United States District Court, D. Connecticut
INITIAL REVIEW ORDER
MICHAEL P. SHEA, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
February 15, 2019, the plaintiff, Raymond McLaughlin, a
federal inmate currently confined at the Brooklyn
Metropolitan Detention Center in New York City, filed a civil
complaint pro se against three federal government
officials: Assistant United States Attorney
(“AUSA”) Henry Kopel, Internal Revenue Services
Agent Michael Dragon, and United States Treasury Agent
Christopher Gus. ECF No. 1, ¶¶ 4-6. He claims that
the defendants unlawfully arrested him and trespassed upon
his person, in violation of the Fourth Amendment to the
United States Constitution and common law. Id. The
plaintiff seeks damages and declaratory relief. Id.
For the following reasons, the complaint is dismissed.
Standard of Review
28 U.S.C. § 1915A, the Court must review prisoner civil
complaints and dismiss any portion of the complaint that is
frivolous or malicious, that fails to state a claim upon
which relief may be granted, or that seeks monetary relief
from a defendant who is immune from such relief. Although
detailed allegations are not required, the complaint must
include sufficient facts to afford the defendants fair notice
of the claims and the grounds upon which they are based and
to demonstrate a right to relief. Bell Atlantic
v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555-56 (2007). Conclusory
allegations are not sufficient. Ashcroft v. Iqbal,
556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). The plaintiff must plead
“enough facts to state a claim to relief that is
plausible on its face.” Bell Atlantic, 550
U.S. at 570. “A claim has facial plausibility when the
plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the [C]ourt to
draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable
for the misconduct alleged.” Ashcroft, 556
U.S. at 678 (citing Bell Atlantic, 550 U.S. at 556).
Nevertheless, it is well-established that
“[p]ro se complaints ‘must be
construed liberally and interpreted to raise the strongest
arguments that they suggest.'” Sykes v. Bank of
America, 723 F.3d 399, 403 (2d Cir. 2013) (quoting
Triestman v. Fed. Bureau of Prisons, 470 F.3d 471,
474 (2d Cir. 2006)); see also Tracy v. Freshwater,
623 F.3d 90, 101-02 (2d Cir. 2010) (discussing special rules
of solicitude for pro se litigants).
7, 2017, AUSA Kopel “authorized” the
plaintiff's arrest via a warrant. ECF No. 1, ¶ 8.
The warrant was unlawful because the plaintiff “was in
lawful possession and control of [his] person and possess[ed]
the right to exclude Kopel who did not have a license from
[the plaintiff] to invade or intrude upon [his] indefeasible
personal rights.” Id. On June 8, 2017, agents
Dragon and Gus “invaded [his] right to lawful
possession and control and [his] right to exclude them by
their intrusion upon [him] and [his] possessory interest in
[his] person during which [he] was prohibited by the use of
unlawful force from exerting exclusive control and [his]
right to exclude them.” Id., ¶ 9. The
agents then detained the plaintiff for approximately ten
hours and transferred him to two different state correctional
facilities. Id., ¶ 10. The agents “should
have known that their actions were depriving [the plaintiff]
of [his] indefeasible personal right and w[ere] likely to
hurt [him].” Id., ¶ 14. They
“purposefully injured [him] by committing common-law
trespass . . . .” Id.
23, 2018, the plaintiff was convicted in this Court for
knowingly and willingly giving a false statement, in
violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1001(a)(3). USA v.
McLaughlin, No. 3:17-CR-129 (MPS), ECF Nos. 179, 256.
The conviction stemmed from the plaintiff's June 2017
arrest following his making of false statements to the
Internal Revenue Service in connection with an underlying
civil case brought to foreclose his mortgage. See
ECF No. 1, ¶ 16. The Court sentenced him to thirty
months of incarceration and three years of supervised
release. McLaughlin, No. 3:17-CR-129, ECF No. 256.
plaintiff claims that the defendants violated his Fourth
Amendment protection against unreasonable searches and
seizures and committed “common law trespass” by
arresting him on June 7, 2017. ECF No. 1, ¶ 1. He brings
this action under Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents of
Fed. Bureau of Narcotics, 403 U.S. 388 (1971), which
authorizes civil suits against federal officials in their
individual capacities for violations of constitutional
plaintiff brought a very similar action against the same
three defendants in McLaughlin v. United States, No.
3:18-CV-2063 (MPS). In that case, the plaintiff claimed that
the defendants unlawfully arrested and imprisoned him, in
violation of his Fourth Amendment rights. Id., ECF
No. 1. The Court dismissed that case as a result of his
federal conviction. Id., ECF No. 9. Because the
plaintiff has raised the same claims in this case, his case
is hereby dismissed for the same reasons articulated in
McLaughlin, No. 3:18-CV-2063, ECF No. 9.
Fourth Amendment false arrest claim and common law trespass
claims are dismissed with prejudice.
plaintiff has now filed two separate civil actions raising
false arrest and common law trespass claims arising from the
arrest that led to his conviction after a jury trial. He
raised the same claims in his criminal case, which the Court
rejected as frivolous. See McLaughlin, No.
3:17-CR-129, ECF No. 260. The plaintiff is hereby
warned that further frivolous filings in this case, other
pending cases, or new civil actions in this Court pertaining
to his arrest, criminal prosecution, and federal conviction,
or to the underlying mortgage foreclosure case from which his
false statements and arrest arose, may result in sanctions,
including an injunction requiring him to obtain the
Court's leave before filing any additional motions or
requests in this case, his other pending cases, or any new
cases filed in this district. See In re Martin
Trigona, 737 F.2d 1254, 1261 (2d Cir. 1984) (Federal
courts have both the inherent power and the constitutional
obligation to protect their jurisdiction from conduct which
impairs their ability to carry out Article III functions.);
see also Shafii v. British Airways, PLC, 83 F.3d
566, 571 (2d Cir. 1996) (stating that a district court may
impose sanctions against litigants who abuse the judicial
process). This Order applies to all of the
plaintiff's cases currently pending in this
district, including McLaughlin, No.
3:17-CR-129, McLaughlin, No. 3:18-CV-2063,
McLaughlin v. USA, No. 3:18-CV-1888 (MPS),
McLaughlin v. USA, No. 3:18-CV-1985 (JCH),
McLaughlin v. USA, No. 3:19-CV-51 (MPS),
McLaughlin v. CityFinancial Auto, No. 3:09-CV-1844
(MRK), and USA v. McLaughlin, No. 3:17-MJ-1066
(JGM), and any new case not yet filed pertaining to
his mortgage, arrest, prosecution, or conviction.
clerk is directed to change the plaintiff's address in
this case to Metropolitan Detention Center, P.O. Box 329002,
Brooklyn, NY 11232 and mail one ...