United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
ROBERT EDWARD LEE and ROBERTS' ART STUDIO & PHOTOGRAPHY, Plaintiff,
PAUL LNU and METRO PCS, Defendants.
OPINION AND ORDER GRANTING APPLICATION TO PROCEED IN
FORMA PAUPERIS , AND SUMMARILY DISMISSING CASE
STEPHEN J. MURPHY, III United States District Judge
7, 2017, Plaintiff Robert Edward Lee filed a pro se complaint
and an application to proceed in forma pauperis. He is a
serial filer. Judges in this district have
dismissed-summarily or otherwise-no fewer than 12 of his
complaints over the course of seven years. See
4:07-cv-13513 (dismissed under 28 U.S.C. §
1915(e)(2)(B)), 2:08-cv-12170 (dismissed under Federal Rule
of Civil Procedure 12(b)(2)), 2:08-cv-13058 (dismissed under
28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)), 2:08-cv-14306 (dismissed
under Rule 8), 2:09-cv-10259 (dismissed for lack of
jurisdiction), 2:09-cv-12640 (dismissed under Rule 12(c)),
2:10-cv-11501 (dismissed under 28 U.S.C. §
1915(e)(2)(B)), 2:10-cv-15131 (dismissed under 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915(e)(2)(B)), 2:11-cv-10179 (dismissed under 28
U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)), 2:14-cv-11722 (dismissed under
Rule 12(c)), 2:15-cv-13474 (dismissed under 28 U.S.C. §
1915(e)(2)(B)), 2:15-cv-13585 (dismissed under 28 U.S.C.
28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B), the Court must summarily
dismiss an in forma pauperis complaint that is frivolous,
malicious, or fails to state a claim upon which relief can be
granted. “A complaint is frivolous where plaintiff
failed to present a claim with an arguable or rational basis
in law or in fact.” Perry v. Rose, 205 F.3d
1341 (6th Cir. 2000) (unpublished table decision). The Court
construes pro se filings liberally, Jones v. Caruso,
569 F.3d 258, 263 (6th Cir. 2009), and accepts as true
factual allegations that are not “irrational” or
“wholly incredible.” Patterson v.
Godward, 370 F. App'x 608, 609 (6th Cir. 2010)
(quoting Denton v. Hernandez, 504 U.S. 25, 33
(1992)). Nevertheless, that leniency is not boundless.
Martin v. Overton, 391 F.3d 710, 714 (6th Cir.
2004). And the Court is not required to create a
plaintiff's claim for him. Young Bok Song v.
Gipson, 423 F.App'x 506, 510 (6th Cir. 2011) (noting
that district courts are not required to "ferret out the
strongest cause of action on behalf of pro se
many of his prior filings, Plaintiff exceeds those bounds
here. His complaint is largely unintelligible. He appears to
seek relief based on a visit to a MetroPCS store after
complaining to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
about the poor cell phone reception in his home. ECF 1, PgID
3. At the store, Plaintiff explained to sales representative
“Paul” that he needed a new phone to use
“photos literature [sic] of art copyrights”
presumably stored on or recently deleted from his current
phone. Id. 3-4. The representative said he might be
able to recover the material if Plaintiff had backed it up
using a Google account, which he had. It is unclear what
happened next. It appears that Plaintiff seeks to hold
MetroPCS vicariously liable in federal court for Paul's
actions (which amounted to a “form of disrespect 
worse than evil axis leading to wars”), that
“vicarious liability for copyright increases daily and
can be ‘monetized' make [sic] Napster, Inc. a
potentially attractive acquisition for larger, more
established firms, ” and that “Defendant obtained
substantial capital infusions after the onset of this
litigation” while allowing Napster the right to
“control access to its system.” Id. at
allegations “rise to the level of the irrational or the
wholly incredible.” Denton, 504 U.S. at 33.
Also, Plaintiff fails to sufficiently articulate the basis
for the Court's jurisdiction, allege facts to support the
specific cause of action under which he is suing the
Defendants, or substantiate his claim for the over $75, 000
in relief that he seeks. Accordingly, the Court will dismiss
the complaint with prejudice.
district courts "[have] the authority to enjoin
harassing litigation under [their] inherent authority and the
All Writs Act, 28 U.S.C. § 1651(a)." Wrenn v.
Vanderbilt Univ. Hosp., 50 F.3d 11 (6th Cir. 1995)
(unpublished table decision); see In re
Martin-Trigona, 737 F.2d 1254, 1261 (2d Cir. 1984)
(holding that courts have a "constitutional obligation
to protect their jurisdiction from conduct which impairs
their ability to carry out Article III functions");
Tripati v. Beaman, 878 F.2d 351, 353 (10th Cir.
1989) ("[T]he right of access to the courts is neither
absolute nor unconditional[.]").
exercise their inherent authority, federal courts may
"'impose carefully tailored restrictions' upon
'abusive litigants.'" Scott v.
Bradford, No. 13-12781, 2014 WL 6675354, at *3 (E.D.
Mich. Nov. 25, 2014) (quoting Cotner v. Hopkins, 795
F.2d 900, 902 (10th Cir. 1986)). Although a plaintiff may not
be "absolutely foreclosed from initiating an action in a
court of the United States, " district courts may
"require one who has abused the legal process to make a
showing that a tendered lawsuit is not frivolous or vexatious
before permitting it to be filed." Ortman v.
Thomas, 99 F.3d 807, 811 (6th Cir. 1996). "There is
nothing unusual about imposing prefiling restrictions in
matters with a history of repetitive or vexatious
litigation." Feathers v. Chevron U.S.A., Inc.,
141 F.3d 264, 269 (6th Cir. 1998).
determine whether a pre-filing injunction is appropriate, the
Court considers: (1) the litigant's history of vexatious,
harassing or duplicative lawsuits; (2) whether the litigant
has an objective good faith expectation of prevailing; (3)
whether the litigant is represented by counsel; (4) whether
the litigant has caused needless expenses to other parties or
has posed an unnecessary burden on the courts and their
personnel; and (5) whether other sanctions would be adequate
to protect the courts and other parties. See Tropf v.
Fid. Nat. Title Ins. Co., 289 F.3d 929, 940 n.18 (6th
Cir. 2002). If a litigant "is likely to continue to
abuse the judicial process and harass other parties, "
then a pre-filing injunction is warranted. Scott,
2014 WL 6675354, at *4 (quotations omitted).
history of frivolous filings with the Court spans seven
years, and-along with the instant order-includes at least
eight dismissals under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B).
Although Plaintiff's exact motives for filing these
frivolous appeals are unclear, his behavior indicates that he
has no objective, good-faith expectation of prevailing. He is
a habitual abuser of judicial process, and wastes judicial
time and resources that should be spent assisting parties who
file legitimate claims in good faith, supported by arguable
bases in law and fact. Henceforth, Plaintiff must seek
permission from the Court prior to filing.
it is hereby ORDERED that Plaintiff's application to
proceed without prepaying fees or costs  is GRANTED, and
the complaint is DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 1915(e).
FURTHER ORDERED that Plaintiff is DENIED leave to appeal in
forma pauperis-an appeal of this order could not be taken in
good faith. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(3).
FURTHER ORDERED that any future filings by Plaintiff shall be
be captioned "Application Pursuant to Court Order
Seeking Leave to File" and shall be accompanied by a
copy of this order. The Clerk's Office is directed to
reject any filing by Plaintiff which does not comply with
these instructions. The district court will review
Plaintiff's filings and shall certify whether or not the
filing has been made in good faith. If the district court
determines that the filing is not made in good faith, the
Clerk's Office is directed to return the material to