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Downey v. United States

United States District Court, N.D. Ohio, Eastern Division

December 30, 2019

MARK DOWNEY, Plaintiff,
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, et al., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          DAN AARON POLSTER UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         This matter is before the Court on the Complaint of pro se Plaintiff Mark Downey against Defendants United States of America, William Barr, Justin Herdman, and Laura Malone. He seeks to recover $56.68 Billion Dollars. Doc. # 1; Doc. # 1-1. Plaintiff moves to proceed with this action in forma pauperis, and that motion is granted (Doc. # 2).

         For the reasons that follow, this case is dismissed.

         I. BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff states that he is representing the federal government in an action brought pursuant to the False Claims Act (“FCA”) and Dodd Frank Act (“DFA”) to recover massive cost overruns, excessive spending, and fraud to recover revenue with the goal of reducing the $21 Trillion Dollar federal deficit. See Doc. # 1 at 4; Doc. # 1-1 at 2. The Complaint, consisting of 89 pages, asserts 45 claims for relief. Plaintiff alleges that the “Federal Government employed the Plaintiff as a Federal Whistleblower.” Doc. # 1 at 85. He claims that his work of five years was illegally destroyed by the federal government with no compensation and the “unjustified whistleblower claim denial recourse is to file suit.” Id. at 4.

         Plaintiff filed a supplement to the Complaint, withdrawing his request for a jury demand and asking the Court to grant his a motion requesting that the entire case be ruled upon by correspondence and without appearance because Plaintiff is disabled and cannot travel to the Court. Doc. # 3.

         II. STANDARD OF REVIEW

         Although pro se pleadings are liberally construed and held to less stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers, Boag v. MacDougall, 454 U.S. 364, 365 (1982) (per curiam); Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520 (1972), the district court is required to dismiss an in forma pauperis action under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e) if it fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted, or if it lacks an arguable basis in law or fact. Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 325 (1989); Sistrunk v. City of Strongsville, 99 F.3d 194, 197 (6th Cir. 1996).

         While Plaintiff's Complaint is entitled to liberal construction, the Court is not required to conjure unpleaded facts or construct claims on Plaintiff's behalf. See Grinter v. Knight, 532 F.3d 567, 577 (6th Cir. 2008) (citation omitted); Beaudett v. City of Hampton, 775 F.2d 1274, 1277-78 (4th Cir. 1985). Moreover, “[i]f the court determines at any time that it lacks subject-matter jurisdiction, the court must dismiss the action.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(h)(3).

         III. ANALYSIS

         Plaintiff states that he represents the Federal Government in qui tam, the FCA and DFA claims to recover federal revenues. Doc. # 1 at 34. Plaintiff alleges in support of his FCA and DFA claims that Defendants have violated numerous federal laws and that all Defendants are “accomplices and collaborators in all Counts.” Doc. # 1-1 at 1.

         As an initial matter, Plaintiff's rambling and conclusory allegations generally asserted against all Defendants fail to satisfy basic pleading requirements and the Complaint is subject to dismissal pursuant to § 1915(e)(2)(B) on this basis alone. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 (pleading must contain factual allegations sufficient to place each individual defendant on notice of the claim asserted against him); see also Lillard v. Shelby Cty. Bd. of Educ., 76 F.3d 716, 726 (6th Cir. 1996) (a court is not required to accept summary allegations or unwarranted conclusions in determining whether a complaint states a claim for relief).

         With respect to his FCA claim,

The False Claims Act (FCA) prohibits a person from making false or fraudulent claims for payment to the United States. 31 U.S.C. § 3729(a). That prohibition may be enforced in suits filed by the Attorney General, § 3730(a), and in qui tam actions brought by ...

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