‘Conspiracy’ Suit Against LOC Dismissed

Posted March 23, 2004 at 6:27pm

A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit filed against the Library of Congress and a private security agency earlier this month, after hearing motions from defense attorneys who described the suit as a “mishmash of conspiracy theories.”

On March 5, U.S. District Judge James Robertson dismissed the lawsuit filed by District of Columbia residents Michael Atraqchi and Irene Atraqchi in which the couple sought in excess of $10 million in damages.

In the 10-page complaint, initially filed in D.C. Superior Court, Michael Atraqchi alleged he had been “harassed and threatened” by a security guard in the Library’s James Madison Building in mid-November 2003.

Atraqchi states that he was “deliberately, wantonly and maliciously attacked” by a security guard in the periodical room “when she ordered and demanded that the Plaintiff remove the chair, that his wife, Plaintiff Irene S. Atraqchi, who has a broken leg, was sitting on, without any explanation or reason of whatsoever.”

Atraqchi, acting as his own attorney, cited in the complaint the 14th Amendment and Civil Rights Act of 1964 while suggesting the alleged harassment is related to an extensive conspiracy theory involving the federal government, President Bush, “certain Christian Protestant denominations,” religious cults, Saddam Hussein, Osama bin Laden and the Ottoman Empire.

Atraqchi, who describes himself as “of Middle Eastern origin,” also alleges he and his wife are subjected to “illegal wiretapping and electronical [sic] surveillances.”

In a February motion seeking to dismiss the case, U.S. Attorney Roscoe Howard summarized the complaint, stating: “Plaintiffs allege a widespread conspiracy by the federal government and ‘certain Christian Protestant Denominations’ to keep plaintiffs under surveillance, convert them to Christianity, ‘impose religious inquisition upon the entire … World,’ and ‘homosexualize’ the plaintiffs and all minority populations in America.”

In the same document, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, which represents the Library, notes that the Atraqchis have filed similar complaints against other institutions, including alleged “conspiracy and assault by security guards” at a local grocery store.

“In light of the preposterous nature of plaintiffs’ conspiracy claims, it comes as no surprise that they have filed numerous similar lawsuits alleging the same widespread conspiracy and resulting instances of harassment by another agent of the conspiracy,” Howard wrote.

An attorney for Securiguard Inc., a private company which provides security guards to the Library, also noted the Atraqchis’ propensity for filing complaints.

“[P]laintiffs, Michael and Irene Atraqchi, are serial litigators who have filed dozens of lawsuits in the recent years against a wide array of people and organizations, including former President William Jefferson Clinton, members of the D.C. Police Department, members of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Mayor of the District of Columbia,” attorney Scott Goetsch wrote in a January motion to dismiss the lawsuit. “Plaintiffs’s [sic] lawsuits have been routinely dismissed and have been characterized as frivolous.”

In court documents opposing Goetsch’s request for dismissal, the Atraqchis defended their lawsuit, stating: “[T]he case is not a mirror image of the other cases which have been submitted by the Plaintiffs, since the cause of the actions is different, the parties are not the same, and the events and places are different.”

Goetsch asked the lawsuit be dismissed for violating the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, which require that plaintiffs provide a claim for relief in plain language.

“Complaints which ramble, which needlessly speculate, accuse and condemn, and which contain circuitous diatribes far removed from the heart of the claim do not comport with these goals and this system; such complaints must be dismissed,” wrote Goetsch, quoting a ruling in Green v. Commonwealth of Massachusetts.