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Skudnov v. U.S. Dep't of Hud

United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Louisville

June 24, 2015

U.S. DEP'T OF HUD et al. Defendants.


JOSEPH H. McKINLEY, Jr., Chief District Judge.

Plaintiff, Boris Nickolaevich Skudnov, filed a pro se, in forma pauperis complaint and amended complaint.[1] This matter is before the Court for screening pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2) and McGore v. Wrigglesworth, 114 F.3d 601 (6th Cir. 1997), overruled on other grounds by Jones v. Bock, 549 U.S. 199 (2007). For the reasons set forth below, the action will be dismissed.


Plaintiff names as Defendants the following: U.S. Department of HUD; Housing Authority of Bowling Green; CHFS[2] Office of the Secretary; Commonwealth of Kentucky Cabinet (CHFS); Fern Terrance Lodge of Bowling Green; Bell, Orr, Ayers & Moore, P.S.C.; Warren Circuit & District Courts; and the United States District Court, Bowling Green, Kentucky. The initiating document is styled: "Complaint with Class Allegations Federal Grand Juries Demand as to All Counts." He states that he requires a "hearing of my case with Federal Grand Jury & U.S. Prosecution: Full Compensation of damage complaint with class allegations federal grand jury demand as to all counts." The complaint also asserts, "I have a letter from Becker law office which explains that Judge Thomas Russell deliberately dismissed my case against the Housing Authority of Kentucky on the terms of neglect and violation of the statute of limitations, despite the excess of evidence in my possession." He also states "the International convention of the elimination of all forms of racial discrimination signed and ratified by the United States of America prohibits actions with respect to housing that have the effect of discrimination and ensures housing security for all tenants." Plaintiff states that he brings this action on "behalf of herself[3] and all others similarly situated."

Plaintiff also filed an amended complaint (DN 8). It is difficult to follow. The first few pages are appointment reminders for medical appointments for Plaintiff in fall 2014 and spring 2015. The remaining 37 pages are a hodgepodge of assertions of generalized wrongdoing not having any apparent relation to Plaintiff, as well as particulars of complaints he had about the Bowling Green Housing Authority from 1993 through 2002 and allegations that CHFS had defrauded him from 2000 to 2002.


This Court must review the instant action. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2); McGore v. Wrigglesworth, 114 F.3d at 604-05. Upon review, this Court must dismiss a case at any time if the Court determines that the action is "frivolous or malicious, " fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B). While a reviewing court must liberally construe pro se pleadings, Boag v. MacDougall, 454 U.S. 364, 365 (1982) (per curiam), to avoid dismissal, a complaint must include "enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face." Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007).

Criminal charges

Plaintiff's complaint asks for a federal grand jury and prosecution by the United States. However, this Court does not have the power to direct that criminal charges be filed against anyone. Peek v. Mitchell, 419 F.2d 575, 577-78 (6th Cir. 1970); Fleetwood v. Thompson, 358 F.Supp. 310, 311 (N.D. Ill. 1972). "It is well settled that the question of whether and when prosecution is to be instituted is within the discretion of the Attorney General." Powell v. Katzenbach, 359 F.2d 234, 235 (D.C. Cir. 1965). Further, Plaintiff as a private citizen may not initiate a federal criminal prosecution. Cok v. Cosentino, 876 F.2d 1, 2 (1st Cir. 1989) (per curiam); Abner v. Gen'l Motors, 103 F.Appx. 563, 566 (6th Cir. 2004). These claims must, therefore, be dismissed for failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted.

Claims on behalf of others

It appears that Plaintiff is attempting to bring this complaint as a class action. However, as a pro se litigant, he may not do so. Just as a pro se plaintiff cannot represent another named individual, a pro se plaintiff cannot prosecute a class action because a pro se litigant is not an adequate class representative. Palasty v. Hawk, 15 F.Appx. 197, 200 (6th Cir. 2001); Ballard v. Campbell, No. 98-6156, 1999 WL 777435, at *1 (6th Cir. Sept. 21, 1999); Giorgio v. Tenn. Dep't of Human Servs., No. 95-6327, 1996 WL 447656, at *1 (6th Cir. Aug. 7, 1996) ("Because a layman does not ordinarily possess the legal training and expertise necessary to protect the interests of a proposed class, courts are reluctant to certify a class represented by a pro se litigant."). Thus, to the extent that Plaintiff is requesting this Court to certify this action as a class action, that request is denied.

International treaty

Plaintiff cites to the International Convention on the Elimination of All forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD). However, a claim under the ICERD is not cognizable. A treaty does not become domestic law, and cannot support a private right of action, unless Congress has enacted implementing statutes or the treaty is self-executing. See Medellin v. Texas, 552 U.S. 491, 505 (2008). When the United States Senate ratified the ICERD, it specifically declared that the convention was not self-executing. 140 Cong. Rec. S7634-02, 1994 WL 282789 ("[T]he United States declares that the provisions of the Convention are not self-executing."); see also Tucker v. N.Y. Police Dept., No. Civ. A. 08-2156 (DMC), 2008 WL 4935883, at *13 (D.N.J. Nov. 18, 2008) ("As numerous courts have recognized, this treaty does not give rise to a private ...

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