United States District Court, W.D. North Carolina, Asheville Division
REIDINGER UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
MATTER is before the Court sua sponte.
Plaintiff brings this action against Rebecca Martin, Francis
Tacy, Jeff Tacy, Sergio De Sousa, Adam Bull, Sabrina Diz,
Kelly Marler, Laramie Collins, Britney Schultz, The
Regeneration Station, Jonathan McElroy, the Asheville Police
Department, Mission Hospital, the McIntosh Law Firm, and
Stormy Spicer, asserting claims pursuant to 18 U.S.C. §
117 (domestic assault by a habitual offender) and the
Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act
(“RICO”), 18 U.S.C. § 1961, et seq.
[Doc. 1]. Specifically, the Plaintiff alleges that Rebecca
Martin, Francis Tacy, and Jeff Tacy created an
“enterprise, ” the purpose of which “was to
force Plaintiff into forfeiting on her mortgage and/or taxes,
or getting locked up in jail or in a mental institution all
for the purpose of forcing Plaintiff to lose her land.”
[Doc. 1 at 12]. The Plaintiff further alleges that the other
named Defendants assisted this “enterprise” and
helped further its goals. [Id.].
the Plaintiff has paid the $400 fee associated with the
filing of this action, the statutory screening procedure
authorized under the in forma pauperis statute, 28
U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2), is not applicable. Nevertheless,
the Court has inherent authority to dismiss a frivolous
complaint sua sponte. See Ross v. Baron, 493 F.
App'x 405, 406 (4th Cir. 2012) (noting that
“frivolous complaints are subject to dismissal pursuant
to the inherent authority of the court, even when the filing
fee has been paid”) (citing Mallard v. United
States Dist. Ct. for S.D. of Iowa, 490 U.S. 296, 307-08
complaint is deemed frivolous “where it lacks an
arguable basis either in law or in fact.” Neitzke
v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 325, 109 S.Ct. 827, 104
L.Ed.2d 338 (1989); Adams v. Rice, 40 F.3d 72, 75
(4th Cir. 1994) (“Legally frivolous claims
are based on an ‘indisputedly meritless legal
theory' and including ‘claims of infringement of a
legal interest which clearly does not exist.'”).
extent that the Plaintiff attempts to assert a cause of
action pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 117, her claims must be
dismissed. Section 117 is a criminal statute, which does not
provide any private right of action. See Doe v.
Broderick, 225 F.3d 440, 447-48 (4th Cir. 2000)
(“The Supreme Court historically has been loath to
infer a private right of action from a ‘bare criminal
statute' because criminal statutes are usually couched in
terms that afford protection to the general public instead of
a discrete, well-defined group.”) (quoting in part
Cort v. Ash, 422 U.S. 66, 80 (1975)). Even if a
private right of action existed under this statute, the
Plaintiff has not alleged any plausible facts to support such
extent that the Plaintiff attempts to assert a private right
of action under RICO, such claims also must be dismissed.
“RICO provides a private right of action for treble
damages to ‘[a]ny person injured in his business or
property by reason of a violation'” of the
Act's criminal prohibitions. Bridge v. Phoenix Bond
& Indem. Co., 553 U.S. 639, 641 (2008) (quoting 18
U.S.C. § 1964(c)). A plaintiff seeking civil damages
under RICO must show: “(1) conduct [causing injury to
business or property]; (2) of an enterprise; (3) through a
pattern; (4) of racketeering activity.” Whitney,
Bradley & Brown, Inc. v. Kammermann, 436 F.
App'x 257, 258 (4th Cir. 2011) (citing Sedima,
S.P.R.L. v. Imrex Co., 473 U.S. 479, 496 (1985)). A
pattern of racketeering activity “requires at least two
acts of racketeering activity.” 18 U.S.C. §
1961(5). The RICO statutes defines “racketeering
activity” as any act or threat of murder, kidnapping,
gambling, arson, robbery, bribery, extortion, dealing in
obscene matter, dealing in a controlled substance, or any act
which is indictable under a series of enumerated federal
criminal statutes. See 18 U.S.C. § 1961(1). To
state a civil RICO claim, a plaintiff must allege “the
necessary ‘continuity' to establish the required
pattern that distinguishes ‘racketeering activity'
under RICO from ‘garden-variety' commercial
disputes.” Gilchrist v. Cook, No.
7:07-0508-HFF-WMC, 2007 WL 950386, at *3 (D.S.C. Mar. 26,
2007) (citation omitted). In order to satisfy the
“enterprise” element, a plaintiff must allege
“two separate and distinct entities: a
‘person' and ‘an enterprise' through
which the person acts.” Id. (citation
the pro se Plaintiff's Complaint liberally, the
Court concludes that the Plaintiff has failed to allege the
requisite “enterprise” and “pattern of
racketeering activity” necessary to state a RICO claim.
The facts as alleged establish, at best, tortious activities
allegedly committed by Rebecca Martin, Francis Tacy, and Jeff
Tacy against the Plaintiff. The Plaintiffs Complaint fails to
establish that an “enterprise” existed separate
and apart from these individuals. Further, the facts as
alleged by the Plaintiff fail to establish the requisite
pattern of racketeering activity necessary to sustain a RICO
claim. While the Plaintiff accuses the Defendants of
committing various outrageous acts, including attempted
murder, kidnapping of her child, and destruction of court
records, she fails to present any plausible facts to support
such outlandish allegations.
reasons stated herein, the Court concludes that the
Plaintiffs Complaint is frivolous and therefore subject to
dismissal with prejudice.
IS, THEREORE, ORDERED that the Plaintiffs Complaint
is hereby DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE.