Rudnicki v. McCormack

Decision Date01 October 1962
Docket Number61-327,61-297,Civ. A. No. 62-109,60-916,Civ. A. No. 2965.,61-897
Citation210 F. Supp. 905
PartiesChester RUDNICKI, Plaintiff, v. Edward J. McCORMACK, Jr., et al., Defendants. Chester RUDNICKI, Plaintiff, v. William A. BROCKETT et al., Defendants. Chester RUDNICKI, Plaintiff, v. Anthony JULIAN et al., Defendants (two cases). Chester RUDNICKI, Plaintiff, v. Gilbert W. COX et al., Defendants. Chester RUDNICKI, Plaintiff, v. Edward W. DAY, Defendant.
CourtU.S. District Court — District of Massachusetts

COPYRIGHT MATERIAL OMITTED

Chester Rudnicki, plaintiff, pro se.

John J. Curtin, Jr., Asst. U. S. Atty., Boston, Mass., for defendants Woodbury, Julian, Canavan, Hassett, Sweeney, Wyzanski, Caffrey, Ford, Brockett, Healy, Dakin, Chase, Mahoney, Smith and Coughlin.

Victor Brogna, Asst. Atty. Gen., Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Boston, Mass., for defendants McCormack, Cox, Kelleher and Sullivan.

Frederick W. Faerber, Jr., Asst. U. S. Atty., Providence, R. I., special appearance for defendant Day.

GIGNOUX, District Judge (serving by designation).

In each of these actions the defendants have filed motions to dismiss under Fed. R.Civ.P. rule 12(b) (6) for failure of the complaint to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. In the case of Rudnicki v. McCormack et al. the defendants have also filed a petition for an injunction permanently enjoining the plaintiff from continuing or instituting these or other similar proceedings. I shall rule first upon the motions to dismiss and then upon the petition for permanent injunction.

With the exception of the case of Rudnicki v. Brockett et al., these cases follow the same pattern. In each case, the plaintiff, believing himself aggrieved by actions of various federal and Massachusetts state court judges in prior litigation instituted by him, alleges that their judicial acts in granting motions filed by the defendants, or in refusing to grant motions filed by himself as plaintiff, deprived the plaintiff of his civil rights in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, the Civil Rights Act (42 U.S.C. §§ 1983 and 1985), various of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and unspecified other statutes of the United States. In addition to the presiding judges in those actions, the plaintiff has joined as defendants the Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, because of his designation of a judge to hear these cases, the Attorney General of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and one of his assistants, because of their representation of state court judges sued by the plaintiff, an Assistant United States Attorney for the District of Massachusetts, because of his representation of a United States District Judge sued by the plaintiff, and the Clerk of the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts, because of his receiving and filing papers in connection with such suits. Finally, the plaintiff has filed a motion in his latest suit to add as defendants the present United States Attorney for the District of Massachusetts and one of his assistants, because of their representation of the various federal judges and other officials who are defendants in these actions.

Disregarding, as I must, the vituperative and purely conclusionary allegations with which the complaints in these actions are replete (see Snowden v. Hughes, 321 U.S. 1, 10, 64 S.Ct. 397, 88 L.Ed. 497 (1944); Dunn v. Gazzola, 216 F.2d 709 (1st Cir., 1954)), I can read these complaints as alleging no more than that the plaintiff has been denied recovery in the various actions instituted by him in this and the Massachusetts state courts by the adverse rulings of the presiding judges. Such allegations, in my view, wholly fail to state a cause of action under any provision of the Civil Rights Act, which is the only statute conceivably applicable to these actions.

Insofar as the judicial defendants are concerned, it has long been settled that judges, both state and federal, are immune from civil liability for their judicial acts. Bradley v. Fisher, 13 Wall. (U.S.) 335, 20 L.Ed. 646 (1871); Francis v. Crafts, 203 F.2d 809 (1st Cir., 1953), cert. denied, 346 U.S. 835, 74 S.Ct. 43, 98 L.Ed. 357 (1953). This immunity extends to suits, such as the present ones, for alleged deprivation of civil rights under the Civil Rights Act, Francis v. Crafts, supra.

I am equally satisfied that, under the circumstances here disclosed, the same immunity from suit under the Civil Rights Act attaches to the non-judicial defendants in these actions. There can be no question but that the acts of which the plaintiff complains were performed by these defendants in discharge of their official duties, it being the duty of the United States Attorney for the District of Massachusetts and his assistants to represent federal judges and officials when sued in their official capacities; it being the duty of the Attorney General of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and his assistants to represent Massachusetts state judges and officials when sued in their official capacities; and it being the duty of the Clerk of the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts to receive and file papers submitted to his office in pending litigation. Meredith v. Van Oosterhout, 286 F.2d 216 (8th Cir., 1961), cert. denied, 365 U.S. 835, 81 S.Ct. 749, 5 L.Ed.2d 745 (1961); Ginsburg v. Stern, 125 F.Supp. 596 (W.D. Pa.1954), aff'd on other grounds, 225 F.2d 245 (3d Cir., 1955). Such cases as Kostal v. Stoner, 292 F.2d 492 (10th Cir., 1961), cert. denied, 369 U.S. 868, 82 S.Ct. 1032, 8 L.Ed.2d 87 (1962), Dunn v. Gazzola, supra, Francis v. Lyman, 216 F.2d 583 (1st Cir., 1954) and Rhodes v. Houston, 202 F. Supp. 624 (D.Neb.1962), make clear that public officials such as these, when performing their official duties, enjoy the same immunity from civil liability as that extended to judges in the performance of their judicial functions. See also Barr v. Matteo, 360 U.S. 564, 571-574, 79 S.Ct. 1335, 3 L.Ed.2d 1434 (1959); Gregoire v. Biddle, 177 F.2d 579 (2d Cir., 1949), cert. denied, 339 U.S. 949, 70 S.Ct. 803, 94 L. Ed. 1363 (1950).

The case of Rudnicki v. Brockett requires separate comment, inasmuch as the defendants in that action are not judges, judicial officers or attorneys. The complaint in that case alleges that the defendants, all of whom were personnel of the Boston Naval Shipyard, conspired to deprive plaintiff of his right to employment at the Shipyard in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment, the Civil Rights Act (42 U.S.C. §§ 1983 and 1985), the U. S. Civil Service Commission Code, the United States Navy Civilian Personnel Code and other unspecified statutes. Of these, 42 U.S.C. § 1985(3) is the only statute which could have any possible application to this action. However, even to the extent that the complaint in this case can be read as purporting to state a cause of action under 42 U.S.C. § 1985(3), it is patently defective in at least two respects. First, it seems clear that the plaintiff has failed to assert, and cannot assert, that any of the defendants were acting under color of state law. Hoffman v. Halden, 268 F.2d 280, 291 (9th Cir., 1959) and cases collected therein; Koch v. Zuieback, 194 F.Supp. 651 (S.D.Cal.1961). In addition, it is settled that one is not entitled to federal employment as a matter of right. Jason v. Summerfield, 94 U.S.App. D.C. 197, 214 F.2d 273 (1954), cert. denied, 348 U.S. 840, 75 S.Ct. 48, 99 L.Ed. 662 (1954).

For the foregoing reasons, the motions to dismiss are granted, and the actions are dismissed.

I turn now to the petition for permanent injunction filed by the defendants in the case of Rudnicki v. McCormack et al. These defendants have requested that this Court under the authority vested in it by the "All Writs Act", 28 U.S.C. § 1651, issue an order permanently enjoining the plaintiff from continuing, commencing or prosecuting this or any other proceeding against these defendants or against any judge or attorney participating in this case for actions taken in the course of their duties as judges or attorneys. These defendants have also moved that in order to protect the records of this Court from frivolous, irrelevant, vexatious, superfluous and unimportant papers, the Clerk be directed to refuse to receive, file or docket any papers submitted by Mr. Rudnicki in this or any other proceeding against these defendants or any judge or attorney, without an order of Court. In support of the motion, the defendants have filed the affidavit of John J. Curtin, Jr., Esq., Assistant United States Attorney for the District of Massachusetts, setting forth the results of his examination of the various records in the files of the Department of Justice concerning cases brought by Mr. Rudnicki during the last three years in this court against federal and state judges and officials. During oral argument, counsel have also called to my attention various other proceedings of a similar nature previously brought by Mr. Rudnicki during the last several years in the Massachusetts state courts.

After an examination of Mr. Curtin's affidavit and of the records of this Court concerning the litigation instituted by Mr. Rudnicki since 1960, of which I take judicial notice, I have determined that the time has come when it is necessary and appropriate that an injunction issue, both for protection of these and other public officials against unwarranted harassment, and for the protection of the records of this and other courts against the filing of frivolous and unimportant papers.

The affidavit of Mr. Curtin and the records of this Court reveal a pattern of conduct by Mr. Rudnicki, in which he has persistently attempted to relitigate cases dismissed by United States District Judges and by Massachusetts state judges by commencing new suits against those judges and against the government attorneys...

To continue reading

Request your trial
40 cases
  • Castro v. United States
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — District of Puerto Rico
    • April 6, 1984
    ...allow a new complaint of a similar ilk to be filed." Pavilonis v. King, 626 F.2d 1075, 1078 (1st Cir.1980). See also Rudnicki v. McCormack, 210 F.Supp. 905 (D.R.I.1962), appeal dismissed sub nom. Rudnicki v. Cox, 372 U.S. 226, 83 S.Ct. 679, 9 L.Ed.2d 714 (1963) (court ruled that it had equi......
  • Marty's Adult World of New Britain, Inc. v. Guida
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — District of Connecticut
    • June 29, 1978
    ...Cir. 1968); Zimmerman v. Spears, 428 F.Supp. 759 (W.D.Tex. 1977); Pritt v. Johnson, 264 F.Supp. 167 (M.D.Pa. 1967); Rudnicki v. McCormack, 210 F.Supp. 905 (D.Mass. 1962), appeal dismissed, 372 U.S. 226, 83 S.Ct. 679, 9 L.Ed.2d 714 13 See McLallen v. Henderson, 492 F.2d 1298 (8th Cir. 1974) ......
  • Holsey v. Bass
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — District of Maryland
    • July 13, 1981
    ...would, however, possibly be justified in taking even stronger action. Graham v. Riddle, 554 F.2d 133 (4 Cir. 1977); Rudnicki v. McCormack, 210 F.Supp. 905 (D.Mass. 1962), appeal dismissed, 372 U.S. 226, 83 S.Ct. 679, 9 L.Ed.2d 714 (1963) (per curiam). In Rudnicki, after reviewing the histor......
  • Chandler v. O'BRYAN
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — Tenth Circuit
    • September 9, 1971
    ...359 U.S. 909, 79 S.Ct. 586, 3 L.Ed.2d 574 (1959); 600 California Corp. v. Harjean, 284 F.Supp. 843 (N.D.Tex.1968); Rudnicki v. McCormack, 210 F.Supp. 905 (D.R.I.1962), app. dismissed, 372 U.S. 226, 83 S.Ct. 679, 9 L.Ed.2d 714 (1963). But these circumstances ordinarily arise only when the pa......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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