Carr v. Sessions, Civil Action No.: 18-356 (RC)

CourtUnited States District Courts. United States District Court (Columbia)
PartiesJERRY L. CARR, Plaintiff, v. JEFFERSON B. SESSIONS, et al. Defendants.
Docket NumberCivil Action No.: 18-356 (RC)
Decision Date25 February 2019

JERRY L. CARR, Plaintiff,

Civil Action No.: 18-356 (RC)


February 25, 2019

Re Document Nos.: 7, 14




Plaintiff Jerry L. Carr, proceeding pro se, brings this action against the United States Attorney General, the Department of Justice, and the United States (collectively, "the government") seeking justice for a series of events occurring in Ohio and the District of Columbia over the last thirty years. He claims that the federal government, a law firm, and several individuals have conspired to deprive him of his livelihood and his freedom. Presently before the Court are the government's motion to dismiss the action and Mr. Carr's motion to amend the complaint.

Because this action is the latest in a series of litigation campaigns waged by Mr. Carr, many of Mr. Carr's claims are barred by res judicata. Mr. Carr's claims not barred by res judicata are time barred. And it would be futile for Mr. Carr to amend his complaint because his proposed amendments could not survive a motion to dismiss, for the same reasons that the current complaint cannot survive. The Court thus grants the government's motion to dismiss and denies Mr. Carr's motion to amend.

Page 2


This action traces its origins to the 1980s, when an ill-fated dispute between Mr. Carr and his co-workers at Champion International Corporation ("Champion") prompted Champion to fire Mr. Carr. See Compl. ¶¶ 81, 102-03, ECF No. 1. Champion's decision unleased Mr. Carr upon the federal court system, through which he has filed a series of lawsuits to defeat what he views as a widespread conspiracy against him. See, e.g., id. ¶¶ 36-41, 82-93. The latest turn in this alleged conspiracy has brought Mr. Carr before this Court.

To provide context for its decision, the Court will briefly summarize Mr. Carr's litigation history. After Champion fired him, Mr. Carr sued Champion and several co-workers under 42 U.S.C. § 1981. See Defs.' Mem. Supp. Mot. Dismiss ("Defs.' Mem.") Ex. 1 ("Judge Manos Order"), ECF No. 7-1.1 Having lost at trial in that action, Mr. Carr and his now-wife, a former Champion employee who was fired around the same time, brought a second action under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations ("RICO") Act against Champion, its legal counsel, Frost Brown Todd LLC ("Frost"), and several judges, asserting that Frost oversaw an organized crime network that extorted Mr. Carr and his wife. See id. at 3-4; Compl. ¶¶ 13-18. In response to these filings, Judge John Manos of the Southern District of Ohio permanently

Page 3

enjoined Mr. Carr and his wife from bringing certain types of actions in federal court. See Judge Manos Order at 10-11.

Notwithstanding Judge Manos's Order, Mr. Carr continued pursuing his cause, attempting to enlist the FBI and various other federal agencies in bringing Frost's conspiracy to light. Compl. ¶¶ 29-34, 45, 74-77. These efforts were unsuccessful, however, allegedly because of Frost's control over the government. Id. ¶¶ 77-78, 99-101, 103. In 2006 Mr. Carr filed another RICO suit, this time in this jurisdiction. See Compl., Carr v. Frost, Brown & Todd, No. 06-cv-1893 (D.D.C. Nov. 3, 2006), ECF No. 1 ("2006 Compl."); Compl. ¶¶ 36-44. Judge James Robertson concluded that the 2006 complaint was "substantially identical" to Mr. Carr's previous lawsuits, and he dismissed the 2006 complaint with prejudice. See Defs.' Mem. Ex. 2 ("Judge Robertson Order") at 3-4, ECF No. 7-2.

Around the time of that dismissal, Mr. Carr was interviewed by Deputy United States Marshal Joel Kimmet and FBI Agent Terrence Moran regarding threatening phone calls Mr. Carr allegedly made to Judge Robertson's chambers. See Compl., USA v. Carr, No. 07-cr-0107 (S.D. Ohio May 1, 2007), ECF No. 2; Compl. ¶¶ 45, 48. That investigation resulted in Mr. Carr pleading guilty to possessing a firearm after having been previously committed to a mental institution. See Defs.' Mem. Ex. 3, ECF No. 7-3. After serving his sentence, Mr. Carr filed a motion with the Southern District of Ohio to clear his criminal record, remove the label of "mentally ill" from his record, and vacate Judge Manos's sanction. Compl. ¶¶ 82-92. Judge Michael Barrett denied the motion for lack of jurisdiction. See Defs.' Mem. Ex. 4 ("Judge Barrett Order"), ECF No. 7-4. Mr. Carr appealed that order to the Sixth Circuit, which affirmed Judge Barrett's decision. See Defs.' Mem. Ex. 5, ECF No. 7-5.

Page 4

Finally, Mr. Carr filed this action in early-2018, recounting the events above as pieces in a large-scale conspiracy, led by Frost, to deprive him of his constitutional rights. See generally Compl. He sues under various federal statutes, both civil and criminal,2 alleging that the government failed to properly supervise the federal agents involved in the alleged conspiracy over the past thirty odd years, and failed to protect Mr. Carr's constitutional rights. The government has moved to dismiss the action under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), arguing, in part, that the complaint is barred by res judicata, and that any claims not barred by res judicata are time barred under the applicable statutes of limitations.3 See generally Defs.' Mot. Dismiss, ECF No. 7. After the government filed its motion to dismiss, Mr. Carr moved to add intentional tort claims to his complaint. See Pl.'s Mot. Amend at 1, ECF No. 14. Both motions are ripe for the Court's review.

A. Federal Rule 12(b)(6)

To survive a motion to dismiss under Federal Rule 12(b)(6), a complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to "state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face," Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). The plaintiff's right to relief must rise above the "speculative level." Twombly,

Page 5

550 U.S. at 555-56. "Threadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements," are therefore insufficient to withstand a motion to dismiss. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678. A court need not accept a plaintiff's legal conclusions as true, see id., nor must a court presume the veracity of legal conclusions that are couched as factual allegations. See Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555.

This Court construes pro se complaints liberally. Atherton v. D.C. Office of Mayor, 567 F.3d 672, 681 (D.C. Cir. 2009). Thus, Mr. Carr's complaint "must be held to less stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers." Id. (quoting Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007)). Even under this liberal standard, a pro se complainant must plead facts that allow the Court to infer "more than the mere possibility of misconduct." Id. at 681-82 (quoting Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 679). A court considering a pro se plaintiff's complaint should look to "all filings, including filings responsive to a motion to dismiss," Brown v. Whole Foods Mkt. Grp., Inc., 789 F.3d 146, 152 (D.C. Cir. 2015), to discern whether the plaintiff has "'nudged [his] claim[s] across the line from conceivable to plausible.'" Id. (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570). "The Court need not," however, "assume the role of the pro se plaintiff's advocate." Mehrbach v. Citibank, N.A., 316 F. Supp. 3d 264, 268 (D.D.C. 2018). It need not stalk the record to find support for Mr. Carr's claims. Sun v. D.C. Gov't, 133 F. Supp. 3d 155, 168 n.6 (D.D.C. 2015).

B. Federal Rule 15(a)

Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 15(a) permits a plaintiff to amend his complaint once as a matter of course within 21 days of serving it or within 21 days of the filing of a responsive pleading or Rule 12(b) motion. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 15(a)(1). Otherwise, the plaintiff may amend his pleading only with the opposing party's written consent—which has been denied in this case—or the Court's leave. Fed. R. Civ. P. 15(a)(2).

Page 6

"The decision to grant or deny leave to amend . . . is vested in the sound discretion of the trial court." Commodore-Mensah v. Delta Air Lines, Inc., 842 F. Supp. 2d 50, 52 (D.D.C. 2012) (citing Doe v. McMillan, 566 F.2d 713, 720 (D.C. Cir. 1977)). And Rule 15 instructs courts to "freely give leave when justice so requires." Fed. R. Civ. P. 15(a)(2); see also Belizan v. Hershon, 434 F.3d 579, 582 (D.C. Cir. 2006) (explaining that Rule 15 "is to be construed liberally"). "[L]eave to amend is particularly appropriate when a plaintiff proceeds pro se." Moore v. Agency for Int'l Dev., 994 F.2d 874, 877 (D.C. Cir. 1993). Generous standard notwithstanding, courts may deny leave to amend for such reasons as "undue delay, bad faith or dilatory motive on the part of the movant, repeated failure to cure deficiencies by amendments previously allowed, undue prejudice to the opposing party by virtue of allowance of the amendment, [or] futility of amendment." Foman v. Davis, 371 U.S. 178, 182 (1962).


The government argues that Mr. Carr's complaint should be dismissed because, among other reasons, Mr. Carr's claims are barred by res judicata and the applicable statutes of limitations. The government argues that Mr. Carr's proposed complaint amendments should be rejected for the same reasons. The Court agrees for the reasons stated below, and it therefore dismisses Mr. Carr's action and denies his motion to amend the complaint.

A. Res Judicata

"Under the doctrine of res judicata, 'a final judgment on the merits of an action precludes the parties or their privies from relitigating issues that were or could have been raised in that action.'" Ashbourne v. Hansberry, 245 F. Supp. 3d 99, 103 (D.D.C. 2017) (emphasis in original) (quoting Drake v. FAA, 291 F.3d 59, 66 (D.C. Cir. 2002)). The doctrine applies if a previous action "(1) involv[ed] the same claims or cause of action [as the current action], (2)

Page 7

between the same...

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT