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Chang v. Bradley

United States District Court, D. Delaware

November 9, 2018

WEIH STEVE CHANG, Plaintiff,
v.
JUDGE WILLIAM C. BRADLEY, et al., Defendants.

          Weih Steve Chang, Hockessin, Delaware. Pro Se Plaintiff.

          Mark L. Reardon, Esquire, Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott, LLC, Wilmington, Delaware. Counsel for Defendant Judge William C. Bradley.

          Joseph Clement Handlon, Deputy Attorney General, Delaware Department of Justice, Wilmington, Delaware. Counsel for Defendants State of Delaware Office of Management and Budget, Office of Pensions, and Division of Revenue.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          CONNOLLY, U.S. STRICT JUDGE

         I. INTRODUCTION

         Plaintiff Weih Steve Chang ("Plaintiff'), who proceeds pro se, commenced this action on October 31, 2016. (D.I. 1) Defendants moves to dismiss. (D.I. 7, 13) Plaintiff opposes both motions. (D.I. 17) Plaintiff also filed a motion for direct certification of questions of law (D.I. 12) and a motion to compel (D.I. 20), and later asked the Court to postpone ruling on the motion for certification and to withdraw the motion to compel. (D.I. 26) Defendants State of Delaware Office of Management and Budget ("OMB"), Office of Pensions ("OOP"), and Division of Revenue ("DOR") (together "State Defendants") recently filed a motion to stay discovery. (D.I. 29)

         II. BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff is a frequent litigator in state and federal courts. According to the Complaint, the claims arise under U.S. Constitution's Equal Protection Clause as well as the Commerce Clause, Article I, Section 8, Clause 3, which prohibits a state from passing legislation that improperly burdens or discriminates against interstate commerce. (Id. at 2) Plaintiff also raises supplemental State claims for violations of the Delaware Constitution. (Id. at 2, 8, 9) In the civil cover sheet, Plaintiff frames the matter as a taxpayer lawsuit seeking recovery of overpayment, as well as a civil rights action for violations of the Equal Protection Clause and the Commerce Clause. (See D.I. 1-1)

         Plaintiff, a resident of the State of Delaware since 2004, alieges that he has paid state and federal income taxes and business taxes. Plaintiff alleges that Defendant Judge William C. Bradley ("Judge Bradley") engaged in sexual misconduct with minors from the 1970's through the 1990's, illegally concealed the crimes, managed to evade civil and criminal claims, became a judge, received a judicial salary, retired from his judicial position, and continues to receive a State pension and other State benefits at taxpayers' expense. (D.I. 1 at 1-3) Plaintiff alleges that he has taxpayer standing to enjoin Judge Bradley's judiciary pension because he contributed to public funds and the public funds were directly expended to compensate Judge Bradley. (Id. at 5, 7)

         The Complaint refers to three victims, one of whom is Wayne Averill ("Averill"), an inmate at the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center in Smyrna, Delaware. The Court takes judicial notice that Averill filed a lawsuit against Judge Bradley in the Superior Court of the State of Delaware in and for New Castle County, Averill v. Bradley, C.A. No. N10C-07-128-JRJ (Del. Super.), where it remains pending. Attached to the instant Complaint are two powers of attorney executed by Averill to allow Plaintiff to act on his behalf.[1] (Id. at Ex. C)

         Counts I and II are raised under Delaware law and allege violations of the Delaware Constitution, and Counts III and IV are raised under federal law and allege violations of the U.S. Constitution. Count I, raised against Judge Bradley, alleges violations of the Delaware Constitution, Article I, § 19, holding office during good behavior. Count I states that, because Judge Bradley allegedly committed heinous crimes during his tenure on the bench, Judge Bradley violated his oath of office as a qualification for any office of public trust. (Id. at 8-9)

         Count II is raised against the OOP. It alleges unlawful expenditure of public funds in violation of the Delaware Constitution Article II, § 21. Count II alleges that Judge Bradley should have been arrested, tried, and convicted, making him ineligible to hold his judgeship and receive his judicial salary and pension. Count II alleges Plaintiff was injured by the OOP's unlawful expenditures of public funds to Judge Bradley.

         Count III is raised against the OOP and DOR. It alleges unlawful taxation in violation of the Equal Protection Clause by the DOR and OOP for their unlawful portion of taxation and expenditure of public funds, injuring all taxpayers. It also alleges the DOR violated Plaintiffs right to due process when it collected taxes from his interstate business revenues and employment income and passed them onto the OOP to fund the "unlawful expenditure for compensation" such as "judicial pensions and other retirements benefits to Judge Bradley. (Id. at 10)

         Count IV is raised against the OOP and DOR and alleges unlawful taxation in violation of the Commerce Clause. Plaintiff alleges Defendants injured his business clients and employers in other federal jurisdictions because State Defendants knowingly authorized unlawful expenditures of public funds to compensation Judge Bradley despite his interstate crimes. The Complaint alleges the unlawful taxation by DOR improperly burdens or discriminates against interstate commerce.

         Plaintiff seeks declaratory relief and injunctive relief, as well as ...


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