United States District Court, D. Nebraska
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
Richard G. Kopf Senior United States District Judge
matter is before the court upon Plaintiff Bill Lietzke's
(“Plaintiff” or “Lietzke”) Complaint
(filing no. 1) filed on September 13, 2019, and
Motion to Proceed in Forma Pauperis (“IFP”)
(filing no. 2-1). Lietzke's Complaint is unsigned,
and he has failed to correct the signature deficiency as
directed by the Clerk of the Court. (See Text Notice
of Deficiency, Doc. No. 6.) Notwithstanding the signature
deficiency, having considered the motion and reviewed the
pleadings in this matter, the court finds that Lietzke is
financially eligible to proceed in forma pauperis but that
this lawsuit should be dismissed for lack of venue.
Complaint names the City of Montgomery, Alabama, and Chief
Kevin Murphy as Defendants. Lietzke alleges that on or about
April 28, 2017, he was unlawfully detained by City of
Montgomery police officers when they inquired of him,
“What's going on?” (Filing No. 1 at
CM/ECF p. 4.) Thereafter, Lietzke asserts the Defendants
“released the Plaintiff on his own recognizance
asserting that the City of Montgomery is aware of the
Plaintiff's issues with African-[A]merican blacks.”
(Id.) Lietzke “denies any allegations of any
unlawful activities” and alleges Defendants'
actions violated his First and Fifth Amendment rights,
defamed his character, and caused him to suffer mental
anguish, libel, and slander. (Id.) As relief,
Lietzke seeks $1.0 billion in damages.
has filed complaints with nearly identical allegations on at
least four other occasions. These complaints were filed with
courts in Alabama, California, Montana, and Oregon and were
all dismissed. See Lietzke v. City of Montgomery, et
al., No. 2:17-CV-00614-MHT-GMB, 2018 WL 4677837, at *2,
*5-8 (M.D. Ala. Aug. 8, 2018) (recommending dismissal of
complaint on the merits), adopted in part, 2018 WL
4030696, at *1 (M.D. Ala. Aug. 23, 2018) (magistrate
judge's recommendation adopted, except for recommendation
to consolidate Plaintiff's fifteen other cases);
Lietzke v. City of Montgomery, et al., No.
4:18-CV-06209-SBA (N.D. Cal. Feb. 12, 2019) (dismissing
complaint for lack of personal jurisdiction); Lietzke v.
City of Montgomery, et al., No. 9:19-CV-00063-DLC (D.
Mont. May 10, 2019) (summarily dismissing complaint and
designating Plaintiff a vexatious litigant); Lietzke v.
City of Montgomery, et al., No. 3:19-CV-00565-SB (D.
Ore. July 10, 2019) (dismissing complaint for improper venue,
lack of personal and subject matter jurisdiction, and as
duplicative and malicious).
DISCUSSION OF CLAIMS
is generally governed by 28 U.S.C. § 1391, which
provides, in pertinent part, that a civil action may be
brought in (1) a judicial district in which any defendant
resides, if all the defendants are residents of the State in
which the district is located; (2) a judicial district in
which a substantial part of the events giving rise to the
claim occurred; or (3) any judicial district in which any
defendant is subject to the court's personal jurisdiction
if there is no district in which an action may otherwise be
brought. Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1406, if a plaintiff
files a case in the wrong venue, the district court
“shall dismiss, or if it be in the interest of justice,
transfer such case to any district or division in which it
could have been brought.” 28 U.S.C. § 1406(a).
“The decision whether dismissal or transfer is in the
interests of justice is committed to the sound discretion of
the district court.” Poku v. F.D.I.C., 752
F.Supp.2d 23, 26-27 (D.D.C. 2010) (quotation omitted).
Lietzke alleges that this court has both federal question
jurisdiction and diversity of citizenship jurisdiction.
(Filing No. 1.) However, from the face of the
Complaint, it is clear that venue is improper in the District
of Nebraska. None of the events described in the Complaint
occurred in Nebraska, the City of Montgomery is located in
Alabama, the Complaint suggests that Defendant Kevin Murphy
resides in Alabama,  and Lietzke resides in Alabama.
the court has concluded that venue is improper, the court
must either dismiss this case or transfer it to any district
or division in which it could have been brought. 28 U.S.C.
§ 1406(a). The court finds dismissal without prejudice
is the more appropriate action in this case. An initial
review of Lietzke's Complaint raises serious concerns
regarding the merit of Lietzke's claims as his Complaint
contains only bare, conclusory allegations without any
supporting facts to plausibly suggest that Defendants are
liable for any misconduct. See28 U.S.C. §
1915(e)(2) (requiring a court to review in forma pauperis
complaints and 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). In this regard, the court takes judicial notice of
the fact that the U.S. District Court for the Middle District
of Alabama dismissed a nearly identical complaint on the
merits and, thus, Leitzke's continued litigation of his
claims would appear to be duplicative and frivolous. See
Aziz v. Burrows, 976 F.2d 1158 (8th Cir. 1992) (district
courts may dismiss duplicative complaints under 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915 as frivolous). Further, the court has no reason
to believe that Lietzke's claims are subject to a
rapidly-approaching statute of limitations deadline. Also,
Lietzke should have realized prior to filing the Complaint
that Nebraska was an improper venue, especially in light of
his other cases based on the same fact pattern. See
Weldon v. Ramstad-Hvass, 512 Fed.Appx. 783, 798 (10th
Cir. 2013) (stating that the factors a court should consider
in evaluating whether transfer is appropriate are (1) whether
the new action would be time-barred; (2) whether the
plaintiff's claims have merit; and (3) whether the
plaintiff should have realized the chosen forum was
improper). Accordingly, Lietzke's action will be
THEREFORE ORDERED that:
Plaintiff's Motion to Proceed In Forma Pauperis
(Filing No. 2) is granted.
case is dismissed without prejudice to reassertion in the
Judgment will be entered ...