Chien v. Supreme Judicial Court of Connecticut et al
RULING AND ORDER DISMISSING COMPLAINT (see attached). The Clerk is instructed to dismiss the 1 Complaint, without prejudice, and close the file. Signed by Judge Charles S. Haight, Jr. on February 14, 2018. (Pskowski, R.)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF CONNECTICUT
Civil Action No.
No. 3:18-cv-00228 (CSH)
SUPREME JUDICIAL COURT OF
CONNECTICUT, SUPERIOR COURT
JUDICIAL DISTRICT OF NEW HAVEN,
CHASE T. ROGERS, JAMES W. ABRAMS,
RICHARD E. BURKE, GEORGE JEPSEN,
& ALEXANDRA D. DIPENTIMA,
February 14, 2018
RULING AND ORDER DISMISSING COMPLAINT
HAIGHT, Senior District Judge:
Having read the Complaint [Doc. 1] filed in this action on February 6, 2018, the Court sua
sponte dismisses the action because its filing would appear to violate an injunction entered by Judge
Covello in Chien v. Clark. et al., No. 16-cv-1881.
That case before Judge Covello and the captioned case, together with several other cases
commenced by pro se Plaintiff Chien, all arise out of the same nexus of facts, which have their
genesis in protracted litigated of disputes between Chien and Richard J. Freer, a resident of Virginia.
The litigation began in state and federal courts in Virginia, and spilled over into state and federal
courts in Connecticut, principally because Freer sought to enforce in Connecticut a judgment he had
recovered against Chien in Virginia. Chien's main objectives in the Connecticut litigation are to
avoid any judgment liability to Freer, and to hold Freer liable for Chien's claims against Freer,
alleged by Chien to have accrued as the result of the initial business relationships in Virginia
between those two individuals.
Chien had filed an earlier case which was assigned to Judge Covello: Chien v. Freer, No.
3:15-cv-1620. The defendants in Freer moved before Judge Covello to dismiss Chien's complaint,
and also requested "a prefiling injunction with respect to any of Chien's future filings." Ruling [Doc.
69] at 25.
Presumably the Clark defendants had in mind an even earlier case, Chien v.
Commonwealth Biotechnlogies, Inc., No. 3:12-cv-1378, where Judge Thompson dismissed Chien's
complaint arising out of the same nexus of facts. In Freer, Judge Covello declined to issue a
prefiling injunction. He was content to say:
The defendants have requested a prefiling injunction with respect
to any of Chien's future filings. The court has denied his request to
amend the complaint in this case. The defendants' request is denied
without prejudice. Chien is cautioned that any future frivolous filings
in this court may result in sanctions and/or a filing injunction against
Id. at 25-26.
Nothing daunted, Chien filed another action, the Clark case, also assigned to Judge Covello.
Judge Covello granted those defendants' motion to dismiss the complaint, and this time enjoined
Chien from further filings. The Court reasoned:
The current 211 page complaint essentially attempts to end run the
court's previous denial of Chien's motion to amend. The complaint
in this case includes claims and parties included in Chien's previously
filed, and denied, motion to amend and proposed amended complaint.
Although the complaint includes three additional parties, the claims
are based on the same facts and events as previously alleged and any
differences are only superficial.
Ruling [Doc. 40] at 5. In those circumstances, Judge Covello concluded:
The case is hereby dismissed and the plaintiff, Andrew Chien, is
prohibited from filing further actions in this court without prior leave
of the court. Failure to comply with this order may result in monetary
Id. at 6. Judge Covello's ruling, containing this injunction, was filed on September 8, 2017.
Chien's complaint in the captioned case was filed on February 6, 2018. He had not applied
to the Court for leave to file it. This latest case was randomly assigned to the undersigned. The
complaint repeats the lengthy allegations and claims against Freer, and recounts all Plaintiff's initial
grievances from the first days of deteriorating business relationships in Virginia. The case, in short,
proceeds from the same nexus of facts as its several predecessors. To be sure, there are new
defendants: Connecticut trial and appellate judges who held against Chien in the related cases that
came before the state courts. However, Chien's approach, when confronted by an adverse litigation
result, is to allege the same basic set of facts over again, adding as parties defendant the most recent
individuals whose decisions or actions have disappointed him. It seems to me that this does not
satisfy the concerns of judicial resources and oversight. Judge Covello's reasoning in Clark properly
recognizes that adding new parties defendant does not justify repetition of the same factual nexus
for dismissed claims.
Because the captioned case was commenced in seeming violation of the injunction Judge
Covello imposed in Clark, the Clerk is directed to dismiss the complaint in this action and close the
file. In these circumstances, the dismissal will be without prejudice. If Chien wishes to press these
claims against these defendants further, he must apply to Judge Covello for leave to do so. It is
Judge Covello's order that is involved, and I defer to him with respect to that order's interpretation
It is SO ORDERED.
Dated: New Haven, Connecticut
February 14, 2018
/s/Charles S. Haight, Jr.
CHARLES S. HAIGHT, JR.
Senior United States District Judge
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