USDC CA. No. 84-3552


 WILLIAM THOMAS.                                                         

      v.                         Civil Action No. 84-3552                

                                               JUN 3-1985
                                                              CLERK, U.S.DISTRICT COURT
                                                                DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA


Plaintiff brings this action to enjoin the defendants from interfering with the "reproachful vigil" that he maintains in the vicinity of the White House and Lafayette Park. The federal defendants and defendant Michael Canfield have moved to dismiss the plaintiff's complaint. The federal defendants correctly point out that the plaintiff can no longer challenge the Department of Interior (DOI: regulations under which he and his fellow protesters have Seen arrested. These regulations have been held to be constitutional. See Clark v. Community for Creative Non-Violence, 104 S.Ct. 3065 1984; White House Vigil for the ERA Committee v. Clark, 746 F.2d 1518 (D.C. Cir. 1984): United States v. Thomas, Nos. 83-1769 etc. (D.C. Cir. December 21, 1984).

Nevertheless, many of the issues raised in plaintiff's voluminous pro se complaint cannot be resolved by the pending motions. At a hearing held on May 8, 1985, plaintiff identified several claims that implicate concerns going beyond whether DOI's


regulations are constitutional. These claims have been summarized in a Clarification of Complaint" filed by the plaintiff at the Court's request.

Plaintiff alleges that both federal and local law enforcement officials have committed unconstitutional excesses in their efforts to arrest plaintiff pursuant to Local statutes and DOI regulations. In particular, plaintiff claims that his literature, tools, signs, and camera have been improperly seized and destroyed by Park Service and District of Columbia Police. See, e.g., Complaint at ¶¶ 40, 46, 87, 93, 112, 117, 118 & 135.

He asserts that law enforcement officers have violated his constitutional rights by using excessive force during his arrests. See, e.g., Complaint at ¶¶ 30, 69, 93 & 132. plaintiff further alleges that the police have unlawfully detained him on several different Sundays by arresting him on Saturday nights and failing to book him expeditiously. See, e.g.,, Complaint at ¶¶ 57, 93, 97 &131. The complaint contains numerous other allegations of police misconduct, and plaintiff further claims that these acts were the product of a conspiracy pursued by federal and local officials.

Plaintiff's complaint states a substantial federal claim. The fact that the constitutionality of the DOI regulations is well-settled does not prevent the plaintiff from claiming, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. 1983 and Bivens v. Six Unknown Named


Agents of Federal Bureau of Narcotics, 403 U.S. 388 (1971), [*] that defendants have violate his constitutional rights in the course of enforcing the regulations and the law of the District of Columbia.

Nor are plaintiff's claims barred by the one-year statute of limitations applicable to actions for false imprisonment in the district of Columbia. Several of the constitutional violations alleged by the plaintiff assertedly occurred within one year of the filing of this action, and plaintiff has offered to amend his complaint to allege more recent incidents.

Plaintiff’s complaint is inartfully drafted. Moreover, his proposed second and third amended complaints reveal that he labors under several misconceptions about the remedies that are available to him in this Court, Because the plaintiff's proposed second and third amended complaints would, in their present form. needlessly complicate this action, the pending motions to amend will be denied without prejudice.

The defects in plaintiff's Pleadings do not bar plaintiff's otherwise substantial claims, since pro se pleadings must be liberally construed to avoid injustice. See Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519 (1972). At the May 8 hearing, however, plaintiff was advised that if the pending motions to dismiss were denied,

[* Bivens permits plaintiff to seek damages from federal officials alleged to have violated his constitutional rights. Even if plaintiff cannot state a cause of action under Bivens, his inability to do so would not necessarily preclude any equitable relief against the United States to which he may be entitled. See Reuber v. United States, 750 F.2d 1039, 1061-62 (D.C. Cir. 1984).]


he would be well-served by obtaining counsel to representing him. This admonition will be particularly meaningful if defendants should file motions for summary judgment, or if plaintiff wishes to amend his complaint to state succinctly the surviving claims outlined in this memorandum. for the reasons set forth herein, it is this 3rd day of June, 1985, hereby

ORDERED: that the federal defendants' motion to dismiss be, and is hereby, DENIED; and it is further

ORDERED: that defendant Canfield's motion to dismiss be. and is hereby, DENIED; and it is further

ORDERED: that a statute conference to schedule further proceedings in this case will be held on June 20, 1985 at 9:30 A.M.; and it is further

ORDERED: that on or before June 14, 1985, plaintiff shall present the papers in this case to the Lawyer Referral & information Service of the D.C. Bar, 1326 H Street, N.W., 9th floor (638-1509) and obtain the Service's recommendation of a lawyer, if any, who could represent plaintiff in this matter: and it is further

1. that plaintiff's motion to locate and serve defendant J.M. David be, and is hereby, DENIED.

2. That plaintiff’s motion for leave to file a second amended complaint be, and is hereby, DENIED, without prejudice.

3. That plaintiff's motion for leave to file a third amended complaint be, and is hereby, DENIED, without prejudice.


4. That plaintiff's motion for consolidation of hearing with trial on the merits be and is hereby, DENIED.

Louis F. Oberdorfer


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