United States District Court, E.D. Kentucky, Northern Division, Covington
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
L. BUNNING UNITED STATE DISTIRCT JUDGE.
Mullikin is a resident of Maysville, Kentucky. Mullikin has
filed a pro se Complaint invoking the civil remedy
provisions of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt
Organizations Act, 18 U.S.C. § 1961 et seq.
(“RICO”). (Docs. #1-1, #1-2). This matter is
before the Court to conduct the initial screening required by
28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2). A district court must dismiss
any claim that 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.
Hill v. Lappin, 630 F.3d 468, 470-71 (6th Cir.
alleges that in May 2017, Michael Palmer, the head of the
Fraternal Order of Police in Maysville, Kentucky, persuaded a
company called Cincinnati Temporary Labor in Cincinnati, Ohio
not to pay him for a previous day's work on the pretext
that Mullikin had not worked that day. Mullikin states that
he lost $64.80 in wages as a result, as well as $32.00 in
transportation expenses. Mullikin asserts that this
constitutes “racketeering” within the meaning of
the RICO statute because Palmer may have paid dues
or made donations to the Fraternal Order of Police, which may
constitute an “investment, ” and that his lost
wages constituted a “theft” against a victim. He
further alleges that Cincinnati Temporary Labor and the
Maysville Police Department are racketeering enterprises, the
latter by engaging in “slavery by abuse of legal
process, extortion, theft, retaliating against a victim,
tampering with a witness, obstruction of state and local law
enforcement and wire fraud.” (Doc. #1-1 at 3-4).
not the first suit Mullikin has filed regarding his lost
wages from May 2017. Seven months ago Mullikin filed suit in
the United States District Court for the Southern District of
Ohio, asserting that a woman named “Nancy” who
worked at Cincinnati Temporary Labor violated the RICO
statute because she refused to pay him for a day's work,
allegedly “as part of a decade long campaign of
psychological torture that was designed to induce a slave
mentality and silence me about a racketeering organization
that operates in Kentucky.” That Court dismissed the
complaint on initial screening, concluding that Mullikin had
“failed to allege that defendant Nancy engaged in at
least two predicate acts of racketeering as required for a
RICO claim.” Mullikin v. Nancy, No.
2:17-cv-348-MRB-KLL (S.D. Ohio 2017). Mullikin's present
Complaint relates to the same event, but now asserts that
Officer Palmer is the culpable party.
Palmer was also a participant in a criminal prosecution
against Mullikin in 2009, which resulted in Mullikin's
conviction on numerous charges including first-degree wanton
endangerment, second-degree burglary, third-degree assault,
and third-degree terroristic threatening. Apparently Mullikin
had become paranoid that his new next-door neighbor was
plotting to harm him, had killed his cat, and was attempting
to poison his water. In an effort to deter him, Mullikin
attacked the man from behind, and then ran into the
victim's home, grabbing a samurai sword and swinging it
wildly at him and another man while threatening to kill the
latter. After a second competency evaluation concluded that
he was fit to stand trial in the ensuing criminal
prosecution, Mullikin reached an agreement to plead guilty
and accepted a ten-year sentence. Mullikin v.
Commonwealth, 341 S.W.3d 99, 101-102 (Ky. 2011);
Mullikin v. Thompson, No. 2:11-cv-149-WOB-JGW (E.D.
Ky. July 18, 2012).
lawsuit represents the latest in a series of civil suits
Mullikin has filed against many of the players involved in
that prosecution, including the arresting officers,
witnesses, prosecutors, judges, and even innocent bystanders.
See Mullikin v. Rice, et al., No. 2:10-cv-294-WOB
(E.D. Ky. 2010); Mullikin v. Byers, No.
2:16-cv-139-DLB-EBA (E.D. Ky. 2016); Mullikin v.
Wood, No. 2:17-cv-83-DLB (E.D. Ky. 2017). Those cases
have all been dismissed, whether as frivolous, for failure to
state a claim, or as lacking in merit. Like the
defendants in Mullikin's prior civil suits, Michael
Palmer was involved in his criminal prosecution: Officer
Palmer served as a detective with the Maysville Police
Department. In 2010, Mullikin sued him, allegedly for lying
under oath, along with 61 other defendants before later
dismissing his suit voluntarily. Mullikin v. Rice, et
al., No. 2:10-cv-294-WOB (E.D. Ky. 2010).
the case with the previous lawsuits, the Court must dismiss
Mullikin's present suit for failure to state a claim
under the RICO statute. RICO provides a private remedy to
“[a]ny person injured in his business or property by
reason of a violation” of the Act's criminal
prohibitions. 18 U.S.C. § 1964(c). RICO's criminal
provisions provide, in part, that it is a crime for a person
to invest any income he or she derived from a pattern of
racketeering activity into an enterprise engaged in
interstate commerce. 18 U.S.C. § 1962(a). The statute
sets forth dozens of acts which constitute
“racketeering activity” for purposes of RICO. 18
U.S.C. § 1961(1).
alleges that the Maysville Police Department (which employs
Officer Palmer, and hence provides him with income) is
engaged in racketeering activity through “slavery, 
abuse of process, extortion, theft, retaliating against a
victim, tampering with a witness, obstruction of state and
local law enforcement and wire fraud.” Many of the
words or phrases Mullikin uses to describe these activities,
such as “retaliating against a victim” and
“obstruction of state and local law enforcement,
” are copied verbatim from Section
1961(1)'s list of prohibited activities. But a viable
complaint “requires more than labels and conclusions,
and a formulaic recitation of a cause of action's
elements is insufficient. Factual allegations must be enough
to raise a right to relief above the speculative level on the
assumption that all of the complaint's allegations are
true.” Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550
U.S. 544, 555 (2007). Here, Mullikin makes no effort to set
forth any facts to support his claims regarding
“retaliation, ” “obstruction, ” or
any of the other asserted “prohibited activities”
set forth in Section 1961(1). Where a complaint does not
provide any factual basis for the claims set forth in the
complaint, it must be dismissed for failure to state a claim.
Grinter v. Knight, 532 F.3d 567, 577 (6th Cir.
2008); Scheid v. Fanny Farmer Candy Shops, Inc., 859
F.2d 434, 436 (6th Cir.1988) (“More than bare
assertions of legal conclusions is ordinarily required to
satisfy federal notice pleading requirements.”)
Mullikin's Complaint is therefore be dismissed for
failure to satisfy minimum pleading requirements.
addition, Mullikin contends that Palmer's possible
payment of dues or donations to the Fraternal Order of Police
constitutes an “investment” in that organization
within the meaning of Section 1962(a). Notably, Mullikin does
not allege that Palmer actually made any such payments. But
even assuming that they were made, Mullikin does not allege
or suggest that his injury-less than $100.00 of lost wages
and transportation expenses- was proximately caused by
Palmer's payment of dues or donations to the Fraternal
Order of Police. Instead, he alleges his loss was caused by
Palmer's alleged direction to Cincinnati Temporary Labor
to not pay him for one day's wages. But “a
plaintiff alleging a violation of § 1962(a) must
demonstrate that she suffered an injury by reason of
defendant['s] investment of racketeering income in an
enterprise, ” and not merely as a result of
defendant's participation in the predicate acts
themselves. Ouaknine v. MacFarlane, 897 F.2d 75, 83
(2d Cir. 1990). The gravamen of a claim under Section 1962(c)
is not injury caused by the commission of acts of
racketeering, as Mullikin alleges here, but of injury
proximately caused by the investment of funds
derived from a racketeering enterprise. Craighead v. E.F.
Hutton & Co., Inc., 899 F.2d 485, 494 (6th Cir.
1990). Mullikin's Complaint therefore fails to state a
claim under the civil RICO statute, and must be dismissed.
it is hereby ORDERED as follows:
(1) Mullikin's Complaint (Doc. #1-1) is
DISMISSED, with prejudice;
(2) The Court will enter an appropriate judgment; and
(3) This matter is STRICKEN from the