Hill v. State of Washington

Filing 5

ORDER FOR AMENDED COMPLAINT; plaintiff to amend complaint within 21 days by Judge Ricardo S Martinez. (RS) cc plaintiff

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1 2 3 4 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT WESTERN DISTRICT OF WASHINGTON AT SEATTLE 5 6 7 NATHAN KAREEN HILL, 8 Plaintiff, 9 10 11 v. STATE OF WASHINGTON, Defendant. 12 13 14 15 ) ) CASE NO. C17-0434RSM ) ) ) ORDER FOR AMENDED COMPLAINT ) ) ) ) ) Pro Se Plaintiff, Nathan Kareen Hill, has been granted leave to proceed in forma pauperis in this matter. Dkt. #3. His Complaint was filed on March 22, 2017. Dkt. #4. 16 Summons has not yet been issued. From what this Court can discern, Plaintiff alleges a claim 17 18 under the Lanham Act for copyright infringement of his name. Id. Plaintiff complains that 19 Washington State and several of its Agencies have entered his allegedly trademarked name into 20 State databases, which constitutes infringement, and has caused him harm. Id. He states that 21 being included in a registry for convicted felons has precluded him from participating in 22 23 Washington State commerce. Id. As a result, he seeks an Order from this Court directing 24 Defendant to stop using his name and to remove it from all State databases, and to pay him 25 damages in the amount of $8,480,000.00. 26 As federal courts are courts of limited jurisdiction, a plaintiff bears the burden of 27 establishing that his case is properly filed in federal court. Kokkonen v. Guardian Life Ins. Co., 28 ORDER PAGE - 1 1 511 U.S. 375, 377, 114 S. Ct. 1673, 1675, 128 L. Ed. 2d 391 (1994); In re Ford Motor 2 Co./Citibank (South Dakota), N.A., 264 F.3d 952, 957 (9th Cir. 2001). This burden, at the 3 pleading stage, must be met by pleading sufficient allegations to show a proper basis for the 4 federal court to assert subject matter jurisdiction over the action. McNutt v. General Motors 5 Acceptance Corp., 298 U.S. 178, 189, 56 S. Ct. 780, 785, 80 L. Ed. 1135 (1936). Further, the 6 7 Court will dismiss a Complaint at any time if the action fails to state a claim, raises frivolous or 8 malicious claims, or seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. 9 See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B). 10 In this case, Plaintiff appears to be relying on a “sovereign citizen” theory, which has 11 been unsuccessfully propounded by others, to seek the removal of his name from certain State 12 13 registries. Dkt. #4. This legal theory seems to have originated in the context of tax protests, 14 and is generally advanced to challenge state and federal laws and judgments. The theory (in all 15 of its various forms) has been struck down consistently by the courts. See, e.g., United States v. 16 Sloan, 939 F.2d 499 (7th Cir. 1991) (concluding that plaintiff’s argument that he was a citizen 17 18 of the state of Indiana, but not a citizen of the United States and therefore not subject to its laws 19 was “simply wrong”); United States v. Jagim, 978 F.2d 1032, 1036 (8th Cir. 1992) (concluding 20 that defendant’s argument that he was a citizen of the “Republic of Idaho” and not a U.S. 21 citizen and therefore outside the jurisdiction of the United States was “completely without 22 merit” and “patently frivolous”); U.S. v. Delatorre, 2008 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 7530, 2008 WL 23 24 312647 at *2 (N.D. Ill. 2008) (“This Court’s jurisdiction over Mr. Delatorre remains valid 25 whether his name is written in all capital letters or a mix of capital and lower case letters, or 26 whether he identifies himself as: a ‘real flesh and blood man, in his private capacity,’ a 27 ‘sovereign secured party creditor;’ a debtor; the ‘authorized representative of the corporate 28 ORDER PAGE - 2 1 fiction-entity/debtor identified, as Fernando Delatorre,’ or ‘third party intervenor on behalf of 2 Defendant/Debtor Fernando Delatorre.’ Mr. Delatorre’s Uniform Commercial Code (‘UCC’), 3 copyright, and trademark filings do not change this fact.”); see also Francis X. Sullivan, The 4 "Usurping Octopus of Jurisdictional/Authority": The Legal Theories of the Sovereign Citizen 5 Movement, 1999 Wis. L. Rev. 785. Mr. Hill fails to provide legal authority in his Complaint 6 7 that would lead the Court to any other conclusion than dismissal of his case. 8 Accordingly, Plaintiff’s Complaint suffers from deficiencies that, if not corrected in an 9 Amended Complaint, require dismissal. As a result, the Court hereby finds and ORDERS that 10 Plaintiff shall file an Amended Complaint no later than twenty-one (21) days from the date 11 of this Order. In the Amended Complaint, Plaintiff must include a short and plain statement 12 13 demonstrating to the Court that his claims are brought under some other legal authority than the 14 “sovereign citizen” theory. 15 The Clerk shall send a copy of this Order to Plaintiff at 1709 SW 323rd St., Federal 16 Way, WA 98023. 17 18 DATED this 22 day of March, 2017. A 19 20 RICARDO S. MARTINEZ CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 ORDER PAGE - 3

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