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DEMOS v. DOE
December 9, 2005.
JOHN R. DEMOS, Plaintiff,
JOHN DOE/CHAIRMAN KEEBLER FOODS COMPANY, Defendant.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: MILTON SHADUR, Senior District Judge
John Demos ("Demos") has tendered a self-prepared Complaint
against someone whom he describes as "John Doe," the Chairman of
Keebler Foods Company ("Keebler"), complaining if you can
believe it of his having consumed some Zesta saltines
manufactured by Keebler that caused him "stomach cramps" and an
"upset stomach." Although Demos, who is in custody at the
Washington State Penitentiary in Walla Walla, Washington, refers
on the cover page of his Complaint to a number of federal
statutes, all of those proposed invocations are plainly
frivolous. And although diversity of citizenship may be present,
Demos' acknowledgment that his claimed monetary damages amount to
$12,000 (to say nothing of the minor nature of the claimed harm
that he asserts) flatly negates the existence of federal
jurisdiction on that ground.
As with all cases brought by prisoners without payment of the
filing fee, even those as frivolous as this one, this Court is
called on in the first instance to examine Demos' accompanying submissions called for by 28 U.S.C. § 1915 ("Section 1915"). Here
Demos has tendered a Declaration and Application To Proceed In
Forma Pauperis ("Application") together with a printout as to his
trust fund account at the Penitentiary. That printout is
difficult to decipher, in large part because Demos' enormous
number of prior lawsuits (more on this subject a bit later) has
created a priority ladder on which this District Court would
appear to occupy the bottom rung by reason of this action.
Accordingly this Court grants the Application as prescribed by
Section 1915(a)(1) but that means only that Demos need not pay
the entire $250 filing fee in advance. Instead he is liable for
that full amount (Section 1915(b)(1)), to be paid in
installments. This Court cannot calculate the initial partial
filing fee called for by Section 1915(b)(1), but the authorities
at the Penitentiary (to whom a copy of this memorandum is being
sent) will be expected to comply with Section 1915's
By contrast, dealing with the substance of Demos' claim is
easy. It is frivolous in both jurisdictional and substantive terms. Both the Complaint and this action must be and are
dismissed summarily for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.
One thing should be added. Complaint ¶ I. B freely acknowledges
that Demos has filed "100's" of prior lawsuits in federal courts,
and the printout of a civil name search conducted by this
District Court's Staff Attorney's Office discloses no fewer than
429 such lawsuits! It appears that 23 of those lawsuits
(including this one) have been filed in this Northern District of
Illinois. Some steps certainly seem to be called for to prevent
such a gross abuse of the justice system, and a copy of this
memorandum order is being provided to the Executive Committee of
this District Court for its possible consideration in that
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