United States District Court, E.D. Pennsylvania
before me in this case are motions to dismiss by defendants
Ralph Hutchinson, Dkt. No. 14, the Honorable Margaret Miller,
Dkt. No. 19, and Amber Green and Christina Hausner. Dkt. No.
34. Also before me are three motions by plaintiff Jeffrey
Cutler,  who is proceeding pro se,  seeking to
“combine cases” and “summary
judgment.” Dkt. No. 21, Dkt. No. 32, and Dkt. No. 35.
Hutchinson has filed responses in opposition to
plaintiff's motions for summary judgment and to combine
cases, Dkt. No. 24 and Dkt. No. 33, as have Judge Miller,
Dkt. No. 28 and defendants Christina Hausner and Amber Green.
Dkt. No. 30, Dkt. No. 36. Mr. Cutler has also filed a
document which he calls a “response to Judge's
order of 10Mar2017 and Summary Judgment, ” Dkt. No. 22,
a document which he calls an “addendum to response to
Judge's Order of 10Apr2017 and summary judgment, ”
Dkt. No. 29, and a “response to opposition to motion
for summary judgment.” Dkt. No. 31. Finally, on June
15, 2017, Mr. Cutler filed yet another motion to combine
cases which also seeks a default judgment. Dkt. No. 37. No
defendant has filed a response to this motion.
reasons that follow, the Court will deny Mr. Cutler's
motions, grant defendants' motions and dismiss Mr.
Cutler's complaint, amended complaint and his subsequent
filings are not a model of clarity. In his amended complaint,
Mr. Cutler, who identifies himself as the “East
Lampeter Township Elected Tax Collector, ” seeks
declaratory and injunctive relief against defendants Amber
Green, Ralph Hutchinson, Judge Margaret Miller, Christina
Hausner, Ron Martin, a local news station (WGAL) and selected
unidentified Pennsylvania public officials. See Dkt.
No. 2. He alleges that there is a conspiracy to remove him
from his elected position as a tax collector in East Lampeter
Township, Pennsylvania, see Dkt. No. 2 at ECF p. 1,
and invokes the protections of the First Amendment of the
U.S. Constitution, Dkt. No. 2 at ECF p. 6, along with the
Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments, 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and 18
U.S.C. § 1346. Dkt. No. 2 at ECF p. 7. Plaintiff also
argues that the “only way to remove an elected official
is specified in Article VI, Section 7 of the Pennsylvania
Constitution.” Dkt. No. 2 at ECF p. 6-7.
Cutler alleges that “as the legally elected Tax
Collector of East Lampeter Township[, he] collects real
estate taxes for the municipality and deputized the Conestoga
Valley School System (CV) to collect the school taxes, for
residents of East Lampeter Township . . . .” Dkt. No. 2
at ECF p. 4. His amended complaint makes reference to
“[a] lawsuit in [m]andamus filed by East Lampeter
Township.” Id. The action in question, a
mandamus action filed in the Court of Common Pleas for
Lancaster County on June 19, 2015, sought “to have
Cutler comply with local tax collection law 72 P.S. Sec
§5511.1 et seq[.] . . . .” Dkt. No. 14-2 at ECF p.
2, citing Dkt. No. 14-1 (Hutchinson Ex. A (Mandamus
Compl.)). More specifically, the action sought to
have Mr. Cutler establish a physical office, appoint a deputy
tax collector, comply with recordkeeping and reporting
requirements and provide documentation to the township. Dkt.
No. 19 at ECF p. 5, citing Dkt. No. 19-1 (Miller Ex.
A (Mandamus Compl.)).
action, Mr. Cutler's complaints against defendants are
numerous. He alleges that there is a conspiracy to impeach
him as tax collector without due process “because he is
Jewish.” Dkt. No. 2 at ECF p. 3 (emphasis omitted). Mr.
Cutler claims that “[b]oth East Lampeter Township and
Lancaster County have filed fraudulent Municipal Liens
against” him and that they “have willfully denied
full compensation of postage and printing during Mr.
Cutler's entire term since January 2014.”
Id. at ECF p. 2. He contends that on February 10,
2016, “the office of the Lancaster County Treasurer
(Amber Green) refused to accept funds from the Tax Collector
of East Lampeter Township, in clear violation of her oath of
office and Pennsylvania law.” Id. at ECF p.
2-3 (capitalization omitted).
Cutler also contends that defendant Hutchinson “ordered
the suspension of access to DEVNET by Jeffrey Cutler[, ]
obstructing him from doing his legally elected position . . .
without due process or court order.” Id. at
ECF p. 3 (emphasis and capitalization omitted). He alleges
that without access to DEVNET, “he cannot access
information about official information of previous payments
of taxes and issue copies of official receipts so taxpayers
can get rebates for their real estate payments.”
Id. at ECF p. 7. Mr. Cutler contends that he
“had reported validation flaws of the DEVNET system to
the office of the Auditor General, and thus qualifies under
the whistleblower provisions of federal law and Pennsylvania
Whistleblower Law, 43 Pa. C. S. §§
1421-1428.” Dkt No. 2 at ECF p. 3.
Cutler alleges that “[u]nknown female individuals from
the office of the Treasurer, intimidated [his] deputy Tax
Collector to resign on February 7, 2017. Id. at ECF
p. 7. He alleges that on February 15, 2017, “the office
of the Lancaster County Treasurer was emailed a request
asking if someone in that office would perform the duties of
the deputy Tax Collector.” Id. He also alleges
that “[b]ased on a newspaper advertisement the East
Lampeter Supervisors tried to designate the Lancaster County
Office of Treasurer to collect real estate taxes for 2017 . .
. .” Id.
Cutler complains about the actions undertaken by Judge
Margaret Miller in the mandamus action. Id. at ECF
p. 1-2. He contends that, after a secret
hearing” on March 7, 2017, id. at ECF p. 1
(emphasis in original), Judge Miller “ma[d]e a ruling
outside of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court . . . even though
she heard Mr. Cutler state that the case was now in the
Pennsylvania Supreme Court . . . .” Id. at ECF
p. 2. He alleges that “[o]n March 8, 2017 the Lancaster
County Commissioners held a meeting to authorize the
solicitor of Lancaster County to intervene in” the
mandamus action. Id. at ECF p. 1-2.
March 10, 2017, East Lampeter Township filed a petition in
the Lancaster County matter seeking a special injunction and
to supplement the record. Dkt. No. 14-2 at ECF p. 2-3,
citing Dkt. No. 14-1 at ECF p. 43 (Hutchinson Ex.
B). Judge Miller held a hearing on the petition at which Mr.
Cutler was present on March 17, 2017. Dkt. No. 14-1 at ECF p.
74 (Hutchinson Ex. H, transcript of March 17, 2017 hearing).
After the hearing, Judge Miller entered an Order which, inter
alia, required Fulton Bank to “continue to freeze
Defendant Jeffrey Cutler's Tax Collector Account, ”
enjoined Mr. Cutler “from performing any duties as Tax
Collector for East Lampeter Township, ” and required
Mr. Cutler to “deliver all books and records associated
with his tax collection duties to the Lancaster County
Controller within ten (10) days of the date of th[e]
Order.” Dkt. No. 3 at ECF p. 31-32.
amended complaint, Mr. Cutler asks this Court to, inter alia,
“Order Judge Miller . . . to Cease and Desist any
effort to rule on case Cl-15-0524 and disclose all
conversations, meeting minutes and parties involved in trying
to circumvent the Pennsylvania Supreme Court and violate Mr.
Cutler's civil rights.” Dkt. No. 2 at ECF p. 9. He
also contends that Judge Miller had no legal authority to
enter an order allowing his counsel to stop representing him
and asks this Court to order Judge Miller to vacate that
Cutler also asks the Court to
[r]einstate Mr. Cutler's access to the Devnet system and
penalize Lancaster County/Amber Green a One Million Dollar
per day penalty until access is granted, just like the other
Tax Collectors of Lancaster County, or conversely designate
someone in the office to assist with these duties until the
case is settled in the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.
Id. He asks the court to “[o]rder Lancaster
County/Amber green to reveal any willful effort to delete
records entered by Mr. Cutler in the DEVNET system and all
meetings and conversations with anyone in support of this
effort.” Id. at ECF p. 10. He also asks the
Court to “[o]rder all parties in this case to swear
they have no knowledge of any Anti-Jewish activity that
occurred in Pennsylvania after Mr. Cutler's case was
docketed for the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.”
Id. at ECF p. 9.
March 22, 2017, this Court denied plaintiff's
“emergency motion to vacate order and summary
judgment.” See Dkt. Nos. 4 and 5. The Court
explained that, “[t]o the extent that plaintiff s
motion asks me to undo certain decisions of the Lancaster
County Court of Common Pleas in the case brought against him
by East Lampeter Township, I must abstain under Younger
v. Harris, 401 U.S. 37 (1971) . . . .” Dkt. No. 5
at ECF p. 3.
on April 6, 2017, Ralph Hutchinson filed his motion to
dismiss Mr. Cutler's complaint, Dkt. No. 14, and on April
10, the Honorable Margaret Miller also filed her motion to
dismiss. Dkt. No. 19. Also on April 10, 2017, the Court
denied plaintiff's March 27, 2017 motion “for
reconsideration of the emergency motion to vacate order and
summary judgment for extr[a]ordinary circumstances”
[sic], Dkt. No. 7, and, to the extent that it could also be
construed as a motion, the “addendum” that Mr.
Cutler filed on April 3, 2017, Dkt. No. 8. In denying Mr.
Cutler's motion for reconsideration, the Court explained
that Mr. Cutler gave the Court “no reason to reconsider
my previous determination that all three Younger
elements are met, I must abstain and therefore cannot grant
plaintiff the relief he seeks in his emergency motion.”
Dkt. No. 20 at ECF p. 2 (internal quotation omitted).
April 20, 2017, Mr. Cutler filed his first motion seeking to
combine cases and also seeking summary judgment (although
discovery has yet to be conducted in this matter). Dkt. No.
21. The caption of plaintiff's April 20 filing references
the criminal matter United States v. Rufus Seth
Williams, No. 17-CR-00137 (E.D. Pa.). See Dkt.
No. 21. He asks that his case “be combined with case
2:17-cv-00984, and the same jury, ” asserting that both
cases “involve removal of elected officials and 18
U.S.C. § 1346, Honest Services Fraud.” Dkt. No. 21
at ECF p. 5. Mr. Cutler's motion seeking to combine his
case with the case against Mr. Williams asks the Court to,
inter alia, “[d]eclare that the Pennsylvania Real
Estate Tax System is NOT UNIFORM and violates the
Constitution of Pennsylvania.” Id. at ECF p. 7
(capitalization in original). Mr. Cutler also asks for
“documentation . . . of how much all police salary
costs and legal fees have been to date, and list all police
officers involved, in all jurisdictions including the
Pennsylvania State Police on 10JANUARY2015 used to try to
change the outcome of a certified election because Mr. Cutler
is Jewish.” Id. at ECF p. 8.
Cutler's second motion to combine cases and summary
judgment, filed on May 11, 2017, references Case Number
1:17-cv-02726 in its title. Dkt. No. 32 at ECF p. 1. No such
case exists to date on the docket for the United States
District Court for the District of Pennsylvania. Mr. Cutler
asserts that “[c]ase 1:17-cv-02726 and case number
2:17-cr-00137 involve George Soros influence meddling.”
Indeed, among the attachments to Mr. Cutler's second
motion to combine is a Clerk's Office form for the United
States District Court for the District of Columbia in which
he appears to attempt to notify this Court that his case is
related to BSG Resources (Guinea) v. George Soros and
Open Society Foundations, (S.D.N.Y. No. 17-02726).
See Dkt. No. 32-2 at ECF p. 3. A copy of the
complaint in that action is attached to Mr. Cutler's
filing. See Dkt. No. 32-2 at ECF p. 5. Mr. Cutler
does not explain the relationship between his claims and the
case in the Southern District of New York.
26, 2017, defendants Christina Hausner and Amber Green also
filed motions seeking to dismiss Mr. Cutler's
claims. Dkt. No. 31. Thereafter, on June 1, 2017,
Mr. Cutler filed his third motion to combine cases and
summary judgment. Dkt. No. 35. The motion references case
number 0:16-cv-61511 in its title. Id. at ECF p. 2.
Again, no such case exists on the docket for the United
States District Court for the Eastern District of
Pennsylvania. Instead, Mr. Cutler's motion attaches a
copy of a class action complaint in Wilding vs. DNC
Services Corporation (S.D. Fla. No. 0:16-cv-61511).
See Dkt. No. 35 at ECF p. 26-60. Mr. Cutler does not
explain any relationship between his claims and the claims of
plaintiffs Carol Wilding, et. al against the defendants DNC
Services Corporation d/b/a Democratic National Committee and
Deborah “Debbie” Wasserman Schultz.
Cutler's fourth motion seeking to combine his case with
another case, filed on June 15, 2017, asks the Court to
combine his case with another case filed in the District
Court for the District of Columbia: Montgomery v.
Comey, (D.D.C. No. 17-1074). See Dkt. No. 37 at
ECF p. 30. In the motion, he also asks for a default judgment
against defendant WGAL. Id. at ECF p. 1. Mr. Cutler
does not explain the relationship between his claims and the
claims asserted in Montgomery, a case in which the
plaintiffs allege that they have been the targets of illegal
spying and surveillance by the Federal Bureau of
Investigation. See id. at ECF p. 30 (attaching the
complaint filed in the case brought by Dennis Montgomery and
Larry Klayman against James Comey, the Federal Bureau of
Investigation and others in the District Court for the
District of Columbia in which the plaintiffs allege that they
have “been the targets of illegal spying and
surveillance”). Instead, Mr. Cutler argues, among other
things, that “he is just trying to connect the dots for
the Justice System and protect the constitution of the United
States as required by his Oath of office.” Dkt. No. 37
at ECF p. 7. He asserts that “[t]he FBI and others
appear to be actively preventing our government from
following the constitution and trying to obstruct the
president including WGAL and NBC.” Id.