United States District Court, S.D. New York
August 11, 2005.
JEFFREY HAMMER, Plaintiff
THE SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES, Defendant.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: RICHARD HOLWELL, District Judge
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Pro se plaintiff Jeffrey Hammer initiated this action on
April 25, 2005 seeking a writ of mandamus pursuant to
28 U.S.C. § 1361 to compel the Supreme Court of the United States to grant
his petition for a writ of certiorari, which was previously
denied without comment.*fn1 On July 10, 2005, the plaintiff
filed a motion for a preliminary injunction seeking "to compel
the United States Supreme Court to grant certiorari and to hear
this matter at the earliest possible time."
At the outset, the Court has an "independent obligation" to
address the propriety of exercising subject matter jurisdiction
over an action, FW/PBS, Inc. v. City of Dallas, 493 U.S. 215,
231 (U.S. 1990), particularly where issues of sovereign immunity
arise. Dotson v. Griesa, 398 F.3d 156, 177 (2d Cir. 2005)
(remarking that "[b]ecause a finding of sovereign immunity would deprive this court of subject matter
jurisdiction, we address that question first.") (citing cases).
The Federal Government, of which the Supreme Court is a branch,
is entitled to sovereign immunity. Loeffler v. Frank,
486 U.S. 549, 554 (U.S. 1988) (citing United States v. Sherwood,
312 U.S. 584, 586 (U.S. 1941)); Up State Federal Credit Union v.
Walker, 198 F.3d 372, 374 (2d. Cir. 1999) ("It is well
established that in any suit in which the United States is a
defendant, a waiver of sovereign immunity with respect to the
claim asserted is a prerequisite to subject matter
jurisdiction"). As the Court does not discern any waiver embodied
in the Constitution or the laws of Congress, the Supreme Court
remains immune from suit. Cook v. Supreme Court of the United
States, 1994 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 7192, at *1 (E.D. Pa. May 13,
1994) (internal citations omitted) (dismissing pro se
plaintiff's action against the Supreme Court based on sovereign
immunity); see also Muzzi v. United States Supreme Court, et
al., No. 02 Civ. 2017, 2002 WL 31324140, at *2 (E.D. La. Oct.
16, 2002) (same). Accordingly, the Court lacks subject matter
jurisdiction over Hammer's claims seeking to compel the Supreme
Court to grant his petition for a writ of certiorari.
The Court further notes that dismissal of plaintiff's claims
would be appropriate on other grounds. First, with respect to
plaintiff's request for a writ of mandamus, such relief is
inappropriate since "no other court may compel action of the
Supreme Court." Tillman v. United States Supreme Court,
979 F.2d 248 (D.C. Cir. 1992) (unpublished opinion) (citing cases).
Second, with respect to plaintiff's request that the Supreme
Court "expand" the parameters of federal cybersquatting law, the
Court finds no legal theory under which plaintiff would be
entitled to such relief. See Balistreri v. Pacifica Police
Department, 901 F.2d 696, 699 (9th Cir. 1990) (noting that
"[d]ismissal can be based on the lack of a cognizable legal theory or the absence of
sufficient facts alleged under a cognizable legal theory" under
Rule 12(b)(6)); Rice v. U.S. Supreme Court, 2003 WL 22999539,
No. 03 Civ. 55821 (CRB), at *2 (N.D. Cal. 2003) (dismissing pro
se plaintiff's claims against the Supreme Court with prejudice
because they were so "unsubstantial as to be devoid of merit").
With respect to Hammer's claim for damages against Amazon.com,
the Court observes that Hammer has already been advised, "Courts
may not issue an order against a nonparty." See Hammer v.
Trendl, No. 02 Civ. 2462 (ADS), 2003 WL 21466686, at *4
(E.D.N.Y. Jan. 18, 2003) (citing United States v. Paccione,
964 F.2d 1269, 1275 (2d Cir. 1992)).
The complaint is dismissed in its entirety with prejudice.
Hammer's motion for a preliminary injunction is denied as moot.
The Clerk of the Court shall close this case.