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Rodriguez v. State

United States District Court, Third Circuit

December 11, 2013

JEAN EMMANUEL RODRIGUEZ, Plaintiff,
v.
THE STATE OF NEW JERSEY et al., Defendants. JEAN EMMANUEL RODRIGUEZ, Plaintiff,
v.
BERNARD E. DELURY, JR. et al., Defendants. JEAN EMMANUEL RODRIGUEZ, Plaintiff,
v.
THE CITY OF SOMERS POINT et al., Defendants. JEAN EMMANUEL RODRIGUEZ, Plaintiff,
v.
BERNARD E. DELURY, JR. Defendant. JEAN EMMANUEL RODRIGUEZ, Plaintiff,
v.
STEPHANIE K. THEWS et al., Defendants. JEAN EMMANUEL RODRIGUEZ, Plaintiff,
v.
THE STATE OF NEW JERSEY, Defendant. JEAN EMMANUEL RODRIGUEZ, Plaintiff,
v.
MARK H. SANDSON et al., Defendants. JEAN EMMANUEL RODRIGUEZ, Plaintiff,
v.
MARK H. SANDSON et al., Defendants. JEAN EMMANUEL RODRIGUEZ, Plaintiff,
v.
JEROME MORSE et al., Defendants. JEAN EMMANUEL RODRIGUEZ, Plaintiff,
v.
BERNARD E. DELURY, et al., Defendants.

OPINION APPLIES TO ALL ACTIONS

RENÉE MARIE BUMB, District Judge.

The ten civil matters come before the Court upon the Clerk's receipt of four civil complaints executed by Jean Emmanuel Rodriguez ("Plaintiff") and Plaintiff's submission of his prison account statement in the six civil actions Plaintiff previously commenced in this District. For the reasons detailed below, Plaintiff's in forma pauperis ("IFP") status will be granted in the four latest matters, and his complaints filed in those four matters will be dismissed, with prejudice, for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted and in light of them being not amenable to cure by repleading.

The Court's determination as to Plaintiff's IFP status for the purposes of the six matters he commenced prior will remain reserved in light of: (a) Plaintiff's failure to file an amended pleading in each of those matters; and, (b) his failure to submit a document conclusively establishing his incarceration status at the time of his commencement of the first matter among those six. Plaintiff will be allowed one last extension of time to file the required amended complaints in these six actions;[1] if he elects to file an amended complaint in Rodriguez-I, he will be directed to accompany the same with his affidavit averring to and conclusively establishing his incarceration status at the time of when he submitted his original complaint in that matter.

I. BACKGROUND

Plaintiff's history of litigation in this District began on July 2, 2013, when the Clerk received his first civil complaint that gave rise to Rodriguez v. State of New Jersey ("Rodriguez-I"), Civil Action No. 13-4101 (RMB) (D.N.J.). There, Plaintiff named, as defendants, the State of New Jersey, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, then-New-Jersey-Attorney-General Jeffery S. Chiesa, numerous individuals employed at the Office of New Jersey Attorney General (i.e., Alan B. Handler, James R. Zazzali, Edward J. Dauber, Theodore Z. Davis, John J. Farmer Jr., Theresa M. Kiuck, Alice Click, Richard W. Roper, M. Karen Thompson), the Atlantic County, numerous individuals performing various functions for that County or for the vicinage of the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, having seat at that County (i.e., Dennis Levinson, Judge Mark H. Sandson, Judge James E. Isman, Judge Joseph 1. Marczyk, Judge Nelson C. Johnson, Theodore F. L. Housel, Eric Shenkus, Erica Halayko, Jessica Ramirez), the County of Essex County, two individuals performing functions for that county or for vicinage of the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, having seat at that County (i.e., Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr. and Judge Hutchins Henderson), Atlantic City, numerous individuals performing various functions for that City or its municipal courts (i.e., Lorenzo T. Langford, Judges Bruce F. Weekes, Braun Littlefield, Kelly Hasson Blanchet, Michelle Funk, Ernest Jubilee, John Devlin, Tim Friel, Sgt. Hendricks, Arthur Freedman and unspecified "staff), City of Newark, now-United-States-Senator and then-Newark-Mayor, Corey Booker, and a certain Natasha Purvey who performed functions for that City, as well as two individuals whose connection to the above-listed entities or individuals was not specified (i.e., Tracy L. Riley and Pat Hallman). The Rodruguez-I complaint concluded with the following request for relief:

The State of New Jersey shall over[]turn every conviction against [Plaintiff], and refund all monetary assets falsely acquire, from [Plaintiff as a result of his arrests, multiple criminal prosecutions and numerous penal convictions, such as] (time, money, social credibility, and all assets.... The fraudulent entities in the Cities of Atlantic City and Newark, and the Counties of Atlantic and Essex shall be disbarred and brought up before the proper authorities to answer for their actions. The State of New Jersey and all participating entities shall pay every debt acquired by [Plaintiff] during these transgressions. The State of New Jersey shall provide free room, board, and tuition [to Plaintiff] at New Jersey Institute of Technology, so that [he could] obtain two bachelor degrees of his choice. The State of New Jersey shall [also] provide tuition, room, and board at Rutgers University, so [that Plaintiff could] obtain a degree in law and enter a master's program [of unspecified specialization]. The Cities of Atlantic City and Newark shall contribute the sum $500, 000.00 [British] pounds to [ensure] the well-being of [Plaintiff].

Rodriguez-I, Docket Entry No. 1, at 2.

Since the IFP application submitted in conjunction with that first complaint: (a) included the required affidavit of poverty; and (b) suggested that Plaintiff was not in custody, the Court granted Plaintiff IFP status for the purposes of Rodriguez-I and, upon screening that complaint, dismissed it without prejudice to filing an amended pleading and, to assist Plaintiff, detailed to him the pleading requirement. See id., Docket Entry No. 2.

Yet, when Plaintiff filed his amended Rodriguez-I pleading, he named the same entities/individuals as defendants. See id., Docket Entry No. 3. Moreover, he made the same allegations; the sole distinction between his original and amended pleading was that he mentioned a certain "fraudulent hearing" conducted by the Advisory Committee on Judicial Conduct (i.e., an arm of the Supreme Court of New Jersey) in response to what, seemingly, had been his filing of a grievance against one of the Superior Court judges who presided over his criminal proceedings and/or his direct appeal or collateral attack. See id.

The Court screened that amended pleading and, taking notice of factual insufficiency of Plaintiff's allegations, dismissed it too without prejudice, this time providing an in-depth discussion of the pleading requirement. See id., Docket Entry No. 4.

The second amended complaint followed. See id., Docket Entry No. 5. It made the same demands, named the same entities/individuals as defendants, and asserted, without a clarification, the wrongs of "arresting Plaintiff without probable cause, " "detaining Plaintiff for an extended period of time without probable cause, " "ransoming Plaintiff's freedom without probable cause, " "continuously summoning Plaintiff without probable cause, " "denying Plaintiff proper counsel, " "prosecuting Plaintiff with fraudulent accusations, " "denying Plaintiff equal rights under the law, " "conspiring against the civil rights of Plaintiff, " "breach of verbal contract and defamation of Plaintiff's character." Id. at 3.

The Court screened Plaintiff's second amended complaint and, once again, dismissed it while re-explaining, this time at great length, the pleading standard. See id., Docket Entry No. 6. at 2-4. Out of an abundance of caution, the Court allowed Plaintiff one more opportunity to amend his Rodriguez-I pleadings.

Plaintiff, however, filed nothing in Rodriguez-I. Rather, on October 2, 2013, he submitted a new civil complaint that gave rise to Rodriguez v. DeLury ("Rodriguez-II"), Civil Action No. 13-5866 (RMB) (D.N.J.). See Rodriguez-II, Docket Entry No. 1.

Taking notice of the similarities between the allegations raised in Rodriguez-I and Rodriguez-II (and the deficiencies of those allegations), and mindful of the possibility that Plaintiff might have inadvertently commenced this new action, the Court construed his Rodriguez-II pleading as Plaintiff's third amended complaint intended for filing in Rodriguez-I. The Court, thus, terminated Rodriguez-II as duplicative and, upon screening the so-construed third amended complaint, dismissed it without prejudice and, once again, extending Plaintiff's time to amend his pleading in Rodriguez-I.[2] See id., Docket Entry No. 3.

Plaintiff however, did not file anything in Rodriguez-I. Nor did he make any submissions in Rodriguez-II. Rather, he submitted four new civil complaints that gave rise, respectively, to Rodriguez v. City of Somers Point ("Rodriguez-III"), Civil Action No. 13-6131 (RMB) (D.N.J.); Rodriguez v. DeLury ("Rodriguez-IV"), Civil Action No. 13-6132 (RMB) (D.N.J.); Rodriguez v. Thews ("Rodriguez-V"), Civil Action No. 13-6178 (RMB) (D.N.J.); Rodriguez v. New Jersey ("Rodriguez-VI"), Civil Action No. 13-6179 (RMB) (D.N.J.).[3]

Unlike in Rodriguez-I, the complaints in Rodriguez-II, III, IV, V and VI arrived unaccompanied by Plaintiff's filing fee or his IFP applications. Moreover, those submissions suggested that Plaintiff's IFP application submitted in Rodriguez-I might have been deficient for lack of Plaintiff's account statement since it appeared that Plaintiff might have already been placed in custody at the time when he submitted his original Rodriguez-I complaint.

The Court, therefore, denied Plaintiff IFP status without prejudice for the purposes of Rodriguez-II, III, IV, V and VI, and suspended Plaintiff's IFP status for the purposes of Rodriguez-I, reserving that determination until Plaintiff's submission of his prison account and his showing that he was not in custody at the time of commencing Rodriguez-I. In conjunction with the same, the Court allowed Plaintiff "one final opportunity to amend his claims scattered among his many complaints" in those six matters. See Rodriguez v. New Jersey, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 152630, at *16 (D.N.J. Oct. 23, 2013) (opinion applicable to Rodriguez-I, II, III, IV, V and VI). The Court clarified that such final set of amended pleadings had to be executed "in strict compliance with the pleading requirement the Court already explained to Plaintiff time and again[, ]... free of any sovereign citizenship, redemptionist... and akin allegations, " free of habeas and duplicative challenges and, in addition, in compliance with the requirements of Rules 15, 18 and 20, which the Court explained to Plaintiff in great detail to assist him in producing a viable set of amended pleadings. Id. at *16-20.

Two groups of Plaintiff's submissions followed. In Rodriguez-I, II, III, IV, V and VI, Plaintiff made six identical filings consisting of: (a) his prison account statement covering the period from August 12, 2013, to November 3, 2013; and (b) a statement from an officer of the Atlantic County Jail ("ACJ") that Plaintiff entered that facility on August 12, 2013.[4] See, e.g., ...


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