Hess v. Mueller
MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER Dismissing Plaintiff's Complaint With Prejudice. Signed by Judge Ted Stewart on 8/28/2017. (eat)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF UTAH
DAVID J. HESS,
MEMORANDUM DECISION AND
ORDER DISMISSING PLAINTIFF’S
Case No. 2:17-CV-899 TS
ROBERT S. MUELLER,
District Judge Ted Stewart
This matter is before the Court for review of Plaintiff’s pro se Complaint. Plaintiff filed
his Complaint after receiving permission to proceed in forma pauperis. Under the in forma
pauperis statute, the Court shall, at any time, sua sponte dismiss a case if the Court determines
the complaint is frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. 1
The United States Supreme Court has construed the meaning of “frivolous” within the
context of the in forma pauperis statute, holding that “a complaint, containing as it does both
factual allegations and legal conclusions, is frivolous where it lacks an arguable basis either in
law or in fact.” 2 “[T]he 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
See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(i), (ii).
Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 325 (1989).
baseless.” 3 Examples of baseless factual contentions are those that describe “fantastic or
delusional scenarios.” 4 “[A] finding of factual frivolousness is appropriate when the facts
alleged rise to the level of the irrational or the wholly incredible.” 5
In this case, Plaintiff seeks to assert a claim against the assets of former FBI Director
Robert S. Mueller based on Mr. Mueller’s alleged taking of property from foreign nationals
while acting as FBI Director. Plaintiff further complains of Mr. Mueller’s role in an anthrax
investigation. Plaintiff accuses Mr. Mueller in the death Dr. Bruce Edwards Ivins, who
committed suicide after the Department of Justice linked him to the anthrax investigation.
Finally, Plaintiff complains about Mr. Mueller’s current role as Special Counsel. Plaintiff
claims: “I am the punish er, The Punish er, punishes. I punish. That is my job. I am doing my
Having carefully reviewed Plaintiff’s Complaint, the Court finds that it meets the
definition of frivolous. Specifically, the Court finds that the “facts alleged rise to the level of
irrational or the wholly incredible.” 7 Even if not frivolous, Plaintiff has failed to state a claim
against Mr. Mueller. Therefore, dismissal is warranted. While generally the Court would allow
Plaintiff, who is proceeding pro se, an opportunity to amend his Complaint to cure any
deficiencies, granting such leave would be frivolous in this case.
Id. at 327.
Id. at 328.
Denton v. Hernandez, 504 U.S. 25, 33 (1992).
Docket No. 3, at 2.
Denton, 504 U.S. at 33.
It is therefore
ORDERED that Plaintiff’s Complaint is DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE.
DATED this 28th day of August, 2017.
BY THE COURT:
United States District Judge
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