Banks et al v. New York Police Department
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER... IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that petitioners' motions for leave to proceed in forma pauperis [Docs. # 2 and # 3 ] are GRANTED. It IS FURTHER ORDERED that the Clerk shall not issue process or cause process to issue, because the petition is legally frivolous and malicious and fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915 (e)(2)(B). A separate Order of Dismissal shall accompany this Memorandum and Order. Signed by District Judge Ronnie L. White on 3/26/2015. (NEB)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI
FREDERICK BANKS, et al.,
NEW YORK POLICE DEPARTMENT,)
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
This matter is before the Court on Frederick Banks' and Kenneth Posner's
filing of a petition for writ of mandamus [Doc. # 1] and motions for leave to proceed
in forma pauperis [Docs. #2 and #3]. Upon revieyv of the financial information
submitted, the Court will grant petitioners in forma pauperis status. See 28 U.S.C. §
1915(b)(1 ). Furthermore, having carefully reviewed the petition, the Court finds
that this action should be dismissed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B).
28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)
Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B), the Court must dismiss a pleading
filed in forma pauperis ifthe action is frivolous, malicious, fails to state a claim upon
which relief can be granted, or seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is
immune from such relief. An action is frivolous if it "lacks an arguable basis in
either law or fact." Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 328 (1989). An action is
malicious if it is
for the purpose of harassing the named defendants and
not for the purpose of vindicating a cognizable right. Spencer v. Rhodes, 656 F.
Supp. 458, 461-63 (E.D.N.C. 1987), affd 826 F.2d 1059 (4th Cir. 1987).
action fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted if it does not plead
"enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face." Bell Atlantic
Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544,570 (2007) .
. Moreover, in reviewing a pro se pleading under§ 1915(e)(2)(B), the Court
must give the petition the benefit of a liberal construction. Haines v. Kerner, 404
U.S. 519, 520 (1972).
The Court must also weigh all factual allegations in favor of
the plaintiff, unless the facts alleged are clearly baseless. Denton v. Hernandez,
504 U.S. 25, 32 (1992).
Petitioners have filed a twenty-nine-page petition seeking a writ of
mandamus. See 28 U.S.C. § 1651. On the first twenty-five pages of the petition,
petitioners name as respondents over five hundred federal and state agencies,
individuals, and United States members of Congress.
In Counts 1 and 2, petitioners allege "murder and manslaughter" for the
deaths of Eric Gamer and Michael Brown, respectively. In Count 3, petitioners
allege "discrimination against constitutional rights" on behalf of "Frederick Banks
an American Indian of the Lakota Sioux Tribe," who was being held at "Renewal,
Inc.," in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Petitioners allege that Kyle Kohl backer failed to
provide Banks "provisions to practice his Wicca religion . . . and otherwise
discriminated against him."
In Count 4, petitioners allege "discrimination and conspiracy against
constitutional rights," claiming that certain judges who sit on the "Foreign
Intelligence Surveillance Court conspired to keep [petitioners] in a state of perpetual
frenzy and discontent by holding them hostage with a bogus FISA warrant that they
unlawfully approved in the District of Columbia." Petitioners further allege that, as
a result, "the CIA Office of Science and Technology put them under surveillance
using SIGNINT ("Signals Intelligence") which produced the Microwave Auditory
Effect in their daily lives 24 hours a day 7 days a week," and the "U.S. Probation
department conspired ... to cause and keep [Banks] confined at N.E.O.C.C. in Ohio
and Renewal Center in Pittsburgh."
In Count 5, petitioners allege "conspiracy against protected constitutional
rights and conspiracy to commit murder." More specifically, petitioners claim that
Earl and Kyle Kohlbacker, Shariff Rasheed, and Doug Williams, Renewal's head of
operations, "conspired ... to prevent Frederick Banks from his right to pursue the
profession of his choice ... because of his class based status as an American Indian
and citizen of the USA and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania." Petitioners
further claim that defendants "confined [Banks] on Christmas to convert him to their
perverted form of Christianity because he practiced Witchcraft and was a Warlock
and Wiccan Witch."
Petitioners' request for a writ of mandamus is legally frivolous. This Court
is authorized to issue writs of mandamus or other extraordinary writs only in aid of
its jurisdiction, either existing or potential.
See 28 U.S.C.A. § 1651(a);
Middlebrooks v. Thirteenth Judicial Dist. Circuit Court, Union County, 323 F.2d
485, 486 (8th Cir. 1963). The alleged actions of the named defendants in this case
are not within the jurisdiction of this Court. See Middlebrooks, 323 F.2d at 486; see
also Veneri v. Circuit Court of Gasconade Co., 528 F.Supp. 496, 498 (E.D. Mo.
1981) (federal courts have no superintending control over and are without authority
to issue writ of mandamus to direct state court or its judicial officers in performing
duties). Moreover, to the extent that petitioners are attempting to challenge or
appeal another state or federal judge's order(s) in a separate action, the instant
mandamus petition is without merit. Federal district courts are courts of original
jurisdiction; they lack subject matter jurisdiction to engage in appellate review of
state court or other federal district court decisions. Postma v. First Fed. Sav. &
Loan, 74 F.3d 160, 162 (8th Cir. 1996). "[Federal] [r]eview of state court decisions
may be had only in the Supreme Court." Id.
As additional grounds for dismissing this action, the Court notes that Counts 1
and 2 are legally frivolous under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B), because petitioners lack
standing to bring charges on behalf of Eric Gamer and Michael Brown. Petitioners'
claims in Count 3 are "clearly baseless," that is, "fanciful," "fantastic," and
"delusional" under the standard set forth by the Supreme Court in Denton v.
Hernandez, 504 U.S. 25, 32 (1992), and fail to state a claim or cause of action.
Moreover, even construing the petition liberally, Counts 4·and 5 do not constitute a
viable cause of action.
Conclusory allegations are insufficient to support a
conspiracy claim. To properly plead a claim for conspiracy, a litigant mustinclude
factual allegations showing a "meeting of the minds" concerning unconstitutional
conduct; there must be something more than the summary allegation of a conspiracy
before such a claim can withstand a motion to dismiss. See Mershon v. Beasely, 994
F.2d 449, 451 (8th Cir. 1993).
Last, the Court takes judicial notice of two similar cases that petitioners
recently filed in Texas and Delaware: Banks v. New York Police Department, No.
1:15-CV-37 (E.D. Tex.), and Banks v. New York Police Department, No.
15-CV-088-LPS (D. Del.).
In the former case, petitioners complained of the
conditions of confinement at the Renewal Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Finding that venue was improper in the Eastern District of Texas, the Court
transferred the case to the Western District of Pennsylvania. In the latter Delaware
case, the District Court stated, "Banlcs resides in Pennsylvania. He is a frequent and
See Banks v. Unknown Named Number of US. Postal
Inspectors, 2013 WL 5945786, at *5 (W.D. Pa. Nov. 6, 2013) (discussing Banlcs'
litigious behavior)." In addition, the Court noted that the complaint contained five
counts and was identical to a complaint Banlcs and Posner had filed on January 14,
2015 in the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania in
Banks v. NYPD, No. 15-CV-054 (W.D. Pa. Jan. 14, 2015), with the exception that
plaintiffs did not name as defendants U.S. Senators and members of Congress. The
Court further noted that the Pennsylvania Court found, inter alia, that "Posner is a
'straw party' used by Banlcs to circumvent the Pennsylvania District Court's
November 6, 2013 order [limiting future actions filed by Banlcs in which he requests
leave to proceed in forma pauperis]."
For the above-stated reasons, the instant action will be dismissed as legally
frivolous and malicious under§ 1915(e)(2)(B).
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that petitioners' motions for leave to proceed in
forma pauperis [Docs. #2 and #3] are GRANTED.
It IS FURTHER ORDERED that the Clerk shall not issue process or cause
process to issue, because the petition is legally frivolous and malicious and fails to
state a claim upon which relief may be granted. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B).
A separate Order of Dismissal shall accompany this Memorandum and Order.
this~ay of March, 2015.
RONNIE L. WHITE
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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