Formanack v. Stillwater Towing Inc. et al
ORDER denying 46 Motion for Recusal ; denying 49 Motion to Vacate (Written Opinion). Signed by Judge Paul A. Magnuson on January 16, 2018. (ALT) cc: Formanack on 1/17/2018 (LPH).
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF MINNESOTA
Civ. No. 17-3822 (PAM/BRT)
Stillwater Towing Inc.,
Richard J. Ritzer, Michelle
Ritzer, and Kevin last name
This matter is before the Court on Plaintiff’s Motion for Recusal and Motion to
Plaintiff first contends that this Court must recuse itself because he did not consent
to the “offer” allegedly made in the denial of his Motion to Set Aside Order (Docket No.
45). He contends that federal courts “are administrative courts of the military and as such
operate on contracts.” (Docket No. 46.) Plaintiff fundamentally misapprehends both the
status and the role of federal courts, which are neither administrative nor military
tribunals. Moreover, Plaintiff’s repeated claim that a failure to challenge the truth of
statements he makes in submissions to the Court constitutes an admission of the truth of
those statements is incorrect. Neither this Court nor Defendants have any obligation to
challenge or correct statements Plaintiff makes in his pleadings, and his invocation of this
tired sovereign-citizen 1 maxim does not make it so.
As another Court in this District has noted,
Plaintiff’s Motion to Vacate ostensibly relies on new evidence regarding the title
to the disputed automobile. Plaintiff also takes issue with the Court’s characterization of
the amount of damages he claims to have suffered. The “new” evidence on which
Plaintiff relies is not relevant to the Court’s determination that it lacks jurisdiction over
the dispute, and his arguments regarding damages are issues for appeal.
According to the FBI, the “Sovereign Citizens” movement is based on a
theory that the “United States government [USG] is bankrupt and without
tangible assets; therefore, the USG is believed to use citizens to back U.S.
currency. Sovereign citizens believe the USG operates solely on a credit
system using American citizens as collateral. Sovereign citizens exploit this
belief by filing fraudulent financial documents charging their debt to the
Treasury Department.” El v. AmeriCredit Fin. Servs., Inc., 710 F.3d 748,
750 (7th Cir. 2013) (quoting Federal Bureau of Investigation, “Sovereign
Citizens: An Introduction for Law Enforcement” 3 (Nov. 2010),
http://info.publicintelligence.net/FBISovereign Citizens. Pdf). See also
Cooper v. United States, 104 Fed. Cl. 306, 313-314 (2012) (explaining that
“an individual who identifies with the Sovereign Citizen Movement
considers himself to be his own sovereign, not a United States citizen, and
therefore ‘believe[s] that [he is] not subject to government authority.’
Gravatt v. United States, 100 Fed. Cl. 279, 282 (2011). Members of this
movement think that [t]he federal government . . . has tricked the populace
into becoming U.S. citizens by entering into ‘contracts’ embodied in such
documents as birth certificates and social security cards. With these
contracts, an individual unwittingly creates a fictitious entity (i.e., the U.S.
citizen) that represents, but is separate from, the real person. Through these
contracts, individuals also unknowingly pledge themselves and their
property, through their newly created fictitious entities, as security for the
national debt in exchange for the benefits of citizenship.”) (citation
omitted). See also Sochia v. Federal-Republic’s Cent. Gov’t, Civ. No. SA06-CA-1006-XR, 2006 WL 3372509, at *5 (W.D. Tex. Nov. 20, 2006)
(describing plaintiff’s “sovereign citizen” theories as “frivolous” and
“rejected by every federal court that has considered them” and collecting
Sellors v. Obama, No. 13cv2484, 2014 WL 1607747, at *4 n.1 (D. Minn. Apr. 15, 2014)
Accordingly, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that:
Plaintiff’s Motion for Recusal (Docket No. 46) is DENIED; and
Plaintiff’s Motion to Vacate (Docket No. 49) is DENIED.
Dated: January 16, 2018
s/Paul A. Magnuson
Paul A. Magnuson
United States District Court Judge
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?