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In re Picozzi

United States District Court, E.D. Pennsylvania

June 8, 2018

In re THOMAS PICOZZI, Plaintiff


          KEARNEY, J.

         Over approximately three weeks, Bucks County citizen Thomas Picozzi filed several frivolous cases in this Court including against judges and court staff in federal and state courts. Mr. Picozzi is largely upset with court orders or otherwise is challenging tortious conduct by fellow Pennsylvanians over which we lack subject matter jurisdiction. Each case lacks merit or we lack subject matter jurisdiction. In each case, Mr. Picozzi seeks leave to proceed in forma pauperis. Based on his sworn financial status, we grant Mr. Picozzi leave to proceed in forma pauperis. Upon close review, we dismiss each of his complaints in the accompanying Order. In light of his frenzied filing history of frivolous complaints, which reflects an abuse of the in forma pauperis privilege, we also require Mr. Picozzi to show cause before filing future lawsuits without paying the administrative and filing fees.

         I. Facts and procedural history.[1]

         Mr. Picozzi filed eleven cases in less than a month. He initially filed cases appearing to be loosely based on a will, alleged assaults and murder, medical issues, injuries to his genitals, alleged harassment, and allegations he fathered children with two women who have since been hiding the children from him. After our colleagues dismissed certain of those cases, primarily on jurisdictional grounds, Mr. Picozzi began filing lawsuits against those judges and court staff. He also filed a law suit based on his recent state court conviction for harassment, and a lawsuit based on a protection from abuse order obtained by his ex-wife. As Mr. Picozzi's earlier lawsuits in this Court underlie several of his cases against judges and court staff, we begin with his first filings before addressing the seven cases before us todayng the allegations in his more recent lawsuits.

         A. Judge Goldberg dismissed Mr. Picozzi's first case.

         Mr. Picozzi filed his first Complaint at issue on May 11, 2018, docketed as Picozzi v. McKeown, No. 18-1998 (E.D. Pa.) and assigned to the Honorable Mitchell S. Goldberg. He sued Joseph McKeown, Pat Mason, Kathleen Kacknacker, Ethel McKeown, and Harry McKucking. Mr. Picozzi alleged "when [he] was a young kid Joseph molested [him] for they been harassing [him] when [his] mom die[d]."[2] He alleged these Defendants "made a will behind [his] back" and blocked his phone number from people.[3] Mr. Picozzi plead he "had to go to City Hall and get a will."[4] He also claimed the Defendants "had this people in the medical field do stuff to [him and he] got stuff in [his] private part where [he] can't have sex!"[5] Mr. Picozzi argued that "Joseph came to hospital and did stuff this Dr. Snyder no [sic] him real well and his brother Murphy."[6] He also lost his house up in Langhorne.[7] According to Mr. Picozzi, Mr. Murphy and his sister "tr[ied] to kill [him] at a wedding by drugging [him]."[8] He claimed the Defendants' actions "screw[ed him] up" mentally.[9] As relief, he asked the Court to "put the guy behind bars."[10]

         On May 16, 2018, Judge Goldberg granted Mr. Picozzi leave to proceed in forma pauperis and dismissed his Complaint without prejudice. Judge Goldberg found Mr. Picozzi had not stated a basis for a federal civil rights claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, as Mr. Picozzi had not sued state actors and lacked a judicially cognizable interest in the prosecution of others. To the extent Mr. Picozzi asserted claims under state law, he had not stated a basis for diversity jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1332, as the Complaint did not plead the parties' citizenship. Judge Goldberg gave Mr. Picozzi leave to amend in the event he could establish a basis for diversity jurisdiction. Mr. Picozzi has not yet filed an amended complaint.

         B. Judge Rufe dismissed Mr. Picozzi's second case.

         Mr. Picozzi filed his second Complaint on May 15, 2018, docketed as Picozzi v. Guy Peiagelee & Sons, No. 18-2032 (E.D. Pa.) and assigned to the Honorable Cynthia M. Rufe. Mr. Picozzi sued Guy Peiagelee & Sons, Harry McKucking, Franny Laffy, Ed Coreyel, Ed Coreyel, Jr., Joseph Biccala and Son, Gerry Coganlen, Mike Jacab, Noll Orr, Bob Burns, and Rich Gannon. Mr. Picozzi alleged Harry McKucking tried to kill him because he found out that McKucking had murdered his daughter.[11] He alleged McKucking had Mr. Picozzi's ex-wife "drug [him] for years they killed [him he] came back[12]Mr. Picozzi then heard "they [stole] over 150 million off of the state of PA convention."[13] Subsequently, "Carpenter top men where good friend with all the doctor they had [Picozzi] beat up put stuff in [his] private part [his] body where [he] can't have sex."[14] Guy Peiagalee and his son allegedly stole a grave site from Mr. Picozzi's family where "a little baby" was buried.[15] Franny Laffy "was [allegedly] involved in a murder of [Picozzi's] buddy Larry Sullivan, " and she was also allegedly involved in what happened to Mr. Picozzi.[16] Mr. Picozzi alleged these events occurred in 2011.[17] With respect to injuries, Mr. Picozzi alleged he "can't have sex can't pee [right] it all swelling up down there" and that he has "a sound in [his] head all day."[18] He alleged he called the carpenters' union 1, 000 times and it has not called him back.[19]

         On May 18, 2018, Judge Rufe granted Mr. Picozzi leave to proceed in forma pauperis and dismissed his Complaint. Judge Rufe explained several of Mr. Picozzi's allegations rose to the level of delusional because they were based on irrational or nonsensical thoughts. Judge Rufe also found no basis for a federal claim and, to the extent Mr. Picozzi plead claims under state law, he plead no basis for diversity jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1332. After concluding amendment is futile, Judge Rufe dismissed the case with prejudice.

         C. Judge Goldberg dismissed Mr. Picozzi's third case.

         At the same time Mr. Picozzi filed his Complaint in Civil Action Number 18-2032, Mr. Picozzi filed Picozzi v. McKeown, Civ. A. No. 18-2033 (E.D. Pa.) assigned to Judge Goldberg. He sued Sue McKeown, Frank McKeown, Terry McKeown, Paddie Riley, and Francis Janson (identified in the caption as Frais Janson). Mr. Picozzi alleged he fathered children with Sue McKeown and Paddie Riley but those women hid the children from him, and some of the other Defendants affected his mind through the television. His exhibits attached to the Complaint showed Mr. Picozzi contacted Francis Janson, Esquire about claims and other Defendants had asked Mr. Picozzi to stop contacting them or they would report him to the police, presumably for harassment.

         On May 21, 2018, Judge Goldberg granted Mr. Picozzi leave to proceed in forma pauperis and dismissed his Complaint with prejudice. As Judge Rufe found with Mr. Picozzi's second case, Judge Goldberg found some of Mr. Picozzi's allegations appeared delusional and, to the extent he plead state law claims, he failed to plead diversity jurisdiction. Judge Goldberg dismissed with prejudice finding amendment would be futile.

         D. Mr. Picozzi sues Judge Goldberg and Judge Rufe.

         Responding to their judicial orders, Mr. Picozzi filed three cases against Judges Goldberg and Rufe, seeking to proceed in forma pauperis in each one. On May 25, 2018, Mr. Picozzi filed Picozzi v. Goldberg, alleging Judge Goldberg violated his rights or otherwise wronged him by dismissing his third case. Mr. Picozzi asks for Judge Goldberg to meet with him, call him, or write to him. Mr. Picozzi subsequently filed a "statement" containing allegations about his attorney, his ex-wife, and a will. He attached the will as an exhibit.

         Four days later, Mr. Picozzi filed two Complaints on May 29, 2018. In Picozzi v. Goldberg, No. 18-2238 (E.D. Pa.), he sued Judge Goldberg, Clerk of Court Kate Barkman, and two members of the Clerk's Office staff. He challenges Judge Goldberg's dismissal of Mr. Picozzi's first case and would like to "have a meeting" with the Judge.[20] He alleges no facts against the other Defendants. In Picozzi v. Ruff [sic], No. 18-2239 (E.D. Pa.), he sued Judge Rufe (incorrectly spelled Judge Ruff), two members of the Clerk's Office staff, and an individual named Leslie Szabo. He challenges Judge Rufe's dismissal of his second case. He alleges no conduct by the Clerk's office or Leslie Szabo.

         E. Mr. Picozzi again sues Attorney Janson.

         On May 25, 2018, the same date that Mr. Picozzi filed his first case against Judge Goldberg, Mr. Picozzi filed Picozzi v. Janson, No. 18-2210 (E.D. Pa.), assigned to the Honorable C. Darnell Jones II. He again sued Francis Gerard Janson, the attorney who had previously been included as a Defendant in Civil Action Number 18-2033, alleging he sought Attorney Janson's advice regarding allegations of harassment and sexual assault, women were hiding children from him, and regarding a will. On June 1, 2018, Judge Jones granted Mr. Picozzi leave to proceed in forma pauperis, construed his Complaint as raising legal malpractice claims, and dismissed the Complaint for lack of subject matter jurisdiction for lack of diversity. Judge Jones denied him leave to file an amended complaint, but the dismissal of his claims was without prejudice to suing Attorney Janson in state court.

         F. Mr. Picozzi files his first personal injury case.

         On the same day that Mr. Picozzi filed his second case against Judge Goldberg and his first case against Judge Rufe, he also filed a personal injury Complaint against nineteen defendants: Dr. Allen Snyder, Kimberly Groew, Dr. Stein, Khan Mohammad, Leslie Szabo, Lefton BPH Skewlec, Saul Miller, Bruce Sizer, Segal Aaronson, Sharon Picozzi (his ex-wife), "Boyfriend", Dr. Denisa Perice, Bill Clemens, D. Enpawo, Judy Stevenson, "Murphy", Mike Hand Brother, Frank Capano, and Phila D.M. Construction. We docketed the case as Picozzi v. Snyder, No. 18-2235 (E.D. Pa.) and assigned this personal injury case to Judge Jones.

         Mr. Picozzi alleged a hospital admitted him for gastrointestinal bleeding in August 2015. He alleges he "die[d] a few time[s]" while in the hospital.[21] Dr. Capano and Dr. Perice "had 10 IV in [him]" and a blonde nurse put a tube in his mouth and poured liquid down his throat so that he would not die.[22] Mr. Picozzi stated that Dr. Snyder informed him that he would be on oxygen and would walk with a walker for the rest of his life. Mr. Picozzi "then . . . found out they put something in [his] prevent [sic] parts" and alleges that Dr. Snyder knew about "something in [his] air way."[23] After the hospital released him, "this guy Murphy & Jim and Brain [sic] Donahue tr[ied] to beat [him] ¶ 3 time[s]."[24] He also alleges someone beat him up at an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting and he filed a police report to record this conduct. Mr. Picozzi then returned to the hospital who told him he had heart failure. Mr. Picozzi alleges he hears noises, cannot have sex because his "penis won't get hard, " cannot urinate correctly, and has difficulty breathing.[25] Mr. Picozzi seeks to proceed in forma pauperis, but it is not clear what relief, if any, he is requesting from the Court.

         G. Mr. Picozzi's second personal injury case.

         Mr. Picozzi filed a second personal injury Complaint on May 31, 2018 suing Allen Robert Snyder, William J. Benz, and Officer Brown docketed as Picozzi v. Snyder, No. 18-2277 (E.D. Pa.) and assigned to the Honorable Gene E.K. Pratter. The case is essentially based on a criminal charge filed against Mr. Picozzi for harassing Dr. Snyder. Mr. Picozzi alleges he received "a non-traffic citation summons ... for calling Dr. Allen Robert Snyder for help.[26] Mr. Picozzi alleges he called the Doctor for help and believes the Doctor "put something in [his] air way and something in [his] privet [sic] parts.[27]

         Mr. Picozzi alleges Officer Brown interviewed him for his "side of they [sic] story.[28] Officer Brown may have filed the harassment charge against Mr. Picozzi. Mr. Picozzi, however, alleges he does not think Dr. Snyder should have pursued the charge.

         A review of public dockets confirms on April 26, 2018, the Bucks County authorities charged Mr. Picozzi with one count of "Harassment - Course of Conduct W/No Legitimate Purpose.[29] On May 23, 2018, Magisterial District Judge William J. Benz found Mr. Picozzi guilty of harassing Dr. Snyder. Mr. Picozzi attended a hearing (presumably the summary trial) and told Judge Benz what Dr. Snyder allegedly did and also informed him "this guy murphy from Aria Hospital had me beat up in [an] A.A. meeting.[30] Mr. Picozzi also apparently told Judge Benz of his swollen private parts. Despite his testimony, Judge Benz found Mr. Picozzi "guilty of phone harassment.[31]

         Mr. Picozzi's Complaint and attachments also reference the carpenters union suggesting it is involved with the hospital, discusses various individuals and events including an incident related to a casino, and mentions a divorce, but it is not clear how those allegations relate to Mr. Picozzi's claims against Dr. Snyder, Judge Benz, or Officer Brown. Again, Mr. Picozzi seeks to proceed in forma pauperis but it is not clear what relief he seeks from the Court.

         H. Mr. Picozzi sues Judge Rufe, Judge Pratter, Judge Goldberg and Judge Jones.

         On June 4, 2018, Mr. Picozzi sued Judge Goldberg, Judge Rufe (incorrectly spelled Judge Ruff), Judge Jones, Judge Pratter, and an employee of the Clerk's Office. Mr. Picozzi expresses dissatisfaction with Judge Jones's dismissal of his Complaint in No. 18-2210. Mr. Picozzi lists reasons why he believes Judge Jones erred and also appears to reference allegations contained in complaints not before Judge Jones. Mr. Picozzi seeks leave to proceed in forma pauperis but does not request any particular relief from the Court.

         I. Mr. Picozzi sues a variety of persons relating to his domestic issues.

         Mr. Picozzi then sued Robert L. Katzenstein (a divorce attorney), Judge Frge, Mr. Picozzi's ex-wife Sharon, Linda C. Frederick, Steve Tomas (an employee of this Court's Clerk's Office), Officer Mark Werth, Middle Town Police, "Mary from Medicare, " and Mr. Romaciki (identified as a "prison Guard in court room"). As with all of his other cases, Mr. Picozzi seeks to proceed in forma pauperis. Mr. Picozzi's claims appear to be predicated primarily on a notice his ex-wife had moved for a protection from abuse order against him in the family division of me Bucks County Court of Common Pleas and a related proceeding. As with his other Complaints, Mr. Picozzi diverges into allegations unrelated to the named parties.

         Mr. Katzenstein apparently asked if Mr. Picozzi would like him to serve as his attorney, presumably in connection with a hearing related to his ex-wife's petition. During their discussion, Mr. Picozzi "told him what happen[ed] to [him] up here in Doylestown went to Buck [sic] county for two days for nothing" and adds he thinks "they were trying to put [him] in prison."[32] It is not clear to whom "they" refers. Mr. Picozzi attended a hearing in court on April 11, 2018. During the hearing "[t]he judge keep say a buddy of [his] dad's name[d] Mr. Sullivan said it lik[e] 4 or 5 time[s] like he worked there" and Mr. Katzenstein said "derogatory things" to Mr. Picozzi.[33] Mr. Picozzi alleges that he "[kept] [his] mouth shut" because he "wasn't sure what was going on."[34] He contends that he experienced a mental breakdown from the "harassment" he experienced.[35] It appears that Judge Frge presided over the hearing and issued Mr. Picozzi's ex-wife a protection from abuse order against Mr. Picozzi.

         In an attachment to his Complaint, Mr. Picozzi suggests a link between the deaths of two of his friends, and suggests third-parties-including Harry McKuckie and members of the McKeown family whom he has sued in other cases-caused the protection from abuse order, the deaths, and/or other bad things happening to him. Mr. Picozzi also believes his ex-wife "lied on the abuse order.[36] He again references the carpenter's union and alleged abuses at the convention center, and questions whether "some people in city hall" are involved in corruption. He appears to believe his ex-wife tried to kill him and had members of the carpenter's union come to his house "looking at stuff in [his] garage it was on this T.V. stuff."[37] His remaining rambling allegations read like a sprawling conspiracy theory. Mr. Picozzi also attached various documents to his Complaint, most of which are related to the protection from abuse order sought by his ex-wife, and the rest of which do not clarify the basis for additional claims.

         J. Chief Judge Stengel reassigned Mr. Picozzi's cases to ensure judicial economy.

         As Mr. Picozzi responds to dismissal orders by suing the Judges assigned to his cases, Chief Judge Lawrence F. Stengel reassigned all of Mr. Picozzi's pending cases (Nos. 18-2201, 18-2235, 18-2238, 18-2239, 18-2277, 18-2324, and 18-2327) to me as we have not been sued by him. We must now review Mr. Picozzi's Motions to proceed in forma pauperis and screening under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B).[38]

         II. Analysis

         A. We grant Mr. Picozzi's motions for leave to proceed in forma pauperis.

         We grant Mr. Picozzi leave to proceed in forma pauperis as he is not capable of paying the fees to commence this civil action.

         As we are waiving his filing fees, Congress requires we screen his Complaints under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B). We must dismiss Mr. Picozzi's Complaints if, among other things, they are frivolous or fail to state a claim. A complaint is frivolous if it "lacks an arguable basis either in law or in fact, "[39] and is legally ...

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