Pittsburgh man's lawsuit against FBI deemed frivolous and dismissed

By Nicholas Malfitano | May 11, 2016

Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)  

PHILADELPHIA – A Pittsburgh man’s litigation against the Federal Bureau of Investigation and its director has now twice been termed as “frivolous” and meritless litigation.

Judges Thomas L. Ambro, Patty Shwartz and Richard L. Nygaard from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit wrote in a per curiam opinion issued Friday that Edwin Ejikeme’s complaint versus the FBI, its Director Robert Mueller and one of its supposed agents Esperante S. Tovi (allegedly known under the alias “Anulika”) was “frivolous” and thereby dismissed.

Ejikeme filed the lawsuit in 2015 against Mueller and Tovi, charging them with committing “a variety of fantastical allegations," according to the Third Circuit.

“[The complaint included] allegations that they attempted to infect him with HIV, placed domestic and international spy satellites on him and falsely informed the managers of Family Dollar and Bottom Dollar that Ejikeme was stealing merchandise from these stores,” the Third Circuit said.

On Nov. 9, the District Court dismissed his complaint as frivolous and Ejikeme filed a timely notice of appeal from this order on Nov. 20.

“We have jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. Section 1291 and review the District Court’s dismissal of the complaint as frivolous under 28 U.S.C. Section 1915(e)(2)(B)(i) for abuse of discretion”, the Third Circuit said.  

Unfortunately for Ekijeme, the federal appellate court didn’t see the District Court’s earlier dismissal of his case as an “abuse of discretion.”

“Section 1915(e)(2)(B)(i) ‘authorizes the dismissal of an IFP complaint as factually frivolous if a court determines that the contentions are clearly baseless,” the Third Circuit stated. “Here, Ejikeme’s allegations appear to arise from some type of imagined campaign by the FBI to infect him with HIV and otherwise harass and annoy him by stealing various personal items and smearing his reputation at local discount stores.”

According to the Third Circuit, the District Court’s dismissal of Ejikeme’s case was proper due to its frivolity.

“A finding of factual frivolousness is appropriate when the facts alleged rise to the level of the irrational or the wholly incredible, whether or not there are judicially noticeable facts available to contradict them,” the Third Circuit said. “Accordingly, we will affirm the decision of the District Court.”

The appellate concluded that in reviewing Ejikeme’s argument in support of appeal, it contained “similarly fantastical allegations against Mueller” and was likewise subject to dismissal.

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit case 15-3910

U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania case 2:15-cv-00008

From the Pennsylvania Record: Reach Courts Reporter Nicholas Malfitano at nickpennrecord@gmail.com

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