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 alleges claims against the County of Montgomery,
Reese McKinney, and D.T. Marshall for violations of his
constitutional rights. (Filing No. 1.) Liberally
construed, Lietzke maintains that between the years 1999 and
2002, Montgomery County sheriff's officers seized him
from his home, involuntarily took him to Montgomery County
probate, and then involuntarily confined him in a psychiatric
hospital. He seeks $3.0 billion in damages.
has filed complaints with nearly identical allegations on at
least 8 other occasions, including in this court. See
Lietzke v. County of Montgomery, et al., No.
4:16-CV-03021-RGK-PRSE (D. Neb. 2016) (Filing No. 8,
April 8, 2016 Memorandum and Order dismissing case for lack
of venue). Other courts where Lietzke has filed these
complaints include Alabama, Alaska, Idaho, Utah, and Texas,
and these cases were all dismissed. See Lietzke v. City
of Montgomery, et al., No. 2:17-CV-00714-MHT-GMB, No.
2:17-CV-00674-MHT, 2018 WL 4677837, at *4 (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. County of Montgomery, et al., No. 2:07-CV-00814-MHT
(M.D. Ala. Nov. 9, 2007) (accepting recommendation and
dismissing case as barred by res judicata and statute of
limitations); Lietzke v. County of Montgomery, et
al., No. 3:19-CV-00141-TMB (D. Alaska June 11, 2019)
(dismissing complaint for lack of personal jurisdiction,
improper venue, and frivolity); Lietzke v. County of
Montgomery, No. 1:12-CV-00145, 2012 WL 5449623 (D. Idaho
May 29, 2012), adopted, 2012 WL 5449617, at *1 (D.
Idaho, Nov. 5, 2012) (dismissing for lack of personal
jurisdiction and venue); Lietzke v. County of Montgomery,
et al., No. 2:12-CV-00268, 2013 WL 1033037 (D. Utah Feb.
21, 2013), adopted, 2013 WL 1031725 (D. Utah Mar.
14, 2013) (accepting recommendation and dismissing case for
lack of personal jurisdiction, improper venue, and as barred
by the statute of limitations); Lietzke v. County of
Montgomery, et al., No. 3:13-CV-04468 (N.D. Tex. Mar. 7,
2014) (accepting recommendation and dismissing case as
duplicative and frivolous).
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 Complaint suggests that Defendants
reside 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 appropriate action in this case. This court previously
questioned the merit of Lietzke's claims and remarked
that his claims based on events that allegedly occurred
between 1999 and 2002 were probably time barred. (Filing
No. 8, Case No. 4:16-CV-3021.) 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, concluding that
Lietzke's claims were barred by the applicable statute of
limitations. Thus, Lietzke'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). 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 and this court's ruling in his
previously-filed identical case. 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 ...