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Ransone v. Stolle

United States District Court, E.D. Virginia, Richmond Division

June 1, 2016

CHRISTOPHER JON RANSONE, Petitioner,
v.
SHERIFF KEN STOLLE, Respondent.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          Roderick C. Young, United States Magistrate Judge.

         Christopher Jon Ransone, a Virginia state prisoner proceeding pro se, brings this petition pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254 (hereinafter, "§ 2254 Petition, " ECF No. 3) challenging his conviction in the Circuit Court of the City of Virginia Beach (hereinafter, "Circuit Court") for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. For the reasons set forth below, the § 2254 Petition will be DENIED.

         I. Pertinent Procedural History

         On March 23, 2010, Ransone was found guilty in the Circuit Court of Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon. Commonwealth v. Ransone, No. CR10-0053, at 1 (Va. Cir. Ct. Aug. 12, 2010). The Circuit Court sentenced Ransone to five years of imprisonment with two years suspended. Id. at 2.

         By order entered on October 14, 2015, the Circuit Court found that Ransone had violated the terms of his suspended sentence and ordered him to serve six months of imprisonment. (Mem. Supp. Mot. Dismiss ¶ 5, ECF No. 12; § 2254 Pet. 1.)

         On November 4, 2015, Ransone filed with this Court his § 2254 Petition on the standardized forms. In his § 2254 Petition, Ransone demands relief upon the following grounds:

Claim One "The Thirteenth Amendment Citizenship. I am a Moorish American, one of nationality, under the common law, the law of the land." (§ 2254 Pet. 6.)[1]
Claim Two "Fourteenth Amendment, due process. Violation of due process of law -trial held in admiralty, not common law jurisdiction. No delegated authority." (Id. at 8.)
Claim Three "Fourth Amendment - unlawful seizure, search of my body. I was kidnapped for accusations of a corporate citizen without a proper warrant." (Id. at 9.)
Claim Four "USC TITLE 18 - Part 1 >Chapter 13 > § 241 and § 242. Conspiracy against rights and deprivation of rights under color of law." (Id. at 11.)

         Respondent moved to dismiss on the grounds that, inter alia, Ransone's claims were unexhausted and/or defaulted. Nevertheless, "[a]n application for a writ of habeas corpus may be denied on the merits, notwithstanding the failure of the applicant to exhaust the remedies available in the courts of the State." 28 U.S.C. § 2254(b)(2). Additionally, "federal courts are not required to address a procedural-default issue before deciding against the petitioner on the merits." Hudson v. Jones, 351 F.3d 212, 215 (6th Cir. 2003) (citing Lambrix v. Singletary, 520 U.S. 518, 525 (1997)). Given the utter lack of substance of Ransone's claims, the Court will simply reject them on the merits. See Raines v. United States, 423 F.2d 526, 529 (4th Cir. 1970) (citations omitted) ("If the petition be frivolous or patently absurd on its face, entry of dismissal may be made on the court's own motion without even the necessity of requiring a responsive pleading from the government.").

         II. Analysis

         In order to obtain federal habeas relief, at a minimum, Ransone must demonstrate that "he is in custody in violation of the Constitution or laws or treaties of the United States." 28 U.S.C. § 2254(a). As discussed below, for the majority of Ransone's claims, it is difficult to discern how the Constitution is implicated, much less violated, by the facts he recites. See Sanders v. United States, 373 U.S. 1, 19 (1963) (finding denial of habeas action appropriate where it "stated only bald legal conclusions with no supporting factual allegations").

         For example, with respect to Claim One, Ransone states, "The Thirteenth Amendment Citizenship. I am a Moorish American, one of nationality, under the common law, the law of the land." (§ 2254 Pet. 6.) The Thirteenth Amendment provides in pertinent part: "Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction." U.S. Const, amend. XIII, § 1. Ransone provides no facts that indicate that he was enslaved. Moreover, as this Court previously stated, an individual's "purported status as a Moorish-American citizen does not enable him to violate . .. state laws without consequence. Thus, the argument that a person is entitled to ignore the laws of the [Commonwealth of Virginia] by claiming membership in the Moorish-American nation is without merit...." Metaphyzic El-Ectromagnetic ...


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