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Anderson v. Cramer

United States District Court, W.D. Wisconsin

February 12, 2016

THOMAS LEE ANDERSON, Plaintiff,
v.
SHERIFF RON CRAMER, EAU CLAIRE COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE, Defendants. THOMAS LEE ANDERSON, Plaintiff,
v.
SCOTT D. NABKE, DAVID ERTEL, ALEJANDRO FERRO and BAYVIEW LOAN SERVICING, LLC, Defendants. THOMAS LEE ANDERSON, Plaintiff,
v.
UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT, Defendant.

ORDER

BARBARA B. CRABB DISTRICT JUDGE

Plaintiff recently filed three separate pro se lawsuits in this court challenging various aspects of ongoing foreclosure proceedings in a Wisconsin state court. Anderson v. United States, 15-cv-812-bbc (W.D. Wis.); Anderson v. Nabke, 15-cv-835-bbc (W.D. Wis.); Anderson v. Cramer, 16-cv-43-bbc (W.D. Wis.). I have reviewed plaintiff’s complaints for jurisdiction and have determined that each of them is legally frivolous. Accordingly, I am dismissing plaintiff’s actions with prejudice.

FACTUAL BACKGROUND

In January 2012, Bank of America, N.A. filed a foreclosure action in the Circuit Court for Eau Claire County against plaintiff and Barbara E. Anderson. Bank of America NA v. Anderson, 12-cv-54 (Eau Claire Cty. Cir. Court). For the past three years, plaintiff has been fighting this foreclosure action at all levels of the Wisconsin state court system. However, in December 2015, after the Wisconsin Supreme Court denied plaintiff’s petition for review and plaintiff’s “motion to set aside or vacate” the circuit court’s order was rejected, the Circuit Court for Eau Claire County scheduled a sheriff’s sale for February 2, 2016. Unable to obtain relief from the Wisconsin state courts, plaintiff filed a series of federal lawsuits in this court, aimed at stopping the holder of his mortgage note from foreclosing on his home.

A summary of the federal lawsuits at issue is set forth below.

A. Anderson v. United States, 15-cv-812-bbc (W.D. Wis.)

On December 18, 2015, plaintiff filed Anderson v. United States, 15-cv-812-bbc (W.D. Wis.). Although the complaint is difficult to comprehend, it appears that plaintiff is saying he is afraid that he will be charged with violating Wis.Stat. § 946.68, which prohibits simulating legal process, when he sues the judges in the Circuit Court for Eau Claire County who handled his underlying foreclosure action. Plaintiff wants the United States government to carry out its constitutional obligation to guarantee a “republican form of government” and enjoin the state of Wisconsin from enforcing Wis.Stat. § 946.68 on the grounds that it was “enacted to strike fear into the minds and hearts” of Wisconsin citizens. He also seems to contend that Wis.Stat. § 946.68 violates the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment because it gives Wisconsin’s state government “a power not common to the balance of the Several States[.]”

B. Anderson v. Nabke, 15-cv-835-bbc (W.D. Wis.)

On December 30, 2015, plaintiff filed Anderson v. Nabke, 15-cv-835-bbc (W.D. Wis.). In this action, plaintiff is suing Scott D. Nabke, as trustee for Bayview Loan Servicing, David Ertel and Alejandro Ferro (representatives of Universal Savings Bank F.A.) and a number of banks that currently hold or previously held his mortgage note. Although this complaint is almost incomprehensible, it appears that plaintiff believes that the foreclosure action commenced in state court violates various criminal laws, both real (e.g., counterfeiting) and imagined (e.g., “a Peter Funk Swindle” and “a public ponzi scheme fraud”). Plaintiff wants this court to take some unspecified action to ensure that defendants cease and desist their allegedly illegal efforts to foreclose on plaintiff’s property.

C. Anderson v. Cramer, 16-cv-43-bbc (W.D. Wis.)

On January 19, 2016, plaintiff filed Anderson v. Cramer, 16-cv-43-bbc (W.D. Wis.). In Anderson v. Cramer, plaintiff is suing Eau Claire County Sheriff Ron Cramer and the Eau Claire County Sheriff’s Office. Plaintiff contends that defendants Cramer and the Eau Claire County Sheriff’s Office do not have the common law authority to conduct a sheriff’s sale of his property. According to plaintiff, Cramer and the Sheriff’s Office may engage only in “criminal law enforcement.” They are not permitted to “take part in the execution of civil or commercial laws.” Plaintiff requests $50, 000 in damages for every day that Cramer and the Sheriff’s Office assist with the foreclosure proceedings and an injunction prohibiting them from holding the sheriff’s sale ordered in the underlying foreclosure suit.

OPINION

District courts have the power to screen complaints filed by all litigants, prisoners and non-prisoners alike, regardless of fee status. Rowe v. Shake, 196 F.3d 778, 783 (7th Cir. 1999). It is well-established that when a litigant’s claim is a sham or it is frivolous, vexatious, or brought in bad faith, the district court may dismiss the action sua sponte. Roby v. Skupien, 762 F.Supp. 813 (N.D. Ill. 1991). Claims that are “so insubstantial, implausible, foreclosed by prior decisions of [the United States Supreme Court], or otherwise completely devoid of merit as not to involve a federal controversy” are subject to dismissal on jurisdictional grounds. Steel Co. v. Citizens for a Better Environment, 523 U.S. 83, 89 (1998). Here, each one of plaintiff’s suits is subject to dismissal on the ground that it is legally frivolous and fails to state claims that fall within the scope of this court’s jurisdiction.

Plaintiff’s claims in Anderson v. United States, 15-cv-812-bbc (W.D. Wis.) fail for a variety of reasons. First, plaintiff has offered no basis for finding that the federal government has waived its sovereign immunity with respect to his claims. Second, the equal protection clause does not require states to enact identical laws but requires equal enforcement by states of all the laws they have enacted. The federal courts have long recognized the benefit associated with states’ taking different approaches to legal problems. Oregon v. Ice, 555 U.S. 160, 171 (2009). Third, claims resting on Article IV, Section 4 of the United ...


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