VAN KUSH v. 10TH CIRCUIT EXECUTIVE/ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE OF THE JUDGES (AO) et al
MEMORANDUM OPINION Signed by Judge Dabney L. Friedrich on 10/15/2020. (adh, )
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
RYAN SASHA-SHAI VAN KUSH,
10TH CIRCUIT EXECUTIVE/
ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE OF
THE JUDGES (AO), et al.,
Clerk, U.S. District & Bankruptcy
Court for the District of Columbia
Civil Action No. 1:20-cv-02862 (UNA)
This matter is before the Court on petitioner’s application for leave to proceed in forma
pauperis and pro se petition for a writ of mandamus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1361. The Court
will grant the in forma pauperis application and dismiss the case for want of subject matter
jurisdiction, see Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(h)(3).
Although the complaint is not clear, the petitioner, a resident of Castle Rock, Colorado,
appears to bring this action against the “10th Circuit Executive/Administrative Office of The
Judges,” “US Courts,” and two judges presiding in the United States District Court for the
District of Colorado. See generally Pet., Dkt. 1. The complaint presents topics ranging from
petitioner’s family history, see id. at 2–3, to his religious beliefs, see id. at 2. The remainder of
the complaint contains summaries and general grievances arising from the decisions and
outcomes of various litigation petitioner has filed in other courts. See id. at 3–6. As relief,
petitioner demands that the court issue a writ of mandamus compelling the Drug Enforcement
Administration (“DEA”) to process and produce certain records that he apparently requested
pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”), 5 U.S.C. § 552. See id. at 7.
As it appears that the petitioner seeks review of the propriety of the judgments issued by
the United States District Court for the District of Colorado, or United States Court of Appeals
for the Tenth Circuit, this Court lacks such jurisdiction. See 28 U.S.C. §§ 1331, 1332 (scope of
jurisdiction for all district courts); Cobb v. United States, 104 F. Supp. 3d 61, 65 (D.D.C. 2015);
United States v. Choi, 818 F. Supp. 2d 79, 85 (D.D.C. 2011) (“[A]s a district court is a trial level
court in the federal judicial system[,] [i]t generally lacks appellate jurisdiction over other judicial
bodies, and cannot exercise appellate mandamus over other courts.”) (citations omitted).
To the extent that the petition can be construed as seeking a writ of mandamus against the
DEA, it is denied. A writ of mandamus “compel[s] an officer or employee of the United States
or any agency thereof to perform a duty owed to the plaintiff.” 28 U.S.C. § 1361. “[M]andamus
is ‘drastic’; it is available only in ‘extraordinary situations.’” In re Cheney, 406 F.3d 723, 729
(D.C. Cir. 2005) (citations omitted). Only if “(1) the plaintiff has a clear right to relief; (2) the
defendant has a clear duty to act; and (3) there is no other adequate remedy available to the
plaintiff,” Thomas v. Holder, 750 F.3d 899, 903 (D.C. Cir. 2014), is mandamus relief granted.
Petitioner does not address any of these elements, and petitioner does, in fact, have alternative
and adequate remedies to mandamus, namely, by filing suit pursuant to FOIA, or if relevant, the
Privacy Act, 5 U.S.C. § 552a. See Sanchez–Alanis v. Federal Bureau of Prisons, 270 F. Supp.
3d 215, 217 n.1 (D.D.C. 2017) (holding that FOIA and the Privacy Act provide adequate remedy
for petitioner’s claims for release of agency records and, therefore, mandamus relief was not
For these reasons, the Court will dismiss the mandamus petition without prejudice. An
order accompanies this memorandum opinion.
DABNEY L. FRIEDRICH
United States District Judge
DATE: October 15, 2020
Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.
Why Is My Information Online?