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Downey v. United States

United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Fayetteville Division

August 15, 2019

MARK DOWNEY; and the ESTATE OF VIRGINIA DOWNEY PLAINTIFFS
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA; WILLIAM P. BARR, United States Attorney General; UNITED STATES ATTORNEY RICHARD W. MOORE; and CEO DOUG MCMILLON DEFENDANTS

          OPINION AND ORDER

          TIMOTHY L. BROOKS UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Plaintiff Mark Downey ("Downey"), acting pro se, filed this case alleging federal question jurisdiction. Downey sought leave to proceed in forma pauperis ("IFP"). His IFP application was granted. This case is now before the Court for pre-service screening pursuant to the IFP statute, 28 U.S.C. § 1915.

         I. BACKGROUND

         Downey is a citizen of Virginia, and it is unclear from his filings why he chose to file this action in the Western District of Arkansas. The Complaint (Doc. 2) is eighty-eight pages long. The Complaint actually appears to be a compilation of a number of separate complaints. The first complaint is five pages long and lists only the United States as the Defendant-although there is an erroneous "et al." notation. The first complaint purports to be asserting a qui tam [1] claim under the False Claims Act and a whistleblower claim under the Dodd-Frank Act for the purpose of "generating] revenues for the Federal Government to dramatically reduce the mounting $21 Trillion Federal Budget Deficit. .. 70% for the Federal Government and 30% for the Disabled[2] Plaintiff." Id. at 4. Downey alleges he has submitted 80, 000 pages of claims that were denied. Id. He maintains that the denial of the claims illegally destroyed five years of his work. Id. He asserts that the "unjustified Whistleblower claim denial recourse is to file suit." Id.

         A second complaint starts on page six. (Doc. 2 at 6). Downey alleges subject matter jurisdiction based on a violation of the Eighth Amendment and a myriad of federal statutes. Id. at 8-11. He also alleges subject matter jurisdiction under various federal criminal statutes. Id. at 11. Downey seeks damages in the amount of "$486 Billion Revenues x 60% Walmart Foreign Products = $291.6 Billion" plus treble damages for a total of "$874.8 Billion Counts (45), 900M Disabled Plaintiff Compensation, 30%, $262.71 Billion." Id. at 12.

         A third complaint, or compilation of motions, starts on page fourteen. (Doc. 2 at 14). Mark Downey and the Estate of Virginia Downey are listed as Plaintiffs. Id. The addition of the Estate of Virginia Downey as a plaintiff in the case is apparently based on the alleged pain and suffering Downey suffered when his submissions were denied while he was caring for his terminally ill mother. The Defendants are listed as: United States, Attorney General William Barr; United States Attorney Richard W. Moore; and Doug McMillion, the Chief Executive Officer of Wal-Mart. Id. Thereafter, the pleading contains a motion to quash sovereign immunity, a motion to accommodate the disabled, a motion to expedite and seal, and a motion to refer the criminal case to the United States Attorney. Id. at 17. The motions are not separate documents and instead just flow successively. See, e.g., Id. at 22.

         A fourth complaint starts on page twenty-five. (Doc. 2 at 25). This complaint lists the same parties as the third complaint. Downey first asserts that as a former federal forensic scientist/technologist/programmer, he is qualified as an industry expert and expert witness in a number of areas, including the legal industry, federal and state law enforcement, government procurement, and government administration and systems. Id. at 26. In the area of the fourth complaint where Downey lists the parties, he states that the Defendant is the "retail company Wal-Mart Corporation." Id. Downey next lists the general counsels of the United States Government Accountability Office (GAO), the Bureau of Fiscal Service, the Department of Justice, and the Federal Trade Commission. Id. at 27. Downey alleges all general counsels unjustly denied his claims, failed to respond to his calls, e-mails, and letters, and deliberately and unethically applied a six-month statute of limitations to his claims. Id. at 28. Downey alleges he is acting under whistleblower programs with the Internal Revenue Service, the Securities Exchange Commission, and the United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) "for qui tarn, the False Claims Act and the Dodd Frank Act to recover numerous massive cost-overruns, excessive spending, delinquent accounts, fraud and undiscovered revenue recovery." Id. at 29.

         According to Downey, he "worked for 5 years, 15-hours-a-day with NO Compensation, resulting in 80, 000 pages; almost 600, 000 submissions." Id. at 30. Instead of the government working with him, Downey maintains "the entire Federal Government orchestrated a [W]ar decimate all of his efforts to Balance the Federal Budget." Id.

         A fifth complaint begins at page thirty-three. In it, Downey informs the Court that he believes the complaint will satisfy the pleading rules and be decided on the merits. (Doc. 2 at 31-33). Downey maintains that almost 600, 000 of his submissions were rejected. Id. at 37. He contends this is "criminal" and the jury will be outraged. Id. Downey sets forth in forty-five counts various federal and state laws that have allegedly been violated in connection with his submission of whistleblower claims. Id. at 39-85.

         II. LEGAL STANDARD

         Downey, a non-prisoner, has been given leave to proceed IFP. On initial review, the Court must dismiss a complaint, or any portion of it, if it contains claims that: (a) are frivolous or malicious; (b) fail to state a claim upon which relief may be granted; or (c) seek monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B).

         A claim is frivolous when it "lacks an arguable basis either in law or fact." Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 325 (1989). A claim fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted if it does not allege "enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face." Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007). "The essential function of a complaint under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure is to give the opposing party fair notice of the nature and basis or grounds for a claim, and a general indication of the type of litigation involved." Topchian v. JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A., 760 F.3d 843, 848 (8th Cir. 2014)(internal quotation marks and citation omitted).

         However, the Court bears in mind that when "evaluating whether a pro se plaintiff has asserted sufficient facts to state a claim, we hold 'a pro se complaint, however inartfully pleaded, ... to less stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers."' Jackson v. Nixon,747 F.3d 537, ...


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