DC Defendants Opposition to Plaintiff's Motion for Consolidation


William Thomas, et. al.       |   
      Plaintiffs pro se,      | 
       v.                     |          C.A. No. 95-1018
                              |       Judge Charles R. Richey
The United States, et. al.    |      
      Defendants.             | 


Plaintiff, who in the present action is already pursuing separate claims against various District of Columbia defendants and federal defendants with different factual and legal issues, now seeks to consolidate this action with an earlier claim filed against federal defendants (Thomas, et al. v. United States, CA 94-2747

The plaintiff's claims against the District of Columbia defendants in this matter, CA 95-1018, arise out of his arrest for failure to obey a lawful order of a police officer. (Complaint, counts 11-14) That order was prompted by plaintiff's removal of the structure bearing political/religious signs from Lafayette Park (for which he apparently had a permit) into Pennsylvania Avenue (for which he admits he had no permit). Control of Pennsylvania Avenue is under the jurisdiction of the District of Columbia. He was arrested by District of Columbia officials, in a District of Columbia street, for violations of District of Columbia law.


The plaintiff's claims against federal officials in this case are based on the actions of federal officials in closing Pennsylvania Avenue to regular traffic and securing the area around the White House complex, including Lafayette Park, from terrorist attack. In doing so they erected barricades, and closed streets on a temporary emergency basis. Plaintiff challenges these measures on both procedural and constitutional grounds. He also challenges federal defendants' consideration of future permanent planning options for Lafayette Park. He asserts federal defendants have violated NEPA and the APA. (Complaint, counts 3-9)

Plaintiff also asserts that his First Amendment rights have been violated by both federal and District officials.

Now plaintiff seeks to consolidate these claims with his separate action against other federal entities, challenging their "enforcement of variouss minor regulations" regarding signage, exercise of First Amendment rights, placement of structures and signs pursuant to federal regulations concerning use of Lafayette Park. Apparently, at issue in the earlier action is whether Plaintiff's signage qualifies as a "structure" or a "sign" under the relevant federal regulations. (Pl. Memo. at p. 2)

Plaintiffs claims in CA 94-2747 do not share a common core of fact of law with either of his claims in CA 95-1018 as required under FRCiv p. 42. At most, they share a similar geographical situs.

The facts and law concerning plaintiffs signage assembly in CA 94-2747 will be determined by application of federal regulation governing use of Lafayette Park, a public park and public forum,


The facts and law for District defendants in CA 95-1018 will be entirely different: application of District of Columbia regulations to plaintiff's actio in disobeying a police order regarding his actions in a public street. While in both instances there may be consideration of how the separate federal and District regulations pass muster under the First Amendment, this will invove application of a very different set of facts. As to the federal defendants in CA 95-1018, there is only somme congruity of parites with those in CA 94-2747, but absolutely no congruity of law and facts. In CA 95-1018 the law and facts at issue will primarily concern the federal defendants compliance with procedural requirements of National Environmental Protection Act and the Administrative procedure Act, not federal action against plaintiffs alleged failure to comply with unrelated federal regulations and a Bivens action arising out of plaintiff's activities in Lafayette Park.

Because there is no common core of fact and/or law, and moreover, because consolidation would not enhance uddicial resolution of these matters, but can only prompt confusion of the issues, the District opposes consolidation and asks that the court deny plaintiff's motion.

Respectfully submitted,

Corporation Counsel, D.C.

Deputy Corporation Counsel, D.C.
Civil Division

Chief, Major Case Section

Assistant Corporation Counsel, D.C.
Attorney for Defendants
441 4th Street, N.W.,
Suite 6-S-101
Washington, D.C. 20001