United States District Court, D. Colorado
Brooke Jackson, Judge
order addresses (1) defendants' motions to dismiss [ECF
Nos. 8, 10, 11]; (2) plaintiff's combined response to
defendant United States' motion to dismiss and motion for
summary judgment [ECF No. 12]; (3) plaintiff's combined
response to Memorial Hospital's motion to dismiss and
motion for review of certification requirement and leave to
amend [ECF No. 13]; (4) defendant United States' motion
to strike plaintiff's motion for summary judgment [ECF
No. 16]; (5) defendant Memorial Hospital's motion to
strike plaintiff's motion for review of certification
requirement and leave to amend [ECF No. 18]; (6)
plaintiff's motion for summary judgment against defendant
United States [ECF No. 22]; (7) plaintiff's motion for
sanctions against the attorney for defendant United States
[ECF No. 27]; (8) defendant United States' motion to stay
proceedings [ECF No. 30]; (9) plaintiff's motion to
restrict public access to or redact portions of court
documents and exhibits [ECF No. 32]; (10) plaintiff's
motion for correction [ECF No. 37]; and (11) defendant United
States' motion for extension of time [ECF No. 40]. The
Court apologizes for its delay in addressing these motions.
The motions to dismiss are GRANTED, and all remaining motions
Factual Allegations. 
McKinney is a former employee of the Veterans Benefits
Administration (VBA) in Washington, D.C. She alleges that she
discovered evidence of fraud at the VBA and reported it to
her supervisors, prompting retaliation. As a result, Ms.
McKinney was forced to resign in October 2013. But this case
is not about the VBA's alleged retaliation against Ms.
McKinney. Instead, this case picks up after she moved back to
Colorado and began searching for a new job.
to Ms. McKinney, VBA has orchestrated a nationwide conspiracy
to harass her and prevent her from securing a new position.
She claims an unknown assailant with connections to VBA shot
her in the head, leaving a palpable entry and exit wound in
1 at ¶¶ 31-32. She also contends that VBA is
committing ongoing tortious interference with her employment,
including: “tracking through G.P.S., interference with
versioning of documents through administrative accounts,
removing word-processing corrections, and interception of
Plaintiff's emails and phone calls/texts.”
Id. at ¶ 24. Her allegations continue:
V.B.A. employees have asked various social networks for their
cooperation in tracking and harassing Plaintiff . . . . In
order to gain cooperation from these various social networks,
V.B.A. employees have generated slander and libel in order to
mislead these social networks into thinking they are
furthering the individual social network's particular
cause. (As an example, anti-abortion networks have been told
variously that either: 1) Plaintiff has had an abortion; or
2) Plaintiff is an abortion doctor; Plaintiff is an illegal
alien who lacks “green card” status and does not
speak English.) V.B.A. employees have monitored
Plaintiff's phone calls and texts and forwarded the
content to social network members, asking that they use
specific nouns/names from those texts while engaging in loud
conversation near Plaintiff.
Id. at ¶ 45-47. Last, she claims VBA employees
have been “pretending to be family members, and . . .
accusing her of many unsolved or unclosed crimes. Thereby,
V.B.A. employees gained the unknowing support of law
enforcement in their efforts to defame Plaintiff and keep her
from getting support from law enforcement and other
agencies.” Id. at ¶ 59.
McKinney believes Memorial Hospital and Verizon are in on
this supposed conspiracy. When she went to Memorial Hospital
for an x-ray of her “readily apparent” bullet
wound, the nurse allegedly “intentionally read
fraudulent x-ray results to Plaintiff, ” preventing her
from receiving necessary treatment. Id. at
¶¶ 32, 39. Meanwhile, Verizon has allegedly failed
to report to law enforcement VBA's interference with her
phone calls and text messages, and instead raised her phone
bill. Id. at ¶¶ 51-52.
March 8, 2016 Ms. McKinney filed a substantially similar suit
in forma pauperis in this Court. See
Complaint, McKinney v. U.S. Dep't of Veterans'
Affairs et al., No. 16-cv-00569-LTB (D. Colo. April 22,
2016), ECF No. 1. Judge Babcock dismissed the complaint with
prejudice because he concluded that Ms. McKinney's claims
“rest on ‘fantastic or delusional scenarios'
whose factual contentions ‘rise to the level of the
irrational or the wholly incredible.'” Order of
Dismissal at 6, McKinney, No. 16-cv-00569-LTB, ECF
No. 12 (quoting Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319,
328 (1989); Denton v. Hernandez, 504 U.S. 25, 33
(1992)). In the alternative, he dismissed the case without
prejudice because Ms. McKinney failed to comply with a court
order that she submit her complaint on the current
court-approved form as required by local court rules.
Id. at 7.
McKinney then filed this case on May 6, 2016, alleging
tortious interference with employment, personal injury,
defamation, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and
civil conspiracy, and requesting punitive damages. ECF No. 1.
On August 15, 2016 the United States submitted a motion to
dismiss under Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1) and
12(b)(6). ECF No. 8. Memorial Hospital filed a motion to
dismiss under Rules 12(b)(1) and 12(b)(6) on August 23, 2016.
ECF No. 10. Verizon likewise filed a motion to dismiss on
August 23, 2016 under the doctrine of claim preclusion based
on Judge Babcock's dismissal of Ms. McKinney's first
case. ECF No. 11.
flurry of motions has followed. On August 30, 2016 Ms.
McKinney submitted a combined response to the United
States' motion to dismiss and a motion for summary
judgment for her slander and libel claims. ECF No. 12. She
filed her responses to Memorial Hospital and Verizon's
motions to dismiss on September 9, 2016. ECF Nos. 13, 14.
September 16, 2016 the United States submitted a reply brief
and filed a motion to strike Ms. McKinney's motion for
summary judgment because she included it in her response
brief in violation of this Court's rules. ECF Nos. 15,
16. On September 23, 2016 Memorial Hospital submitted a
motion to strike Ms. McKinney's request for review of the
certification requirement implicated by her claims and leave
to amend contained in her response to Memorial Hospital's
motion to dismiss, alleging that this combined filing also
violates this Court's practice rules. ECF No. 18.
September 26, 2016 Ms. McKinney submitted a response to the
United States' motion to strike admitting error and
advancing other arguments, and filed a separate motion for
summary judgment on her slander and libel claims. ECF Nos.
21, 22. She filed a motion for sanctions against counsel for
the United States on October 18, 2016. ECF No. 27. She also
filed a motion to restrict public access to or, in the
alternative, redact portions of court documents and exhibits
on October 21, 2016. ECF No. 32.
United States filed a motion for an extension of time to
respond to plaintiff's motion for summary judgment on
October 20, 2016, and the Court granted this motion the next
day. ECF Nos. 28, 29. Around the time that the Court issued
its order, however, Ms. McKinney filed a motion for default
judgment against the United States for failure to timely
respond to her motion for summary judgment. ECF No. 31. The
Clerk of Court properly denied this request because the
motion for an extension of time was granted. ECF No. 33.
Notwithstanding the Court's ruling, Ms. McKinney
submitted a response brief on October 24, 2016 urging denial
of the United States' motion. ECF No. 34. She later
submitted a motion for correction requesting that the Court
enter a date certain in its order granting the United
States' enlargement of time. ECF No. 37.
United States submitted a motion to stay proceedings and
vacate the scheduling conference on October 21, 2016. ECF No.
30. On November 10, 2016 the United States filed a motion for
extension of time to respond to plaintiff's motion for
sanctions and to respond to plaintiff's motion for
correction. ECF No. 40. On November 18, 2016 the parties
attended a scheduling conference, mooting the United
States' request to vacate the setting.