Smith v. Foxwell
MEMORANDUM OPINION. Signed by Judge George Jarrod Hazel on 12/27/2016. (kns, Deputy Clerk)(c/m 12/27/16)
, ,. /
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT. e
FOR THE DISTRICT OF MARYLAND
Case No.: GJH-16-3805
On or about October 11,2016, Charles Smith, an inmate detained at the Brockbridge
Correctional Facility in Jessup, Maryland, filed a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus in the
United States District Court for the District of Columbia. ECF No. I. Holding himself out as a
Moorish-American National, Smith seeks assistance from a "Republican form of Government" to
obtain his immediate release from unlawful imprisonment. ld. at 2. He contends that his case
arises out of the "Treaty of Peace and Friendship of 1787 /1836" between Morocco and the
United States of America, the Constitution, the United States Declaration of the Rights of
Indigenous Peoples, the "Clearfield Doctrine,,,1 and the Inter-American Commission on Human
Rights.ld. at 2-5. On November 7, 2016, United States District Judge Richard J. Leon ordered
I In raising this claim Smith invokes the "Clearfield Trust Doctrine," which refers to the rule describing the rederal
courts' power to make federal common Illw when there is a federal lawmaking power to do so and a strong federal
interest in a nationally uniform rule. The name is derived from the case Cleatfield Trust Cu. v. United Stutes. 318
U.S. 363 (US 1943) wherein the criteria for determining whether the court should create a federal common law rule
due to the existence of a significantly important federal interest was described.
the case transferred to this District, finding that the case could not be reviewed in the District of
Columbia, as Smith's Writ challenged his current confinement in Maryland. ECF No.5; Smith v.
Foxwell, 16-cv-02042-RJL (D. D.C. Nov. 8,2016). The matter was ordered transferred to this
Court on November 8, 2016 and was received on November 29, 2016.1d.
This Writ represents the ninth federal habeas corpus action filed by or on behalf of Smith
in the past two years. In his prior Petitions, Smith raised claims related to his Moorish-American
ancestry and the jurisdiction of state authorities to prosecute him. Until Smith's most recent two
Petitions, each Petition was summarily dismissed without prejudice. See Smith-Bey v. Wolfe,
2015 WL 7721815, GJH-15-3448 (D. Md. Nov. 30, 2015); Smith-Bey v. Wolfe, GJH-15-1915 (D.
Md. July 8, 2015); Smith-Bey v. Wolfe, GJH-15-1654 (D. Md. June 17,2015); Smith-Bey v.
Wolfe, GJH-15-1336 (D. Md. May 29, 2015); Smith-Bey v. Wolfe, GJH-15-764 (D. Md. Apr. 24,
2015); and Smith-Bey v. Wolfe, GJH-15-1067 (D. Md. Apr. 22, 2015). In Smith-Bey v. Wolfe,
GJH-15-1915, the Court cautioned that any further Petitions by Smith raising a challenge to his
conviction on grounds of his Moorish-American defense would be decided on the merits. Jd. at
ECF NO.3. Nonetheless, Smith raised similar challenges in Petitions instituted as Smith-Bey v.
Wolfe, GJH-15-2606 (D. Md. Oct. 6, 2015) and Smith-Bey v. Warden of Jessup Correctional
Institution (Inc.), GJH-16-665 (D. Md. Mar. 28, 2016). Those Petitions were denied and
dismissed with prejudice on October 7, 2015 and March 28, 2016.
In the present Petition, Smith attacks his March 27, 2014 "violation of probation"
conviction and five-year sentence imposed in the Circuit Court for Charles County? ECF No. I.
The state court docket shows that Smith was represented by counsel in his criminal proceeding. After a jury trial
Affording his self-represented Writ a generous construction, it appears that Smith is claiming that
as a "sovereign autonomous Moorish-American National Moslem of the Moroccan
Empire/Moorish Nation," he is a descendant of Moroccans and is not a "corporate citizen."
Smith contends that he is being held unlawfully, in involuntary servitude, and restrained in
violation of the Constitution and the aforementioned Treaty between Morocco and the United
States. Smith further claims that he is being detained under a fictitious name and
"denationalized" by "assimilating" him as a stateless person under the name of "CHARLES
SMITH, ID 424503, Black/African-American
race." ECF No. I at 5-6.
Smith additionally alleges that he was arrested without a warrant and "arbitrarily
searched, detained and held as prize of the STATE OF MARYLAND (Inc.) compelled to sign
several misrepresented instruments - bills of attainder under threat, duress, and coercion, and
compelled to pay a ransom in Federal Reserve Notes (private commercial paper) for his release."
Id. at 6. Smith next contends that an administrative officer in the Circuit Court for Charles
County issued a void bill of attainder against him, which caused him to be imprisoned for five
years.ld. at 7. Smith complains that Circuit Court personnel have failed to respond to his
Affidavits, and he continues to be held against his will at various local and State correctional
facilities.3 ECF No. I at 6-10.
before Judge Robert C. Nalley, Charles Arnell Smith was convicted of second-degree physical child abuse in the
Circuit Court for Charles County, Maryland. On March 27, 2014, he was sentenced to a five-year term. State v.
Smith, Case Number 08KlO00792 (Circuit Court for Charles County). On July 1,2015, the Court of Special Appeals
of Maryland denied Smith-Bey's application for leave to appeal. See Maryland Judiciary Case Search Results
Detai Ij is?caseld~08K I0000792&loc~64&detaiILoc~ K (last
visited December 1,2016). The docket further shows that a "writ of habeas corpus ad subjiciendum" was filed on or
about March 14, 2016, and remains pending.
J Attached to the Writ are copies of the "Affidavits" Smith submitted to the Circuit Court for Charles County,
Maryland. ECF NO.1-I.
28 U.S.C. ~ 2254 requires "a person in custody pursuant to the judgment of a State court
[to demonstrate] ... that he is in custody in violation of the Constitution."
previously warned by this Court that only constitutional claims would be subject to review,
Smith has failed to set out colorable claims in support of his challenge to his 2014 Maryland
conviction and current confinement. Thus, habeas corpus relief will be denied.
When a district court dismisses a habeas petition, a certificate of appealability may issue
only if the applicant has made a substantial showing of the denial ofa constitutional right. 28
S 2253( c)(2).
A prisoner satisfies this standard by demonstrating "that reasonable jurists
would find the district court's assessment of the constitutional claims debatable or wrong."
Tennard v. Drelke, 542 U.S. 274, 282 (2004) (quoting Slack v. McDaniel, 529 U.S. 473, 484
(2000)), or that ..the issues presented were 'adequate to deserve encouragement to proceed
further.'" Miller-el v. Cockrell, 537 U.S. 322, 335-36 (2003) (quoting Barefool v. ESlelle, 463
U.S. 880, 893 n.4 (1983)). Smith does not satisly this standard, and the Court declines to issue a
certificate of appealability.
For the foregoing reasons, Smith's Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus, ECF No. I, shall
be denied and dismissed with prejudice. A separate Order follows.
George J. Hazel
United States District Judge
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