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Simmons v. Doe

United States District Court, N.D. Texas, Dallas Division

April 4, 2019

Jason Levon Simmons, Plaintiff,
John Doe #1 of the Texas Medical Board, et al., Defendants.



         Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b) and Special Order 3, this civil action was referred to the United States magistrate judge for case management. The Court granted Plaintiff Jason Simmons' motion to proceed in forma pauperis but did not issue process pending judicial screening. Upon review of the relevant pleadings and applicable law, Simmons' case should be summarily DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE as frivolous and malicious.

         I. BACKGROUND

         On March 5, 2019, Simmons, a New York state resident, filed a pro se Original Complaint in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York against unidentified individuals employed by or affiliated with the Texas Medical Board (“TMB”), specifically, John Doe TMB's members, investigators, panel experts, and executive committee members-all sued in their individual capacities. Doc. 1 at 1. The case was subsequently transferred to this Court based on venue. Doc. 6.

         Simmons' claims stem from his former employment as an internal medicine resident at the Methodist Hospitals of Dallas (Methodist) from 2007 through 2010. Following a disciplinary hearing in May 2010, Methodist suspended Simmons' hospital privileges and, in June 2010, TMB commenced its own administrative actions against Simmons. A month later, Methodist fired Simmons.

         Simmons then hired attorney Ray Jackson to sue Methodist and represent him before the TMB. Id. This Court granted summary judgment against him in his employment discrimination lawsuit. Simmons v. Methodist Hospital, No. 3:11-cv-17-B, 2012 WL 1447970, *1 (N.D. Tex. Apr. 26, 2012) (Boyle, J.) (holding Plaintiff failed to plead a prima facie case of discrimination under Title VII and to respond to Defendant's legitimate, nondiscriminatory reasons for the adverse employment actions against him). Jackson withdrew from representing Simmons before the TMB in October 2012 and Simmons then hired attorney Oscar San Miguel, who represented Simmons before the TMB until June 2013, when the TMB issued its Final Order against Simmons.

         On November 1, 2013, the TMB initiated a second proceeding against Simmons for violation of its Final Order. In April 2014, the TMB also began proceedings before the Texas State Office of Administrative Hearings (SOAH) and Simmons represented himself before the TMB and in the SOAH proceedings. The SOAH proceedings, however, were dismissed by the TMB staff on July 21, 2014, after Simmons allowed his medical license to expire.

         On August 18, 2014, Simmons filed a pro se lawsuit in this Court against Methodist, asserting a Title VII retaliation claim and state law claims for defamation, fraud, negligence and intentional interference with prospective contract, and breach of contract, all arising from the same events underlying the first suit. See Simmons v. Methodist Hosps. of Dallas, No. 3:14-CV-2958-B (N.D. Tex.). The Court concluded that the claims were time barred. See Simmons v. Methodist Hosps. of Dallas, 106 F.Supp.3d 799, 801 (N.D. Tex. 2015) (Boyle, J.), aff'd, 632 Fed.Appx. 784 (5th Cir. 2015) (per curiam) (affirming statute-of-limitations dismissal and denial of equitably tolling).

         On May 15, 2015, Simmons, proceeding pro se, filed yet another action against Methodist, also naming as defendants the TMB, Jackson, San Miguel, Simon Whiting, and Barbara Jordan. After permitting Simmons to file four amended complaints, the Court dismissed all claims against Methodist with prejudice and against the TMB without prejudice for lack of jurisdiction. Simmons v. Jackson, No. 3:15-CV-1700-D, 2017 WL 3051484, at *9 (N.D. Tex. July 19, 2017) (Fitzwater, J.). While Simmons' claims against the individual defendants remained pending, Simmons filed a new pro se lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas against Jordan, members of the TMB's Executive Committee and the Disciplinary Process Review Committee, and General Counsel, asserting fraud and violations of 42 U.S.C. §§1983 and 1985 and the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO). Simmons v. Texas Medical Board, et al., No. 1:17-CV-794-SS (W.D. Tex., Austin Div. filed Aug. 16, 2017). After Simmons was granted two opportunities to amend, the case was dismissed on January 30, 2018. Id., at ECF Dkt. # 46 (order dismissing claims as time barred, based on defendants' absolute and qualified immunity, and for failure to state a claim).

         This Court subsequently dismissed Simmons' remaining claims against the individual defendants in the Northern District for failure to state a claim. Simmons v. Jackson, No. 3:15-CV-1700-S-BT, 2018 WL 4574975, at *1 (N.D. Tex. Sept. 6, 2018), R. & R. accepted, 2018 WL 4568802 (N.D. Tex. Sept. 24, 2018) (dismissing RICO and civil conspiracy claims against Jackson for failure to state a claim); Id., 2019 WL 360636, at *1 (N.D. Tex. Jan. 4, 2019), R. & R accepted, 2019 WL 358751 (N.D. Tex. Jan. 29, 2019) (same as to San Miguel); Id., 2018 WL 7021485, at *1 (N.D. Tex. Dec. 21, 2018), R & R accepted, 2019 WL 186654 (N.D. Tex. Jan. 14, 2019) (same as to Jordan).[1]

         Undeterred, Simmons filed the instant lawsuit, his fifth civil action in his on-going legal battle with the TMB. In his 97-page Original Complaint, Simmons asserts unidentified individuals either employed by or affiliated with the TMB made false statements to the New York State Department of Health to encourage an investigation and deprive him of his New York medical license violating his civil rights. Doc. 1 at 2-3, 5. In addition to claims of state law fraud and defamation, Simmons alleges that the unidentified Defendants: (1) conspired to initiate sham board proceedings against him, in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1983; (2) discriminated against him, in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1985; (3) deprived him of “due process and liberty interests based on the false accusations that he committed a crime in his profession, ” in violation of Section 1983; and (4) “deprive[d] him of his ability to make business contracts across the United States, ” in violation 42 U.S.C. § 1981. Doc. 1 at 29-93. He seeks monetary relief. Doc. 1 at 94-96.[2]

         Simmons claims:

Plaintiff alleges The Methodist Hospital of Dallas; Attorney, Simon D. Whiting; Attorney, Ray Jackson; Attorney, Oscar San Miguel; Attorney, Barbara Jordan; John Doe #1; John Doe #2; John Doe #3 and John Doe #4 of the Texas Medical Board's Investigations Department; John Doe(s) of the Expert Panel; the Texas Medical Board's Disciplinary Process Review Committee and; the Texas Medical Board's Executive Committee agreed to act in concert to initiate a series of sham board proceedings against the plaintiff; charge plaintiff with felonies; deprive plaintiff of business opportunities to contract; injure his professional reputation; deprive him of the ability to live and practice his profession across the country without the unjustified label of infamy; sanction and revoke his medical licenses; deny him due process; deny him the right to give evidence for his legal proceedings; exto1i money from the plaintiff; place a burden on plaintiffs right to have a subpoena issue for his disciplinary hearing; avoid legal duties owed the plaintiff; conceal information about plaintiffs legal proceedings, delay plaintiffs legal proceedings to expend the statute of limitations for his claims and; obstruct plaintiffs legal proceedings. Sherif Zaafran, M.D., President, George Willeford III, M.D., Vice-President Paulette Southard, Secretary/Treasurer Margaret McNeese, M.D. and, Timothy Webb, J.D. are collectively refe1Ted to as The Texas Medical Board's EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE. Margaret McNeese, M.D. Chair; Julie Attebury; Stanley S. Wang, M.D. J.D. George Willeford III, M.D. and; Sherif Z. Zaafran, ...

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