Clay v. State of Missouri et al
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER... IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that plaintiff's motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis [Doc. # 2 ] is GRANTED. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that this action is DISMISSED pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915( e )(2)(B). IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that to the extent that there are any state law claims encompassed in the complaint, the Court will decline to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over them. See 28 U.S.C. § 1367(c)(3). IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that plaintiffs motion to amend the case caption is DENIED AS MOOT. A separate Order of Dismissal shall accompany this Memorandum and Order. Signed by District Judge Ronnie L. White on 12/3/2015. (NEB)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI
STATE OF MISSOURJ, et al. ,
No. 4:15CV1462 RLW
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
This matter is before the Court on plaintiffs motion to proceed in forma pauperis. [Doc.
#2] . The Court has conducted a review of motion to proceed in forma pauperis, as well as
plaintiff's accompanying financial affidavit. The Court will grant plaintiff's motion to proceed
as a pauper in this action. However, based upon a review of the complaint 1, the Court finds that
the federal claims in the complaint should be dismissed pursuant to 28 U.S .C. § 1915(e)(2)(B).
To the extent that there are any state law claims encompassed in the complaint, the Court will
decline to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over them. See 28 U.S.C. § 1367(c)(3).
Under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e), the Court is required to dismiss a complaint filed in forma
pauperis if it is frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.
To state a claim for relief under§ 1983 , a complaint must plead more than "legal conclusions"
and "[t]hreadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action [that are] supported by mere
conclusory statements." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S. Ct. 1937, 1949 (2009).
A plaintiff must
demonstrate a plausible claim for relief, which is more than a "mere possibility of misconduct."
Plaintiff's complaint is titled, "Verified Petition for Permanent Injunction."
Plaintiff has filed a twenty-seven count complaint in this action, alleging violations of
numerous civil rights by defendants. Plaintiffs complaint totals forty-nine (49) pages and names
four defendants, including the State of Missouri, the Judge in his state criminal action and two
state court prosecutors.
From the court records available on Missouri.Case.Net, as well as plaintiffs complaint,
the Court has been able to ascertain that plaintiff was charged with 13 separate counts of theft,
forgery and trespass on June 8, 2013 . See State v. Clay, Case No. 13SL-CR06312-01 (22nd
Judicial Circuit, St. Louis City). A grand jury indictment was filed against him on August 7,
2013 , and a trial was held on August 13, 2015. Plaintiff was found guilty by a jury on all counts.
On October 16, 2015, defendant was sentenced to five years on each count of theft and forgery,
to be served concurrent with all other counts in the case.2 Id.
In plaintiffs complaint, he has a long list of allegations against both the state court judge
in his criminal case, as well as the two prosecuting attorneys. Plaintiffs assertions appear to
arise from his belief that he is immune from state prosecution as a member of the Moorish
Nation. He believes that the State of Missouri, through prosecutors Snyder and Frankenberg,
have acted wrongfully by "subjecting him to the decision(s) of an unimpartial [sic] grandjury
and petitjury in which the State excluded Moors or Moorish Americans ... "
Thus, plaintiff seeks an order from this Court requesting that the Federal Court intervene
with the state court criminal prosecution and "enjoin" the judge and prosecutors in the state court
from placing him in "involuntary servitude" through arrest and "slandering him" by calling him
"black" on his state court paperwork. Plaintiff also seeks an order from this Court to require the
Plaintiff also received 30 days injail on the trespass counts, to be served concurrent with all
Missouri State Court to use his Moorish name, "Maulana Al-Hasan," rather than the name
"Winston Clay," and to require the state court to allow plaintiff to testify regarding his "Moorish
Plaintiff also seeks an order from this Court to instruct the state criminal court on
"Moorish Law," or what plaintiff calls, "Sharia Law." Plaintiff appears to believe that under
"Moorish Law," he is allowed to adversely possess homes that have been abandoned and take
them as his own. He asks this Court to instruct the Missouri State Court on this practice and to
inform the state court that they have acted unreasonably in "searching and seizing" his business
documents in relation to this practice. See, e.g. , Clay v. State ofMissouri, No. 4:13CV1471 CEJ
Plaintiff, generally, complains of deprivations of his due process and equal protection
rights in relation to his criminal trial. He seeks an order from this Court enjoining the state
criminal trial with relation to these alleged constitutional errors. Plaintiff also appears to be
seeking monetary damages in this action from those he believes have violated his rights.
Fatal to many of plaintiffs assertions in this action is the non-recognition of the Moorish
Nation as a sovereign state by the United States. See Benton-El v. Odom, 2007 WL 1812615, at
*6 (M .D.Ga. June 19, 2007); Osiris v. Brown, 2005 WL 2044904, at *2 (D .N.J. Aug. 24, 2005);
Khattab El v. United States Justice Dept. , 1988 WL 5117, at *2 (E.D.Pa. Jan. 22, 1988: see also,
We the People Beys and Els v. State of New York, 165 F.3d 16, 1998 WL 801875 , at *1 (2d Cir.
Nov. 12, 1998) (unpublished opinion). Plaintiff's purported status as a Moorish-American
citizen does not enable him to violate state and federal laws without consequence. 3 And he
cannot unilaterally assume that those associated with his ongoing state criminal action have acted
unlawfully simply because he believes it to be so under a Moorish law that is not recognized by
this Court. As a result, plaintiffs allegations are legally frivolous and subject to dismissal under
28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B). 4
Additionally, and even more saliently, a prisoner may not recover damages in a § 1983
suit where the judgment would necessarily imply the invalidity of his conviction, continued
imprisonment, or sentence unless the conviction or sentence is reversed, expunged, or called into
question by issuance of a writ of habeas corpus. Heck v. Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477, 486-87
(1994); Schafer v. Moore, 46 F.3d 43 , 45 (8th Cir. 1995); see also, Edwards v. Balisok, 520 U.S.
641 , 648 (1997) (applying rule in § 1983 suit seeking declaratory relief). Thus, plaintiffs claims
are subject to dismissal, pursuant to the doctrine espoused in Heck v. Humphrey, as these claims
would necessarily invalidate his criminal conviction.
Last, the Court will note that to the extent that plaintiff is seeking a writ of mandamus,
perhaps in conjunction with 28 U.S.C. § 1651 , or for this Court to instruct the state court judge in
his criminal case to act in a way that is advantageous to plaintiff, the Court will decline to do so.
Such an application for mandamus, or for an injunction against state court actors enforcing state
Although plaintiff does not claim to have made a formal renunciation of nationality, it is of no
import. Those who have voluntarily relinquished their citizenship, like other aliens, must obey
the federal and applicable state laws, just as native-born and naturalized citizens are required to
do . See Khattab, supra; Osiris, supra; see also, Thorton-Bey v. United States, 2009 WL 203502,
at *2 (N.D.Ul. Jan. 26, 2009); Howell-El v. United States, 2006 WL 3076412, at *3 (S.D.Ill.
Oct. 27, 2006).
To the extent plaintiff wishes to attack the legality of the arrest warrant, he should do so
within the confines of his criminal case.
laws against a petitioner, is legally frivolous, and this Court must abstain from engaging in such
This Court is authorized to issue writs of mandamus or other extraordinary writs only in
aid of its jurisdiction, either existing or potential. See 28 U.S.C.A. § 1651(a); Middlebrooks v.
Thirteenth Judicial Dist. Circuit Court, Union County, 323 F.2d 485 , 486 (8th Cir.1963). The
actions of the defendant state court judge in this case are not within the jurisdiction of this Court.
See Middlebrooks, 323 F.2d at 486; Veneri v. Circuit Court of Gasconade Co., 528 F.Supp. 496,
498 (E.D.Mo.1981) (federal courts have no superintending control over, and are without
authority to issue writ of mandamus to direct, state court or its judicial officers in performing
duties). The better action is for plaintiff to pursue his arguments with the judge and prosecutors
in his state court criminal action.
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that plaintiff's motion for leave to proceed in forma
pauperis [Doc. #2] is GRANTED.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that this action is DISMISSED pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that to the extent that there are any state law claims
encompassed in the complaint, the Court will decline to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over
them. See 28 U.S.C. § 1367(c)(3).
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that plaintiffs motion to amend the case caption is
DENIED AS MOOT.
A separate Order of Dismissal shall accompany this Memorandum and Order.
this~ day of December, 2015.
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