United States District Court, E.D. Virginia, Richmond Division
WILLIAM L. A. CHURCH, Petitioner,
DIRECTOR, VIRGINIA DEPT., CORRECTIONS, et al., Respondent.
MEMORANDUM OPINION (DISMISSING FRIVOLOUS
E. Hudson United States District Judge
L.A. Church, a Virginia inmate currently confined in
Oklahoma, filed this this action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
The matter is before the Court for evaluation pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 1915A and 42 U.S.C. § 1997e(c). The latter
statute requires the Court to "dismiss any action
brought with respect to prison conditions under section 1983
of this title, or any other Federal law, by a prisoner
confined in any jail, prison, or other correctional facility
if the court is satisfied that the action is frivolous
...." 42 U.S.C. § 1997e(c)(1). Additionally, 28
U.S.C. § 1915A requires the Court to review "a
complaint in a civil action in which a prisoner seeks redress
from a governmental entity or officer or employee of a
governmental entity" and "dismiss the complaint, or
any portion of the complaint" that "is frivolous
... or fails to state a claim upon which relief may be
granted." 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a)-(b)(1). The
mandatory review under these statutes applies even if the
plaintiff has paid the full filing fee. See Johnson v.
Hill, 965 F.Supp. 1487, 1488 (E.D. Va. 1997).
Standard of Review
frivolous standard includes claims based upon "an
indisputably meritless legal theory, " or claims where
the "factual contentions are clearly baseless."
Clay v. Yates, 809 F.Supp. 417, 427 (E.D. Va. 1992)
(quoting Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 327
(1989)). This latter category encompasses "allegations
that are fanciful, fantastic, and delusional. As those words
suggest, a finding of factual frivolousness is appropriate
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."
Denton v. Hernandez, 504 U.S. 25, 32-33 (1992)
(internal citations and quotation marks omitted) (quoting
Neitzke, 490 U.S. at 325, 328). Furthermore, when
assessing frivolity, "a litigant's history of
bringing unmeritorious litigation can be considered."
Bilal v. Driver, 251 F.3d 1346, 1350 (11th Cir.
2001) (citing Clark v. State of Ga. Pardons & Paroles
Bd, 915 F.2d 636, 641 (11th Cir. 1990); Harris v.
Menendez, 817 F.2d 737, 741 (11th Cir. 1987)).
explained below, Church's claims are frivolous. It is
both unnecessary and inappropriate to engage in an extended
discussion of the utter lack of merit of Church's
theories for relief. See Cochran v. Morris, 73 F.3d
1310, 1315 (4th Cir. 1996) (emphasizing that
"abbreviated treatment" is consistent with
Congress's vision for the disposition of frivolous or
"insubstantial claims" (citing Neitzke v.
Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 324(1989))).
Church's Past and Current Litigation
is serving consecutive sentences of twenty-five years and
life for his convictions of sodomy and rape in the Circuit
Court of Amelia County, Virginia. See Church v.
Okla. Corr'l Indus., No. CIV-10-1111-R, 2011 WL
4376222, at *1 (W.D. Okla. Aug. 15, 2011). Church has a long
history of filing frivolous actions involving "false
tales of service for various military and governmental
agencies and conspiracies to detain him in prison."
Church v. U.S. Gov't, No. 3:07CV129-HEH, 2008 WL
5704482, at *2 (E.D. Va. Jan. 29, 2008) (citing cases). As
background, the basis of his many actions stem from a theory
that "he is wrongly incarcerated as a result of a
government conspiracy" wherein the government picked him
up, trained him, and "replaced him with a 'body
double' who he refers to as 'Big Church.'"
Id. Church then "alleges that Big Church
committed various crimes throughout the United States and
these crimes were blamed on the real Church." Id.;
see also Church, 2011 WL 4376222, at *3 (explaining that
Church claims "he is being wrongfully incarcerated due
to mistaken identity" and "he is not the William
Church guilty of the Virginia convictions").
Church's current Particularized Complaint continues to
raise his "incredible claims of byzantine conspiracy
theories and government manipulations." Church,
2008 WL 5704482, at *2 (citing Best v. Kelly, 39
F.3d 328, 330 (D.C. Cir. 1994); McKee v. Fed. Bureau
of Prisons, No. 3:03-CV-01025-RLW, 2004 WL
3488635 at *1 (E.D. Va. May 25, 2004)). Church alleges, in
FBI, CIA informants went bad! Rouged! They infiltrated hordes
of clubs .... These informants committed crimes all over the
South. They used my name and social security number ....
From the aforesaid, 1982 the Russian informant under the name
of William L. Church ... married my girlfriend Carolyn
Robbins in Chester -Chesterfield, VA who was pregnant with my
son Travis. Church tried to kill her and tried to kill her
family! Carolyn listed him as the father of Travis which he
is not. He is listed from Tennessee. I am from Georgia!....
The William L Church informant, one of them, was convicted in
Amelia County, Va. of rape - sodomy 1984.... The informant
originally charged is not the same person who was tried. ...
Mug shots and descriptions prove this! Which is part of this
1993 VA DOC was initiating an interstate compact of their VA
DOC William L. Church, VA DOC # 139047. Jan. 1994, the first
VA DOC #139047 inmate arrived in Okla. DOC receiving where he
set until Jan. 1995 where the 2nd VA DOC #139047 inmate
arrived in Okla. DOC. Receiving whom was sent to Okla. OSP
McAlester, OK where he set until I arrived. Jan. 1996 I was
picked up on base at Ft. Bragg, NC and sent straight to OSP
and issued DOC #939047. The aforesaid other two informants
have not been seen since!
(Part. Compl. 3-5, ECF No. 8.) Church continues to ramble on for
pages about the difficulties these doppelgangers have caused
him with his parole and his placement in the Oklahoma
Department of Corrections. Any legal claims are inextricably
intertwined with Church's fantastic complaints about
body-doubles and informants. Accordingly, the action will be
dismissed as frivolous.
appropriate Order shall accompany ...