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Bundy Everage v. Central Broadcasting Systems Corporation, Inc.

United States District Court, E.D. Kentucky, Southern Division, Pikeville

March 6, 2019




         This matter is before the Court on the motions to dismiss (DE 9, 23, 25) filed by several defendants and on plaintiff Mary Joe Bundy Everage's motions to amend her complaint (DE 16) and for summary judgment (DE 38).

         Everage is proceeding without counsel in this action. She is, however, quite familiar with the Court having been a party to multiple federal actions.

         In 2005, she was indicted for attempting to impede and obstruct the Internal Revenue Service by making threats of violence and threats of force involving a firearm. (United States v. Everage, No. 7:05-11-DLB (filed May 16, 2005)). In that action, Judge David Bunning found that Everage was suffering from a mental disease or defect rendering her mentally incompetent to stand trial, and he ordered her committed for treatment. (United States v. Everage, No. 7:05-11-DLB, DE 28, Order (filed Dec. 16, 2005)). Judge Bunning further ordered that Everage be involuntarily administered anti-psychotic medication. (United States v. Everage, No. 7:05-11-DLB, DE 63, Order (filed April 17, 2006)). After months of treatment, Judge Bunning determined that Everage had recovered from the symptoms of her mental illness to the extent that she was able to stand trial. The United States dismissed the charges against her, and Judge Bunning “strongly encouraged” her to continue with the medications that were prescribed by the Federal Medical Center. (United States v. Everage, No. 7:05-11-DLB, DE 72, Order (filed Aug. 23, 2006)).

         This civil action is one of at least ten complaints she has filed in this district. Among those entities that Everage has sued have been the United States, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., Ford Motor Company, the Nashville Songwriters Association International, ABC Television Network, Inc., NBC Television Network, Inc., Fox Broadcasting, and Walt Disney Company.

         She currently has two active civil actions in this Court. In one, she alleges that she has suffered physical and mental damages after taking the anti-psychotic drug Risperdal or risperidone (the generic form) for ten years. She asserts various claims against Johnson & Johnson and Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

         In this action, Everage sues Central Broadcasting Systems Corporation, Inc. (CBS) and various affiliates. She alleges that CBS affiliate WYMT has hidden cameras in her home and has transmitted her private life to other CBS stations in the country for use in television shows including soap operas, The Price is Right, Good Morning CBS News, and The View. (DE 1, Complaint at 7, 8.)

         The allegations in this action are essentially the same as those Everage alleged in her action against ABC, NBC, Fox, and Walt Disney. Everage v. ABC Television Network, Inc., No. 7:18-119 (filed Nov. 16, 2018)). In that action also, she alleged that WYMT had hidden cameras in her home and transmitted her private life to all the major television networks for use in television shows. Judge Robert Wier permitted Everage to proceed in forma pauperis in that action. Thus, he screened the complaint under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(i), which requires that the Court dismiss any such action that is frivolous. Judge Wier dismissed Everage's complaint, finding it to be “farfetched, ” and “fanciful and fantastic.” (Everage v. ABC Television Network, Inc., No. 7:18-119, DE 7, Opinion and Order (filed November 29, 2018)).

         The defendants in this action now move under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) to dismiss the claims against them.

         “While a complaint attacked by a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss does not need detailed factual allegations, a plaintiff's obligation to provide the 'grounds' of his 'entitlement to relief' requires more than labels and conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do.'' Bell Atlantic v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007) (internal citations and brackets omitted). In order to survive a motion to dismiss, the factual allegations in the complaint ''must be enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative level.'' Id. The plaintiff must plead ''enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face'' and to nudge his claim ''across the line from conceivable to plausible.'' Id. at 570.

         CBS asserts that two of the entities named in this action are not suable entities: CBS News This Morning and CBC Television City. Everage does not dispute this in her response to the motions to dismiss. Accordingly, these entities will be dismissed from this action. Everage asserts no allegations against defendants WKYT-TV or CBS Television Stations, Inc. Accordingly, they must also be dismissed.

         That leaves defendants CBS, CBS Television Stations, Inc. and CBS affiliate WYMT. As to the claims asserted against these defendants, in her complaint, Everage mentions three state law causes of action: false light, intentional or negligent infliction of emotional distress, (DE 1, Complaint at 4), defamation (DE 1, Complaint at 6), and invasion of privacy. (DE 1, Complaint at 6). She also refers to several federal statutes: 18 U.S.C. §§ 242, 245, 249; 42 U.S.C. § 1983; 18 U.S.C. § 2701, and the Patriot Act.

         The Court will begin with the federal statutes.

         As to Everage's claims under 18 U.S.C. §§241 and 242, these statutes criminalize conspiracies and actions to violate civil rights. Neither statute, however, provides for a private right of action. Thus, a private citizen lacks standing to file a claim under these statutes. Booth v. Henson, 290 Fed.Appx. ...

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