Miller v. Johnson

Decision Date08 June 1982
Docket NumberCiv. A. No. 81-1345.
Citation541 F. Supp. 1165
PartiesJames A. MILLER, Ronald H. Hoye, Sr., Lee Richardson, Plaintiffs, v. Norma H. JOHNSON, et al., Defendants.
CourtU.S. District Court — District of Columbia

MacKINNON, Circuit Judge.

The present action is before the District Court* on a motion by the defendant federal judges and clerk of court to dismiss for failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted. For the reasons set forth below, the federal defendants' motion to dismiss the complaint is granted, and the amended complaint against the Idaho Secretary of State, Cenarrusa, and the bonding companies, is dismissed by the court sua sponte, such dismissals to be with prejudice, and the action against all remaining defendants included by description or designated as unknown is dismissed without prejudice.

Parts I through VI of the opinion that follows set out the tortured history of this litigation; the remainder treats the several legal issues raised by the pleadings.

I. The Complaint in Civil No. 81-0654 Against the Idaho Defendants

On March 19, 1981 Ronald R. Hoye and James A. Miller of Coeur d'Alene, Idaho filed a pro se complaint in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia (Civil No. 81-0654). The designated defendants were: 35 individuals (apparently primarily residents of the state of Idaho including at least one federal judge and two state court judges), the United States of America, the District of Columbia, the state of Idaho, the American Medical Association, Inc., the Idaho Medical Association, 150 John Doe Persons unknown, and 150 John Doe unknown corporations, subsidiaries, affiliates or associations. The complaint in No. 81-0654 covered 168 pages of typewritten allegations on legal length paper that purported to allege 12 causes of action. It was studded with numerous vituperative allegations, incoherent statements and incomprehensible theories, all of which attacked the laws regulating the practice of medicine and those government officials, medical doctors and organizations who might play some part in the administration of such laws, insofar as they might impose allegedly illegal restraints upon the practice of naturopathy,1 principally in the state of Idaho but also elsewhere to some extent. The allegations of the complaint include the claim that the State of Idaho is illegally organized, does not exist as a State, but merely as a Territory, and that consequently all of the actions of the Idaho government—from the issuance of traffic tickets and high school diplomas to the recognition of marriages and chartering of corporations, and "all enactment of all laws, rules, regulations, acts, proclamations, of any kind or description," Complaint at 161 — are void and without effect. Plaintiffs also charge the existence of an illegal conspiracy of lawyers and public officials, subsidiaries, affiliates or associations (including federal and state judges), principally in Idaho, to apply the Idaho laws regulating the practice of medicine in an illegal manner insofar as the practice of naturopathy is concerned. This they term the "Idaho Watergate." The causes of action alleged included, inter alia, (1) destruction of constitutional republican government, (2) high crimes and misdemeanors, (3) treason, (4) criminal racketeering activities, (5) criminal conspiracy, (6) criminal monopoly, and (7) numerous criminal and other violations.2 The complaint sought total damages of $16.4 billion of 25 different sorts ranging, in alphabetical order, from "actual" to "ultra" (this last only "if necessary") — but not including "nominal."3

To present a slight flavor of the prolix, disjointed allegations contained in the complaint, there is set forth in the margin a small sample of some of the charges in the complaint.4

Civil Action No. 81-0645 was duly assigned to United States District Judge John H. Pratt. The court analyzed the complaint, found that it was "prolix, verbose, confusing, repetitious, and wholly unintelligible,"5 and dismissed the action "for failure to comply with Rules 8(a)6 and 8(e) (1)7" but without prejudice and with leave to the plaintiffs "to amend their complaint to meet the requirements of Rule 8."

II. Earlier Litigation in the Idaho State Courts

It appears from the reported decision of the Idaho Supreme Court in Eismann v. Miller, 101 Idaho 692, 619 P.2d 1145 (1980), of which judicial notice is taken, that Civil Action No. 81-0645 involves many of the same individuals that were parties defendant in that earlier pro se litigation brought in the state courts of Idaho by the same plaintiffs. Since the defendants here have not yet answered, we are unable to determine whether Eismann is res judicata with respect to 81-0654.8

The Idaho litigation included "some judges of the federal courts sitting in Idaho," as well as a state court judge that presided in a case brought by Miller pro se; and the federal judges removed the case against them to the federal courts. It is also noteworthy that appellant Miller in the Idaho case attempted to make what he termed a "citizen's arrest" of the presiding state court judge after Miller engaged in what the Supreme Court of Idaho found might be characterized as "a `tirade' against the court."

Without going into the Idaho litigation further, suffice to say that Miller in some respects has acted in the present litigation in much the same manner as he apparently acted in the Idaho litigation, even to the extent of giving "Notice" to this court to have United States Marshals available in court so he could make citizens arrests, presumably on any federal judge who might rule against him. Plaintiffs assert the right, in the event their motions are not granted by any judge, to make such judges defendants in the pending action, or in a new action, and to make "citizens arrest" for such "crimes."9 (Emphasis added) Similarly in Idaho: "He (Miller) ... manifested a pattern of initiating pro se litigation against any judge ruling against him."

To combat Miller's abuse of the Idaho courts and its procedures, the Supreme Court of Idaho, without passing on the merits of his claim, ordered all "clerks of ... court ... in the state of Idaho ... to refuse to accept for filing any pro se pleading or documents of James A. Miller in any action or proceeding in any court of the state of Idaho without written leave of the Supreme Court ..." The complete order of the Idaho Supreme Court, and the facts justifying it, are set forth in the opinion by Justice McFadden in Eismann v. Miller, 101 Idaho 692, 619 P.2d 1145 (1980).

III. Plaintiffs' Reaction to Judge Pratt's Order Dismissing Complaint

Following the order by Judge Pratt dismissing their complaint in No. 81-0654, plaintiffs Miller and Hoye responded, in a manner they have since repeated, by filing what they termed an "Amended Complaint, Motion in Affidavit."

In plaintiffs' Amended Complaint, the only amendment was to designate Judge Pratt as an additional defendant in the initial action that had been dismissed, without prejudice, by his order. This obviously was an improper amendment. From the questionable premise that their cause was just, plaintiffs alleged that Judge Pratt was without any authority in law to dismiss the complaint because it was sworn to in their affidavit and he had not found that they had committed intentional perjury. Such theory is fallacious. Thus, by their amended complaint Miller and Hoye sought to continue the same accusations that Judge Pratt had dismissed, and to add Judge Pratt as a defendant because they objected to his judicial decision dismissing the complaint.

With the added allegation to include Judge Pratt, the case thereafter was duly assigned to United States District Judge Norma Holloway Johnson. Judge Johnson reviewed the so-called amended complaint and "after several readings thereof" on May 6, 1981 filed a Memorandum and Order in which she reached substantially the same conclusion as Judge Pratt. She ruled that the complaint did "not conform to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 8(a) ... or 8(e)(1)."10 Judge Johnson found that: "No pleading could be intelligently framed by defendants in response to the amended complaint." She accordingly ordered the amended complaint dismissed without prejudice and with the right to amend, on the authority of Gordon v. Green, 602 F.2d 743 (5th Cir. 1979), and Koll v. Wayzata State Bank, 397 F.2d 124 (8th Cir. 1968). The opinion in Koll by Judge Lay ruled that where no responsive pleading could intelligently be filed to a complaint, it should be stricken for failure to comply with Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 8(a) and 8(e), and the court should allow plaintiff sufficient time to amend and plead in compliance with the rules. 397 F.2d at 127. That was precisely the disposition ordered by Judges Pratt and Johnson.

IV. The Present Complaint Against the United States District Judges (Civil No. 81-1345)

Following the dismissal by Judge Johnson of the "Amended Complaint" in Civ. No. 81-0654, plaintiffs Miller and Hoye11 on June 12, 1981 filed the present action, Civil No. 81-1345, in this court. This action is directed primarily against the two district judges who had dismissed their previous complaint without prejudice, i.e., United States District Judges Norma H. Johnson and John H. Pratt. Also designated as defendants in this case are (then) Chief Judge William B. Bryant of the District Court, Mr. James F. Davey, the Clerk of the District Court, the "United States District Court for the District of Columbia" and 350 John Doe Unknown Persons.12 It is this second complaint in the District Court, directed primarily against the United States District Court judges, that is the subject of this opinion.


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