has no right or standing to seek habeas or any other
type of relief on behalf of the women of Mexico. There is no
evidence before the Court that any woman, whether in Mexico
or otherwise, wishes to have Banks - a pro se vexatious
litigant and convicted criminal awaiting sentencing, with a
documented longstanding history of filing utterly frivolous
and delusional actions - act as her legal representative in
seeking any relief in federal courts, nor is there any sane
reason to believe that this is the case.
non-lawyers may not represent other persons in court.
See, e.g., Simon v. Hartford Life, Inc., 546 F.3d
661, 664 (9th Cir. 2008) (“courts have routinely
adhered to the general rule prohibiting pro se plaintiffs
from pursuing claims on behalf of others in a representative
capacity”); Collinsgru v. Palmyra Bd. Of
Educ., 161 F.3d 225, 232 (3d Cir. 1998). 28 U.S.C.
§ 1654 permits persons to appear on a pro se basis
only in their “own cases personally.”
See Shephard v. Wellman, 313 F.3d 963, 970 (6th Cir.
2002) (Section 1654 “does not permit plaintiffs to
appear pro se where interests other than their own
are at stake”). Local Rule 83-2.10.2 expressly
prohibits a pro se litigant from delegating his
representation to any other person. Because Banks is not a
lawyer authorized to practice in this Court, he may not
pursue relief on behalf of anyone else. See C.E. Pope
Equity Trust v. United States, 818 F.2d 696, 697 (9th
Cir. 1987) (a layperson acting in pro per may ...