Still no Trillion Dollar Judgment

Parker v. Apple (Fed. Cir. 2020) (non-precedential order)

The Federal Circuit has dismissed Parker’s pro se appeal as frivolous.  Parker described the facts of the case as follows:

On October 29, 2018 Raevon Parkerwent to the Apple Store in the Saint Louis Galleria for a malfunction of his cellular device. The attendant in the Apple Store fixed the device but kept it by deceiving the Plaintiff knowing that it was the first phone to have new features [created by Parker himself].

The damages that the plaintiff is seeking is a trillion dollars.

Parker first sued in Missouri state court asking for $2 trillion and $900 USD as well as return of his priceless phone.  The Missouri court dismissed on the pleadings for failure to state a claim. Later, Parker refiled in Federal Court and that case was also dismissed.

You may have heard of district court’s certifying questions for appeal under 28 U.S.C. 1292(b).  In this case, the district court issued a reverse-certification — certifying that any appeal by Mr. Parker should not be taken in good faith.  Still, Parker appealed.

On appeal to the Federal Circuit, Parker made a takings claim — arguing that his 5th Amendment rights were violated by Apple — “his property was taken for public use and he had not been compensated.”  Despite widespread concern over Apple’s monopolistic practices, Apple is not the government and is not bound by the 5th Amendment takings clause or is incorporation under the 14th Amendment.  Thus, the Federal Circuit dismissed the case and denied Parker’s fee waiver petition (Proceedings in forma pauperis).  The Federal statute guiding the court’s approach to in forma pauperis proceedings indicates that the court should dismiss any case where “the action or appeal is frivolous.”  28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B).  Following that guidance the the court has dismissed Parker’s appeal.

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I will note that the current value of Apple’s publicly traded shares is $2 billion trillion.

14 thoughts on “Still no Trillion Dollar Judgment

  1. 5

    Two recent examples: two D.C. suits replete with wild conspiracy allegations absent FRCP Rule 9(b) particularity requirements. Riddled riddled with typographical errors, words strung together with no spacing between words. and the very title of the case having the Court’s name misspelled twice on the first page, with an extra C for “DISTRICCT” and then, a few words later, “DISTRCOICT.
    [King v. Whitmer, 20-cv-13134 U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan and Pearson v. Kemp, Northern District of Georgia.]
    [Extra credit if you can ID the attorney who filed these, and who she represented until a few days ago. One named plaintiff here denies he had retained her.]

    1. 5.1

      That’s a pretty simple one, given that it’s been all over the news, so I will gladly claim this low-hanging fruit of a (unspecified, and perhaps not that impressive?) extra credit.

      (1) Sidney Powell
      (2) the Trump Campaign

      But it’s news to me that now one of the current named plaintiffs is denying that she represents him. Care to divulge who it is?

      1. 5.1.1

        OK, finally I got motivated to look and found it—Jason Shepherd, in the GA case.

        She pulled the same stunt with Derrick Van Orden in the WI case too (and even misspelled his last name in places—insult to injury).


          Thanks hardreaders. Could not all these factors institute attorney conduct investigations, Rule 11 sanctions, and/or questions as to whether she should even be allowed to be lead counsel in such suits in states in which she is not a bar member?



            I’m no expert on bar discipline, Rule 11 proceedings, and the like, but the weight of authority on numerous fora, which I’m sure you’ve seen, would appear to say “yes” given these and other accompanying factors (or should we be calling them “malarkey” these days? =]). Also, it doesn’t seem to mentioned as much, but you could probably add perjury to the list, seeing as some very dubious affidavits are in the mix too.

            Relatedly, the NDGA (sounds like “endanger” when you think about it) case has been going on for almost a full week now. Despite that, it seems like Powell–who as of today continues to appear on filings–still hasn’t gotten around to submitting her PHV application. Granted, there was an intervening holiday, but that didn’t seem to prevent the remaining out-of-state attorneys on plaintiffs’ team from getting their PHVs in. So I’m curious what the holdup is there. The NDGA application form doesn’t appear to be particularly burdensome either.

  2. 4

    The requested damages remind me of those old Mastercard commercials.

    iPhone 7… $1 trillion
    iOS 12… $1 trillion
    Raevon Terrell Parker’s mentality…

  3. 2

    Why didn’t he get his phone back, and why did the MO court dismiss the claim on that particular point? Normally when someone (Apple) takes something that doesn’t belong to him (plaintiff’s phone), that’s called theft or in some cases conversion. But it’s actionable.

    1. 2.1

      Because of section 5 of link to, and because it’s well-known that Apple’s repair practices typically consist of “here’s a refurbished identical mode, restore from iCloud, have a nice day.”

      1. 2.1.1

        A replacement part (under section 5) will not cover the physical material change as may be induced with the computing ware that is software.

        Something “configured to” is just not the same as an unconfigured item.

    2. 2.2

      As to the first part of that question, I don’t think there’s enough factual content in the order or the OP to arrive at an answer. I haven’t looked at the original complaint though. If even that provides no enlightenment, then I suppose an extremely curious and determined person could try following up directly with Parker and/or that particular Apple Store.

      Now to the second part. Even assuming the facts are as claimed by Parker–and putting aside speculation about a motive for the Apple Store’s alleged conduct–the problem is still with his legal theories. He claimed a constitutional taking, but apparently had no factual support whatsoever for at least some of the required elements. Therefore, it seems a quite sensible outcome for his complaint to be dismissed as frivolous.

      As to the possibility of a conversion theory, I’m not sure that’d be viable either. Even crediting all the facts that Parker seems to have put forward, presumably–and as others have suggested here–the work at the Apple Store was done pursuant to a contract. So even if there was some issue with the phone not being returned, at worst it might amount to a breach. But I’m fairly confident that wouldn’t supply a basis to allege conversion. (Not that someone like Parker would necessarily be deterred from doing so anyway, but in this case, it seems that for whatever reason, he didn’t.)

  4. 1

    With the recent and prior demonstrations of millions of people willing to believe even the most bizarre of baseless and easily disproven conspiracy theories it is surprising that there are not more of these pro se alleged IP theft suits than there are already.

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