Jones v. Herbert et al
MEMORANDUM DECISION & ORDER: It is hereby ordered that Plaintiffs action is DISMISSED under 1915(e)(2)(B)because his claims are either frivolous or fail to state a claim upon which relief may be granted. This case is closed. Signed by Judge Robert J. Shelby on 11/20/2017. (kpf)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF UTAH
MICHAEL ANTHONY JONES,
MEMORANDUM DECISION &
STATE OF UTAH et al.,
Case No. 2:15-CV-41-RJS
District Judge Robert J. Shelby
Plaintiff, Michael Anthony Jones, has filed with the Court a prisoner pro se civil rights
complaint. See 42 U.S.C.S. § 1983 (2017). The Court approved Plaintiff's application to proceed
in forma pauperis. See 28 id. § 1915.
The Amended Complaint's allegations are leveled at Defendants State of Utah, Utah
Department of Corrections (UDOC), and this Court. To summarize, Plaintiff accuses Defendants
of somehow co-opting his name, which he considers to be his property. Further, he alleges that
the government, at whatever level, may not breach his very own “sovereign” rights as an
individual, The Court has screened Plaintiff's Amended Complaint under §§ 1915(e)(2) and
1915A and now dismisses it for being frivolous and failing to state a claim upon which relief
may be granted. See id. §§ 1915(e)(2)(B) & 1915A.
Section 1915 grants this Court the power to "'pierce the veil of the complaint's factual
allegations.'" Denton v. Hernandez, 504 U.S. 25, 32 (1992) (quoting Neitzke v. Williams, 490
U.S. 319, 327 (1989)). Although Plaintiff's allegations must be viewed in his favor, "a court may
dismiss a claim as factually frivolous . . . if the facts alleged are 'clearly baseless,' a category
encompassing allegations that are 'fanciful,' 'fantastic,' and 'delusional.'" Id. at 32-33 (citations
omitted). Accordingly, a determination of factual frivolousness is proper "when the facts alleged
rise to the level of the irrational or the wholly incredible, whether or not there are judicially
noticeable facts available to contradict them." Id. at 33.
Plaintiff's assertions here fit these definitions of factual frivolousness. The fantastic
claims in Plaintiff's complaint about his name being a form of property that may not be used by
defendant government agencies and having his own sovereignty are patently unbelievable and
irrational. The claims here must therefore be dismissed as factually frivolous. See 28 U.S.C.S. §
Further, the State of Utah has immunity against federal civil-rights claims.1 This extends
to UDOC as a state subdivision. And, this Court may not be sued under § 1983, as it is not a state
Regarding claims that have been made against the State, generally, the Eleventh Amendment prevents "suits
against a state unless it has waived its immunity or consented to suit, or if Congress has validly abrogated the state's
immunity." Ray v. McGill, No. CIV-06-0334-HE, 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 51632, at *8 (W.D. Okla. July 26, 2006)
(unpublished) (citing Lujan v. Regents of Univ. of Cal., 60 F.3d 1511, 1522 (10th Cir. 1995); Eastwood v. Dep't of
Corrs., 846 F.2d 627, 631 (10th Cir. 1988)). Plaintiff asserts no basis for determining that the State has waived its
immunity or that it has been abrogated by Congress.
The statute reads:
Every person who, under color of any statute, ordinance, regulation, custom, or
usage, of any State . . . subjects, or causes to be subjected, any citizen of the
United States . . . to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities
secured by the Constitution and laws, shall be liable to the party injured in an
action at law . . . .
42 U.S.C.S. § 1983 (2017).
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Plaintiff's § 1983 action is DISMISSED under §§
1915(e)(2)(B) and 1915A because his claims are either frivolous or fail to state a claim upon
which relief may be granted. See 28 id. §§ 1915(e)(2)(B) & 1915A. This case is CLOSED.
DATED this 20th day of November, 2017.
BY THE COURT:
ROBERT J. SHELBY
United States District Judge
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