Maier v. United States of America et al
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER ENTERED: The Court provisionally grants the motion 2 to appear in forma pauperis. Plaintiff's Amended Complaint is dismissed. Signed by U.S. Senior District Judge Sam A. Crow on 06/14/17. Mailed to pro se party Christopher Coty Maier by regular mail. (smnd)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF KANSAS
CHRISTOPHER COTY MAIER,
CASE NO. 17-3085-SAC-DJW
UNITED STATE OF AMERICA,
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
Plaintiff Christopher Coty Maier brings this pro se civil rights action pursuant to 42
U.S.C. § 1983.
Plaintiff is incarcerated at the Douglas County Jail in Lawrence, Kansas.
Plaintiff filed his Complaint (Doc. 1) on May 15, 2017. In the Complaint, Plaintiff names
“Zion” as the Plaintiff and refers to himself as “The King.” Plaintiff filed a Motion for Leave to
appear in forma pauperis (Doc. 2). The Court will provisionally grant the motion to appear in
forma pauperis for purposes of screening Plaintiff’s Amended Complaint (Doc. 5), filed on
May 30, 2017.
I. Nature of the Matter before the Court
The Court previously ordered (Doc. 3) Plaintiff to sign his Complaint at Doc. 1 with his
legal name by June 5, 2017. See D. Kan. Rule 5.1(b) (“The original of every pleading, motion,
or other paper filed by a party not represented by an attorney must bear the genuine signature of
the pro se party.”) (Emphasis added). Plaintiff filed a response (Doc. 4), explaining that:
I will not have my “Hebrew Name” written on record of a “DeFacto” court based on the maxim: Roy Nest Lie Per Ascon Statute
Expressment No Scene: Which translates to the King can not be
held by any statue unless expressly named. So I put my Title as
the Individual representing the Plaintiff Zion.
(Doc. 4, at 1.)
Plaintiff filed an Amended Complaint (Doc. 5), again naming the Plaintiff as “Zion” and
naming the following defendants: United States Inc.; State of Kansas; Douglas County; Douglas
County District Court; and Douglas County Correctional Facility.
II. Statutory Screening of Prisoner Complaints
The Court is required to screen complaints brought by prisoners seeking relief against a
governmental entity or an officer or an employee of a governmental entity. 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915A(a). The Court must dismiss a complaint or portion thereof if a plaintiff has raised
claims that are legally frivolous or malicious, that fail to state a claim upon which relief may be
granted, or that seek monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28
U.S.C. § 1915A(b)(1)–(2).
“To state a claim under § 1983, a plaintiff must allege the violation of a right secured by
the Constitution and laws of the United States, and must show that the alleged deprivation was
committed by a person acting under color of state law.” West v. Atkins, 487 U.S. 42, 48 (1988)
(citations omitted); Northington v. Jackson, 973 F.2d 1518, 1523 (10th Cir. 1992). A court
liberally construes a pro se complaint and applies “less stringent standards than formal pleadings
drafted by lawyers.” Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007). In addition, the court accepts
all well-pleaded allegations in the complaint as true. Anderson v. Blake, 469 F.3d 910, 913 (10th
Cir. 2006). On the other hand, “when the allegations in a complaint, however true, could not
raise a claim of entitlement to relief,” dismissal is appropriate. Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly,
550 U.S. 544, 558 (2007).
A pro se litigant’s “conclusory allegations without supporting factual averments are
insufficient to state a claim upon which relief can be based.” Hall v. Bellmon, 935 F.2d 1106,
1110 (10th Cir. 1991). “[A] plaintiff’s obligation to provide the ‘grounds’ of his ‘entitlement to
relief’ requires “more than labels and conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the elements of a
cause of action.” Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555 (citations omitted). The complaint’s “factual
allegations must be enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative level” and “to state a
claim to relief that is plausible on its face.” Id. at 555, 570.
The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals has explained “that, to state a claim in federal court,
a complaint must explain what each defendant did to [the pro se plaintiff]; when the defendant
did it; how the defendant’s action harmed [the plaintiff]; and, what specific legal right the
plaintiff believes the defendant violated.” Nasious v. Two Unknown B.I.C.E. Agents, 492 F.3d
1158, 1163 (10th Cir. 2007). The court “will not supply additional factual allegations to round
out a plaintiff’s complaint or construct a legal theory on a plaintiff’s behalf.” Whitney v. New
Mexico, 113 F.3d 1170, 1173-74 (10th Cir. 1997) (citation omitted).
The Tenth Circuit has pointed out that the Supreme Court’s decisions in Twombly and
Erickson gave rise to a new standard of review for § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii) dismissals. See Kay v.
Bemis, 500 F.3d 1214, 1218 (10th Cir. 2007) (citations omitted); see also Smith v. United States,
561 F.3d 1090, 1098 (10th Cir. 2009). As a result, courts “look to the specific allegations in the
complaint to determine whether they plausibly support a legal claim for relief.” Kay, 500 F.3d at
1218 (citation omitted). Under this new standard, “a plaintiff must ‘nudge his claims across the
line from conceivable to plausible.’” Smith, 561 F.3d at 1098 (citation omitted). “Plausible” in
this context does not mean “likely to be true,” but rather refers “to the scope of the allegations in
a complaint: if they are so general that they encompass a wide swath of conduct, much of it
innocent,” then the plaintiff has not “nudged [his] claims across the line from conceivable to
plausible.” Robbins v. Oklahoma, 519 F.3d 1242, 1247 (10th Cir. 2008) (citing Twombly, 127 S.
Ct. at 1974).
Plaintiff’s Amended Complaint is frivolous, fails to state a claim, and names improper
defendants. Plaintiff’s Complaint is submitted by Maier, who asserts rights on behalf of an
otherwise unidentified group called Zion. Although Plaintiff may represent himself, he cannot
represent another non-lawyer or entity. Even liberally construing the Amended Complaint
(which is not on a Court-approved form and much of which is incomprehensible), the Court finds
no meritorious claims. The treason claim in Count I is frivolous. The criminal deprivation of
property/theft of services claim in Count II baldly alleges that legal documents were “stolen” in
his state court actions because they were sent to be ecf-filed and do not show on the dockets of
those cases. Plaintiff’s claim in Count III—“Sedition by Corporate Deception Against We The
People”—is frivolous and largely incomprehensible. Count IV claims “Perjury to Uphold Oath
of Office and American Constitution” and appears to allege that the Douglas County
Correctional Facility is not upholding the First Amendment. A facility is not a proper defendant
in a § 1983 action. The Amended Complaint also refers to the Bureau of Prisons, although
Plaintiff is not in federal custody. Plaintiff also makes bald allegations that staff are steaming
open his mail and then gluing it back shut, and “the FBI has over 50 reports made on such
occurrences.” Count V—“International Law of the Flag Breach of Contract”—is frivolous and
largely incomprehensible. The “trademark/copyright/failure to pay/obstruction of legal process”
claim in Count VI includes bare arguments that border on malicious.
Plaintiff has failed to sign the Amended Complaint with his legal name, as previously
ordered by the Court. Plaintiff’s Amended Complaint is largely incomprehensible and fails to
state a claim. The Court finds that Plaintiff’s Amended Complaint must be dismissed because
Plaintiff has raised claims that are legally frivolous or malicious, that fail to state a claim upon
which relief may be granted, or that seek monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from
IT IS THEREFORE BY THE COURT ORDERED that Plaintiff’s Amended
Complaint is dismissed.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
Dated this 14th day of June, 2017, in Topeka, Kansas.
s/ Sam A. Crow
SAM A. CROW
U. S. Senior District Judge
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