THE ESTATE OF DANNY AMEN VALENTINE-SHABAZZ v. BUCCINI et al
MEMORANDUM AND/OR OPINION SIGNED BY HONORABLE NITZA I QUINONES ALEJANDRO ON 9/16/22. 9/16/22 ENTERED AND COPIES E-MAILED.(bw)
Case 2:22-cv-03343-NIQA Document 302 Filed 09/16/22 Page 1 of 8
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA
THE ESTATE OF DANNY AMEN
ROBERT BUCCINI, et al.,
NITZA I. QUIÑONES ALEJANDRO, J.
SEPTEMBER 16, 2022
Plaintiff Danny Amen Valentine-Shabazz, proceeding pro se, was issued an Order on
September 6, 2022, to show cause why he should not be enjoined from submitting emails to the
court. (ECF 173). He filed his responses on September 9, 2022. (ECF 209-211). This
Memorandum explains why this Court will enjoin Valentine-Shabazz from submitting any further
documents for filing via PAED_DOCUMENTS@PAED.USCOURTS.GOV, the address
established by the Court to accept filings by email since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. 1
On August 17, 2022, Danny Amen Valentine-Shabazz, a pro se litigant, submitted a
document for filing via PAED_DOCUMENTS@PAED.USCOURTS.GOV.
submission was deficient in numerous respects as a Complaint, including that it was unsigned as
required by Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 11, and no filing fee nor application to proceed in
Beginning in April 2020, pro se litigants were permitted to submit documents for filing to
PAED_DOCUMENTS@PAED.USCOURTS.GOV pursuant to the Standing Order issued on April 10,
2020. See In re: Extension of Adjustments to the Court Operations Due to the Exigent Circumstances
Created by COVID-19, at ¶ 15 (E.D. Pa. Apr. 10, 2020). The Standing Order provides that “[p]rocedural
rules concerning the form and content of filings are still in effect, and litigants are encouraged to review
the Pro Se Notice of Guidelines on the Court website . . . for more information.” (Id.)
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forma pauperis was submitted, the Clerk of Court opened a new civil action. See Federal Rule of
Civil Procedure 5(d)(4) (mandating the Clerk may not refuse to file a submission because it fails
to comply with the Federal Rule of Civil Procedure). Valentine-Shabazz subsequently filed an
Amended Complaint on August 29, 2022. Because the submissions were deficient, the Court
entered an Order on August 29, 2022, directing Valentine-Shabazz to either pay the necessary fees
to commence a civil action in this Court, or to file a motion to proceed in forma pauperis. (ECF
No. 25.) 2 This Order was sent to Valentine-Shabazz on August 29, 2022 at the email address he
has utilized for his filings with the Court.
PAED_DOCUMENTS@PAED.USCOURTS.GOV numerous documents for filing that do not
comply with the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, or the Standing Orders and Local Civil Rules
of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. (See, e.g., ECF Nos.
3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32,
33, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63, 64, 65, 66, 67,
68, 69.) All of Valentine-Shabazz’s submissions were nonsensical, consisting of, inter alia,
rambling letters, photographs, news stories about current events, screenshots of websites,
The Amended Complaint serves as the governing pleading because it supersedes the prior pleading.
See Garrett v. Wexford Health, 938 F.3d 69, 82 (3d Cir. 2019) (“In general, an amended pleading supersedes
the original pleading and renders the original pleading a nullity. Thus, the most recently filed amended
complaint becomes the operative pleading.”) (internal citations omitted). The caption of the Complaint
lists the Plaintiff as “The Estate of Danny Valentine-Shabazz” while the caption of the Amended Complaint
does not include this language. (See ECF Nos. 1, 24.) The Court construed the Amended Complaint to
present claims by Danny Amen Valentine-Shabazz as an individual litigant. (See ECF No. 25.) He was
advised, however, that if an estate is the Plaintiff in this case, licensed counsel must enter an appearance on
its behalf, and it must pay the necessary fees to commence a civil action in this Court. See id.; Murray on
behalf of Purnell v. City of Philadelphia, 901 F.3d 169, 170 (3d Cir. 2018) (a non-attorney may not represent
other parties in federal court); see also Rowland v. Cal. Men’s Colony, Unit II Men’s Advisory Council, 506
U.S. 194, 196 (1993) (an estate may not proceed in forma pauperis); Gray v. Martinez, 352 F. App’x 656,
658 (3d Cir. 2009) (per curiam) (same).
Case 2:22-cv-03343-NIQA Document 302 Filed 09/16/22 Page 3 of 8
hyperlinks to YouTube videos, and statutory excerpts.
The submissions were oftentimes
duplicative and did not contain a caption, nor an indication of the type of pleading or a docket
number to indicate if Valentine-Shabazz intended the submission to be filed in an existing case.
None contains a signature as required by Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 11. 3
Consequently, the August 29, 2022 Order directed Valentine-Shabazz to review the Notice
of Guidelines for Representing Yourself (Appearing Pro Se) in Civil Cases, which was previously
provided to Valentine-Shabazz and is available on the Court’s website. (See ECF Nos. 2, 25.)
Valentine-Shabazz was advised that his submissions to the Court must comply with the Federal
Rules of Civil Procedure, specifically Rule 11(a), which provides that “[e]very pleading, written
motion, and other paper must be signed by at least one attorney of record in the attorney’s name –
or by a party personally if the party is unrepresented.” Fed. R. Civ. P. 11(a). Valentine-Shabazz
was also directed that his submissions must comply with the Standing Orders and Local Civil
Rules of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. Additionally,
Valentine-Shabazz was instructed that emailing questions and miscellaneous documents is not an
appropriate manner of communicating with the Court, that he shall not send direct email
communications to the undersigned, and that all relevant information and papers are to be
submitted to the Clerk of Court. Valentine-Shabazz further was warned that he could be subject
to a pre-filing injunction if he failed to comply with these directives.
After the entry of the Court’s August 29, 2022 Order, Valentine-Shabazz continued to
PAED_DOCUMENTS@PAED.USCOURTS.GOV. See, e.g., ECF Nos. 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39,
The United States Supreme Court has interpreted Rule 11(a) to require “as it did in John Hancock’s
day, a name handwritten (or a mark handplaced).” See Syville v. New York City of New York, No. 20-0570,
2020 WL 2614705, at *1 (S.D.N.Y. May 15, 2020) (citing Becker v. Montgomery, 532 U.S. 757, 764
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40, 41, 42, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74, 75, 76, 77, 78, 79, 80, 81, 82, 83, 84, 85, 86, 87, 88, 89, 90, 91, 92,
93, 94, 95, 96, 97, 98, 99, 100, 101, 102, 103, 104, 105, 106, 107, 108, 109, 110, 111, 112, 113,
114, 115, 116, 117, 118, 119, 120, 121, 122, 123, 124, 125, 126, 127, 128, 129, 130, 131, 132,
133, 134, 134, 136, 137, 138, 139, 140, 141, 142, 143, 144, 145, 146, 147, 148, 149, 150, 151,
152, 153, 154, 155, 156, 157, 158, 159, 160, 161, 162, 163, 164, 165, 166, 167, 168, 169, 170,
171, 172. Typically, Valentine-Shabazz’s submissions are sent to numerous email addresses at
the same time, including PAED_DOCUMENTS@PAED.USCOURTS.GOV, suggesting that
Valentine-Shabazz’s use of the Court’s email account is not a purposeful attempt to comply with
the proper procedures for pursuing a civil case in this Court. For example, the “FOIA request”
docketed at ECF No. 30, which consists of a screenshot of a course description for a course offered
by the Harvard Division of Continuing Education, was sent to over twenty-five email addresses,
one of which is PAED_DOCUMENTS@PAED.USCOURTS.GOV. To date, Valentine-Shabazz
has sent well over 300 emails to PAED_DOCUMENTS@PAED.USCOURTS.GOV for filing,
each of which is nonsensical and none of which complies with the Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure, or the Standing Orders and Local Civil Rules of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
Notably, this is not the first case in which Valentine-Shabazz has abused the privilege of
Since July 2021, Valentine-Shabazz has
filed nine lawsuits in this Court, including the two most recent Complaints that are currently
pending. See Civ. A. No. 21-3011, Civ. A. No. 22-0866, Civ. A. No. 22-0869, Civ. A. No. 220884, Civ. A. No. 22-1276, Civ. A. No. 22-1483, Civ. A. No. 22-1508, Civ. A. No. 22-3342, Civ.
A. No. 22-3343. In each case, he has exhibited similar behavior as in this case, i.e., he repeatedly
emailed the Court at the Court’s filing address with nonsensical submissions that woefully fail to
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comply with the relevant rules despite having been notified of those rules. Valentine-Shabazz was
advised in previous cases that he is required to comply with the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure,
as well as the Standing Orders and Local Rules of this district. See Civ. A. No. 22-0866 (ECF No.
38), Civ. A. No. 22-0869 (ECF Nos. 25, 43). 4
Valentine-Shabazz’s incessant emails have resulted in the expenditure of considerable
Court time in processing and reviewing his submissions. Due to his litigation behavior, this Court
filed an Order to Show Cause on September 7, 2022 (ECF No. 173), requiring Valentine-Shabazz
to show cause within seven (7) days of the date of the Order, why the Court should not enjoin him
from submitting any documents to PAED_DOCUMENTS@PAED.USCOURTS.GOV for filing
in an existing case or in a new matter. As noted, Valentine-Shabazz appears to have responded
with documents titled “Show Cause part 1” attached to a chain of emails, which will be discussed
further below. (ECF Nos. 209-11.)
Pursuant to the All Writs Act, 28 U.S.C. § 1651(a), a district court may enjoin “abusive,
groundless, and vexatious litigation.” Brow v. Farrelly, 994 F.2d 1027, 1038 (3d Cir. 1993); see
also In re Oliver, 682 F.2d 443, 445 (3d Cir. 1982). The “broad scope” of this power is limited by
“two fundamental tenets of our legal system — the litigant’s rights to due process and access to
the courts.” Brow, 994 F.2d at 1038; see also Abdul-Akbar v. Watson, 901 F.2d 329, 332 (3d Cir.
None of Valentine-Shabazz’s previously-filed cases proceeded to screening pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915 due to their deficiencies. Several were dismissed for failure to prosecute after Valentine-Shabazz
was given notice and an opportunity to cure his defective filings. See Civ. A. No. 22-0866, Civ. A. No. 220869, Civ. A. No. 22-0884, Civ. A. No. 22-1276, Civ. A. No. 22-1483. Additionally, none of ValentineShabazz’s submissions in any of his cases suggests that venue is proper in the Eastern District of
Pennsylvania. One of Valentine-Shabazz’s prior cases was transferred to the District of Delaware as the
events described in the Complaint occurred in Delaware. See Civ. A. No. 22-1508. It appears that he
resides in either Delaware or Atlanta, Georgia. To the extent he raises claims pertaining to a business, it
appears that the business was in Wilmington, Delaware. However, the frivolous nature of his submissions
makes a proper assessment of venue difficult.
Case 2:22-cv-03343-NIQA Document 302 Filed 09/16/22 Page 6 of 8
1990) (noting that a pre-filing injunction is “an extreme remedy that must be narrowly tailored and
sparingly used”). The United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit has held that district
courts “must comply with the following requirements when issuing such prohibitive injunctive
orders against pro se litigants.” Brow, 994 F.2d at 1038. First, the Court should not restrict a
litigant from filing claims “absent exigent circumstances, such as a litigant’s continuous abuse of
the judicial process by filing meritless and repetitive actions.” Id.; see also Matter of Packer Ave.
Assoc., 884 F.2d 745, 747 (3d Cir. 1989). Second, the Court “must give notice to the litigant to
show cause why the proposed injunctive relief should not issue.” Brow, 994 F.2d at 1038; see also
Gagliardi v. McWilliams, 834 F.2d 81, 83 (3d Cir. 1987). Third, the scope of the injunctive order
“must be narrowly tailored to fit the particular circumstances of the case before the [ ] Court.”
Brow, 994 F.2d at 1038; see also Chipps v. United States Dist. Ct. for the Middle Dist. of Pa., 882
F.2d 72, 73 (3d Cir. 1989). While “pro se litigants are not entitled to special treatment,” Brown v.
City of Philadelphia, Nos. 05-4160, 06-2496, 06-5408, 08-3369, 2009 WL 1011966, at *15 (E.D.
Pa. Apr. 14, 2009), the use of a pre-filing injunction against a pro se litigant “must be approached
with caution.” Grossberger v. Ruane, 535 F. App’x 84, 86 (3d Cir. 2013) (per curiam) (citing In
re Oliver, 682 F.2d 443, 445 (3d Cir. 1982)).
This Court concludes that Valentine-Shabazz’s abusive litigation activity warrants a prefiling injunction at this time. Valentine-Shabazz has demonstrated a continuing pattern of abuse
by emailing a volume of submissions to the Clerk of Court that are nonsensical, nonresponsive to
this Court’s Orders, and noncompliant with the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, as well as the
Standing Orders and Local Civil Rules of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. Pursuant to Federal
Rule of Civil Procedure 5, the Clerk may not refuse to file a paper solely because it is not in the
form prescribed by the Federal Rules. Consequently, Valentine-Shabazz’s serial, nonsensical
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email submissions to PAED_DOCUMENTS@PAED.USCOURTS.GOV cause the expenditure of
countless resources, judicial and otherwise. While it took little effort for Valentine-Shabazz to
send his emails, his actions had serious financial, staffing, and resource allocation implications to
The Court provided Valentine-Shabazz with notice of the potential injunction and an
opportunity to oppose the Court’s Order. Since the entry of the Show Cause Order, which
Valentine-Shabazz has not responded to, he instead has submitted over ninety additional repetitive,
nonsensical emails for filing. (See, e.g., ECF Nos. 174, 175, 176, 177, 178, 179, 180, 181, 182,
183, 184, 185, 186, 187, 188, 189, 190, 191, 192, 193, 194, 195, 196, 197, 198, 199, 200, 201,
202, 203, 204, 205, 206, 207, 208, 209, 210, 211, 212, 213, 214, 215, 216, 217, 218, 219, 220,
221, 222, 223, 224, 225, 226, 227, 228, 229, 230, 231, 232, 233, 234, 235, 236, 237, 238, 239,
340, 241, 242, 243, 244, 245, 246, 247, 248, 249, 250, 251, 252, 253, 254, 255, 256, 257, 258,
259, 260, 261, 262, 263, 264, 265, 266, 267, 268, 269, 270, 271-301.) As noted, this Court has
treated three of these email submissions as a response to the Show Cause Order. (See ECF Nos.
209, 210, 211.) Each response is essentially the same, containing the caption and docket number
of this case and each is titled “Show Cause part 1.” (See id.) Each document is unsigned and
contains a rambling recitation that seems to describe business transactions that have gone awry.
(See id.) These submissions also contain screenshots of Harvard Law School’s website. (See id.)
None of these submissions, however, is responsive to the Court’s Show Cause Order. To the
contrary, having been placed on notice that an injunction was contemplated, Valentine-Shabazz
continued to engage in the same behavior that prompted the Court’s Show Cause Order. This
clearly indicates he did not take seriously the impact of his litigation activity on scarce judicial
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resources. As noted, he has failed to offer any explanation why he should not be enjoined from
continuing that behavior.
For the reasons and narrative set forth, this Court has provided Valentine-Shabazz with the
requisite opportunity to oppose the imposition of a pre-filing injunction. Finding that no good
cause has been shown, the Court enjoins Danny Amen Valentine-Shabazz from submitting any
email to PAED_DOCUMENTS@PAED.USCOURTS.GOV for filing in an existing case or in a
new matter. The injunction is narrowly tailored to fit the particular circumstances of the case at
bar, and any other pending or future cases initiated by Valentine-Shabazz, since it will not prevent
Valentine-Shabazz from accessing the court system by filing paper documents in accordance with
the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure via United States mail or courier, or in person at the Clerk’s
PAED_DOCUMENTS@PAED.USCOURTS.GOV, the Clerk of Court is directed not to accept it
for filing. The Court further notes that, to date, Valentine-Shabazz has failed to pay the required
fees or move to proceed in forma pauperis, as is necessary to proceed with a civil action in this
Court. An Order follows, which includes the directives to the Clerk of Court.
NITZA I. QUIÑONES ALEJANDRO, J.
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