United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Lake Charles Division
DANIEL T. LaVERGNE, JR. D.O.C. # 707218
USA, ET AL.
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
KATHLEEN KAY UNITED SATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
the court is a civil rights complaint [doc. 1] filed pursuant
to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 by pro se plaintiff Daniel Timothy
LaVergne, Jr., who is proceeding in forma pauperis. LaVergne
is an inmate in the custody of the Louisiana Department of
Public Safety and Corrections and is currently incarcerated
at Vernon Correctional Center in Leesville, Louisiana.
matter has been referred to the undersigned for review,
report, and recommendation in accordance with the provisions
of 28 U.S.C. § 636. For reasons stated below, IT
IS RECOMMENDED that the matter be DISMISSED
WITH PREJUDICE as frivolous under 28 U.S.C. §
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 is a
victim of “denationalization” at the hands of
these defendants, due to the application of “abolished
slave [labels]” to his person at birth. Id. In
relief he requests that the court correct his classification
and allow him to proclaim the “free nationality . . .
of [his] forefathers under [his] own fig tree and vine to all
nations and governments, ” based on his status as
“[a] Moorish-American national.” Id. at
4 (capitalization corrected).
Law & Analysis
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. §
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).
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 a
federal actor). West v. Atkins, 108 S.Ct. 2250,
2254-55 (1988); see Bell v. Laborde, 204 Fed.
App'x 344, 345 n. 2 (5th Cir. 2006) (unpublished)
(describing extension of test in West for
Theories of the Complaint
suit is clearly based on his claim that he is a
“sovereign citizen.” There is no constitutional
support for this theory, and in fact the Fourteenth Amendment
provides that “[a]ll persons born or naturalized in the
United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are
citizens of the United States and the State wherein they
reside.” U.S. Const. amend. XIV, § 1. Courts
routinely dismiss sovereign citizen claims as frivolous or
otherwise lacking merit. See, e.g., Wirsche v.
Bank of Am., N.A., 2013 WL 6564657 at *2 (S.D. Tex. Dec.
13, 2013) (noting that “[t]hese teachings have never
worked in a court of law - not a single time.”);
West v. Enns, 2017 WL 2313469 at *3 (N.D. Tex. Apr.
27, 2017) (collecting cases on dismissals of sovereign
citizen claims). There is no ...