Supreme Criminal Court of The State of New York County of Kings v. Bey et al
MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER dated 10/27/17 that this case is remanded to the Supreme Court of the State of New York, Kings County. Although defendants paid the filing fee to remove this case, should they seek to appeal, the Court certifies pursuant to 28:1915(a)(3) that any appeal from this Order would not be taken in good faith and therefore in forma pauperis status is denied for purpose of an appeal. See Coppedge v. United States, 369 U.S. 438, 444-45 (1962). ( Ordered by Judge Brian M. Cogan on 10/27/2017 ) c/m (Guzzi, Roseann)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK
PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, :
: MEMORANDUM DECISION AND
- against –
: 17-cv-06022 (BMC)(VMS)
RAELSON BEY and ROBERT POPE,
COGAN, District Judge.
On October 16, 2017, defendants Robert Pope, appearing herein as Love Ibn Allah-Bey,
and Raelson Bey, appearing herein as Ra-el Son Bey, filed this pro se notice of removal, seeking
to remove their then-pending criminal case number 07692-2016 from the Supreme Court of the
State of New York, Criminal Term, Kings County. Defendants paid the filing fee to commence
this action. The Court has promptly examined the notice as required by 28 U.S.C. § 1455(b)(4).
For the reasons set forth below, the Court sua sponte determines that removal is inappropriate
and directs the Clerk of Court to remand the action to the Kings County Supreme Court.
The following facts are taken from the papers submitted by defendants with their notice
of removal and the public record of their prosecution and conviction. 1 Defendants were arrested
on September 6, 2016, and charged by the Kings County District Attorney’s Office under
indictment 7692-2016 with various counts of trespass, burglary, possession of burglary tools and
criminal mischief at two Brooklyn addresses: 527 Hancock Street and 522 Monroe Street.
Defendants characterize themselves as Moorish American Nationals who are “bound to the
According to the records of the New York City Department of Correction, defendants, known by the names Ra
Elson Bey and Robert Pope, are detained at Rikers Island. See http://www1.nyc.gov/site/doc/inmate-info/inmatelookup.page (last visited October 25, 2017).
Zodiac Constitution” and, according to statements given to the police at the time of their arrest,
they look up abandoned property on websites, claim them as their own by changing the locks,
and reside at the address to give the property the “love” it deserves. They were convicted of third
degree burglary (N.Y. Penal L. § 140.20) on October 12, 2017, and sentenced and remanded to
custody on October 24, 2017. In addition to seeking removal of the criminal prosecution against
them and release from custody, defendants seek monetary damages and dismissal of the criminal
charges against them.
Under 28 U.S.C. § 1443, a defendant may remove a civil action or criminal prosecution
from state court to federal court, if the defendant “is denied or cannot enforce in the courts of
such State a right under any law providing for the equal civil rights of citizens of the United
States, or of all persons within the jurisdiction thereof.” 28 U.S.C. § 1443(1). A notice of
removal under § 1443(1) must satisfy a two-pronged test. “First, it must appear that the right
allegedly denied the [removing defendant] arises under a federal law ‘providing for specific civil
rights stated in terms of racial equality.’” Johnson v. Mississippi, 421 U.S. 213, 219 (1975)
(quoting Georgia v. Rachel, 384 U.S. 780, 792 (1966)). “Claims that prosecution and conviction
will violate rights under constitutional or statutory provisions of general applicability or under
statutes not protecting against racial discrimination, will not suffice.” Id. Second, it must appear
on the face of the notice of removal “that the [removing defendant] is ‘denied or cannot enforce’
the specified federal rights ‘in the courts of (the) State.’” Id. (quoting Rachel, 384 U.S. at 804);
Varricchio v. Cty. of Nassau, 702 F. Supp. 2d 40, 68-69 (E.D.N.Y. 2010).
Here, defendants have failed to allege a proper basis for removal under § 1443(1). They
do not allege a civil rights violation “in terms of racial equality,” as is required to remove a
criminal action to federal court. Moreover, defendants fail to allege that they would be
precluded from enforcing their constitutional rights in state court.
Further, a notice of removal of a criminal prosecution must be filed “not later than 30
days after the arraignment in the State court, or at any time before trial, whichever is earlier” and
must include “all the grounds for such removal.” 28 U.S.C. § 1455(b)(1)-(2). Here, defendants
attempted to remove their case after they were convicted at trial, which is too late. Defendants
were arraigned on November 2, 2016 and convicted on October 12, 2017 – four days before they
attempted to remove to this Court. And to the extent defendants are asking the Court to examine
the State’s authority to prosecute them, defendants must first exhaust all of their state-court
remedies. See O’Sullivan v. Boerckel, 526 U.S. 838, 839 (1999).
Finally, defendants’ suggestion that as “In-Propria Persona, Sui Juris . . . Aboriginal,
Indigenous Moor American Nationals” they are immune from the laws of the City and State of
New York is frivolous. This Court is familiar with the use of the phrase “sui juris in-propia
persona” by self-proclaimed Moorish-American national litigants who assert that they are not
subject to the jurisdiction of the courts and who submit court filings that contain pseudo-legal
nonsense and references to their sovereign citizenship that purportedly exempt them from the
laws of federal and state law and the jurisdiction of the courts. See, e.g., Smith ex rel. Bey v.
Kelly, No. 12-cv-2319, 2012 WL 1898944, at *2-3 (E.D.N.Y. May 24, 2012) (“The law is clear
that Moorish Americans, like all citizens of the United States, are subject to the laws of the
jurisdiction in which they reside.”); Bey v. Jamaica Realty, No. 12-cv-2141, 2012 WL 1634161,
at *1 n.1 (E.D.N.Y. May 9, 2012) (noting that membership of plaintiff challenging eviction in
“Moorish-American” nation does not exempt him from laws of the United States). Defendants’
purported status is not a basis for removing their criminal action to this Court.
This case is remanded to the Supreme Court of the State of New York, Kings County. In
addition, to accurately reflect the posture of this action, the Clerk is directed to: (i) amend the
docket sheet to reflect the state court caption and their legal names as set forth above,
disregarding the caption that defendants created for their notice of removal; (ii) amend docket
entry #1 to reflect that the removal was from the Kings County Supreme Court, Criminal Term,
not the Civil Court of the City of New York; (iii) in the Court’s database, enter and crossreference defendants’ legal names as reflected above with their pseudonyms.
Although defendants paid the filing fee to remove this case, should they seek to appeal,
the Court certifies pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(3) that any appeal from this Order would not
be taken in good faith and therefore in forma pauperis status is denied for purpose of an appeal.
See Coppedge v. United States, 369 U.S. 438, 444-45 (1962).
Digitally signed by Brian M.
Dated: Brooklyn, New York
October 27, 2017
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