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Lee v. United States

United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Lake Charles Division

March 1, 2018

DEON TREMELL LEE DOC # 375231
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, ET AL.

         SECTION P

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          KATHLEEN KAY, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         Before the court is the civil rights complaint [doc. 1] filed pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 by plaintiff Deon Tremell Lee, who is proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis. Lee is a prisoner in the custody of the Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections and is currently confined at Vernon Correctional Facility in Leesville, Louisiana.

         This matter has been referred to the undersigned for review, report, and recommendation in accordance with 28 U.S.C. § 636 and the standing orders of this court. For reasons stated below, it is recommended that the petition be DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE as frivolous under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(i).

         I.

         Background

         Lee brings this suit against the United States of America, the United States Congress, the United States Supreme Court, and the State of Louisiana. Doc. 1, p. 3. He alleges that he was “denationalized” by these defendants at birth when “the slave identifying marks of Black, colored and Negro [were] applied to [him], ” in violation of the 13th Amendment to the United States Constitution. Id. In relief he requests that the court correct his status by allowing him to proclaim the “free nationality of [his] forefathers, their national name, number, creed, constitution, bylaws, flag and seal under [his] own fig tree and vine to all nations and governments, ” based on his “‘proper status' of Moorish American.” Id. at 4 (capitalization corrected).

         II.

         Law & Analysis

         A. Frivolity Review

         Lee has been granted leave to proceed in forma pauperis in this matter. Accordingly, his complaint is subject to screening under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2), which provides for sua sponte dismissal of the complaint or any portion thereof if the court determines that it is frivolous or malicious, fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(i)-(iii).

         A complaint is frivolous if it lacks an arguable basis in law or fact. Gonzalez v. Wyatt, 157 F.3d 1016, 1019 (5th Cir. 1998). A complaint fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted if it is clear the plaintiff cannot prove any set of facts in support of his claim that would entitle him to relief. Doe v. Dallas Indep. Sch. Dist., 153 F.3d 211, 215 (5th Cir. 1998). When determining whether a complaint is frivolous or fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, the court must accept plaintiff's allegations as true. Horton v. Cockrell, 70 F.3d 397, 400 (5th Cir. 1995) (frivolity); Bradley v. Puckett, 157 F.3d at 1025 (failure to state a claim).

         B. Section 1983/Bivens

         Federal law provides a cause of action against any person who, under the color of state law, acts to deprive another person of any right, privilege, or immunity secured by the Constitution and laws of the United States. 42 U.S.C. § 1983. A Bivens action is the counterpart for defendants acting under color of federal law of a suit brought under § 1983. E.g., Abate v. Southern Pacific Transp. Co., 993 F.2d 107, 110 n. 14 (5th Cir. 1993). In order to hold the defendants liable, a plaintiff must allege facts to show (1) that a constitutional right has been violated and (2) that the conduct complained of was committed by a person acting under color of state law; that is, that the defendant was a state actor (or, in a Bivens suit, under color of federal law/that the defendant was ...


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