United States District Court, D. New Jersey
Jeffrey Sung, pro se, brings this action against the
State of New Jersey, the Hudson County Prosecutor's
Office, the New Jersey Unclaimed Property Administration, and
the New Jersey Attorney General's Office (collectively,
the "State Defendants"), as well as the West New
York Police Department, alleging breach of public trust and
various civil rights violations.
have moved to dismiss the Complaint for failure to state a
claim pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6).
The State Defendants also move to vacate the entry of default
entered against them pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 55(c). For the reasons explained in this opinion, I
will grant the Defendants' motions and dismiss the
Complaint alleges the following facts. For purposes of a Rule
12(b)(6) motion, the well-pleaded factual allegations of the
Complaint are assumed to be true. See Section III.A,
Complaint is predicated upon sprawling conspiracy allegations
involving the Chinatown mafia, New Jersey state court judges,
the police, the plaintiffs previous lawyers, and others. The
overview is that Sung entered into a series of business deals
in the early 1990s whereby he provided capital to a group of
small businesses through a promissory note and a share
purchase agreement. Sung was not paid the amounts he was due,
and unsuccessfully sued in state court in the early 1990s to
recoup his losses. Thereafter, Sung spent roughly twenty
years trying to rectify these alleged wrongs, only to be
stymied by a purportedly corrupt group of state court judges,
prosecutors, and others who allegedly threatened him in an
attempt to deter him from pursuing his claims.
Jeffrey Sung is a dentist and resident of Wayne, New Jersey.
(Comp. ¶¶ 6, 26). In 1989, Timothy Tuttle
("Tuttle"), Kung Chi Wong ("Wong"), and
Hsing Tak Tong ("Tong") founded four corporations:
Van Foo; Mr. Tong II; Van Lee; and Sing Lung (collectively,
"the Four Corporations"). (Comp. ¶ 14). While
the Complaint does not specify the nature of these
businesses, it appears from the exhibits that the Four
Corporations owned and operated Chinese restaurants, one of
which was located in Fairfield, New Jersey, and another in
East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Comp. Exh. A, B, pp.
Wong, and Tong sold shares of the Four Corporations to Sung
and took loans from Sung, but never transferred the shares to
him and defaulted on the loan payments. (These transactions
are referred to collectively as the "Business
Deals".) (Comp. U 14). The Complaint attaches excerpts
of documents purporting to show the following: (1) Sung's
1989 purchase of five shares of Van Foo and Mr. Tong II for
$50, 000 (Comp. Exh. A, DE 1 p. 22); (2) Sung's 1990
purchase of three shares of Van Lee from Wong in 1990 for
$40, 000 (Comp. Exh. B, DE 1 p. 23); (3) Wong's pledge of
five shares of Van Lee in 1989 to secure Sung's loan to
him of $50, 000 (Comp. Exh. C, DE 1 p. 24); and (4)
Sung's 1990 mortgage loan to Van Foo of $50, 000, secured
by property in Fairfield (Comp. Exh. D, DE 1 p. 25).
Wong, Tong, and the Four Corporations, however, are not named
as defendants in Sung's Complaint. Rather, Sung is suing
a group of governmental entities, alleging corruption in
connection with the disposition of his civil cases involving
the Business Deals.
Sung sued Wong in both Bergen County and Hudson County for
not delivering the shares of Van Lee and Sing Lung and for
defaulting on loan payments. (Comp. H 14, Exh. E, F, G, DE 1
pp. 26-28). Through the mid-1990s, Sung continued to bring
civil claims in New Jersey state court involving the Business
Deals. (Comp. Exh. I, J, DEI pp. 30-31). The resolutions are
not always clear; Sung attaches scattered interrogatories and
interlocutory orders. In 1996, Sung, proceeding pro
se, sued the attorneys who represented him in some of
the earlier litigation involving the Business Deals. That
case did not proceed "due to discrimination."
(Comp. ¶ 14, Exh. L, DE 1 p. 33).
1994, a state court judge ordered Van Foo and Mr. Tong II to
"be dissolved into receivership," appointing Laura
Scott as the receiver. (Comp. ¶ 17). The judge in that
case allegedly ordered Van Lee and Sing Lung to be sold to
the Chinatown mafia (the "Flying Dragons"), who
were working for Tuttle, Wong, and Tong. (Id.). This
led to the dissolution of the Four Corporations and the
issuance of a judgment against Sung for $94, 311, an amount
which was seized from Sung and deposited into the Superior
Court Trust Fund. (Id.). Receiver Scott and the
state court have repeatedly denied Sung's requests for an
accounting of the receivership. The most recent denial of
Sung's request(s) to compel Receiver Scott to disclose
the accounting occurred on April 3, 2017. (Id.;
Comp. Exh. S, p. 40).
previous lawyers, Bergenfield and Pollack,
"abandoned" him after all the assets were
dissipated. (Comp. ¶ 18). Sung's lawyers, he says,
were "actually working for Tuttle." (Id.).
In 1997, Sung brought a new lawsuit, which a state court
judge dismissed as being barred by the entire controversy
doctrine due to the earlier suit. (Id.). That
dismissal was predicated upon the motion of the defense
counsel in that case, John Kennedy, who allegedly
"distorted the motion to help Tuttle, Bergenfield, and
Pollack, in collusion with" the state court judge
presiding over that case. (Id.). Sung lists nine
other cases involving the Four Corporations that were
dismissed by state court judges. (Id.).
1997 and 2017, Sung appealed those dismissals and filed
several motions in an attempt to reopen those cases, all of
which were denied. (Comp. ¶ 19). An order, entered in
2017, denied Mr. Sung's motion to "disclose
accounting" in the 1994 case. (Compl. Exh. S, DEI p. 40)
The state court judges involved in the proceedings involving
Sung allegedly "breached oaths and public trust,
colluded and obstructed justice against Sung to help their
own kind" and to help Tuttle perpetuate unspecified
crimes. (Id.). With respect to these allegations,
Sung seeks, inter alia, the return of the money he
invested in the Four Corporations, the $94, 311 judgment he
paid, disclosure of the receivership accounting for Van Foo
and Mr. Tong II, and legal fees. (Id.).
Sung commenced his civil cases in 1990, he also Filed a
criminal complaint against Tuttle, Wong, and Tong at the New
Jersey Attorney General's Office ("AG's
Office"), alleging that they had stolen $1 million and
used the Flying Dragons to threaten people. (Comp. ¶
21). The AG's Office had Assistant Prosecutor Mark
Groninger of the Hudson County Prosecutor's Office
investigate the allegations against Tuttle, Wong, and Tong.
(Id., Comp. Exh. Q, p. 38). Sung informed Groninger
that Tuttle, Wong, and Tong were using the Flying Dragons to
attack Sung and forcibly take over Van Lee and Sing Lung.
Groninger allegedly "refused to investigate Tuttle"
and instead "became an accomplice" of Tuttle.
(Comp. ¶ 22). In 1994, Groninger allegedly
"dismissed" an indictment against Wong, "using
a secret motion, in a conspiracy with Tuttle" and the
state court judge, (The order dismissing the indictment is
attached, however. Comp. Exh. R, DE 1 p. 39.)
1994, Sung was "informed by confidential sources"
that Tuttle was using his connections with the Hudson County
Prosecutor's Office ("HCPO") and "local
mobs" to harm Sung in an effort to prevent Sung from
pursuing his claims against Tuttle, Wong, and Tong. (Comp.
¶ 23). That same year, "local drug gangs repeatedly
attacked Sung outside his West New York dental office."
(Id.). Sung attaches to his complaint a police
report from June 1994 indicating that he was the victim of a
robbery in which a man stole his briefcase. This report, he
says, constitutes evidence of the repeated attacks on him by
local gangs who wanted him to stop pursuing his claims
against Tuttle, Wong, and Tong. (Comp. Exh. V, DE 1 p. 43).
Sung asked the HCPO and the West New York Police
("WNYP") for protection, but both allegedly refused
to help. (Comp. ¶23).
also asked the WNYP in 1994 for protection, but Detective
Edmund Comfort indicated to Sung that Comfort did not know
who the attackers were or how to locate them. (Comp. ¶
27). Sung notes in an attachment to his Complaint that
Detective Comfort later pled guilty to two conspiracy counts
for his involvement in a corruption scheme. (Comp. Exh. W, DE
1 p. 44).
none of the authorities would offer protection to Sung in the
mid-1990s, Sung kept a gun in his West New York dental office
and "hid a BB gun in his minivan for self-defense"
to protect against future attacks. (Comp. ¶¶ 23,
28). Sung then supposedly found out that the groups that
attacked him were "controlled and sent" by the
WNYP. (Id.). Sung informed the FBI about this
alleged misconduct. (Id.).
22, 1994, while "recording [a] conversation with a
'hitman' sent by the HCPO" and WNYP, Sung was
arrested in Hudson County. (Comp. ¶¶ 24, 27).
During that arrest, the police searched Sung's car and
found the BB gun hidden there. (Id.). As the basis
for his arrest it was alleged that Sung was attempting to use
the BB gun to kill Tuttle and that Sung was "trying to
hire a hitman to kill Tuttle." (Id.).
"HCPO then conspired with Sung's lawyer and coerced
Sung" to plead guilty to possession of a weapon.
(Id.). HCPO "refused to return" Sung's
seized property, including his car. (Id.). HCPO also
allegedly did not return the $50, 000 bail money posted by
Sung's brother. (Id.). Sung attaches an order
entered in 2012, denying his motion to transfer venue of his
criminal case; the order recites that Sung had been sentenced
some 15 years previously, in 1997, and that no criminal
matter was currently pending. (Comp. Ex. T, DE 1 p. 41)
purportedly was protecting Tuttle, a former prosecutor
"with powerful friends and mob ties."
(Id.). Sung summarizes the alleged wrongdoing of
HCPO as follows: HCPO knew Tuttle, Wong, and Tong committed
crimes but refused to arrest them because of Turtle's
connections; refused to investigate attacks against Sung;
dismissed an indictment against Wong; and deliberately
arrested Sung without probable cause. (Id.).
Sung's arrest, the attacks on him stopped, but the WNYP
never arrested any of his attackers. (Comp. ¶ 29).
Consequently, Sung had to move his dental office out of West
New York. (Id.). Sung sues HCPO and WNYP for breach
of public trust and civil rights violations. (Comp. ¶
also seeks to reclaim property from the New Jersey Unclaimed
Property Administration ("NJUPA"), which disbursed
$126, 784 to Mrs. Tuttle from the Van Foo and Mr. Tong II
dissolution. The basis for the award was a mortgage note that
the Tuttles allegedly fabricated. (Comp. ¶ 31).
respect to the New Jersey AG's Office, Sung alleges that
between 1990 and 2017 (the particular dates are not
specified) he complained to their office several times about
the crimes and corruption outlined above. (Comp. ¶ 35).
However, the NJAG allegedly "refused to do anything
because it too is corrupt." (Id.).
Motion to Vacate Entry of Default
20, 2018, the Clerk of the Court entered default against the
State Defendants. (DE 13). The State Defendants now assert
that good cause exists to vacate the entry of default
pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 55(c).
(See NJ State ...