Updates to our Terms of Use

We are updating our Terms of Use. Please carefully review the updated Terms before proceeding to our website.

Friday, June 14, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Eviction for Rent Is Too Damn High’s McMillan

BROOKLYN (CN) - A federal judge on Thursday quickly dismissed the eviction challenge filed a week earlier by James McMillan, a former gubernatorial candidate and the face of the Rent Is Too Damn High Party.

McMillan filed the Jan. 23 action against Lisco Holdings pro se, after he says he was forced to sleep in his car, the park and "sometimes on the street" because he was locked out of his building on St. Marks Place.

U.S. District Judge John Gleeson summarizes this and McMillan's other allegations Thursday in a five-page order dismissing the action for lack of jurisdiction.

In addition to the fact that McMillan says both he and Lisco reside in New York, "federal courts do not have subject matter jurisdiction over state eviction actions or other landlord-tenant matters," the unpublished ruling states.

McMillan had claimed that Lisco is still flouting an order Housing Court Judge Gary F. Morton issued in March 2009 to give McMillan a key to his apartment.

The complaint says Lisco even dragged McMillan to court in May 2011, "saying I do not live there." Lisco allegedly refused to renew McMillan's lease that same month.

"Defendant refused to accept and return 18 months of my rent following, EXTORTION PLOTS to get $18,359.74 dollars out of me," the two-page complaint states.

McMillan says he was served with an eviction notice earlier this month.

"I don't understand what's going on," he wrote. "Why are they putting me out in the street?"

He said he's "undergoing treatment for PTSD" and "can't remember much more than that other than I was offered me [sic] money numerous times and I wouldn't take it."

McMillan's failure to allege discrimination by the landlord of the basis of such PTSD nevertheless disqualifies it as a federal action, the court found.

The extortion statute that McMillan cited meanwhile does not include the private right of action necessary to serve as a basis for a civil cause of action, according to the ruling.

McMillan's complaint sought to block the eviction notice, and to recover $1.3 million in damages.

Efforts to reach Lisco Holdings were unsuccessful this week; a telephone operator said no such business is listed in her directory on Wednesday.

Court records show that McMillan, whose participation in a televised debate for New York City's 2010 mayoral race made him a media sensation, has filed a pro se federal complaints against Lisco once a year since 2012.

In January 2012, McMillan sued the New York State Board of Elections in Brooklyn for removing the word "Damn" from the name of his political party, and demanded a recount of votes in the 2010 gubernatorial race in which he picked up 1 percent of the votes.

That complaint listed an address for McMillan in Brooklyn.

In 2009, McMillan sued the Internal Revenue Service for allegedly taxing a disability pension that is not earned income.

He sued the city's Board of Elections in 2008, claiming that it wrongly removed him as a state Senate candidate.

In one October 2005 complaint, McMillan accused the League of Women Voters of NYC, WABC 7, the New York Daily News and Newsday of violating his civil rights.

Another suit McMillan filed that month took aim at the New York City Campaign Finance Board, WNBC, NY-1 News and the New York City Board of Elections, claiming they discriminated against and excluded him from participating in any debates in his mayoral bid, and denied him a news interview, a documentary and live coverage.

He sued the city and its police department in August 2004 with claims that he was wrongly arrested and detained without just cause.

Categories / Uncategorized

Subscribe to Closing Arguments

Sign up for new weekly newsletter Closing Arguments to get the latest about ongoing trials, major litigation and hot cases and rulings in courthouses around the U.S. and the world.