Chase v. U.S. Department of Justice
MEMORANDUM. Signed by Judge Catherine C. Blake on 6/17/11. (c/m af 6/17/11)(amf, Deputy Clerk)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF MARYLAND
WARREN CHASE #326-514
: CIVIL ACTION NO. CCB-11-1619
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
Warren Chase, a Maryland Division of Correction prisoner presently confined at the
North Branch Correctional Institution in Cumberland (NBCI), filed an action seeking to have this
court compel production of copy work from court records. As he names the United States
Department of Justice (“DOJ”) as the sole respondent, the court presumes he is requesting the
DOJ review the copy work, which consists of extensive pleadings filed in his various federal
actions and then convene investigation into Chase’s claims of “abuse, racism, unlawful conduct
stealing U.S. Mail etc.”
The action is construed as a request for relief pursuant to 28 U.S.C. ' 1651. Under this
general writ statute, the federal district court may issue all writs necessary or appropriate in aid
of its jurisdiction. Because petitioner seeks to compel certain actions by the Clerk of Court
and/or the Department of Justice, the present matter most closely resembles a writ of mandamus.
See 28 U.S.C. ' 1361.
A federal district court has original jurisdiction of any action in the nature of mandamus
to compel an officer or employee of the United States or one of its agencies to perform a duty
owed to a petitioner. In order to meet the requirements for mandamus relief, a petitioner must
show that: he has the clear legal right to the relief sought; the respondent has a clear legal duty to
do the particular act requested; and no other adequate remedy is available. See In re First Fed.
Savings and Loan Ass'n of Durham, 860 F.2d 135, 138 (4th Cir. 1988); Asare v. Ferro, 999
F.Supp. 657, 659 (D. Md. 1998). The failure to show any of these prerequisites defeats a district
court's jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. ' 1361. See National Association of Government Employees
v. Federal Labor Relations Authority, 830 F. Supp. 889, 898 (E.D. Va. 1993).
A writ of mandamus is an extraordinary writ that is only available in cases where no
other means by which the relief sought could be granted, see In re Beard, 811 F.2d 818, 826
(4th Cir.1987), is available only when the petitioner has a clear right to the relief sought, see In re
First Fed. Sav. & Loan Assn., 860 F.2d 135, 138 (4th Cir. 1988), and is a drastic remedy to be
used only in extraordinary circumstances. See Kerr v. United States District Court, 426 U.S.
394, 402 (1976); In re Beard, 811 F.2d 818, 826 (4th Cir. 1987). Such circumstances are not
present here. While petitioner is free to contact the Department of Justice to ask that it convene
an investigation into the injustices alluded to in the petition, he has no right to compel such
investigation1 or to mandate that this court provide or the DOJ review copies of documents
petitioner contends support his claims.
The petition will be denied and the case dismissed. A separate order follows.
June 17, 2011
Catherine C. Blake
United States District Judge
The Supreme Court has consistently held that a citizen lacks standing to contest the policies of a prosecuting
authority when he himself is neither prosecuted nor threatened with prosecution. See Younger v. Harris, 401 U.S.
37, 42 (1971); Bailey v. Patterson, 369 U.S. 31, 33 (1962); Poe v. Ullman, 367 U.S. 497, 501 (1961). Although
these cases arose in a somewhat different context, they demonstrate that, in American jurisprudence at least, a
private citizen lacks a judicially cognizable interest in the prosecution or nonprosecution of another.