BEY et al v. KOSSACK et al
ENTRY Dismissing Complaint and Directing Entry of Final Judgment - This Matter is before the Court on Plaintiff Yontim Bey's Motion for Leave to Proceed in forma pauperis and for screening. The Plaintiff's motion for leave to proceed wit hout prepaying fees or costs [dkt. 2 ] is granted. For the reasons explained above, the complaint fails to survive the screening required by § 1915 (e) because it fails to contain a legally viable claim against the defendants. Given the nature of the claims no opportunity to amend is warranted. Judgment consistent with this Entry shall now issue. (See Entry.) Copy to Plaintiff via U.S. Mail. Signed by Judge Tanya Walton Pratt on 2/3/2017. (JLS) Modified on 2/3/2017 (JLS).
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF INDIANA
YONTIM BEY Authorized Representative
Natural Person, In Propia Persona, Sui Juris,
ANDREW KOSSACK Commissioner,
ROBERT E. DITTMER D. Commissioner,
INDIANA DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE,
ANTHONY J. MINNEY Ex. Relatione,
Entry Dismissing Complaint and Directing Entry of Final Judgment
This Matter is before the Court on Plaintiff Yontim Bey’s Motion for Leave to Proceed in
forma pauperis and for screening. The Plaintiff’s motion for leave to proceed without prepaying
fees or costs [dkt. 2] is granted.
As stated above, the matter is now subject to screening. District courts have an obligation
under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B) to screen complaints filed in forma pauperis, before service on
the defendants, and must dismiss the complaint if it is frivolous or malicious, fails to state a claim
for relief, or seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from such relief.
The caption of the complaint states that the Plaintiff is suing the Commissioner and Deputy
Commissioner of the Indiana Department of Revenue for “Felonies, High Crimes and
Misdemeanors” pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 4, and the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure. In
addition the complaint is framed as a “demand for resolution of dispute in commercial law.” In
determining whether the complaint states a claim, the Court applies the same standard as when
addressing a motion to dismiss under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). See Lagerstrom v.
Kingston, 463 F.3d 621, 624 (7th Cir. 2006). To survive dismissal under federal pleading
[the] complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to state a
claim to relief that is plausible on its face. A claim has facial plausibility when the
plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable
inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). Thus, a “plaintiff must do better than putting a few
words on paper that, in the hands of an imaginative reader, might suggest that something has
happened to her that might be redressed by the law.” Swanson v. Citibank, N.A., 614 F.3d 400, 403
(7th Cir. 2010) (emphasis in original).
For purposes of the in forma pauperis statute, the Court need not “accept without question
the truth of the plaintiff’s allegations.” Denton v. Hernandez, 504 U.S. 23, 32–33 (1992). Instead,
the statute “accords judges not only the authority to dismiss a claim based on an undisputably
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, 325 (1989).
Giving the complaint liberal construction, the Court is unable discern within it any
plausible federal claim against any defendant. See United States ex rel. Garst v. Lockheed–Martin
Corp., 328 F.3d 374, 378 (7th Cir. 2003) (“Rule 8(a) requires parties to make their pleadings
straightforward, so that judges and adverse parties need not try to fish a gold coin from a bucket
of mud.”); Jennings v. Emry, 910 F.2d 1434, 1436 (7th Cir. 1990) (complaint “must be presented
with sufficient clarity to avoid requiring a district court or opposing party to forever sift through
its pages” to determine whether it states a valid claim).
To the extent plaintiff Yontim Bey is claiming to be a “sovereign citizen” or “natural
person” not subject to the laws of Indiana or the United States, the Seventh Circuit Court of
Appeals has found that such a claim is “shop worn” and “frivolous.” See United States v. Hilgeford,
7 F.3d 1340, 1342 (7th Cir. 1993); see El v. AmeriCredit Financial Services, Inc., 710 F.3d 748,
750–751 (7th Cir. 2013); Blake–Bey v. Cook County, Ill., 438 Fed. Appx. 522, at *1 (7th Cir. Nov.
23, 2011) (suit properly dismissed as frivolous where plaintiffs, adherents of Moorish Science
Temple of America, alleged that they were citizens of Moroccan Empire 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”).
To the extent this action is understood to be a criminal complaint, the complaint must also
be dismissed on this bases. Only the United States may commence federal criminal charges and a
private individual has no right to compel such a prosecution. See Ragsdale v. Turnock, 941 F.2d
501, 509 (7th Cir. 1991) (private persons generally have no right to enforce criminal statutes or to
sue under them unless the statute also creates a private right of action. (Posner, J., concurring)),
cert denied, 502 U.S. 1035 (1992).
After review of the complaint and supporting materials it appears that this action arises out
of the plaintiff’s tax dispute with the State of Indiana. The “commercial affidavits” titled “The
Moorish National Republic, Moorish Divine and National Movement of the World” and attached
to the complaint, purport to be legal notices and demand. See Dkts. 1-1 to 1-5. However, the
Seventh Circuit has affirmed that these types of documents are not legally binding. The
Defendants’ failure to respond to the Plaintiff’s “complainant/affiant” did not create a contractual
default. These affidavits do not reflect that the Defendants have admitted to and acquiesced to the
crimes alleged in the complaint. These “crimes” include: malfeasance of office, slavery, treason,
fraud, extortion, grand theft, robbery, false documents, conspiracy, and racketeering. The
complaint also states that these crimes are alleged “in the overall context of the Bankruptcy of the
United States.” Dkt. 1 at p. 7. Similar theories based on the bankruptcy of the United States “have
been universally and emphatically rejected by numerous federal courts for at least the last 25
years.” McLaughlin v. CitiMortgage, Inc., 726 F. Supp. 2d 201, 214 (D. Conn. 2010) (discussing
Redemptionist, vapor money and unlawful money theories and citing numerous cases).
Plaintiff’s claims in this case are not recognizable and thus are considered frivolous. Under
these circumstances, the Plaintiff is unable to amend his complaint to correct the deficiencies
noted. In addition, Plaintiff may not file a criminal complaint against the Defendants and he is not
entitled to any relief based on the defendants’ failure to respond to the affidavits attached to the
Complaint. For the reasons explained above, the complaint fails to survive the screening required
by § 1915(e) because it fails to contain a legally viable claim against the defendants. Given the
nature of the claims no opportunity to amend is warranted.
Judgment consistent with this Entry shall now issue.
8428 Clayhurst Drive
Indianapolis, IN 46205
Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.
Why Is My Information Online?