Johnson v. State of Ohio et al
Memorandum Opinion and Order. Plaintiff's complaint is frivolous and fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted and is summarily dismissed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e). Further, the Court certifies, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(3), that an appeal from this decision could not be taken in good faith. Signed by Judge Solomon Oliver, Jr on 1/7/2015. (D,M)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
NORTHERN DISTRICT OF OHIO
State of Ohio, et al.,
Case No.: 1: 14 CV 1419
JUDGE SOLOMON OLIVER, JR.
MEMORANDUM OF OPINION
Plaintiff Andre Johnson, a state prisoner proceeding pro se, filed this action against the State
of Ohio, Marisa Cornachio, Esq., and Eugene A. Lucci. Plaintiff purports to assert federal civil
rights and fraud claims against the defendants based on the Uniform Commercial Code (“UCC”) in
connection with a criminal case brought against him in Lake County, Ohio in 2007. See State v.
Johnson, 07 CR 000516 (Lake County Court of Common Pleas). In the state criminal case, the
plaintiff pled guilty to unlawful sexual conduct with a minor, for which he was sentenced to 8 years
in prison and required to register as a sexual predator. Defendant Eugene A. Lucci was the judge
in the criminal case. Although the plaintiff does not specifically identify Defendant Marisa
Cornachio, the Lake County Common Pleas docket indicates she was an attorney in the case. The
plaintiff’s allegations are not clear, but the crux of his complaint (set out in multiple, lengthy,
rambling, and virtually incomprehensible briefs) is that he is entitled to monetary damages and
release from incarceration as “a secured party creditor.” For example, he alleges in his complaint:
THE DEFENDANTS here in [sic] have misused the property of the Secured Party
Creditor, by using the Legal fiction straw man as a Third Party to bring the Secured
Party Creditor into the commercial markets. Since the misuse of the so called
property, a person became Secured Party, to protect one’s self from corporation,
organizations, Agencies of State and federal. So do to the lack of investigation of
commercial criminal case #07CR000516, where it was completely no DNA
evidence, it show that every thing that is stated in the fraud of the CQV Trust-& the
Proof of Remedy br[ie]fs is proven facts. The commercial case #07CR000516 is
based on nothing but presumption (fraud). The in closed defendants here in [sic]
represents and speaks for the state of Ohio, which is a sub division of the UNITED
STATES INC. which is a corporation! Therefore the STATE OF OHIO is bound to
any monetary damages for injuries as so stipulated. This exclusive remedy is based
on and shows false arrest, misapplication of the statu[t]e, malicious prosecution,
conspiracy, unlawful incarceration and fraud, so therefore the defendant in this Tort
Claim are contractually bound, and the fee of the Notice by written
communication/Security Agreement Per Day each occurrence of violation plus cost
$1,000,000.00 (one million dollars per day each occurrence of violation).
The Common Law Copyright Notice states for unauthorized use the fee is
$500,000.00 dollars (five hundred thousand) per trade-name/trade mark in any form.
Since the 1933 Bankruptcy, gold confiscation and declared State of Emergency, a[n]
individual is legally entitled to an unlimited credit line. Also as a Secured Creditor
I also would like my unlimited Credit Line.
All claims (case #07CR000516 and Post Release control) must be dismissed and all
said fees (and unlimited credit line) must be placed in the jurisdiction of said
SECURED PARTY CREDITOR Andre Johnson! Also secured party creditor must
be released from the incarceration/confinement of the commercia[l] criminal case
(Complt., Doc. No. 1 at 13-14.)
For the reasons stated below, this action is dismissed upon initial screening pursuant to 28
Standard of Review
Pleadings and documents filed by pro se litigants are to be “liberally construed,” and a “pro
se complaint, however inartfully pleaded, must be held to a less stringent standard than formal
pleadings drafted by lawyers.” Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007). However, “the lenient
treatment generally accorded to pro se litigants has limits,” and a pro se plaintiff is not automatically
entitled to take every case to trial. Pilgrim v. Littlefield, 92 F.3d 413, 416 (6th Cir. 1996). Rather,
a district court is required to dismiss an in forma pauperis action “at any time” under 28 U.S.C.
§1915(e) if the court determines the complaint is frivolous or malicious or fails to state a claim on
which relief can be granted. A complaint is frivolous and warrants dismissal when a claim “lacks
an arguable basis in law or fact.” Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319 (1989). A complaint lacks an
arguable basis in law or fact if it contains factual allegations that are fantastic or delusional, or if it
is based on legal theories that are indisputably meritless. Id. at 327–28; Brown v. Bargery, 207 F.3d
863, 866 (6th Cir.2000); Lawler v. Marshall, 898 F.2d 1196, 1198–99 (6th Cir.1990). A complaint
fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted if it does not contain “sufficient factual matter,
accepted as true, to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.” Hill v. Lappin, 630 F.3d 468,
471 (6th Cir. 2010).
This Court must dismiss the plaintiff’s action pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 1915(e). The plaintiff’s
complaint fails to state any cognizable claim. The plaintiff is attempting – through the civil clams
he purports to allege – to collaterally attack his state criminal conviction and sentence. The Supreme
Court held in Heck v. Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477, 486-87 (1994), however, that a plaintiff may not
recover civil damages for an allegedly unconstitutional conviction or imprisonment, or for other
harm caused by actions whose unlawfulness would render a conviction or sentence invalid, where
the plaintiff is unable to prove that the underlying conviction or sentence has been reversed on direct
appeal; expunged by executive order; declared invalid by a state tribunal authorized to make such
determination; or called into question by a federal court’s issuance of a writ of habeas corpus. The
plaintiff purports to allege claims here that if successful would impugn the validity of his state
criminal conviction and sentence, but he simply cannot demonstrate that his criminal conviction or
sentence has been invalidated in any of the ways articulated by the Supreme Court in Heck. Indeed,
the plaintiff pled guilty to the count of unlawful sexual conduct for which he was convicted and
sentenced, and the Ohio Court of Appeals affirmed the plaintiff’s sentence on appeal. See State of
Ohio v. Johnson, No. 2008-L-015, 2008 WL 4216533 (Ohio App. 11th Dist. Sept. 12, 2008. In
addition, two subsequent petitions for habeas corpus relief brought by the plaintiff pursuant 28
U.S.C. § 2254 have been denied. See Johnson v. Tibbals, No. 1: 12 CV 2609, 2013 WL 1003416
(N.D. Ohio Mar. 12, 2013); Johnson v. Marquis, 1: 14 CV 00067 (N.D. Ohio). The plaintiff,
accordingly, fails to state any viable civil claim upon which relief may be granted on the basis of
In addition, the plaintiff’s claims – which purport to seek the plaintiff’s release from prison
and recovery of monetary damages on the basis that the plaintiff is a “a secured party creditor” –
lack any viable legal basis and are patently frivolous. See, e.g., Johnson v. Tibbals, 2013 WL
1003416 at *6 (holding the plaintiff’s claims not cognizable in the context of a habeas petition
because the UCC governs only commercial transactions and “is wholly . . . inapplicable to criminal
proceedings”); Chandler v. Curtis, No. 05-cv-72608, 2005 WL 1640083, at *2 (E.D. Mich. July 13,
2005) (“provisions of the U.C.C. are inapplicable to criminal proceedings”). The plaintiff, simply,
has no viable legal claim that he is a secured party creditor under the UCC or is entitled to the relief
he seeks under any theory of commercial law.
For all of the reasons stated above, the plaintiff’s complaint is frivolous and fails to state a
claim on which relief may be granted and is summarily dismissed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e).
Further, the Court certifies, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(3), that an appeal from this decision
could not be taken in good faith.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
/s/SOLOMON OLIVER, JR.
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
January 7, 2015
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