United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Charleston Division
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
GORDON BAKER UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
has filed a civil action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
Plaintiff is a state prisoner incarcerated at Lieber
Correctional Institution in South Carolina. He is proceeding
pro se and in forma pauperis. Plaintiff is
one of a group of inmates who have repetitively filed the
same or similar complaints in this judicial
district. The lengthy Complaint is, at best,
difficult to follow, and at times, incomprehensible.
Liberally construed, Plaintiff appears to be suing numerous
judges for “conspiracy” and “fraud”
based on their rulings in the habeas proceedings for these
six inmates. The Complaint also contains a diatribe against
same-sex marriage and seeks to “remove” this case
(and others) to “the State of New Jersey.”
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
prejudice, and without issuance and service of
process, for the following reasons:
The Present Lawsuit
face of the Complaint (43 pages), Plaintiff lists twenty
defendants, including the following state, federal, and/or
federal appellate judges (most of whom are identified only by
their last name): Judges Hood, Diaz, Thacker, Davis, Gregory,
Duncan, Hamilton, Hendricks, West, Harwell, Austin, Wooten,
Marchant, Seymour, Hodges, Gerbel (sic), and Cain. (DE# 1 at
5-7). Plaintiff also sues court officials -- Mr. Zannelli
(sic) and Patricia Connors “of the 4th Circuit
Court” and attorney Tara Dawn Shurling. (Id.
at 6). Plaintiff indicates that the
“remainder of the defendants are listed in the attached
Affidavit of Service that was initially filed in the 4th
Circuit.” (DE# 1 at 7). Contrary to Plaintiff's
allegation, he did not attach such document to his Complaint.
indicates he is bringing this action for damages pursuant to
42 U.S.C. § 1983. (DE #1 at 4). In his Complaint, Plaintiff
generally alleges that the decisions in various prisoner
cases (listed by case number) were “submitted in
violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1001 rendering them void by the
fraud due to the Federal Judges establishing them as a means
of concealing material facts” and indicates that
“I, we, motion for Declaratory Judgment from the 4th
Circuit on this issue.” (DE# 1 at 5). Plaintiff lists
many case numbers and appears to be improperly attempting to
litigate multiple cases or to “incorporate”
arguments from those cases. (DE# 1 at 8). He indicates he
has filed documents with the United Nations indicating that
he and his fellow inmates are “working to bring their
cases forward collectively, which is indicated by the various
case numbers listed.” (Id.). He indicates
“these cases repesent (sic) parallel litigation seeking
class certification.” (Id. at 22).
gist of the lengthy Complaint is that Plaintiff and his
fellow inmates are angry that their habeas petitions have
been denied. He attributes these denials to a
“conspiracy” by the judicial Defendants.
Plaintiff appears to be improperly attempting to consolidate
and challenge their judicial rulings by means of this §
1983 action. Plaintiff complains that:
U.S. District Judges abused their discretion in these cases
by making their finding based upon § 2254 when this
action was filed as Writ of Error requiring review pursuant
to §1983 as the proceeding was filed by us. Not this
fraudulent proceeding you produced in violation of 18 U.S.C.
§ 1001 for the purpose of concealing material facts
tainting these cases.
(DE# 1 at 12). Plaintiff alleges that the defendant judges
are conspiring “because they know the prior orders
issued are tainted by their fraud and cannot be legally used
in any court.” (Id. at 9). He alleges that
they “are now conspiring in additional acts of fraud to
obtain this hearing and produce an order to negate our claims
of default and collateral estoppel to aid the federal
judges.” (Id.). He “objects” to
any order from a state hearing in 2017. (Id.).
Plaintiff contends that the Defendants are conspiring to
“protect their employer the United States and the other
192 Members of the United Nations from suit.”
(Id. at 29).
states that he wants declaratory judgment from the Fourth
Circuit Court of Appeals and “class
certification.” (DE# 1 at 6, 10, 22). Plaintiff wants
all the judicial Defendants “disqualified, ”
presumably from hearing the prisoners' habeas cases that
have already been decided. (Id. at 6, 12, 34).
Plaintiff demands “removal” or a “change of
venue” to “the State of New Jersey, ” but
cites no relevant authority for such
procedurally-inappropriate demand. (Id. at 25). He
appears to ask for “removal” of other cases as
well, or alternatively, indicates that the inmates have
already “removed” the cases (which they do not
have authority to do). (Id. at 10).
his Complaint, Plaintiff insults the defendant judges,
describing them in derogatory terms as crack-head idiots,
knuckleheads, scorpions, flying monkeys, stinking rats,
weasels, snakes, wicked witches, potato heads, and demon
dogs. (DE#1 at 6-7, 11, 13-14, 19, 22-23, 26-27, 32, 40).
Plaintiff repeatedly impugns the judges' integrity,
generally alleging that they are all corrupt and
“fraudulent.” He complains about Mag. Judge
Austin's judicial rulings and disrespectfully states that
she “should have gotten off her worthless butt and
handled business.” (DE# 1 at 30). He alleges that
“Judge Gerbel” (sic) is one of Mag. Judge
Austin's “flying monkeys” and is illiterate.
Plaintiff indicates that he is not suing Judge Austin as a
judge, but rather, “as Trustee appointed by the
King-Khalifah.” (Id. at 6). Such allegation is
alleges that the judicial defendants, based on their judicial
rulings, engaged in a vast conspiracy against Plaintiff and
his fellow prisoners. He speculates that the Defendants must
have “engaged in mail tampering by destroying the Writ
of Mandamus sent to establish action within the 4th Circuit
to prevent the mayhem, fraud, machination and criminal
conspiracy that occurred…” (Id.). For
no discernible reason, Plaintiff also includes a lengthy and
wholly irrelevant diatribe about his extreme dislike of
same-sex marriage (Id. at 32-34). Plaintiff
concludes his Complaint with pages of irrelevant language,
including the following exhortation:
Gird your loins up like a man; for the “DEATH ANGEL
MARCH” foretold in the Book of Revelations and written
in the King-Khali-fah's Declaration of Sovereignty
approaches. Blessed are thou, O Land, when the King-Khalifah
is the son of nobles, and the princes eat in due season, for
strength and not for drunkenness! Curse not the
King-Khalifah, no not in they thought; nor should the rich do
such in their bedchamber; for a bird of the air shall carry
the voice, and that which hath wings shall tell the matter.
(DE# 1 at 43). Plaintiff has also filed additional voluminous
documents (DE# 9-15, 19, 21, 24, 26, 27, totaling 426 pages).
His arguments in such filings are legally baseless, state no
grounds for any “motions, ” are often
nonsensical, and reflect a comprehensive misunderstanding of
relief, Plaintiff demands “declaratory judgment from
the 4th Circuit.” (DE# 1 at 1, 5). Plaintiff fails to
explain why he filed this action in the District Court if he
is seeking “declaratory judgment from the 4th
Circuit.” Plaintiff, who is a state prisoner, wants to
be sent to “a pre-release federal camp.” (DE# 1
at 34). Plaintiff wants this Court to vacate all the criminal
convictions for himself and his fellow inmates and to release
them all from prison. (Id. at 38, ¶ VI
“Relief”). He also wants monetary relief, stating
I, we, want [Judge] Austin to act as Trustee, the lien
established and all other relief that [Judge] Austin has and
is fully aware of. The monetary relief sought in case
2013-CP-400-0084 is to be immediately given to the
King-Khalifah, Anthony Cook and the King-Khalifah's
children. Monetary relief for the other plaintiffs is sought
and will be address at hearing.
(DE# 1 at 38, ¶ VI “Relief”). Plaintiff
wants all their cases, including this one, transferred to the
State of New Jersey. Plaintiff does not explain why he seeks
transfer to New Jersey.
Standard of Review
Court is required to liberally construe pro se
documents, Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97 (1976),
holding them to a less stringent standard than those drafted
by attorneys, Hughes v. Rowe, 449 U.S. 5 (1980) (per
curiam). The liberal construction afforded pro se
pleadings means that if the court can reasonably read the
pleadings to state a valid claim, it should do so, but a
district court may not rewrite a complaint to “conjure
up questions never squarely presented” to the court.
Beaudett v. City of Hampton, 775 F.2d 1274, 1278
(4th Cir. 1985), cert. denied, 475 U.S. 1088 (1986).
The requirement of liberal construction does not mean that
the court can ignore a clear failure in the pleading to
allege facts which set forth a claim currently cognizable in
a federal district court. Weller v. Dep't. of Soc.
Servs., 901 F.2d 387 (4th Cir. 1990).
Review Under 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915,
is proceeding IFP, and therefore, this case is subject to
screening pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915. Such statute
permits an indigent litigant to commence an action in federal
court without prepaying the administrative costs of
proceeding with the action. To protect against possible
abuses of this privilege, the statute allows the court to
dismiss the case upon finding that the case is
“frivolous or 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.
§1915(e)(2)(B)(i-iii). The Prison Litigation Reform Act
(“PLRA”) also provides for the screening of
complaints “in which a prisoner seeks redress from a
governmental entity or officer or employee of a governmental
entity.” 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(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, 324-25 (1989). The United States Supreme Court has
explained that the statute “is designed largely to
discourage the filing of, and waste of judicial and private
resources upon, baseless lawsuits.” Id. at
326. As for 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.” Id. 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. A plaintiff must
allege facts that actually support a plausible claim for
The PLRA's 3-strike provision
PLRA, at 28 U.S.C. § 1915(g), provides that:
In no event shall a prisoner bring a civil action or appeal a
judgment in a civil action or proceeding under this section
if the prisoner has, on 3 or more prior occasions, while
incarcerated or detained in any facility, brought an action
or appeal in a court of the United States that was dismissed
on the grounds that it is frivolous, malicious, or fails to
state a claim upon which relief may be granted, unless the
prisoner is under imminent danger of serious physical injury.
See McLean v. United States, 566 F.3d 391, 404
(2009). “[I]f a prisoner has already had three cases
dismissed as frivolous, malicious, or for failure to state a
claim for which relief may be granted, the prisoner generally
may not proceed IFP but rather must pay up-front all filing
fees for his subsequent suits.” Blakely v.
Wards, 738 F.3d 607, 609 (4th Cir. 2013), as amended
(Oct. 22, 2013). This means that, after receiving three
strikes, plaintiff will have to pay the full filing fee for
almost any future non-habeas civil action he might wish to
file. Id. at 610. If Plaintiff continues to file
pleadings that are frivolous or malicious, or fail to state a
claim for which relief ...