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Emrit v. Soros

United States District Court, D. Hawaii

April 30, 2019

RONALD SATISH EMRIT, Plaintiff,
v.
GEORGE SOROS, FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION, FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION, AND SECURITIES EXCHANGE COMMISSION, Defendants.

          ORDER DISMISSING PLAINTIFF'S COMPLAINT AND RESERVING RULING ON PLAINTIFF'S APPLICATION TO PROCEED IN DISTRICT COURT WITHOUT PREPAYING FEES OR COSTS

          Leslie E. Kobayashi, United States District Judge.

         On March 8, 2019, pro se Plaintiff Ronald Satish Emrit (“Plaintiff”) filed his Complaint and an Application to Proceed in District Court Without Prepaying Fees or Costs (“Application”). [Dkt. nos. 1, 2.] The Court has considered the Application as a non-hearing matter pursuant to Rule LR7.2(e) of the Local Rules of Practice of the United States District Court for the District of Hawaii (“Local Rules”). For the reasons set forth below, the Complaint is hereby dismissed without prejudice. In other words, Plaintiff has the Court's permission to file an amended complaint to try to cure the defects in the Complaint. In addition, the Court will reserve ruling on Plaintiff's Application until Plaintiff files his amended complaint.

         BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff initiated the instant action against Defendants George Soros (“Soros”), the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”), the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”), and the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC” and collectively “Defendants”) based on federal question and diversity jurisdiction. [Complaint at ¶¶ 14-15.] In his Complaint, Plaintiff appears to allege that Soros has engaged in “short-swing trading” of Facebook stock to manipulate the value of stock prices, and potentially violated “Rule 16(b) of the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934.” [Id. at ¶¶ 20-22, 24.] Plaintiff also alleges that Soros appears to be attempting to get “Ajit Pai” and the FCC to “heavily regulate Facebook users and advertisements in addition to regulating other Silicon Valley companies which would have a ‘chilling' effect on free speech.” [Id. at ¶ 25.]

         Plaintiff identifies six separate claims, that are not consecutively numbered. Plaintiff first alleges a claim for tortious interference of business relations/contract against Soros, based on the allegations that Soros's manipulation of stock prices of “Silicon Valley companies including, but not limited to Apple, Google, Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft, Yahoo!, etc.” has led to a decrease in Plaintiff's music sales because these companies allegedly distribute and/or sell Plaintiff's music (“Count I”). [Id. at ¶¶ 28-33.] Second, Plaintiff alleges a violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution, based on the allegations that Soros, FCC, and FTC have attempted to regulate Plaintiff's First Amendment right to free speech on Facebook (“Count II”). [Id. at ¶¶ 39-40.] Third, under “Count Eleven, ” Plaintiff appears to allege a due process violation against Soros for his attempts to lobby Congress to enact legislation that would allow the FCC and FTC to regulate Facebook and/or assess penalties if foreign companies were to advertise on Facebook (“Count XI”). [Id. at ¶ 48.] Fourth, under “Count Twelve, ” Plaintiff alleges a violation of the Privileges and Immunities Clause of Article IV, Section 2 of the United States Constitution against all Defendants, but appears to allege the FCC and FTC in particular have conspired to “heavily regulate and/or penalize Silicon Valley” companies for sharing the information of Facebook users (“Count XII”). [Id. at ¶¶ 53-54.[1] Fifth, under “Count Thirteen, ” Plaintiff alleges a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (“ADA”), 42 U.S.C. §§ 12102, et seq., because he suffers from certain mental health disorders and uses Facebook as a therapeutic method of engaging in social interaction (“Count XIII”). [Id. at ¶¶ 60-61.] Sixth, under “Count Six, ” Plaintiff alleges a violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (“Title VII”), 42 U.S.C. § 2000e, et seq., based on the allegations that Soros is responsible for any regulatory actions taken by the FCC and FTC that would diminish Plaintiff's use and access to Amazon, Google, and Facebook (“Count VI”). [Id. at ¶¶ 60-61; 69-71.] There are no Counts Three, Four, Five, Seven, Eight, Nine, and Ten.

         STANDARD

         “Federal courts can authorize the commencement of any suit without prepayment of fees or security by a person who submits an affidavit that demonstrates he is unable to pay.” Smallwood v. Fed. Bureau of Investigation, CV. NO. 16-00505 DKW-KJM, 2016 WL 4974948, at *1 (D. Hawai`i Sept. 16, 2016) (citing 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(1)).

The Court subjects each civil action commenced pursuant to Section 1915(a) to mandatory screening and can order the dismissal of any claims it finds “frivolous, malicious, failing to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or seeking monetary relief from a defendant immune from such relief.” 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B); Lopez v. Smith, 203 F.3d 1122, 1126-27 (9th Cir. 2000) (en banc) (stating that 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e) “not only permits but requires” the court to sua sponte dismiss an in forma pauperis complaint that fails to state a claim); Calhoun v. Stahl, 254 F.3d 845, 845 (9th Cir. 2001) (per curiam) (holding that “the provisions of 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B) are not limited to prisoners”).

Id. at *3.

         In addition, this Court has recognized that the following standards apply in the screening analysis:

Plaintiff is appearing pro se; consequently, the court liberally construes her pleadings. Eldridge v. Block, 832 F.2d 1132, 1137 (9th Cir. 1987) (“The Supreme Court has instructed the federal courts to liberally construe the ‘inartful pleading' of pro se litigants.” (citing Boag v. MacDougall, 454 U.S. 364, 365 (1982) (per curiam))). The court also recognizes that “[u]nless it is absolutely clear that no amendment can cure the defect . . . a pro se litigant is entitled to notice of the complaint's deficiencies and an opportunity to amend prior to dismissal of the action.” Lucas v. Dep't of Corr., 66 F.3d 245, 248 (9th Cir. 1995); see also Lopez v. Smith, 203 F.3d 1122, 1126 (9th. [sic] Cir. 2000).
Despite the liberal pro se pleading standard, the court may dismiss a complaint pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) on its own motion. See Omar v. Sea-Land Serv., Inc., 813 F.2d 986, 991 (9th Cir. 1987) (“A trial court may dismiss a claim sua sponte under [Rule] 12(b)(6). Such a dismissal may be made without notice where the claimant cannot possibly win relief.”); Ricotta v. California, 4 F.Supp.2d 961, 968 n.7 (S.D. Cal. 1998) (“The Court can dismiss a claim sua sponte for a Defendant who has not filed a motion to dismiss under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6).”); see also Baker v. Dir., U.S. Parole Comm'n, 916 F.2d 725, 727 (D.C. Cir. 1990) (holding that district court may dismiss cases sua sponte pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) without notice where plaintiff could not prevail on complaint as alleged). . . . “Federal courts are courts of limited jurisdiction, ” possessing “only that power authorized by Constitution and statute.” United States v. Marks, 530 F.3d 799, 810 (9th Cir. 2008) (quoting Kokkonen v. Guardian Life Ins. Co., 511 U.S. 375, 377 (1994)). The assumption is that the district court lacks jurisdiction. See Kokkonen, 511 U.S. at 377. Accordingly, a “party invoking the federal court's jurisdiction has the burden of proving the actual existence of subject matter jurisdiction.” Thompson v. McCombe, 99 F.3d 352, 353 (9th Cir. 1996).

Flores v. Trump, CIVIL 16-00652 LEK-RLP, 2017 WL 125698, at *1 (D. Hawai`i Jan. 12, 2017) (some alterations in Flores) (citation omitted), reconsideration denied, 2017 WL 830966 (Mar. 2, 2017).

         DISCUSSION

         I. ...


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