United States District Court, D. Maryland
WILLIAM C. BOND, Plaintiff,
JOHNNY L. HUGHES, et al. Defendants.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
A. Faber Senior United States District Judge
before the court is Plaintiff’s Complaint against
various federal officials in Maryland. See Doc. No.
1. The Defendants are the United States Marshal for the
District of Maryland, the Special Agent in Charge of the
Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), and the
United States Attorney for the District of Maryland.
Plaintiff alleges cover-ups, surveillance and entrapment
based on conclusory allegations and little basis in fact or,
for that matter, law. Plaintiff also seeks $15 million from
Government Defendants for compensatory damages and $30
million from them for punitive damages-and he does so 6
times. Plaintiff appears to seek a total of $270 million.
Plaintiff’s allegations are unavailing.
addition, Plaintiff is a frequent litigant before this court.
Typically, he alleges various blanket but unspecific
violations of his legal rights. He is now admonished that his
continuing to file frivolous and vexatious lawsuits may
result in an order denying him further access to the court on
several years, Plaintiff has protested what he claims to be
“‘provable corruption’ in the Maryland U.S.
courthouse.” Id. In April 2013, Plaintiff
created a public relations campaign named the
“Baltimore Corruption Wire.” He also created the
phrase “White Guerilla Family” to refer to
certain members of the Maryland federal judiciary.
alleges that principally due to his protests and corruption
allegations he has been interviewed and surveilled by federal
agents. Plaintiff further alleges that members of the
judiciary and other federal officials have conspired to
violate his First Amendment and due process rights. See
id. Plaintiff premises his causes of action on the
United States Supreme Court’s decision in Bivens v.
Six Unknown Named Agents, 403 U.S. 388 (1971). In
particular, Plaintiff alleges the following six
• Count I – On July 19, 2013 and July 30,
2013, federal agents questioned plaintiff “regarding
the potential safety of various government officials and
federal judges,” in an effort to “prevent and/or
to intimidate plaintiff’s planned demonstrations . .
..” Doc. No 1.
• Count II – Plaintiff alleges that he
met with “activists” in July of 2013 to plan a
protest at the U.S. District Courthouse, but that the
activists “were undercover U.S. government agents sent
(1) with the clear intention to sabotage plaintiff’s
U.S. courthouse protests in any way possible and (2) to
criminally entrap plaintiff by attempting to engage plaintiff
in discussions of violence against federal
officials[.]” Doc. No. 1.
• Counts III & IV – Plaintiff alleges
in the fall of 2013, a Deputy U.S. Marshal informed Plaintiff
that he had been under surveillance since 2010. Plaintiff
alleges that this surveillance violated his constitutional
rights. See Doc. No. 1.
• Count V – Plaintiff alleges that on
September 29, 2015, a Deputy U.S. Marshal
“invade[d]” his pro se litigant work and
attempted to criminally entrap him.” Doc. No 1.
• Count VI – Plaintiff alleges that the
Defendants “have at all times since 2001 until present
been in an extended conspiracy to deprive plaintiff of his
First Amendment & due process rights,” and that
“[w]hen a new U.S. Attorney was assigned to Maryland in
2006, part of his assignment was to continue to ignore and/or
cover-up the aforementioned conspiracy against
plaintiff.” Doc. No 1.
respect to each count, Plaintiff alleges that “[t]hese
intentional, knowing, bad-faith, and illegal acts by the
defendants caused plaintiff great worry, anxiety, fear,
sleeplessness, etc., amongst many other things, as it was
clear to plaintiff that his enemies would stop at nothing to
defeat his constitutional rights.” Doc. No 1.
Subsequently, the United States filed its Motion to dismiss
Plaintiff’s Complaint, or, in the alternative,
substitute the United States as the sole Defendant and
dismiss the Complaint. See Doc. No. 16.
APPLICABLE LEGAL STANDARDS
the court articulates the legal standards pertinent to Rules
12(b)(1), 12(b)(6) and 8(a)(2) of the Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure (“Civil Rules”), respectively.
court commences its analysis with subject matter
jurisdiction. A motion to dismiss for lack of subject matter
jurisdiction under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1)
asks “whether the court has the competence or authority
to hear the case.” Davis v. Thompson, 367 F.
Supp. 2d 792, 799 (D. Md. 2005). Prior to reaching the merits
of a case, a federal court first must determine that it has
jurisdiction over the claim presented. See Sinochem
Int’l Co. Ltd. v. Malaysia Int’l Shipping
Corp., 549 U.S. 422, 430-31 (2007) (citing Steel Co.
v. Citizens for Better Env’t, 523 U.S. 83, 93-102
(1998)). When a defendant moves to dismiss under Rule
12(b)(1), the plaintiff bears the burden of proving that
subject matter jurisdiction exists. See Evans v. B.F.
Perkins Co., 166 F.3d 642, 647 (4th Cir. 1999)
(citing Richmond, Fredericksburg & Potomac R.R. Co.
v. U.S., 945 F.2d 765, 768 (4th Cir. 1991)). The
requirement that the plaintiff establish subject matter
jurisdiction “as a threshold matter ‘springs from
the nature and limits of the judicial power of the United
States’ and is ‘inflexible and without
exception.’” Steel Co., 523 U.S. at
94-95 (quoting Mansfield, C. & L. M. R. Co. v.
Swan, 111 U.S. 379, 382 (1884)). Hence, “[t]he
objection that a federal court lacks subject-matter
jurisdiction may be raised by a party, or by a court on its
own initiative, at any stage in the litigation, even after
trial and the entry of judgment.” Arbaugh v. Y
& H Corp., 546 U.S. 500, 506 (2006) (citing
Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(1)).
circumstances where a defendant challenges subject matter
jurisdiction, “the district court is to regard the
pleadings as mere evidence on the issue, and may consider
evidence outside the pleadings without converting the
proceeding to one for summary judgment.”
Evans, 166 F.3d at 647 (quoting Richmond,
Fredericksburg & Potomac R.R. Co., 945 F.2d at 768);
see also Williams v. U.S., 50 F.3d 299, 304 (4th
Cir. 1995) (When considering exhibits beyond the pleadings,
the court “is free to weigh the evidence and satisfy
itself as to the existence of its power to hear the
case.”) (internal quotation omitted). Under such
circumstances, “the court may look beyond the pleadings
and the jurisdictional allegations of the complaint and view
whatever evidence has been submitted on the issue to
determine whether in fact subject matter jurisdiction
exists.” Khoury v. Meserve, 268 F. Supp. 2d
600, 606 (D. Md. 2003) (quotation omitted),
aff’d, 85 F. App’x 960 (4th Cir. 2004).
The court may properly grant a motion to dismiss for lack of
subject matter jurisdiction “where a claim fails to
allege facts upon which the court may base
jurisdiction.” Davis, 367 F. Supp. 2d at 799
(citing Crosten v. Kamauf, 932 F. Supp. 676, 679 (D.
for lack of subject matter jurisdiction tests whether the
court has the authority to hear a case or controversy. After
all, the “[f]ederal courts are courts of limited
jurisdiction, constrained to exercise only the authority
conferred by Article III of the Constitution and
affirmatively granted by federal statute.” Gill v.
PNC Bank et al., Civil Action No. TDC-14-0677, 2015 WL
629004, at *3 (D. Md. Feb. 11, 2015) (quoting In re
Bulldog Trucking, Inc., 147 F.3d 347, 352 (4th Cir.
1998)) (internal quotation marks omitted). The federal courts
are not like the state courts, which retain general
jurisdiction. It follows that this court, as a federal court,
is empowered to exercise jurisdiction only when the
Constitution and federal law so permit.
is a constitutional provenance at the heart of this
principle. Article III limits the subject matter jurisdiction
of federal courts to “cases” and
“controversies.” See Allen v. Wright,
468 U.S. 737, 750 (1984). Consistent with the
“cases” and “controversies”
requirement, plaintiffs must demonstrate that they have
standing to bring, and maintain, suit in federal court
throughout the duration of litigation. In fact, the
United States Supreme Court has cast the doctrine of mootness
as intertwined with standing: “the doctrine of standing
set in a time frame: The requisite personal interest that
must exist at the commencement of the litigation (standing)
must continue throughout its existence (mootness).”
Arizonans for Official English v. Arizona, 520 U.S.
43, 68 n. 22 (1997). This is because the federal courts
“are not permitted to render an advisory
opinion.” Herb v. Pitcairn, 324 U.S. 117,
125-26 (1945). So true is this that “[t]he Supreme
Court has made clear that standing is an essential and
unchanging part of that case-or-controversy requirement, one
that states fundamental limits on federal judicial power in
our system of government.” Doe v. Obama, 631
F.3d 157, 160 (4th Cir. 2011) (quoting Lujan v. Defenders
of Wildlife, 504 U.S. 555, 560 (1992); Allen,
468 U.S. at 750) (citations and internal quotation marks
omitted). To satisfy the standing requirement, a plaintiff
(1) that he has suffered an “injury in fact” that
is (a) particularized and (b) actual or imminent, not
conjectural or hypothetical; (2) the injury is fairly
traceable to the challenged action of the defendant; and (3)
it is likely, as opposed to merely speculative, that the
injury will be redressed by a favorable decision.
Doe, 631 F.3d at 160 (citing Friends of the
Earth, Inc. v. Laidlaw Envtl. Servs. (TOC), Inc., 528
U.S. 167, 180-81 (2000)).
a plaintiff cannot demonstrate standing by stating that he or
she brings suit on behalf of the general public.
“Plaintiffs may not establish their standing to bring
suit merely because they disagree with a government policy or
because they share the ‘generalized interest of all
citizens in constitutional governance.’” Moss
et al. v. Spartanburg Cnty. Sch. Dist. Seven, 683 F.3d
599, 604–05 (4th Cir. 2012) (quoting Schlesinger v.
Reservists Comm. to Stop the War, 418 U.S. 208, 217
(1974)). Therefore, a plaintiff may not predicate her
standing to sue “upon an interest . . . which is held
in common by all members of the public, because of the
necessarily abstract nature of the ...