United States District Court, D. Kansas
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
THOMAS MARTEN, JUDGE
Casey Puckett, appearing pro se and stressing his
status as a “Private USA Citizen, ” brings the
present action against United States Bankruptcy Trustee
Richard Wieland, generally seeking to avoid enforcement of 11
U.S.C. § 110, which places restrictions on nonattorney
bankruptcy petition preparers. In particular, Puckett
complains that the Trustee has invoked Section 110 to limit
the fees he charges his customers, as well as the requirement
under Subsection 110(c) that he supply his social security
number (SSN) as part of the petition process. As a part of
his Complaint, Puckett asks for a temporary restraining order
against the Trustee to enjoin the enforcement of Section 110.
temporary restraining order “is an extraordinary and
drastic remedy” that should not be granted unless the
movant carries its burden of persuasion by a clear showing.
West v. Derby Unified Sch. Dist. No. 260,
23 F.Supp.2d 1220, 1222 (D.Kan.1998). To obtain a temporary
restraining order, a movant must show (1) it will suffer
irreparable injury unless the motion is granted; (2) the
threatened injury outweighs whatever damage the proposed
injunction may cause the opposing parties; (3) the
injunction, if issued, would not be adverse to the public
interest; and (4) a substantial likelihood that it will
prevail on the merits. Winnebago Tribe of Neb. v.
Stovall, 205 F.Supp.2d 1217, 1221 (D.Kan.2002) (citing
Kiowa Indian Tribe of Okla. v. Hoover, 150 F.3d
1163, 1171 (10th Cir.1998)), aff ‘d 341 F.3d
1202 (10th Cir.2003)).
complaint falls far short of this mark. Enacted as a part of
the Bankruptcy Reform Act of 1994, Section 110 “was
enacted to ‘address the growing problem of bankruptcy
preparers who abuse the system' and ‘is intended to
police fraud and abuse by such preparers.'” S.Rep.
No. 168, 103d Cong., 1st Sess. 51 (1993). In the view of
Congress, Section 110 was “critically needed to
confront the large scale fraudulent conduct of [bankruptcy
petition preparers] who prey on the poor and
unsophisticated.” 140 Cong.Rec. § 14, 597-98
(daily ed. October 7, 1994). Courts have consistently
rejected challenges to the validity of Section 110. See,
e.g., In re Evans, 413 B.R. 315, 322-23 (Bankr. E.D. Va.
Aug. 23, 2009) (“there is no fundamental right under
the equal protection clause of the Fifth Amendment to pursue
a calling as a bankruptcy petition preparer”); In
re Rausch, 197 B.R. 109, 116 (Bankr. D. Nev. 1996)
(finding “[t]he need for public access to a document
preparer's SSN is compelling, given the serious nature of
the conduct to be prevented and the widespread corruption
associated with document preparers”).
has presented similar arguments before. In an earlier action
against the Trustee and against one of the Bankruptcy Judges
of the District of Kansas, Puckett advanced similar arguments
- that Section 110 violates due process and amounts to price
fixing. However, Puckett voluntarily dismissed his action
shortly after the Magistrate Judge assigned to the case
approved Puckett's request to proceed in forma
pauperis, but otherwise found no merit to his claims:
With these standards in mind, the Court finds that Plaintiff
has failed to state a claim upon which relief may be granted.
Plaintiff's rambling Complaint vaguely alleges violations
of 42 U.S.C. Section § 1983, state and federal antitrust
laws, the “1890 Sherman Act, ” and “our
right to procedural due process under the Fourth, Fifth and
Fourteenth Amendments . . . .” Plaintiff contends these
violations result from alleged “price fixing” by
the named federal government Defendants relating to the
document “typing service” Plaintiff provides for
pro se individuals. (Id.) These allegations do not,
on their face, state a valid claim for relief under federal
It is not possible to discern a legally-cognizable cause of
action from Plaintiff's Complaint. He appears to complain
about two matters. He challenges the United States Bankruptcy
Court's action, apparently taken upon motion from the
Untied States Trustee (Doc. 1-7), reducing his document
preparation fee charged to Debtors in a Bankruptcy case. Such
a challenge should have been made by proper appeal of that
Court's order, and is not actionable as a separate
action. The other matter seems to be related to a pending
state court proceeding in which the Kansas Attorney General
is seeking a restraining order against the Plaintiff (Doc.
1-1.) Plaintiff has stated no action which would support this
Court's interference with the case pending in the state
court. As such, Plaintiff has not stated a claim upon which
relief may be granted and this Court RECOMMENDS that his case
Puckett v. Somers, No. 15-1030-JTM (D. Kan. Jan. 30,
2015) (Dkt. 8, at 8-9).
claims have found no additional validity in the interim, and
the court finds no basis for differing from the Magistrate
Judge's recommendation in 2015.
ACCORDINGLY ORDERED this 13th day of April, 2017, that the
plaintiff's Motion for Temporary ...