United States District Court, D. Maryland
RAYMOND J. BLY Plaintiff
HOWARD COUNTY, MD. STATE OF MARYLAND Defendants
FREDERICK MOTZ, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Plaintiff Raymond J. Bly, a Maryland resident, seeks
"many millions" and alleges that Howard County
Circuit Court Judge William V. Tucker has interfered with
decisions concerning his ailing wife's health
and joint family finances. (ECF No. 1 at p. 5; ECF No. 1-2 at p.
3). He seeks to depose the Governor and Howard County
Executive and conduct other discovery to support his belief
that Judge Tucker's actions were rooted in a conspiracy
to ultimately take the family property from him through
condemnation proceedings. ECF No. 1-2 at pp. 1, 4.
Mr. Bly is not proceeding in forma pauperis, no statutory
screening is authorized under the in forma pauperis statute.
See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2). Nevertheless, a
district court has inherent authority to dismiss a complaint
sua sponte. See Mallard v. United States Dist. Ct. for
S.D. of Iowa, 490 U.S. 296, 307-08, (1989) (courts have
authority to dismiss a frivolous or malicious lawsuit even in
absence of a specific statutory provision); Ross v.
Baron, 493 Fed.Appx. 405, 406 (4th Cir. 2012)
(unpublished) (noting that "frivolous complaints are
subject to dismissal pursuant to the inherent authority of
the court, even when the filing fee has been paid");
Fitzgerald v. First East Seventh St. Tenants Corp.,
221 F.3d 362, 364 (2d Cir. 2000) (holding that district
courts may dismiss frivolous complaints sua sponte,
even when plaintiff has paid the filing fee, noting that
"district courts are in particular likely to be exposed
to frivolous actions, and thus have an even greater need for
inherent authority to dismiss such actions quickly . in order
to preserve scarce judicial resources").
claim against the State of Maryland must be dismissed
outright. Under the Eleventh Amendment to the United States
Constitution, a State, its agencies, and its departments are
immune from suits in federal court brought by its citizens or
the citizens of another state, unless it consents. See
Pennhurst State School and Hosp. v. Halderman, 465 U.S.
89, 100 (1984). While the State of Maryland has waived its
sovereign immunity for certain types of cases brought in
State courts, see Md.Code Ann., State Gov't
§ 12-201 (a), it has not waived its immunity under the
Eleventh Amendment to suit in federal court.
allegations against Howard County, Maryland appear to focus
on adjudications against him in the Circuit Court for Howard
County regarding zoning violations and/or condemnation
proceedings (ECF No. 1-2 at p. 1) and the guardianship of his
wife. Id. Bly's previous attempts to litigate
the question of guardianship in this court have been rejected
for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. See Bly v.
Tucker, Civil Action No. GLR-15-2564 (D. Md.), dismissed
on September 28, 2015, after consolidation with Bly v.
Tucker, GLR-15-2565 (D. Md.); Bly, et ah v. Clerk of
Howard County Circuit Court, Civil Action No.
GLR-15-2974 (D. Md.), dismissed October 2, 2015. Framing his
latest action as a civil rights action based on a conspiracy
to keep assets from him and cause him to lose his property
does not change the fact that this court has limited
jurisdiction and "may not exercise jurisdiction absent a
statutory basis." Exxon Mobil Corp. v. Allapattah
Servs., Inc., 545 U.S. 546, 552 (2005). Further, this
court has "an independent obligation to determine
whether subject-matter jurisdiction exists, even when no
party challenges it." Hertz Corp. v. Friend,
559 U.S. 77, 94 (2010).
the "well-pleaded complaint" rule, the facts
showing the existence of subject matter jurisdiction
"must be affirmatively alleged in the complaint."
Pinkley, Inc., v. City of Frederick, 191 F.3d 394,
399 (4th Cir. 1999) (citing McNutt v. Gen'l Motors
Acceptance Corp., 298 U.S. 178, (1936)). This court must
presume that a case lies outside its limited jurisdiction
unless and until jurisdiction is shown to be proper.
United States v. Poole, 531 F.3d 263, 274 (4th Cir.
2008) (citing Kokkonen v. Guardian Life Ins. Co.,
511 U.S. 375, 377 (1994)). The burden of establishing subject
matter jurisdiction is on the party asserting jurisdiction.
Robb Evans & Assocs., LLC v. Holibaugh, 609 F.3d
359, 362 (4th Cir. 2010); accord McBurney v.
Cuccinelli, 616 F.3d 393, 408 (4th Cir. 2010). Mr. Bly
cannot meet this requirement.
had the jurisdictional requirement been met, Bly would not be
entitled to relief under the facts set forth in his
complaint. This court does not act as an appellate court to
review zoning violations or private property condemnation,
nor to adjudicate guardianship disputes. To the extent Bly
asks this Court to compel certain actions by the state and/or
its agents, his action is akin to a petition for a writ of
mandamus. See 28 U.S.C. § 1361. Federal
district courts have original jurisdiction of any action in
the nature of mandamus to compel an officer or employee of
the United States or one of its agencies to perform a duty
owed to a petitioner. However, a federal district court has
no mandamus jurisdiction over state and county employees, and
cannot compel the State of Maryland or one of its county
governments to dismiss guardianship proceedings, ignore
zoning violations, or appoint Mr. Bly as his wife's
guardian in order to obtain access to otherwise restricted
funds. See generally, Gurley v. Superior Court of
Mecklenburg County, 411 F.2d 586, 586-87 (4th Cir.
the complaint is dismissed and injunctive relief denied. A
separate order follows.
See In the Matter of Tieng Doan
Bly, guardianship proceedings, Case No. 13-C-15104672,
Mr. Bly's request for power of attorney to manage his
wife's affairs, filed on August 17, 2015, was denied by
Judge Tucker, who then appointed Barrett R. King, Esq. as
Mrs. Bly's guardian.
 Mr. Bly also states that he was
wrongfully convicted of a felony. ECF 1-2 at p. 4. This court
takes judicial notice that Bly was convicted by the Circuit
Court for Howard County, Maryland on May 1, 1988, for child
abuse and related charges. The case is not available on
Maryland's electronic docket, but is referenced in a
memorandum and order issued by this Court denying federal
habeas corpus relief. See ...