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Martin v. State, Officials of New Orleans

United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana

January 25, 2019

CHRISTOPHER DWAYNE MARTIN a/k/a MARTIN EL BEY
v.
STATE OF LOUISIANA'S OFFICIALS OF NEW ORLEANS, ET AL.

         SECTION: “J” (1)

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          JAN S VAN MEERVELD, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         Plaintiff, Christopher Dwayne Martin a/k/a Martin El Bey, a state pretrial detainee, filed this pro se and in forma pauperis federal civil rights action against various state and local officials. Although his complaint is largely incomprehensible, the thrust of his legal argument is that the officials are violating his rights by refusing to acknowledge that he is a sovereign citizen of aboriginal Moroccan descent. See Gravatt v. United States, 100 Fed.Cl. 279, 282 (Fed. Cl. 2011) (explaining the “sovereign citizen” belief system); El Ameen Bey v. Stumpf, 825 F.Supp.2d 537 (D.N.J. 2011) (explaining the myth of the “Moorish Movement” and other similar fictions such as “sovereign citizens” and their motives). As relief, he requests:

I, the Aboriginal Native Morocco (AMERICAN), by Rights of ‘Sovereignty' Declare all listed Defendants be penalized in their personal & official capacity to wit, forthwith without prejudice. Monetary damages shall be paid to me for each day/night since arrested & detained on 02/23/2017 until I get release. Each violation of Defendants have a specified amount to pay according to U.S.C. & U.C.C. for everyday held captive. I also seek dismissal & release of all pending accusation of STATE against Me.[1]

         Federal law mandates that federal courts “review, before docketing, if feasible or, in any event, as soon as practicable after docketing, a complaint in a civil action in which a prisoner seeks redress from a governmental entity or officer or employee of a governmental entity.” 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a).[2] Regarding such lawsuits, federal law further requires: “On review, the court shall identify cognizable claims or dismiss the complaint, or any portion of the complaint, if the complaint … is frivolous ….” 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b).

         Additionally, with respect to actions filed in forma pauperis, such as the instant lawsuit, federal law similarly provides: “Notwithstanding any filing fee, or any portion thereof, that may have been paid, the court shall dismiss the case at any time if the court determines that ... the action … is frivolous ….” 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B).

         A complaint is frivolous “if it lacks an arguable basis in law or fact.” Reeves v. Collins, 27 F.3d 174, 176 (5th Cir. 1994). In making a determination as to whether a claim is frivolous, the Court has “not only the authority to dismiss a claim based on an indisputably meritless legal theory, but also the unusual power to pierce the veil of the complaint's factual allegations and dismiss those claims whose factual contentions are clearly baseless.” Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 327 (1989); Macias v. Raul A. (Unknown), Badge No. 153, 23 F.3d 94, 97 (5th Cir. 1994).

         In addition to the myriad other problems with plaintiff's complaint, [3] the simplest reason this case should be dismissed by the Court sua sponte is that the theory on which plaintiff's claims are based, i.e. the “sovereign citizen” legal theory, is legally frivolous. See, e.g., United States v. Austin, Crim. Action No. 13-194, 2018 WL 6326435, at *2 (E.D. La. Dec. 4, 2018); Westfall v. Davis, Civ. Action No. 7:18-cv-00023, 2018 WL 2422058, at *2 (N.D. Tex. May 4, 2018), adopted, 2018 WL 2414794 (N.D. Tex. May 29, 2018); LaVergne v. USA, Docket No. 18-cv-238, 2018 WL 2760336, at *2 (W.D. La. Mar. 13, 2018), adopted, 2018 WL 2747058 (W.D. La. June 7, 2018); El v. Louisiana, Civ. Action No. 16-2125, 2017 WL 1969552, at *3 (E.D. La. May 12, 2017) (Barbier, J.); Mason v. Anderson, Civil Action No. H-15-2952, 2016 WL 4398680, at *2 (S.D. Tex. Aug. 18, 2016).

         RECOMMENDATION

         It is therefore RECOMMENDED that plaintiff's complaint be DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE as frivolous.

         A party's failure to file written objections to the proposed findings, conclusions, and recommendation in a magistrate judge's report and recommendation within fourteen (14) days after being served with a copy shall bar that party, except upon grounds of plain error, from attacking on appeal the unobjected-to proposed factual findings and legal conclusions accepted by the district court, provided that the party has been served with notice that such consequences will result from a failure to object. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1); Douglass v. United Services Auto. Ass'n, 79 F.3d 1415, 1430 (5th Cir. 1996) (en banc).

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Notes:

[1] Rec. Doc. 3, p. 5.


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