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Sieverding v. Department of Justice

United States District Court, D. Massachusetts

October 15, 2018

KAY SIEVERDING, Plaintiff,
v.
DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, Defendant.

          ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO DISMISS

          F. Dennis Saylor IV United States District Judge.

         On May 7, 2018, plaintiff Kay Sieverding filed a complaint against the United States Department of Justice, alleging various acts of misconduct by DOJ employees. The suit also asks the Court to “ratify” a remand decision issued by DOJ's Office of Information Policy (“OIP”).

         On August 6, 2018, defendant moved to dismiss the complaint for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. For the reasons stated below, the motion will be granted.

         I. Background

         Sieverding has a long history of bringing suit against both individuals and the federal government. In October 2002, Sieverding and her husband sued 36 defendants over issues stemming from a land dispute that had begun in 1991. Sieverding v. Colorado Bar Ass'n, 2003 WL 22400218 (D. Colo. Oct. 14, 2003). In March 2004, a United States District Judge for the District of Colorado dismissed the Sieverdings' claims with prejudice and enjoined them from filing lawsuits related to the subject matter of the case in any court. Sieverding v. Colorado Bar Ass'n, 469 F.3d 1340, 1342-43 (10th Cir. 2006). In 2005, the Tenth Circuit affirmed the district court's order. Sieverding v. Colorado Bar Ass'n, 126 Fed.Appx. 457 (10th Cir. 2005).

         The Sieverdings did not comply with that restriction. Instead, they filed actions related to the same subject matter in courts throughout the country. Sieverding v. Colorado Bar Ass'n, 469 F.3d at 1343. Faced with the threat of being held in contempt of court, Mr. Sieverding withdrew his name from the pending cases. Id. Ms. Sieverding, however, refused to dismiss the lawsuits and was eventually held in contempt. She was jailed several times. Id.

         In January 2006, Judge Nottingham in the District of Colorado released Sieverding from custody on the condition that she dismiss all of her remaining lawsuits. Id. He also entered an order prohibiting Sieverding from filing any lawsuit, anywhere in the country, unless she was represented by a lawyer or unless she had received approval from the district court. Id. The Tenth Circuit affirmed Judge Nottingham's decision, but modified the order so that it only prohibited Sieverding from bringing actions against the 36 defendants she had sued in 2002. Id. at 1345. Sieverding did not comply with the modified order and continued to file actions alleging a variety of claims, including Privacy Act violations, arising from her incarcerations. Sieverding v. United States Dept. of Justice, 847 F.Supp.2d 75, 79 (D.D.C. Mar. 12, 2012).

         In April 2016, Sieverding filed a Privacy Act lawsuit in this district against the DOJ. Sieverding v. United States Dep't of Justice, No. 1:16-cv-10688-PBS. Sieverding alleged that the DOJ had violated the act by sending senators incorrect information about her without checking the information for accuracy. Sieverding v. United States Dep't of Justice, No. 1:16-cv-10688-PBS, Amended Complaint, Docket No. 7, ¶¶ 242-44. She also alleged that the United States Marshals Service (“USMS”) had violated the act by failing to establish rules that adequately safeguarded its records. Id.

         Upon recommendation of Magistrate Judge M. Page Kelley, Chief Judge Patti B. Saris dismissed Sieverding's suit for its failure to identify any adverse government agency determination and any adverse effect on Sieverding in general. Sieverding v. United States Dep't of Justice, No. 1:16-cv-10688-PBS, Docket Nos. 27, 37.

         Sieverding filed another Privacy Act lawsuit in this district against the DOJ in June 2017. Sieverding v. United States Dep't of Justice, No. 1:17-cv-11036-PBS. In that suit, Sieverding contended that, among other things, USMS had violated the Privacy Act by (1) failing “to establish an appropriate control requiring a proper criminal case number or proof that there was an actual criminal prosecution was a proximate cause of the illegal imprisonment of plaintiff in 2005, 2006, and 2007”; (2) failing to develop rules or penalties concerning incorrect record entries; and (3) discussing Sieverding's case with the press, with a court, and with Sieverding herself. Sieverding v. United States Dep't of Justice, No. 1:17-cv-11036-PBS, Compl., Docket No. 1, ¶¶ 4-61. Sieverding also alleged that USMS had failed to process several of her administrative complaints.

         Again acting upon recommendation of Magistrate Judge Kelley, Chief Judge Saris dismissed the suit as barred under the doctrine of res judicata. Sieverding v. United States Dep't of Justice, No. 1:17-cv-11036-PBS, Docket Nos. 56, 90, 91.

         Sieverding filed the complaint in this action on May 7, 2018.

         II. Analysis

         The complaint alleges seven counts: (1) First Amendment retaliation; (2) Due Process violation; (3) conspiracy to violate constitutional rights; (4) false imprisonment; (5) malicious prosecution; (6) Privacy Act violation; ...


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