Gage v. N.J. Governor Chris Christie's Administration et al
MEMORANDUM OPINION regarding transfer. Signed by Judge Leonard P. Stark on 9/18/2015. (rpg)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF DELAWARE
THOMAS I. GAGE,
: Civ. No. 15-695-LPS
N.J. GOVERNOR CHRIS CHRISTIE'S
ADMINISTRATION, et al.,
Thomas I. Gage, Warren, New Jersey, Pro Se Plaintiff.
Dated: September 18, 2015
Plaintiff Thomas I. Gage ("Plaintiff'), a resident of New Jersey, proceeds prose and has paid
the filing fee. This action is one of many that Plaintiff has filed in state and federal courts pursuing
claims related to a zoning dispute and the foreclosure of, and eviction from, property located in
New Jersey. The Complaint purports to raise civil claims under the Racketeer Influenced and
Corrupt Organizations Act ("RICO") pursuant to 18 U.S.C. §§ 1961through1968.
Plaintiff has been enjoined on numerous occasions from filing lawsuits in New Jersey state
and federal courts. On November 15, 2012, the United States District Court for the District of New
Jersey ("New Jersey District Court") noted that Plaintiff, "persistent in his over-zealous pursuit of
claims related to a zoning dispute," had once again filed a lawsuit against the same defendants
previously sued by Plaintiff in state and federal courts based upon nearly identical factual allegations.
See Gage v. Kumpf, 2012 WL 5630568, at *5 (D.N.J. Nov. 15, 2012). The New Jersey District Court
entered an order that prohibits Plaintiff, when proceeding prose, from filing future lawsuits without
prior leave of the Court, against any of the named defendants in Gage v. Kumpf, 1 or any employee,
agent, or attorney thereof, in the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey, relating
to the Sleepy Hollow development. (See id.) The order provides that Plaintiff will be granted leave
to file upon a showing through a properly filed petition that a specific proposed filing: (1) could
survive a challenge under Fed. R. Civ. P. 12; (2) is not barred by principles of claim or issue
State Judge Fred H. Kumpf, Joseph E. Murray, Alan A. Siegel, Jay B. Born, Marianne
Cammarota & Prout & Cammarota, L.L.P., Sleepy Hollow of Warren, LLC & Dorothy D'Angelo,
Kevin Page, John T. Chadick, IV, Gary W. Dean, P.E., John E. Coley, and Victor Sordillo.
preclusion; (3) is not repetitive or violative of a court order; and (4) is in compliance with Fed. R.
Civ. P. 11. (See id.)
On July 9, 2013, the New Jersey District Court enjoined Plaintiff, when proceedingpro se,
from filing a complaint against any of the named defendants 2 or any employee, agent, or attorney
thereof, in the New Jersey District Court relating to the state court foreclosure action of property
located at 51 Hillcrest Boulevard, Warren, New Jersey (''Warren Property"), without prior leave of
the Court. See Gage v. Wells Far;g,o Bank, 2013 WL 3443295, at *8 (D.N.J. July 9, 2013), effd, 555 F.
App'x 148 (3d Cir. Jan. 16, 2014).
On December 13, 2013, the New Jersey District Court, relying upon its July 9, 2013 Order,
enjoined Plaintiff, when proceeding as a pro se litigant, from filing any claims involving or arising out
of the foreclosure action, sheriff's sale, or subsequent sale of the Warren Property, without prior
leave of court, including any claims against Wells Fargo, Sheriff Provenzano, Luke and Helena
Andersen, and any of the attorneys, judges, clerks, or other judicial officers. See Gage v. Provenzano,
2013 WL 6623924, at *4 (D.N.J. Dec. 13, 2013), efl'd, 571 F. App'x 112 (3d Cir. July 3, 2014).
On May 6, 2014, the New Jersey District Court, in a case filed by Plaintiff against State Judge
Thomas C. Miller and Jennifer M. Perez, entered an order that enjoins Plaintiff from filing lawsuits
arising out of the foreclosure action, sheriff's sale, or subsequent sale of the Warren Property. See
Gage v. Miller, 2014 WL 1789653, at *2 (D.N.J. May 6, 2014).
On January 16, 2015, the Superior Court of New Jersey Law Division, Civil Part, Somerset
County ("New Jersey Superior Court"), found that Plaintiff's filing of over nine actions concerning
the subdivision application approvals of Sleepy Hollow of Warren indicated his continued intention
to abuse the court system and entered an order enjoining Plaintiff's future litigation regarding the
W ells Fargo Bank, Luke Andersen, and Helena Andersen.
Sleepy Hollow development without leave of court. See Gage v. WaTTen Twp. Planning Board, SOM-L1447-14 (Jan. 16, 2015) (outlining Plaintiffs litigious history). The order prohibits Plaintiff from
filing or continuing any lawsuit against Sleepy Hollow of Warren, LLC, Dorothy D'Angelo,Joseph
E. Murray, Alan A. Siegel, Jay B. Bohn, John E. Coley, John T. Chadwick, IV, P.P., the Township of
Warren and members of its governing body, the Warren Township Planning Board and its members
or any employee, agent, or attorney thereof, in any court, relating to the Sleepy Hollow
development, without prior leave of the New Jersey Superior Court. The order provides that leave
to file or continue a lawsuit will be denied unless Plaintiff demonstrates that a specific proposed
filing: (a) can survive a challenge under N.J. Court Rule 4:6; (2) is not barred by principles of claim
or issue preclusion or the entire controversy doctrine; (3) is not repetitive or violative of a court
order; and (4) is in compliance with N.J. Court Rule 1:4-8. (See D.I. 8 Ex. 2)
Plaintiff recently filed the instant lawsuit in this Court raising claims that are the same as, or
related to, those discussed in the above paragraphs.
Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1406(a), "[t]he district court of a district in which is filed a case
laying venue in the wrong division or district shall dismiss, or if it be in the interest of justice,
transfer such case to any district or division in which it could have been brought." 28 U.S.C.
§ 1406(a). The court may transfer a case pursuant to§ 1406(a) either upon motion by the defendant
or sua sponte. See Lafferry v. St. Riel, 495 F.3d 72, 74-75, 75 n.3 (3d Cir. 2007) (leaving undisturbed
district court's sua sponte transfer of case pursuant to§ 1406(a)); Decker v. Dyson, 165 F. App'x 951,
954 n.3 (3d Cir. Jan. 19, 2006) ("Under 28 U.S.C. § 1406(a), a district court, upon a motion or sua
sponte, may transfer a case to a court of proper jurisdiction when such a transfer is in the interest of
The RICO claims raised by Plalntiff are related to: (1) actions taken by the Warren Township
Planning Board, zoning disputes, and the Sleepy Hollow development; (2) actions taken and rulings
made in Sleepy Hollow litigation by New Jersey Superior Court judges; and (3) the Warren Property
that was the subject of foreclosure, sheriff's sale, and conveyance, and which resulted in Plalntiff's
eviction. (D.I. 1) The acts Plaintiff complains of took place in New Jersey and most, if not all,
Defendants are citizens of the State of New Jersey.
The Court finds that the interests of justice warrant transfer of this case given that it appears
to have been filed here in an effort to evade orders entered in New Jersey state and federal courts
that enjoin Plalntiff from filing an action such as this in those Courts. Such flagrant disregard of
court orders will not be countenanced.
As discussed, Plaintiff, while proceedingpro se, is enjoined in New Jersey state and federal
courts from filing new litigation without first seeking permission and meeting certain requirements.
Despite the orders, Plaintiff initiated a lawsuit in this District raising claims that courts have enjoined
him from raising, and despite the fact that venue is not appropriate in this District.
For the above reasons, the Clerk of Court will be directed to transfer this action to the
United States District Court for the District of New Jersey.
A separate order shall issue.
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