United States District Court, D. Massachusetts
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
J. Casper United States District Judge
reasons set forth below, the complaint is subject to
dismissal. If plaintiffs Tina Kufner and/or Kathy Lee Scholpp
wish to proceed with this action, they must, within 35 days
of the date of this Memorandum and Order, show cause why the
complaint should not be dismissed for lack of subject matter
AND FACTUAL ALLEGATIONS
se plaintiffs Tina Kufner and Kathy Lee Scholpp,
self-described mothers who, along with their children, were
parties to probate and family court proceedings in Rhode
Island and/or Massachusetts, were granted leave to proceed
in forma pauperis in the instant action. D. 24.
Because Kufner and Scholpp are proceeding in forma
pauperis, their eighty-one page complaint, D. 2, is
subject to preliminary screening.
complaint seeks monetary damages and consists primarily of a
recounting of events surrounding divorce and child custody
proceedings in Massachusetts involving Scholpp and her son;
as well as child custody proceedings involving Kufner and her
two sons, including a petition filed in the Rhode Island
federal court by Dominik Kufner pursuant to the Hague
Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child
Abduction alleging that the sons were wrongfully removed from
Germany by Kufner. See Kufner v. Kufner, 480
F.Supp.2d 491 (D.R.I. 2007).
plaintiffs allege a far-reaching conspiracy involving the
children’s fathers and their legal representatives
along with the state court judges and court-appointed
guardians, special assistants, social workers and
psychologists. As best can be gleaned from the complaint, the
result of the conspiracy is to extort money from plaintiffs
and deprive them of their constitutional rights. See
Complaint, D. 2, at ¶ 2. The complaint alleges that the
defendants were involved in “a scheme to maintain
certain extortionate under-color-of-state-law state
programs or facades without bona-fide chartered programs,
through fraud, in a scheme and for the purposes of
illegally procuring federal funding and defrauding the United
States, in a scheme and for the purpose of maintaining
insider state patronage network and organizations that is
customary in Rhode Island and Massachusetts, including
lobbyist firms and participating firms, the pre-agreed RICO
syndicate judicial status quo . . .” Id.
Plaintiffs allege that the “time frame of the RICO
enterprise activity, honest services fraud and fraud scheme
starts at the very earliest in 1985 and spans to the present
and is on-going.” Id. at ¶ 93.
factual allegations are presented in fifteen sections that
are entitled (1) “bribery and kickbacks”,
id. at ¶ 94; (2) “federal funds thus
defrauded, ” id. at ¶ 95; (3)
“ex-parte termination of fundamental constitutional
rights, ” id. at ¶ 96; (4) “law
firms and lobbyist firms, ” id. at ¶ 97;
(5) the “Cranston cabal, ” id. at ¶
98; (6) “Rhode Island’s unconstitutional
Pettinatto factors enables Quack Psych cabal, ”
id. at ¶ 99; (6) the “cabal’s quack
psychologists, Lubiner, Kosseff, Parsons and GAL Raffanelli,
” id. at ¶ 100; (7) the “court
mediators-supervised visitation double-dip cabal, ”
id. at ¶¶ 101 - 105; (8) “court con
coercing paying GAL patronage appointees who bring their
families to invade the home, search and seize under false
pretenses, for routine fabrication of inadmissible evidence
and the routine destruction of evidence, ” id.
at ¶¶ 106 - 108; (9) the “fundamental court
con enterprise model, ” id. at ¶ 109 -
116; (10) private actors in “the court con, ”
id. at ¶ 117-121; (11) plaintiffs report crimes
to law enforcement, ” id. at ¶¶
122(1) - 122(37); (12) “retaliation through bad-faith
harassment proceedings in family court [Mary Seguin], ”
id. at ¶¶ 123 - 135; (13)
“retaliation against United States veteran for
reporting criminal charges of child rape, pedophilia, assault
and battery, ” id. at ¶¶ 136 - 159;
(14) “retaliation through bad-faith harassment
proceeding in Superior Court including subverting claims
[Gloria Johnson, Tina Kufner, Mary Seguin], ”
id. at ¶ 160 - 224; and (15) “Rhode
Island is ranked the most corrupt state in the country,
” id. at ¶¶ 225 - 229. The complaint
contains twenty-two counts under federal and state law.
Id. at ¶¶ 229 - 277. Claims for the
violation of plaintiffs’ constitutional rights pursuant
to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, are alleged in Counts I-IV, XI,
XIII-XIV, XVI-XVIII. Plaintiff assert a fraud claim in Count
V. Plaintiffs seek attorneys’ fees and costs in Count
VIII. In Count VI, plaintiffs allege violation of 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983 and 18 U.S.C. § 1346. Plaintiffs allege a
violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1981 in Count VII. Count IX
alleges conspiracy to interfere with civil rights in
violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1985(2), (3). Plaintiffs allege
violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1986 in Count X. Count XII
alleges violation of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt
Organizations Act pursuant to 18 U.S.C. §§ 1964,
1962(c), (d), 1513(e), (f). Plaintiffs allege a violation of
Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. §
2000d, in Count XV. Counts XIX - XXII are state law claims
for intentional infliction of emotional distress, intentional
negligence, breach of fiduciary duty and false imprisonment.
The complaint invokes “federal diversity
jurisdiction.” See id. ¶ 2.
complaint names ninety-two (92) defendants, including judges,
mediators, guardians ad litem, social workers and attorneys,
including some employed by the state. Id. at
plaintiffs seek to file a complaint without prepayment of the
filing fee, summonses do not issue so that the Court may
conduct a preliminary review of the complaint and determine
if it satisfies the substantive requirements of Section 1915.
28 U.S.C. § 1915. This statute authorizes federal courts
to dismiss a complaint if the claims therein are frivolous,
malicious, fail to state a claim on which relief may be
granted, or seek monetary relief against a defendant who is
immune from such relief. See 28 U.S.C. §
1915(e)(2). A district court may dismiss a complaint filed
in forma pauperis "at any time" if the
court determines that the action lacks an arguable basis in
law or fact, seeks relief against a defendant who is immune
from liability, or fails to state a claim. Neitzke v.
Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 325 (1989) (interpreting the
former § 1915(d)); 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(b).
8(a) governs the substance of a complaint and requires a
plaintiff to include in the complaint, among other things,
"a short and plain statement of the claim showing that
the pleader is entitled to relief." Fed.R.Civ.P.
8(a)(2). At a minimum, it must afford the defendant(s) a
"[‘]meaningful opportunity to mount a defense,
'" Díaz-Rivera v.
Rivera-Rodríguez, 377 F.3d 119, 123 (1st Cir.
2004) (quoting Rodríguez v. Doral Mortgage
Corp., 57 F.3d 1168, 1172 (1st Cir. 1995)).
examining the sufficiency of the pleadings, the court
considers whether the plaintiff has pled "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). "A claim has facial plausibility when
the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to
draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable
for the misconduct alleged." Ashcroft v. Iqbal,
556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (citation omitted).
“Plausible, of course, means something more than merely
possible, and gauging a pleaded situation's plausibility
is a context-specific job that compels [the Court] to draw on
[its] judicial experience and common sense." Schatz
v. Republican State Leadership Comm., 669 F.3d 50, 55
(1st Cir. 2012) (quotation marks and citation omitted).
a complaint need not provide an exhaustive factual account,
the allegations must be sufficient to identify the manner by
which the defendant subjected the plaintiff to harm and the
harm alleged must be one for which the law affords a remedy.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678. Legal conclusions couched as
facts and "threadbare recitals of the elements of a
cause of action" will not suffice. Iqbal, 556
U.S. at 678; see Ocasio-Hernandez v. Fortuno-Burset,
640 F.3d 1, 12 (1st Cir. 2011).
screening plaintiffs’ complaint, the Court recognizes
that pro se pleadings are construed generously.
Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520 (1972); Rodi
v. New Eng. Sch. of Law, 389 F.3d 5, 13 (1st Cir. 2004).
Even with a liberal ...