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Bey v. South Carolina Berkeley 9th Judicial Court

United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Charleston Division

February 7, 2018

Demeian Pinckney Bey, Plaintiff,
South Carolina Berkeley 9th Judicial Court, et al., Defendants.



         This is a civil action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 filed by a non-prisoner litigant, who is proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis. Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1), and Local Civil Rule 73.02(B)(2) (D.S.C.), the United States Magistrate Judge is authorized to review the case initially and to submit findings and recommendations to the United States District Judge. After careful review, the Magistrate Judge recommends that the Complaint (DE# 1) be summarily dismissed, with prejudice, and without issuance and service of process, for the following reasons:

         I. The Present Lawsuit

         Plaintiff filed this civil action on December 1, 2017. (DE# 1). In his Complaint, Plaintiff indicates he is a “Moorish American National” not subject to law. (Id. at 4; see also DE# 1-2 at 1). Plaintiff is apparently dissatisfied with state criminal proceedings against him. He sues seven defendants: (1) South Carolina Berkeley 9th Judicial Court; 2) the State of South Carolina; 3) Clerk of Court Mary P. Brown; 4) Assistant Solictor Kamila Szymcznska-Sas; 5) Magistrate Kristi Lea Harrenton;[1] 6) Sheriff Duane Lewis; and 7) Attorney General Alan Wilson. Plaintiff appears to be attempting to interfere with a pending state prosecution.

         Plaintiff's Complaint is largely nonsensical. For example, Plaintiff initially states:

COMES NOW, Demeian Pinckney Bey In Propria Persona, Sui Juris (not to be confused with Pro se), Aboriginal Indigenous Moorish-American; possessing Free-hold by Inheritance status; standing squarely affirmed and bound to the Zodiac Constitution … Being a descendant of Moroccans and born in America, with the blood of the ancient Moabites from the Land of Moab, who received permission from the Pharaohs of Egypt to settle and inhabit North-West Africa / North Gate…”

(DE# 1 at 2). Plaintiff inaccurately refers to South Carolina as a foreign nation. Based on a frivolous “Moorish Nation” theory, he contends that although he was born the United States, he is not a United States citizen subject to its laws. Plaintiff contends that the state court lacks jurisdiction over him because of his “status” as a Moorish National. Attached to the Complaint are various pages of irrelevant materials, including a document that Plaintiff has captioned as an “Affidavit of Prejudice, ” a document captioned as a “Petition for writ of Certiorari, ” and a fifteen-page “Memorandum of Law” concerning his own theory of jurisdiction and contracts. (DE# 1-1, 1-2, and 1-3). The attached “Petition for writ of Certiorari” consists of a list of questions, such as the following (verbatim):

21. Is America the name of this Continent and Morocco is the name of this courtly (sic).
22. Is Morocco the only courtly on both side of the Atlantic Ocean….
23. In the year 1956 sept 15 did President Eisenhower relinquished (sic) jurisdiction in United States Morocco; 30. Is it true when private commercial paper is used by corporate Government, then loses its sovereignty status and becomes no different than a mere private corporation….
32. Is it true that Government must be willing to enter the contract or commercial agreement into evidence before trying to get to the court to enforce its demand, called statutes.

(DE# 1-2 at 3). Plaintiff also attaches a document captioned as an “Averment of Jurisdiction - Quo Warranto” which purports to give notice of his own jurisdictional theory based on the “Moorish Divine and National Movement of the World.” (DE# 1-2 at 5-6).

         For relief, Plaintiff demands that (verbatim):

All UNCONSTITUTIONAL Citations - Summons/Ticket - Suit / (misrepresented) Bill of Attender: Number 2015A0810400262 / 2015A0810400263 / / 2015A0810400264, and any other ‘Order' or ‘Action' associated it /them, to be dismissed and expunged for the record on its face and merits; or otherwise, be brought before a legitimately -delegated, and competent court of law of International jurisdiction / venue.”

         Plaintiff seeks “dismissal” and “expungement” of various state criminal and/or traffic charges and/or convictions. Plaintiff seeks monetary damages against the State of South Carolina, the state court, and various state officials connected with Plaintiff's most recent state criminal case. (DE# 1 at 14-15).

         II. Standard of Review

         A. Initial Review for Non-Prisoner IFP Complaints

         Title 28 U.S.C.A. § 1915(e) governs IFP filings and provides that a district court must dismiss an action that the court finds to be frivolous, malicious, fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted, or seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C.A. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(i-iii). A finding of frivolity can be made where the complaint lacks an arguable basis either in law or in fact. Denton v. Hernandez, 504 U.S. 25, 31 (1992). A claim based on a meritless legal theory may be dismissed sua sponte “at any time” under 28 U.S.C. §1915(e)(2)(B). Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 326 (1989). The statute “is designed largely to discourage the filing of, and waste of judicial and private resources upon, baseless lawsuits.” Id. at 326.

         With respect to failure to state a claim, “Rule 12(b)(6) authorizes a court to dismiss a claim on the basis of a dispositive issue of law.” Neitzke, 490 U.S. at 326. The “complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to ‘state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.' ”Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007). Although pro se complaints are liberally construed, a plaintiff must do more than make vague and conclusory statements to state a claim for relief. Adams v. Rice, 40 F.3d 72, 74-75 (4th Cir. 1994), cert. denied, 514 U.S. 1022 (1995). A plaintiff must allege facts that actually support a plausible claim for relief. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678.

         B. Liberal Construction ...

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