United States District Court, N.D. Indiana, Fort Wayne Division
OPINION AND ORDER
William C. Lee United States District Court
Razzaaq Rashid Bey, pro se, filed a complaint and an
in forma pauperis petition. The IFP statute, 28
U.S.C. section 1915, allows an indigent plaintiff to commence
a civil action without prepaying the administrative costs
(e.g. filing fee) of the action. See 28 U.S.C. section
1915(a)(1); see also Denton v. Hernandez, 504 U.S.
25, 27 (1992). When presented with an IFP application, the
district court makes two determinations: (1) whether the suit
has sufficient merit; and (2) whether the plaintiff's
poverty level justifies IFP status. See 28 U.S.C. section
1915(e)(2); Denton, 504 U.S. at 27; Smith-Bey v.
Hosp. Adm'r, 841 F.2d 751, 757 (7th Cir. 1988). If a
court finds that the suit lacks sufficient merit or that an
inadequate showing of poverty exists, the court must deny the
IFP petition. See Smith-Bey, 841 F.2d at 757.
a court must dismiss a case at any time if it determines that
the suit is frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a claim
upon which relief may be granted. 28 U.S.C. §
1915(e)(2)(B). To determine whether the suit states a claim
under 28 U.S.C. section 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii), a court applies
the same standard as it would to a motion to dismiss filed
pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6).
DeWalt v. Carter, 224 F.3d 607, 611 (7th Cir. 2000).
In deciding a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6), a court
must accept all well-pleaded factual allegations as true and
view them in the light most favorable to the plaintiff.
Luevano v. WalMart Stores, Inc., 722 F.3d 1014, 1027
(7th Cir. 2013). To survive dismissal, a "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)
(internal quotation marks and citation omitted). However,
"[a] document filed pro se is to be liberally construed,
and a pro se complaint, however inartfully pleaded, must be
held to less stringent standards than formal pleadings
drafted by lawyers." Erickson v. Pardus, 551
U.S. 89, 94 (2007) (internal quotation marks and citation
page, single-spaced document Rashid Bey filed here (ECF 1) is
titled a "Legal Notice of Removal from Municipal Court
to Federal Court Pursuant to Title § 28 1441- §1446
Proper Article III Jurisdiction." Despite its title, the
document seeks monetary damages from the State of Indiana,
Howard County, and two officers from the Kokomo Police
Department. Accordingly, the document is more properly
considered an amended complaint than a notice of
case, Rashid Bey satisfies the financial prong of the
analysis, but the complaint does not just fall short of what
is required to state a claim - it is frivolous. Rashid Bey
alleges that, on December 3, 2017, he was arrested for
violating State law and detained by two officers from the
Kokomo Police Department. Rashid Bey describes himself as
coming before the court "In Propria Persona, Sui Juris
(not to be confused with Pro se)." ECF 1 at 1. He
further describes himself as an "Aboriginal, Indigenous
Moorish-American; possessing Free-hold by inheritance-status;
standing squarely affirmed and bound to the Zodiac
Constitution . . ..” Id. at 2. In sum, Rashid
Bey believes a multitude of rights have been violated in the
course of his arrest and incarceration because: (1) he is not
subject to the laws of the State of Indiana; (2) the Howard
County Superior Court is an unconstitutional private
corporation; and, (3) the Kokomo Police Department is
“a private corporation, foreign to the United States
Republic; and foreign to the organic INDIANA Republic.”
Id. He seeks dismissal of the State criminal
charges, monetary damages, and other relief.
Bey's underlying claim that he is somehow beyond the
jurisdiction of the laws of the State of Indiana, the Howard
County Superior Court and the Kokomo Police Department
because of his status as an Aboriginal Indigenous
Moorish-American is patently frivolous. “Regardless of
an individual's claimed status of descent, be it as a
‘sovereign citizen, ' a ‘secured-party
creditor, ' or a ‘flesh-and-blood human being,
' that person is not beyond the jurisdiction of the
courts. These theories should be rejected summarily, however
they are presented.” United States v. Benabe,
654 F.3d 753, 767 (7th 2011); see also United States v.
Hilgeford, 7 F.3d 1340, 1342 (7th Cir. 1993)
(characterizing claims that defendant was a sovereign citizen
as “shop worn” and “frivolous”);
Blake-Bey v. Cook County, Ill., 438 Fed.Appx. 522,
at *1 (7th Cir. Nov. 23, 2011) (affirming dismissal of suit
by persons alleging to be sovereign citizens not subject to
the laws of Illinois); United States v. Toader, 409
Fed.Appx. 9, at *13 (7th Cir. Nov. 24, 2010) (rejecting
argument that court lacked jurisdiction over defendant
claiming to be “Native Asiatic Moorish National
Citizen” since laws of the United States “apply
to all persons within its borders”).
it is usually necessary "to give pro se litigants one
opportunity to amend after dismissing a complaint[, ]
that's unnecessary where, as here, it is certain from the
face of the complaint that any amendment would be futile or
otherwise unwarranted." Carpenter v. PNC Bank, Nat.
Ass'n, No. 633 Fed.Appx. 346, 348 (7th Cir. Feb. 3,
2016) (quotation marks omitted). See Luevano v.
Wal-Mart, 722 F.3d 1014 (7th Cir. 2013) and Hukic v.
Aurora Loan Servs., 588 F.3d 420, 432 (7th Cir. 2009)
("[C]ourts have broad discretion to deny leave to amend
where . . . the amendment would be futile.").
these reasons, the motion for leave to proceed in forma
pauperis (ECF 2) is DENIED and this case is DISMISSED
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A because it is frivolous.
 Even if this document were construed
as a notice of removal and Rashid Bey had followed the
correct procedures for removing a case to federal court,
summary remand would be required. Pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 1443, a defendant facing criminal charges in state
court can remove the action to federal court if, in pertinent
part, it is an action “[a]gainst any person who is
denied or cannot enforce in the courts of such State a right
under any law providing for the equal civil rights of
citizens of the United States, or of all persons within the
jurisdiction thereof.” 28 U.S.C. § 1443(1). Rashid
Bey has not specified any grounds that could properly support
federal jurisdiction over his criminal misdemeanor case.
“The Supreme Court has interpreted the statute to apply
only if the right alleged arises under a federal law
providing for civil rights based on race and the
petitioner must show that he cannot enforce the federal right
due to some formal expression of state law.” State
v. Haws, 131 F.3d 1205, 1209 (7th Cir. 1997) (emphasis
added) (citing Georgia v. Rachel, 384 U.S. 780
(1966) and Chapman v. Houston Welfare Rights Org.,
441 U.S. 600, 621 (1979)). Here, Rashid Bey alleges that he
has been treated unfairly and had various rights violated
during his prosecution. However, he does not allege that he
has been denied any rights arising under a federal law
providing for civil rights “based on race.”
Johnson v. Mississippi, 421 U.S. 213, 219 (1975)
(“First, it must appear that the right allegedly denied
the removal petitioner arises under a federal law
‘providing for specific civil rights stated in terms of
racial equality.'” (quoting Rachel, 384
U.S. at 792)). Nor is there any reason to believe that Rashid