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BLOOM v. DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL COMMITTEE

January 29, 2003

BARRY I. BLOOM, PLAINTIFF,
v.
DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL COMMITTEE, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Kevin Nathaniel Fox, United States District Judge.

REPORT and RECOMMENDATION

TO THE HONORABLE KIMBA M. WOOD, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

I. INTRODUCTION

Before the Court is a motion made by defendants that the amended complaint in this action be dismissed, pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6) and 12(b)(3), because the plaintiff has failed to state a claim upon which relief may be granted and because venue does not lie in this judicial district. Alternatively, the defendants have requested, pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(e), that the plaintiff be directed to provide the defendants with a more definite statement of the claim set forth in his amended complaint.

Plaintiff opposes the motion. He contends that his amended complaint comports with Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(e) in that a "simple, concise and obvious" statement of his claim is set forth in that pleading. However, plaintiff has indicated a willingness to provide the defendants with a more definite statement of his claim. The motion made by the defendants is addressed below.

II. BACKGROUND

In December 2001, Barry I. Bloom ("Bloom") filed a complaint with the Clerk of Court against defendant Al Gore ("AG"). Through the complaint, Bloom sought payment of $18 million dollars and interest "at the rate of 1% above prime compounded quarterly from the third week of January 1992." Bloom also sought to obtain the proceeds of certain unidentified fund raising activities and all of the income derived by s family until such time as the $18 million dollars allegedly owed to him was paid.

Attached to the complaint was a letter dated July 24, 1998, addressed to AG in his capacity as Vice President of the United States. The subject of the letter is identified as the "CAMPAIGN OF 1992 FOR THE PRESIDENCY AND VICE PRESIDENCY OF THE UNITED STATES." The July 24, 1998 letter purports to be a bill for a campaign slogan, Let's Take America Back, and the text for two campaign themes, one involving healthcare and the other the transformation of a welfare system into a workfare program. In the letter, Bloom demands that 36 cashier's checks in the amount of $500,000 each be made payable to him as a fee. Furthermore, the letter informs that the fee is due within 30 days of AG's receipt of the July 24, 1998 letter.

Also attached to the complaint are numerous copies of the July 24, 1998 letter; the copies contain handwritten notations reminding AG that Bloom's fee of $18 million dollars remains unpaid and, in each instance, requesting that the fee be remitted to him. The handwritten notations are dated beginning September 1998. It appears that copies of the July 24, 1998 letter, with the above-noted handwritten notations, were issued to AG monthly through October 2001. The complaint also has as an attachment copies of United States Postal Service forms evidencing the mailing of the various copies of the July 24, 1998 letter to AG and their receipt at either the White House Mail Room or at a post office box associated with AG.

Absent from Bloom's complaint were any factual allegations which purport to establish that AG entered into an agreement with Bloom concerning either: (a) the campaign slogan; or (b) the text of the campaign themes that are recorded in the July 24, 1998 letter. Also absent from Bloom's complaint are any factual allegations from which one might ascertain when or where any agreement between AG and Bloom respecting the slogan or the text of the campaign themes was created.

In April 2002, Bloom filed an amended complaint. In his amended pleading, Bloom added as party defendants Tipper Gore ("TG") and the Democratic National Committee. The text of the amended complaint is identical to that of the original complaint. However, the amended complaint does not have any of the attachments which accompanied Bloom's original pleading. In response to the amended complaint, defendants AG and TG filed the instant motion. Thereafter, the defendant Democratic National Committee advised the Court that it joined the application made by the other defendants, that the amended complaint be dismissed or, alternatively, that the plaintiff be directed to provide the defendants with a more definite statement of his claim.

The main thrust of the defendants' motion is that Bloom's amended complaint is devoid of factual allegations from which they can determine the nature of the claim being asserted against them. The defendants maintain that the only fact alleged by Bloom is that he sent monthly dunning letters to AG concerning the $18 million dollars referenced in his amended complaint. The defendants contend that, since the amended complaint fails to allege that any agreement existed between Bloom and the defendants that would make them liable to him upon a breach of the agreement and, thereby, support his claim for $18 million dollars, Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6) requires that the amended complaint be dismissed.

The defendants also maintain that, although plaintiff purports to invoke the jurisdiction of this court based on the diversity of citizenship which exists among the parties, he has not established, as contemplated by 28 U.S.C. § 1391(a), that venue for the instant action lies in this judicial district. Accordingly, the defendants assert that this, too, warrants the dismissal of Bloom's amended complaint.

For his part, Bloom urges the court to deny the defendants the relief they seek pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6) because, he contends, it is obvious from a reading of the amended complaint that an oral contract was breached by them. Therefore, he maintains he is entitled to recover payment ($18 million dollars) for the services he rendered to the defendants. Equally obvious, plaintiff asserts, is the diversity of citizenship which exists among the parties. That fact, without more, Bloom contends, makes ...


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