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Israel v. United States

United States District Court, N.D. Indiana, Hammond Division

November 17, 2016

HEZEKIAH ISAIAH ISRAEL, Plaintiff,
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, et al., Defendants.

          Plaintiff Hezekiah Isaiah Israel, pro se

          OPINION AND ORDER

          PAUL R. CHERRY MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         This matter is before the Court on Defendants' Motion to Dismiss [DE 10], filed by Defendants United States of America, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Indiana David A. Capp, and United States Secretary of Education John King, Jr. on June 20, 2016.

         PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

         On March 22, 2016, Plaintiff Hezekiah Isaiah Israel, pro se, filed a Complaint. In the title of the Complaint, only the United States is listed as a defendant. In the text of the Complaint, only Capp and King are named as defendants.

         In the Complaint, Israel makes the following factual allegations. Israel's religious beliefs prevent him from speaking the names of “pagan false gods and idols.” As a result, Israel refuses to speak the names of the days of the week; the names of the months January, February, March, May, and June; and certain objects in space, such as the planets Mars and Jupiter because their names are derived from the names of gods. The United States has a “custom and usage” of the Gregorian Calendar, which was created by a religious leader and does not start the year “at the proper time in accordance with the spring season.” (Compl. 2, ECF No. 1) Public schools in the United States teach children in elementary school the days of the week, the Gregorian Calendar, and the names of objects in space. As a result of teaching children these things, American society has adopted the names of days, months, and planets that Israel does not speak aloud for religious reasons. Because of Israel's refusal to speak the names of certain months, he was denied an eviction order in a Lake County, Indiana, Superior Court case. Also, Israel's refusal to speak the names of days or months “has caused Plaintiff's associates opportunity for misunderstanding in the scheduling of appointments.”

         Israel contends that his rights under the First Amendment and Section 1983 of Chapter 42 of the United States Code have been violated “because the custom and usage of these names creates a respect, or giving of credit, to a particular pagan false god and idol.”

         In the prayer for relief, Israel asks the Court to order all United States Government agencies, departments, and public schools to (1) eliminate the law, ordinance, custom, usage, and teaching of the Gregorian Calendar and the currently used names of the days of the week, months, and planets; (2) adopt a custom of referring to months and days by their numerical position; and (3) establish a calendar that begins at the spring Equilux. Israel also asks the Court to order the United States Department of Education to assist public schools in implementing these changes.

         Defendants filed the instant Motion to Dismiss on June 20, 2016. Israel filed a response on July 6, 2016. Defendants filed a reply on July 12, 2016.

         ANALYSIS

         A. Defendants Capp and King

         Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 10 mandates that “[t]he title of the complaint must name all the parties.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 10(a). Because the title of the Complaint lists “United States” as the sole defendant, the Court dismisses without prejudice all claims against Capp and King. Additionally, the Court notes that the analysis below dismissing Israel's Complaint for lack of standing as to the United States would also apply to the same claims as to Capp and King had Israel named Capp and King in the title of the Complaint.

         B. Defendant United States of America

         The United States seeks dismissal of Israel's Complaint for lack of standing and for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. A challenge to standing is properly brought under Rule 12(b)(1) for a lack of subject matter jurisdiction. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(1); Apex Digital, Inc. v. Sears, Roebuck & Co., 572 F.3d 440, 443 (7th Cir. 2009). Because it goes to the ...


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