Flores v. United States Attorney General et al
MEMORANDUM OPINION. Signed by Judge Paul W. Grimm on 4/14/2014. (kns, Deputy Clerk)(c/m 4/14/14)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF MARYLAND
UNITED STATES ATTORNEY
GENERAL & FEDERAL BUREAU
CIVIL ACTION NO. PWG-14-177
On January 23, 2014, Eric Flores (“Flores”), a resident of El Paso, Texas filed this selfrepresented 61-page complaint captioned as a “petition to challenge the constitutionality of the first
amendment” and an application to proceed in district court without prepaying fees or costs.1 Flores
claims that venue is proper in this district because “respondents[’] residency or place of business is
within the geographic location of Maryland and … respondents[’] acts or omissions that give rise to
the legal claims occurred from within the geographic location of Maryland.” Compl. 5, ECF No. 1.
As best as I can discern, Flores alleges that he and sixteen other Mexican-American citizens of the
United States have been subject to the unlawful interference with their criminal prosecutions,
freedom of speech, religious practices, and marriages. He seeks declaratory and injunctive relief.
Id. at 60–61.
Plaintiff’s factual statement of claim is replete with fanciful allegations. He first sets out a
number of legal statements and conclusions. Flores then asserts that while confined as a pre-trial
The application shall be granted. Additionally, the complaint includes a request
seeking leave to file a class action on behalf of several individuals. Class certification shall be
denied. Among the requirements which litigants must meet in order to maintain a class action is the
requirement that the “representative parties will fairly and adequately protect the interests of the
class.” See Fed. R. Civ. P. 23(a)(4). Flores, as a self-represented litigant, cannot represent others in
a class action. See Oxendine v. Williams, 509 F.2d 1405, 1407 (4th Cir. 1975).
detainee in the Western District of Texas, he filed a federal action alleging that his civil rights were
violated when “an organized groups of executive employees of the federal government”
impersonated jail detention officers and engaged in acts or omissions that deprived him of due
process rights as “accused in a criminal case” and interfered with his outgoing legal mail to prevent
him from communicating to the federal court.
Flores further complains that he was retaliated
against for filing that action by the “use of advanced technology with a direct signal to the satellite in
outer space that has the capability of calculating genetic code to cause his Uncle Jorge Salas severe
heart pain for long durations exceeding calendar years.”
Flores raises other claims including, but not limited to, that those same executive employees
tortured his uncle and fabricated his uncle’s autopsy report; deprived Flores of his First Amendment
rights by disposing of letters he wrote from the Texas detention facility to complain about its
employees; used the aforementioned “advanced technology” to cause him severe mental pain;
electronically filed frivolous documents in the appellate courts to dismiss Flores’s judicial
misconduct complaint; impersonated officers and followed him while he was attending classes at a
community college in Texas; used nuclear advanced technology in the “equivalent in intensity to the
explosion of a nuclear weapon” to cause him mental pain and severe heart discomfort; bribed U.S.
Postal employees to steal or throw away his outgoing legal mail to the Department of Justice or the
federal courts in Washington, D.C.; and used deadly technology to torture a postal employee and
fabricated reports setting out his cause of death as a heart attack.
FAILURE TO STATE A CLAIM
This Court must conduct a preliminarily review of complaint allegations before service of
process and dismiss them if satisfied that the complaint has no factual or legal basis. See 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii). In Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319 (1989), the United States Supreme Court
held that a district court may dismiss the complaint of a pro se litigant under 28 U.S.C. § 1915 when
the complaint includes only a “fanciful factual allegation” and lacks “an arguable basis either in law
or in fact.” Id. at 325; see Denton v. Hernandez, 504 U.S. 25, 32–33 (1992) ( “[A] court may dismiss
a claim as factually frivolous only if the facts alleged are ‘clearly baseless,’ a category encompassing
allegations that are ‘fanciful,’ ‘fantastic,’ and ‘delusional.’ As those words suggest, a finding of
factual frivolousness is appropriate when the facts alleged rise to the level of the irrational or the
wholly incredible, whether or not there are judicially noticeable facts available to contradict them.
An in forma pauperis complaint may not be dismissed, however, simply because the court finds the
plaintiff’s allegations unlikely.”) (citations to Neitzke omitted). Neitzke explained that the statute
“accords judges not only the authority to dismiss a claim based on an indisputably meritless legal
theory, but also the unusual power to pierce the veil of the complaint’s factual allegations and
dismiss those claims whose factual contentions are clearly baseless.” Id. at 327. Indeed, § 1915 was
amended after Neitzke and Denton, such that now the statute mandates that a district court “shall
dismiss” a case upon a finding that the Complaint “fails to state a claim on which relief may be
granted.” 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2) (B)(ii); see Lopez v. Smith, 203 F.3d 1122 (9th Cir 2000) (noting
that “it is clear that Congress intended that the PLRA [Prison Litigation Reform Act of 1995]
overrule the Neitzke holding that “section 1915(d) did not authorize district courts to dismiss, sua
sponte, a complaint for failure to state a claim”).
Flores’s claims are wholly incredible and entirely irrational. Even giving a generous review
to the self-represented petition, see, e.g., Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97 (1976); Erikson v. Pardus,
551 U.S. 89, 94, 127 (2007), it is appropriate to dismiss Flores’s complaint under 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii) for failure to state a claim. See Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570
(2007) (a complaint must be dismissed pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6) if it does not allege
enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face); Neitzke, 490 U.S. at 325–28.
The affirmative defense of res judicata also provides grounds for dismissal under Fed. R.
Civ. P. 12(b)(6), because it “‘bars a party from suing on a claim that has already been litigated to a
final judgment by that party or such party’s privies and precludes the assertion by such parties of any
legal theory, cause of action, or defense which could have been asserted in that action.’” Reid v. New
Century Mortg. Corp., No. AW-12-2083, 2012 WL 6562887, at *3 (D. Md. Dec. 13, 2012) (quoting
Ohio Valley Envtl. Coal. v. Aracoma Coal Co., 556 F.3d 177, 210 (4th Cir. 2009) (citation and
internal quotation marks omitted)). The doctrine of res judicata encompasses two concepts: claim
preclusion and issue preclusion, or collateral estoppel. See In re Varat Enters., Inc., 81 F.3d 1310,
1315 (4th Cir. 1996) (citing Allen v. McCurry, 449 U.S. 90, 94 (1980)). The doctrine of res
judicata contemplates, at a minimum, that courts not be required to adjudicate nor defendants to
address successive actions arising out of the same transaction and asserting breach of the same duty.
See Nilsen v. City of Moss Point, Miss., 701 F.2d 556, 563 (5th Cir. 1983).
For a prior judgment to bar an action on the basis of res judicata, the prior judgment must be
final, on the merits, and rendered by a court of competent jurisdiction in accordance with due
process; the parties in the two actions must be either identical or in privity; and the claim in the
second action must be based upon the same cause of action involved in the earlier proceeding. See
Grausz v. Englander, 321 F.3d, 467, 472 (4th Cir. 2003). “It is well established that dismissals with
prejudice – including those resulting from settlement agreements or consent decrees – are treated as
final judgments on the merits for purposes of res judicata.” Jacobs v. Venali, 596 F. Supp. 2d 906,
914 (D. Md. 2009).
A review of plaintiff’s prior federal court filings under the federal court Public Access to
Court Electronic Records (“PACER”) system reveals that he has filed approximately 130 cases and
has filed the identical petition in the districts of Massachusetts, Connecticut, Delaware, Ohio,
Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, New York, Virginia, and West
Virginia.2 Those courts have dealt with Flores’s petition against Attorney General Eric Holder and
the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“F.B.I.”) in different manners, including referral to a Magistrate
Judge, transfer to another district, order to amend, and dismissal as frivolous. Flores is barred from
filing this lawsuit under the grounds of res judicata as the very same complaint, filed in multiple
federal courts, has been subject to dismissal with prejudice as frivolous in the Districts of New
Jersey and New York. See Flores v. U.S. Att’y Gen., No. JBS-14-461 (D.N.J. Jan. 29, 2014); Flores
v. U.S. Att’y Gen., No. JFB-14-617 (E.D.N.Y. Feb. 12, 2014). No appeals were filed in either case.
The res judicata implications of these decisions are clear as to his claims against Defendants Holder
and the F.B.I. Flores is estopped from what is in essence an attempt to re-litigate his claims against
Defendants, and this Court shall not revisit the claims raised against these Defendants.
ABUSE OF PROCESS
In filing this same complaint in at least twelve other federal districts, Flores has abused the
court process.3 Given the summary dismissal of the complaint, however, the imposition of a filing
injunction is necessary. Flores is placed on notice that all future cases he files in this Court shall be
See Flores v. U.S. Attorney General, et al. Civil Action No. GAO-14-10183 (D.
Mass. 2014); Flores v. U.S. Attorney General, Civil Action No. VLB-14-78 (D. Conn. 2014); Flores
v. U.S. Attorney General, Civil Action No. LPS-14-096 (D. Del. 2014); Flores v. U.S. Attorney
General, Civil Action No. ALM-14-84 (D. Ohio 2014); Flores v. U.S. Attorney General, Civil
Action No. PLM-14-099 (D. Mi. 2014); Flores v. U.S. Attorney General, Civil Action No. JL-14030 (D.N.H. 2014); Flores v. U.S. Attorney General, Civil Action No. JBS-14-461 (D.N.J. 2014);
Flores v. U.S. Attorney General, Civil Action No. NBF-14-017 (W.D. Pa. 2014): Flores v. U.S.
Attorney General, Civil Action No. LSA-14-042 (D.R.I. 2014); Flores v. U.S. Attorney General,
Civil Action No. JFB-14-617 (E.D.N.Y. 2014). Flores v. U.S. Attorney General, Civil Action No.
JPJ-14-04 (W.D. Va. 2014); Flores v. U.S. Attorney General, Civil Action No. IMK-14-019 (N. D.
W. Va. 2014); Flores v. U.S. Attorney General, Civil Action No. GMG-14-13 (N.D. W.Va. 2014).
It is believed that Flores is forum shopping his claims because he is subject to a prefiling injunction and sanctions in the District of Texas. He is barred from filing any further
complaints, petitions or other documents in the El Paso Division of the Texas federal district court
without first satisfying the $350.00 monetary sanction imposed. See Flores v. McDoug, Civil Action
No. FM-11-260 & Flores v. United States Attorney General, Civil Action No. DB-11-158. (W.D.
subject to pre-filing PACER screening. Further, to the extent that Flores may attempt to file other
frivolous complaints alleging that Defendants are using high-tech satellites from outer space to
interfere with him and family members, such an action would constitute an abuse of the judicial
process. District courts have “inherent power to control the judicial process and litigation” when
necessary to address conduct that abuses the judicial process. Silvestri v. General Motors Corp.,
271 F.3d 583, 590 (4th Cir. 2001). This Court has an obligation to protect the public and the
efficient administration of justice from individuals who have a history of litigation involving
vexation, harassment, and needless expense to other parties and an unnecessary burden on the courts
and their supporting personnel. See Safir v. United States Lines, Inc., 792 F.2d 19, 24 (2d Cir.
1986); Cromer v. Kraft Foods N. Am., Inc., 390 F.3d 812, 818 (4th Cir. 2004). Flores is forewarned
that his filing similar actions will not be tolerated. If Flores persists in filing such complaints, the
Court may require that he show cause why leave of the Court should not be sought before he submits
such filings or why sanctions should not be imposed against him under Fed. R. Civ. P. 11.4
A separate Order shall be entered reflecting the rulings entered herein.
Date: April 14, 2014
Paul W. Grimm
United States District Judge
Indeed, Flores has been barred from filing in forma pauperis petitions in non-criminal
matters in the U.S. Supreme Court. See Flores v. Holder, 132 S.Ct. 2397 (2012).
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