United States District Court, D. Nebraska
CASEY J. BASTIAN, Plaintiff,
THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Defendant.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
Richard G. Kopf Senior United States District Judge
Casey J. Bastian, a pro se litigant incarcerated at the
United States Penitentiary in Atwater, California, filed this
action regarding the destruction of his property seized by
the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”) in
2008 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The court has granted Plaintiff
permission to proceed in forma pauperis, and the court now
conducts an initial review of the Complaint (Filing No.
1) to determine whether summary dismissal is
appropriate under 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e) and 1915A.
SUMMARY OF COMPLAINT
alleges that on April 16, 2008, pursuant to a search warrant
for Plaintiff's residence in Dubuque, Iowa, federal
agents from the Cedar Rapids, Iowa, FBI office seized
“[c]ertain property, ” including his Sony VIAO
laptop, which contained thousands of personal documents and
photographs. After “years of documented multiple
attempts to have this property preserved, saved, segregated
and return[ed], ” Plaintiff learned in February 2016
that the FBI “may have destroyed” his laptop.
alleges that the Defendants “unlawfully seized,
withheld, and purportedly destroyed” his property, and
the Defendants are therefore liable under 42 U.S.C. §
1983 or Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents of Fed. Bureau
of Narcotics, 403 U.S. 388 (1971), for violations of
Plaintiff's Fourth, Fifth, Eighth, and Fourteenth
Amendment rights; the Federal Tort Claims Act, 28 U.S.C.
§§ 2671-2680 (Westlaw 2018) (“FTCA”);
the Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C.
§§ 551, et seq. (Westlaw 2018) (“APA”);
and various federal civil and criminal forfeiture statutes.
Along with money damages, Plaintiff requests that his
property be returned and that the court issue a temporary
restraining order prohibiting the FBI “from destroying
any and all properties that are the subject of this
complaint.” (Filing No. 1 at CM/ECF p. 3.)
caption of Plaintiff's Complaint indicates that he sues
only the United States of America, but the body of the
Complaint states that he also seeks to bring claims against
the FBI in Washington, D.C., Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and Omaha,
Nebraska; the United States Attorney's Office in Cedar
Rapids; and “several unknown FBI agents and USA
attorneys” in their individual and official capacities.
(Filing No. 1 at CM/ECF p. 2.)
indicated above, Plaintiff is incarcerated in federal prison
in California. A search of this court's electronic case
records reveals no cases in the United States District Court
for the District of Nebraska involving
LEGAL STANDARDS ON INITIAL REVIEW
court is required to review prisoner and in forma pauperis
complaints seeking relief against a governmental entity or an
officer or employee of a governmental entity to determine
whether summary dismissal is appropriate. See 28
U.S.C. §§ 1915(e) and 1915A. The court must dismiss
a complaint or any portion of it that states a frivolous or
malicious claim, that fails to state a claim upon which
relief may be granted, or that seeks monetary relief from a
defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. §
1915(e)(2)(B); 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b).
plaintiffs must set forth enough factual allegations to
“nudge their claims across the line from conceivable
to plausible, ” or “their complaint must be
dismissed.” Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly,
550 U.S. 544, 569-70 (2007); see also Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (“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.”).
28 U.S.C. § 1391 “govern[s] the venue of all civil
actions brought in district courts of the United States,
” and provides in relevant part that:
(b) Venue in general.-A civil action may be
(1) a judicial district in which any
defendant resides, if all defendants are residents of the
State in which the ...