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Camick v. Wattley

United States District Court, D. Kansas

May 14, 2018

E.A. WATTLEY, Defendant.



         Defendant E.A. Wattley is before the Court with her Amended Motion to Enjoin Plaintiff [Leslie Lyle Camick] from Filing Future Matters Related to Three Other Lawsuits (Doc. 25).[1]Wattley requests that the Court enjoin Camick from filing any future matters pro se against her and/or KaiTraxx[2] related to the subject matter of previous lawsuits without first obtaining permission of the Chief Judge of the District Court in which he seeks to initiate the lawsuit. Because Camick is engaging in abusive litigation, the Court grants in part and denies in part Wattley's motion.

         I. Factual and Procedural Background

          The Court will set forth the relevant background as to Camick's cases in this District of Kansas, as well as set forth some relevant factors from outside this district.[3] Camick has now filed four cases in this Court.[4] In addition, he was previously a defendant in a criminal case, [5] and he is a named defendant in a recent civil lawsuit.[6]

         In early 2013, the Government charged Camick with mail fraud, wire fraud, material false statement to the U.S. Patent Office, and multiple counts of aggravated identity theft.[7] During the pendency of his criminal case, Camick filed his first lawsuit against Wattley.[8] In latter 2013, the government filed a superseding indictment and added an obstruction of justice charge against Camick. The obstruction of charge related to Camick's first civil lawsuit against Wattley because he had been ordered by the Court to not have any contact with any witnesses (including Wattley).

         In Camick's first civil case, he brought suit against Wattley, KaiTraxx, and four other defendants. He claimed that he used to be involved in a romantic relationship with Wattley, but in 2011, she made a false report that he stole her vehicle. Camick asserted that he was arrested and imprisoned in New Mexico, New Jersey, and Kansas based on this false report. He brought claims 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 vehicle 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.[9]

         With regard to the criminal case brought against Camick, he was convicted on all seven counts. On appeal, however, the Tenth Circuit reversed all of Camick'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 Camick to time served with one year of supervised release. On March 23, 2016-approximately halfway through Camick's term of supervised release-Camick was removed from the United States to Canada.[10]

         In May 2017, Camick filed his second lawsuit in this district against Wattley and KaiTraxx.[11] In addition, he named one other defendant, Harry Holladay. Camick alleged that he was involved in a romantic relationship with Wattley for approximately six years before they began having issues. He claimed that Wattley falsely reported that he had stolen a vehicle and that he was subsequently arrested three times, and in three different states, based on this report. Camick also alleged that Wattley caused Camick to be convicted in federal court and removed from the United States. He stated that Wattley unlawfully obtained his trade secret information, unlawfully refused to return this information to him, and interfered with a prospective business relationship. Specifically, he asserted the following claims: (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, (5) violation of the Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organizations (“RICO”) Act, and (6) breach of contract (against Defendant Wattley alone). The Court recently dismissed Camick's claims finding that his claims were either barred by the statute of limitations or he failed to state a claim.[12]

         In this case, Camick's third in this district, he asserted six claims against Wattley. Generally, Camick stated that the claims arose out of a “wrongly filed federal criminal proceeding against Camick” initiated by Wattley following a domestic disagreement in 2011. He stated that in 2011, Wattley filed a false police report regarding a stolen vehicle which caused him to be arrested in three different states. In addition, Camick claimed that Wattley acted with government employees (an Assistant United States Attorney and a federal immigration agent) to deny him his civil rights by convicting him of federal crimes, falsely imprisoning him, [13] and ultimately deporting him. His specific claims included (1) conspiracy under 42 U.S.C. § 1985, [14] (2) misuse of judicial process, (3) malicious prosecution, (4) defamation, (5) “prima facie tort, ” and (6) the tort of outrage.

         Camick has also apparently filed two lawsuits in the United States District Court for New Jersey based on allegations relating to the events in this case. In one lawsuit, Case No. 16-9013, Camick filed suit against Wattley, KaiTraxx, and Holladay. In that case, he attempted to assert a claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1985(3) for conspiracy to deny him his civil rights.[15] The New Jersey District Court, however, denied without prejudice Camick's application to proceed in forma pauperis because he failed to properly fill out the application. The case was administratively closed on May 19, 2017.

         In another case before the District Court for New Jersey, Camick filed suit against six other defendants (including several Kansas entities).[16] Wattley, KaiTraxx, and Holladay were not parties to that suit. In that case, he brought § 1983 claims alleging that the defendants “made false reports, conducted an improper investigation, obtained an invalid arrest warrant, denied him a speedy trial, and unlawfully detained him, throughout the period of 2011 to 2013.”[17] The court reviewed his complaint under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B) and found it subject to dismissal because it was barred by the statute of limitations.[18] On appeal, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the district court's order.[19]

         In this case, Wattley filed a motion to dismiss. The Court agreed with Wattley's contention that Camick failed to state a claim under § 1985. Thus, the Court dismissed the federal claim and declined to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over Camick's remaining state law claims (Doc. 24).[20]

         On April 5, 2018, prior to the Court issuing its Order, Wattley filed a Motion for Order to Enjoin Camick from Filing Future Matters Related to Three Other Lawsuits (Doc. 23). This motion was filed a few hours before the Court issued its Order, and thus the Motion to Enjoin remained a pending matter when the Court dismissed Camick's claims. In Wattley's original motion, she sought to enjoin Camick from filing any additional pro se lawsuits against her and/or KaiTraxx, containing the same or similar claims as already asserted against her, in the District of Kansas without first obtaining permission from the Chief Judge of this Court. The next day, Wattley filed an Amended Motion seeking to enlarge the injunctive relief she sought because Wattley recently discovered that Camick had filed an additional lawsuit against Wattley in the United States District Court of New Jersey. Wattley now asks the Court to enjoin Camick from filing any future pro se complaints in any United States District Court against Wattley and/or KaiTraxx.[21]

         II. Standard

         The right of access to the court is not absolute nor unconditional.[22] When a litigant has been allowed to proceed in forma pauperis, “the Supreme Court has recognized that abuses of this privilege may give rise to the imposition of filing restrictions.”[23] In appropriate circumstances, “[f]ederal courts have the inherent power to regulate the activities of abusive litigants by imposing carefully tailored restrictions ….”[24] Injunctions restricting additional filings are appropriate “where [1] the litigant's lengthy and abusive history is set forth; [2] the court provides guidelines as to what the litigant may to do obtain its permission to file an action; and [3] the litigant receives notice and an opportunity to oppose the court's order before it is implemented.”[25]

         III. Discussion

         In this case, Wattley asks the Court to enjoin Camick from filing any additional pro se lawsuits against her and/or KaiTraxx, containing the same or similar claims, in any district court of the United States. As noted above, Camick has filed three cases against Wattley in this Court relating to the same or similar subject matter. In addition, he filed one case against Wattley in the District of New Jersey. He has also filed appeals relating to the district court's orders in the respective circuit courts, the Tenth and Third Circuits.

         Camick's grievances all stem from the same basic fact pattern. He alleges that he was involved in a romantic relationship with Wattley and that they formed a business together, KaiTraxx. In 2011, they had a disagreement, and she filed a false police report stating that he had stolen a vehicle. This false police report allegedly led to his arrest (and false imprisonment) in New Mexico. Around this time, Wattley allegedly fraudulently obtained Camick's trade secrets and tortiously interfered with business dealings. Camick was subsequently arrested (and falsely imprisoned) two more times, based on the false police report, in New Jersey and Kansas. Ultimately, Camick alleges that it led to federal criminal charges in 2013 and false imprisonment for two years due to being convicted on those charges and deportation to Canada. He has also included numerous other individuals and/or entities as being involved in depriving him of his civil rights.

         Most of the alleged events occurred approximately five to seven years ago. Camick, however, recently started filing lawsuits against Wattley (and other individuals) related to these events again in late 2016 and continuing into 2017 and 2018.[26] In his most recent cases before this Court, Camick contends that he only recently started filing these lawsuits because he was previously legally estopped from taking civil action because Judge Marten had prohibited him from filing additional lawsuits in Case No. 13-10042 (his criminal case) until recently. As noted, however, in Case No. 17-1110, this Court determined that Judge Marten did not previously enter injunctive relief against Camick.[27] Instead, Judge Marten determined that the Government had not demonstrated that future harm was likely to occur because the civil case was nearing its ...

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