United States District Court, D. New Jersey
Mcnulty, United States District Judge.
pro se plaintiff, Manuel Lampon-Paz, is a frequent
litigant in this district. He brings this action against the
United States Department of Justice, the State of New Jersey,
and other related defendants. The most recent version of the
complaint is the Amended Complaint (DE 106), filed on August
before the court are motions by the United States (DE 130)
and the State of New Jersey (DE 136) to dismiss the Complaint
for lack of jurisdiction and failure to state a claim. The
allegations, although obviously deeply and sincerely felt,
fail to state a claim that can be addressed by this federal
court. The motions to dismiss are granted.
Allegations and Procedural Background
allegations of the Complaint may be summarized as follows.
plaintiff, a former air marshal, alleges on behalf of himself
and a minor child, EDLP, that these governmental defendants
created discord in his relationships, coerced sexual acts,
and engaged in physical abuse of the plaintiffs. Mr.
Lampon-Paz dated and later married CMLP, who was living in
the U.S. illegally at the time. The two concealed her illegal
status and concocted a false story, involving a trip back and
forth to Colombia, so that she could apply to live in the
U.S. legally. The government allegedly attempted to coerce
sexual favors from CMLP. Mr. Lampon-Paz insists that he and
CMLP should be prosecuted for immigration fraud, but the
government refuses to do so. The couple unfortunately were
divorced in 2016, and Mr. Lampon-Paz attributes die divorce
to the defendants' actions.
summarize a sampling of the large number of incidents recited
in the Complaint:
• "[A]n unknown blonde female" told him to
"be quiet about what we did to your wife or we will take
the passport evidence in the charity care case to the
prosecutor." (Compl. at 6);
• "[A]n elderly gentleman told me to take back my
filing or that I would regret it at the U.S. Attorney's
Office" (Compl. at 7);
• "On two occasions, my tire has blown out and it
had lost all but one lug nut. These items happened while I
was out visiting or at the gym." (Compl. at 7);
• "I have been punched in the face while walking
home from a bar." (Compl. at 7);
• Plaintiffs house and car were broken into and he was
"unable to wake up and had my covers removed from my
pelvis and a bruise on my buttocks," among other things.
(Compl. at 7);
• Plaintiffs child, EDLP, "has awakened with the
back door open and the covers completely removed from his
body while he was at my residence." (Compl. at 7);
• "An individual named Mr. O. was left alone with
EDLP in his kindergarten class on several occasions" and
that an individual in California "seemingly removed
EDLP's pants while he was in detention and that this same
individual was in on a field trip with EDLP and took him in
his car when EDLP fell ill." (Compl. at 7, 13, 15);
• Defendants "have used electronic surveillance
unlawfully" to chat with him through an internet poker
site. (Compl. at 16).
• "[A] helicopter flew close, within 15 feet, of
our house and used EDLP's first name." (Compl. at
12(b)(1) governs jurisdictional challenges to a complaint.
These may be either facial or factual attacks. See 2
Moore's Federal Practice § 12.30 (3d ed. 2007);
Mortensen v. First Fed. Sav. & Loan Ass'n,
549 F.2d 884, 891 (3d Cir. 1977).
facial challenge asserts that the complaint does not allege
sufficient grounds to establish subject-matter jurisdiction.
Lincoln Ben. Life Co. v. AEI Life, LLC, 800 F.3d 99,
105 (3d Cir. 2015); Iwanowa v. Ford Motor Co., 67
F.Supp.2d 424, 438 (D.N.J. 1999). It "review[s] only
whether the allegations on the face of the complaint, taken
as true, allege facts sufficient to invoke the jurisdiction
of the district court." Common Cause of Penn. v.
Pennsylvania, 558 F.3d 249, 257 (3d Cir. 2009) (quoting
Taliaferro v. Darby Twp. Zoning Bd., 458 F.3d 181,
188 (3d Cir. 2006)).
factual attack, on the other hand, permits the Court to
consider evidence extrinsic to the pleadings. Gould
Elecs. Inc. v. United States, 220 F.3d 169, 178 (3d Cir.
2000), holding modified on other grounds by Simon v.
United States, 341 F.3d 193 (3d Cir. 2003). Such a
factual attack "does not provide plaintiffs the
procedural safeguards of Rule 12(b)(6), such as assuming the
truth of the plaintiffs allegations." CNA v. United
States, 535 F.3d 132, 144 (3d Cir. 2008).
Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6), a defendant may move to dismiss the
complaint for failure to state a claim upon which relief may
be granted. For purposes of a motion to dismiss, the facts
alleged in the complaint are accepted as true and all
reasonable inferences are drawn in favor of the plaintiff.
New Jersey Carpenters & the Trustees Thereof v.
Tishman Const. Corp. of New Jersey, 760 F.3d 297, 302
(3d Cir. 2014). Federal Rule of Procedure 8(a) does not
require that a complaint contain detailed factual
allegations. Nevertheless, "a plaintiffs obligation to
provide the 'grounds' of his 'entitlement to
relief requires more than labels and conclusions, and a
formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action
will not do." Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550
U.S. 544, 555 (2007). Thus, the complaint's factual
allegations must be sufficient to raise a plaintiffs right to
relief above a speculative level, so that a claim is
"plausible on its face." Id. at 570.
briefs and pleadings of a pro se litigant, such as
Mr. Lampon-Paz here, will be construed without strict regard
to legal forms. See Niblack v. Murray, No.
CV126910MASTJB, 2016 WL4086775, at *1 n.l (D.N.J. July 29,
2016) (citing Pratt v. Port Auth. of N.Y.& N.J.,
563 Fed.Appx. 132, 134 (3d Cir. 2014) ("[B]ecause [the
plaintiff] is proceeding pro se, we will construe his brief
liberally."); Marcinek v. Comm'r, 467
Fed.Appx. 153, 154 (3d Cir. 2012) (holding that courts are
"under an obligation to liberally construe the
submissions of a pro se litigant")). See generally
Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519 (1972). I have construed
Lampon-Paz's submissions in the liberal spirit of
Haines. Nevertheless, even "pro se
litigants still must allege sufficient facts in their
complaints to support a claim." Mala v. Crown Bay
Marina, Inc., 704 F.3d 239, 245 (3d Cir. 2013).
Motion to Dismiss of United States
United States moves to dismiss the Complaint on grounds of
res judicata, based on final decisions rendered by
Judge Martini in two prior actions brought by this
plaintiff. Those prior decisions are No. 12-4485
(WJM), 2013 WL 2475859 (Lampon-Paz i), and No.
13-5757 (WJM), 2014 WL 252909 [Lampon-Paz U\.
(Copies of those prior decisions are attached to the
defendant's motion. (DE 130-3, 130-5). I cite to page
numbers in the slip opinions.)
the res judicata doctrine is here invoked as between
actions in federal district court, federal standards apply:
Claim preclusion bars suit when three elements are present:
"(1) a final judgment on the merits in a prior suit
involving (2) the same parties or their privies and (3) a
subsequent suit based on the same cause of action."
Lubrizol Corp. v. Exxon Corp., 929 F.2d 960, 963 (3d
Davis v. Wells Fargo, 824 F.3d 333, 341-42 (3d Cir.
2016). Those three elements of res judicata are
Martini's decisions in Lampon-Paz I and
II were final judgments on die merits. A dismissal
for lack of jurisdiction under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(1), because
it does not touch the merits, is presumptively without
prejudice and therefore not final. Siravo v. Crown, Cork
& Seal Co., 256 Fed.Appx. 577, 580-81 (3d Cir. 2007)
(non-precedential) (citing In re Orthopedic "Bone
Screw" Prods. Liab. Litig., 132 F.3d 152, 155 (3d
Cir. 1997)). A final dismissal for failure to state a claim
under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6), however, constitutes a final
judgment. See Federated Dep't Stores, Inc. v.
Moitie, 452 U.S. 394, 399 n.3 (1981).
Lampon-Paz I, Judge Martini granted dismissal under
both Rule 12(b)(1) and Rule 12(b)(6). Because Mr. Lampon-Paz
had not exhausted administrative remedies, his appeal from a
decision of the Merit Systems Protection Board (MPSB) was
denied for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction. Id.
at 4. As to "Plaintiffs remaining claims," however,
Judge Martini granted dismissal "because Plaintiff
failed to state a claim upon which relief can be
granted." Id. Because the plaintiff had
previously amended his complaint once and further amendment
appeared futile, the dismissal was entered with prejudice.
Lampon-Paz II, Judge Martini sua sponte
found a lack of subject-matter jurisdiction and also granted
a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss the complaint for failure
to state a claim. As to jurisdiction, Judge Martini cited
case law from other Circuits dismissing on jurisdictional
grounds claims, like those of the plaintiff, that the
government was engaging in mind control or sending subliminal
messages. Id. at 9-10. Because the "Third
Circuit has not taken a stance" on that jurisdictional
issue, however, Judge Martini went on to hold that
"[e]ven if the court had jurisdiction to entertain
Plaintiffs claim, the Complaint would still have to be
dismissed on a variety of other procedural and substantive
grounds." Id. at 10. The grounds cited ...