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Camick v. Wattley

United States District Court, D. Kansas

April 5, 2018

E.A. WATTLEY, Defendant.



         In Plaintiff Leslie Lyle Camick's third lawsuit in the District of Kansas against Defendant Evelyn Wattley, he asserts six claims. His claims in this case include conspiracy under 42 U.S.C. § 1985, misuse of judicial process, malicious prosecution, defamation, “prima facie tort, ” and the tort of outrage. Defendant has filed a Motion to Dismiss (Doc. 12) asserting that Plaintiff fails to state a claim under § 1985 and that the Court should decline to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over Plaintiff's remaining state law claims. Defendant also argues that Plaintiff's claims fail because they are either barred by the statute of limitations or fail to state a cause of action. Because the Court finds that Plaintiff fails to state a federal cause of action, the Court dismisses that claim and declines to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over Plaintiff's remaining state law claims. Thus, the Court grants Defendant's Motion to Dismiss.

         I. Factual and Procedural Background[1]

         Plaintiff is familiar with this Court. In 2013, the government charged Plaintiff with mail fraud, wire fraud, material false statement to the U.S. Patent Office, three counts of aggravated identity theft, and one count of obstruction of justice.[2] The obstruction of justice charge related to Plaintiff's first civil lawsuit filed in this Court against Defendant Wattley. While Plaintiff's criminal case was proceeding, and after he had been ordered by the Court to avoid all contact with any witnesses (including Wattley), Plaintiff filed his first suit against Wattley.[3]

         In Plaintiff's first civil case, he brought suit against Wattley, KaiTraxx, the District Court of Cowley County, Kansas, Christopher Smith, the Winfield Police Department, and Nicole Hills. He alleged under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 that the defendants (1) violated his Fourth Amendment right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure by falsely reporting a crime (Wattley's report that her car was stolen) and causing him to be wrongfully imprisoned in New Mexico, New Jersey, and Kansas, (2) violated his Fifth and Fourteenth Amendment due process rights due to his wrongful imprisonment, (3) violated his Sixth Amendment right to speedy trial because his Cowley County case was pending for 20 months before it was dismissed, and (4) committed the tort of intentional infliction of emotional distress. This case was ultimately dismissed.[4]

         With regard to the criminal case brought against Plaintiff, he was convicted on all seven counts. On appeal, however, the Tenth Circuit reversed all of Plaintiff's convictions, with the exception of the obstruction of justice charge. On November 13, 2015, upon remand to this Court, Judge Marten entered an amended judgment and sentenced Plaintiff to time served with one year of supervised release. On March 23, 2016-approximately halfway through Plaintiff's term of supervised release-Plaintiff was removed from the United States to Canada.[5]

         In May 2017, Plaintiff filed his second lawsuit against Wattley.[6] In addition, he named two other Defendants: KaiTraxx (Wattley and Plaintiff's previous business venture) and Harry Holladay (an attorney who practices law in Louisiana and Texas and is a close relative of Wattley). Plaintiff asserted six claims including (1) violation of the Defend Trade Secrets Act (“DTSA”), (2) violation of the Kansas Uniform Trade Secrets Act (“KUTSA”), (3) tortious interference with prospective business relationship, (4) breach of fiduciary duty (against Defendant Holladay alone), (5) violation of the Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organizations (“RICO”) Act, and (6) breach of contract (against Defendant Wattley alone). The Court recently dismissed Plaintiff's claims finding that Plaintiff's claims were either barred by the statute of limitations or he failed to state a claim.[7]

         Plaintiff filed this lawsuit, his third, against Defendant Wattley on November 13, 2017. Plaintiff asserts claims for (1) conspiracy under 42 U.S.C. § 1985, (2) misuse of judicial process, (3) malicious prosecution, (4) defamation, (5) the “tort of prima facie, ” and (6) the tort of outrage. Generally, Plaintiff states that the case arises out of a “wrongly filed federal criminal proceeding against Plaintiff” initiated by Defendant following a domestic disagreement in 2011. He asserts that the federal indictment resulted in wrongful imprisonment for over two years. He also claims that he was exonerated of all underlying convictions arising out of Defendant's malicious conduct.[8]

         Specifically, Plaintiff states that he and Defendant were romantically involved beginning in 2005. They lived together for almost six years. In 2007, they formed a business relationship operating as KaiTraxx. In 2011, their relationship was terminated over a disagreement over using corporate funds to post bail for Defendant's son.

         On July 19, 2011, Defendant filed a false police report in Kansas stating that Plaintiff had stolen her truck. Plaintiff was subsequently arrested in New Mexico, New Jersey, and Kansas over a two-year period on the basis of Defendant's police report. Plaintiff contends that all falsely reported theft of vehicle charges were dismissed in his favor.

         With regard to his specific legal claims, he first asserts under 42 U.S.C. § 1985 that Defendant acted with government employees to deny him his civil rights. Plaintiff states that in January 2013, shortly after being arrested in Kansas for felony theft of a vehicle, Defendant contacted Congressman Pompeo's office to file a private complaint against him. Plaintiff then alleges that the congressman's office contacted immigration officials (U.S.I.C.E.) to register a complaint on behalf of Defendant. Agent J.V. Ferreira investigated the case in February and March 2013 and extensively interviewed Defendant. On March 26, 2013, Plaintiff alleges that the grand jury indicted him on numerous counts of fraud after receiving testimony from Agent Ferreira and Defendant. He claims that Defendant, Assistant United States Attorney Anderson, and Agent Ferreira could not have successfully convicted him and imprisoned him without the assistance of each other.

         Plaintiff's next two claims are for misuse of judicial process and malicious prosecution. He claims that Defendant, after failing at the state level with her false reports of crime, devised a plan to have federal law enforcement officials have him convicted of a felony to make him removable from the United States. He claims she maliciously alleged criminal conduct in a private party complaint. He claims that he was wrongfully convicted in his federal criminal case and that the Tenth Circuit reversed all of the underlying counts of conviction. Plaintiff states that Defendant's true motive was to have Plaintiff deported to Canada so she could claim his assets and that her true and ulterior motive was finally revealed to him on November 12, 2015.[9] Plaintiff claims that he has suffered total financial devastation from Defendant's conduct.

         Plaintiff's fourth claim is for defamation. He asserts that Defendant has posted defamatory statements about him on websites numerous times since 2011. He states that she defamed him by inaccurately claiming that he owes back taxes in Canada and that he left Canada to avoid paying child support and because of a lifetime driving ban. Plaintiff also contends that Defendant posted defamatory statements in pleadings filed in his second case against her.[10] He claims that Defendant's mention of prior criminal convictions is damaging and prejudicial.

         Plaintiff's fifth and sixth claims are for the “tort of prima facie” and the tort of outrage. Plaintiff claims that he has numerous emails from Defendant to support his allegations of her intent to harm him. He also claims that Defendant's behavior was outrageous and that she has “defacto enslaved” Plaintiff.

         On January 24, 2018, the Court granted Plaintiff in forma pauperis status. Defendant was served on February 1, 2018. Defendant then filed the pending Motion to Dismiss (Doc. 12).[11]Plaintiff responded, [12] and the motion is now ripe. Defendant argues that Plaintiff fails to state a claim under § 1985. In addition, she contends that the Court should decline to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over his remaining state law claims and dismiss them as well. As will be explained below, the Court grants Defendant's motion.[13]

         II. Legal Standard

         Under Rule 12(b)(6), a defendant may move for dismissal of any claim where the plaintiff has failed to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. On such motion, the court must decide “whether the complaint contains ‘enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.' ”[14] A claim is facially plausible if the plaintiff pleads facts sufficient for the court to reasonably infer that the defendant is liable for the alleged misconduct.[15] The plausibility standard reflects the requirement in Rule 8 that pleadings provide defendants with fair notice of the nature of claims as well as the grounds on which each claim rests.[16] Under Rule 12(b)(6), the court must accept as true all factual allegations in the complaint but need not afford such a presumption to legal conclusions.[17] If the allegations in the complaint are “so general that they encompass a wide swath of conduct, much of it innocent, then the plaintiffs ‘have not nudged their claims across the line from conceivable to plausible.' ”[18]

         Generally, the Court is constrained by the allegations in the complaint when considering a motion to dismiss. A court, however, may take facts subject to judicial notice, such as “its own files and records, as well as facts which are a matter of public record” without converting a motion to dismiss to one for summary judgment.[19] Furthermore, “a document central to the plaintiff's claim and referred to in the complaint may be considered in resolving a motion to dismiss, at least where the document's authenticity is not in dispute.”[20]

         Because Plaintiff is pro se, the Court is mindful of considerations for an unrepresented plaintiff. “A pro se litigant's pleadings are to be construed liberally and held to a less stringent standard than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers, ” but the Court will not “assume the role of advocate for the pro se litigant.”[21] To avoid dismissal, the pro se complaint “must set forth the grounds of plaintiff's entitlement to relief through more than labels, conclusions and a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action . . . [and] must allege sufficient facts to state a claim which is plausible-rather than merely conceivable-on its face.”[22]

         III. ...

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