Searching over 5,500,000 cases.

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Wiltfong v. California State Board of Accountancy

United States District Court, W.D. Texas, El Paso Division

February 16, 2018




         On this day, the Court considered pro se Plaintiff Michael D. Wiltfong's [hereinafter "Plaintiff] revised "Complaint" (ECF No. 13) [hereinafter "Revised Complaint"], filed on January 16, 2018, in the above-captioned cause. For the foregoing reasons, the Court will dismiss Plaintiffs Complaint for failure to allege plausible facts and sufficient jurisdictional information.

         I. BACKGROUND

         On November 27, 2017, Plaintiff filed a "Motion to Proceed in Forma Pauperis" (ECF No. 1). The Court denied this motion on November 29, 2017. On December 7, 2017, Plaintiff paid the civil filing fee in order to file his initial complaint. However, upon reviewing Plaintiffs first attempted complaint, the Court noted concerns and ordered Plaintiff to file a more definite complaint. Order, Dec. 8, 2017, ECF No. 5. Specifically, the Court questioned its jurisdiction to hear the case and was concerned that Plaintiff failed to state a claim upon which relief could be granted. Id. Before the District Clerk issued summonses, the Court stayed this cause pending the filing of a more definite complaint.[1]

         Thereafter, instead of bolstering his initial complaint, Plaintiff attempted to file a sealed "Answer" that provided further details regarding his claims. Mot. for Leave, Dec. 18, 2017, ECF No. 10. The Court denied that motion and again ordered Plaintiff to file an amended complaint. Order, Jan. 4, 2018, ECF No. 11. In that Order, the Court included guidance to Plaintiff regarding stating a claim in federal court, pleading with specificity, and alleging a plausible set of facts. Id. at 4-7. Further, the Court directed Plaintiff to detail specifically how each one of the 127 defendants he named in the complaint "are responsible for each of the described harms." Id. at 6.

         In response, on January 16, 2018, Plaintiff filed the Revised Complaint presently before the Court. The Complaint includes numerous photographs and internet screen-captures, and a spreadsheet of the names and addresses of the roughly 120 defendants Plaintiff is attempting to sue. The thrust of the Complaint, as conveyed through a lengthy biographical narrative, is that the defendants are engaged in an unlawful cartel whose purpose is to manipulate the accounting market. Plaintiff claims the cartel has unlawfully prevented him from obtaining an accounting license, which he claims was improperly revoked by a state licensing agency. Beyond that, Plaintiff lists numerous grievances against the accounting industry including the lack of effective oversight of major accounting firms, conflicts of interest in the leadership of the industry, lack of due process in the state licensing process, and failure to enforce all of its rules and regulations in an evenhanded manner.

         Regarding jurisdiction, Plaintiff asserts a federal question by alleging that the cartel has violated federal laws including the Sherman Act and the RICO Act. In addition, Plaintiff claims the cartel has deprived him of "due process, " "free[dom] to contract, " and "free speech, " and has engaged in "discrimination" on the basis of "race and age." Compl. 33. For the reasons stated below, the Court will dismiss Plaintiffs Complaint for failure to state claim and failure to demonstrate that federal-question jurisdiction exists in this case.


         A CLAIM A. Legal Standard

         Pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), a court may dismiss an action for "failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted." In determining whether a plaintiff states a valid claim, a court "accept[s] all well-pleaded facts as true and view[s] those facts in the light most favorable to the plaintiffs." Gonzalez v. Kay, 577 F.3d 600, 603 (5th Cir. 2009) (quoting Dorsey v. Portfolio Equities, Inc., 540 F.3d 333, 338 (5th Cir. 2008)).

         "To survive a motion to dismiss, a complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to 'state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'" Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). "A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged." Id. A pleading that offers mere "labels and conclusions'. . . will not do, " especially when it simply tenders "'naked assertion[s]' devoid of 'further factual enhancement.'" Id. (second alteration in original) (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555, 557).

         B. Analysis

         The Court will accept all well-pleaded facts in the Revised Complaint as true, and liberally construe the Revised Complaint in accordance with standard practice for pro se litigants. See Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007). However, even after doing so, the Court concludes that Plaintiff has failed to state a claim on which the Court can grant relief.

         First, when asserting an antitrust claim, a plaintiff "cannot assemble some collection of defendants and then make vague, non-specific allegations against all of them as a group." SD3, LLC v. Black & Decker (U.S.) Inc.,801 F.3d 412, 422 (4th Cir. 2015), as amended on reh'g in part (Oct. 29, 2015), cert, denied, 136 S.Ct. 2485 (2016). Instead, a "complaint must 'specify how these defendants [were] involved in the alleged conspiracy, ' without relying on 'indeterminate assertions' against all 'defendants.'" Id. (citing In re Travel Agent Comm'n Antitrust Litig, 583 F.3d 896, 905 (6th Cir. 2009)); see also In re Elevator Antitrust Litig,502 F.3d 47, 50 (2d Cir. 2007) (expressing a similar rule where the plaintiffs complaint was pleaded "in entirely general terms without any ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.