United States District Court, D. Delaware
THOMAS E. NOBLE, Plaintiff,
JUDGE EDWARD R. BECKER, et al. Defendants. THOMAS E. NOBLE, Petitioner,
JOHN SEBASTIAN, Respondent. THOMAS E. NOBLE, Plaintiff,
THE STATE OF DELAWARE and GOVERNOR JACK MARKELL, Defendants.
Thomas E. Noble ("Noble") filed identical petitions
for writs of mandamus in the three above-captioned cases.
(Civ. No. 03-906-SLR at D.I. 13; Civ. No. 16-406-SLR at D.I.
29; Civ. No. 16-407-SLR at D.I. 20) He takes exception to an
order entered on September 13, 2004 by former United States
District Judge Kent A. Jordan enjoining him from filing any pro
se civil rights complaints without prior approval of the
court, see Noble v. Becker, Civ. No. 03-906-KAJ,
D.I. 12, and that was enforced by this court when he sought
to commence actions in derogation of the order. The petition
does not indicate what relief he seeks, although it appears
he seeks to preclude enforcement of the order that enjoins
him from filing pro se civil rights complaints without prior
approval of the court.
explained by the United States Court of Appeals for the Third
Circuit, Nobles is a serial litigator and, in 2016, he filed
a series of complaints in this district. In re Noble,
___ F.App'x___, 2016 WL 5853269, at *1 (3d Cir.
2016) (unpublished). In Civ. No. 16-406-SLR, Noble filed a
"hybrid" lawsuit seeking both federal habeas relief
and redress for numerous alleged civil rights violations.
Because this court viewed the action as sounding in habeas,
it ruled that Noble had improperly attempted to plead claims
for damages for alleged civil rights violations in the habeas
action, held that the filing injunction barred him from
bringing a civil rights action without prior approval, and
dismissed the civil rights claims. Id. at *1. In
Civ. No. 16-407-SLR, Noble commenced a purported class action
challenging Delaware's criminal statutes concerning child
pornography and challenging the State's policing and
enforcement of those laws as a violation of his and
others' civil rights. This court dismissed the complaint
as a clear violation of the filing injunction, and ordered
the clerk to close the case and return Noble's filing
Noble filed a petition for a writ of mandamus in the
appellate court following the rulings that dismissed his
civil rights cases. Id. at *2. Therein, he asked the
appellate court to vacate the filing injunction and vacate
the orders discussed above.
Writ of Mandamus.
the All Writs Act, a federal court has jurisdiction to issue
a writ of mandamus only "in aid of its jurisdiction. 28
U.S.C. § 1651(a). Federal courts have jurisdiction
"in the nature of mandamus to compel an officer or
employee of the United States or any agency thereof to
perform a duty owed to plaintiff." 28 U.S.C. §
1361. The writ of mandamus is a drastic remedy
that a court should grant only in extraordinary circumstances
in response to an act amounting to a judicial usurpation of
power." Hahnemann Univ. Hosp. v. Edgar, 74 F.3d
456, 461 (3d Cir. 1996) (citations and internal quotation
noted by the appellate court, "Noble can potentially
obtain review of the District Court's enforcement of the
filing injunction via a mandamus petition." In re
Noble, 2016 WL 5853269 at *2. Indeed, Noble relied upon
this statement in filing the instant petitions. Noble,
however, did not consider the next sentence of the opinion.
Noble cannot show that, in enforcing the filing injunction,
the District Court "engaged in an 'unlawful exercise
of its prescribed jurisdiction' or failed to
'exercise its authority when it was its duty to do
so.'" Hong Mai Sa v. Doe, 406 F.3d 155, 159
(2d Cir. 2005) (alterations omitted) (quoting Richardson
Greenshields Sees., Inc., 825 F.2d 647, 652 (2d Cir.
1987)). The filing injunction barred Noble from filing civil
rights complaints in the United States District Court for the
District of Delaware without that court's prior approval,
and Noble has not established that his action was improperly
dismissed under the filing injunction.
In re Noble, 2016 WL 5853269 at *2.
review of the petition, the court concludes that Noble failed
to support his burden to demonstrate that this court engaged
in an unlawful exercise of its prescribed jurisdiction or
failed to exercise its authority when it was its duty to do
so. See e.g., Hong Mai Sa, 406 F.3d at 158-89.
Mandamus relief is not warranted.
above reasons the court will deny the petition for writ of