United States District Court, E.D. Virginia, Richmond Division
A. GIBNEY, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Brown, a Virginia inmate proceeding pro se and
requesting to proceed in forma pauperis, filed this
civil action. For the reasons that follow, the Court will
grant Brown's request to proceed in forma
pauperis, file the action, and dismiss it pursuant to 28
U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2) and 1915A as frivolous and
to the Prison Litigation Reform Act ("PLRA") this
Court must dismiss any action filed by an individual
proceeding in forma pauperis if the Court determines
the action "is frivolous or malicious." 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915(e)(2)(B)(i); see 28 U.S.C. § 1915A.
The first 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)). With respect to second standard, this Court has
A litigant may be deemed to act maliciously if his actions
[i]mport a wish to vex, annoy, or injure another, or an
intent to do a wrongful act, and may consist in direct
intention to injure, or in reckless disregard of
another's rights. Therefore, the court must assess the
character of the allegations insofar as they indicate a
motive on the part of the plaintiff to merely harass or vex
the defendants rather than to seek redress for a legitimate
Cain v. Virginia, 982 F.Supp. 1132, 1136 (E.D. Va.
1997) (alteration in original) (quotation marks and citations
omitted). Further, "[t]he courts have long recognized
that inmate complaints against state officials are a
particularly fertile arena for frivolous and malicious
litigation." Id. (citing Daye v.
Bounds, 509 F.2d 66, 68 (4th Cir. 1975)). This is true,
in part, because incarcerated litigants "possess both
time and dissatisfactions in abundance." Cochran v.
Morris, 73 F.3d 1310, 1316 (4th Cir. 1996). Further, in
assessing whether an action is frivolous or malicious, the
Court is informed by a plaintiffs past litigious conduct and
the tone of his or her current allegations. Id.
SUMMARY OF ALLEGATIONS AND BROWN'S OTHER
limited factual allegations in Brown's Complaint assert
that Mr. Hayes conspired with others to "kidnap"
Brown. (ECF No. 1, at 1.) Brown contends that he is now being
held for ransom at the Hampton Roads Regional Jail.
(Id.) Brown asserts that such actions violate,
inter alia, a host of federal criminal statutes
(including a provision that criminalizes threatening the
President, 18 U.S.C. § 871), "the Treaty of Peace
and Friendship 1787, " and "the Clock of
Destiny/Zodiac Constitution." (Id.) Elsewhere
in his Complaint, Brown makes a variety of references which
indicate that he subscribes to the Moorish American ideology.
(Id.) Brown demands billions of dollars in damages.
records before the Court reflect that Brown has not been
kidnapped and held for ransom. Rather, Brown is currently
serving a sentence of three years and six months imposed by
the Circuit Court for the City of Newport News. Petition for
a Writ of Habeas Corpus at 2, Brown v. Virginia,
3:18CV136 (E.D. Va. filed Feb. 28, 2018). In his Petition for
a Writ of Habeas Corpus, Brown once again characterizes his
detention as a form of "kidnapping." Id.
Brown also contends that his detention is illegal based on
his status as a Moorish American. Id. at 6. Further,
since February 28, 2018, Brown has filed nearly thirty
actions with the Court. In those cases, Brown advances
demands for relief based on his status as a Moorish American.
both unnecessary and inappropriate to engage in an extended
discussion of the utter lack of merit of Brown'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))). "[I]t is well-recognized that... the
Moorish American Nation... [is a] notorious organization!] of
scofflaws and ne'er-do-wells who attempt to benefit from
the protections of federal and state law while simultaneously
proclaiming their independence from and total lack of
responsibility under those same laws." Metaphyzic
El-Ectromagnetic Supreme-El v. Dir., Dep't of Corr.,
No. 3:14CV52, 2015 WL 1138246, at *3 (E.D. Va. Mar. 3, 2015)
(alterations in original) (quoting Abdullah, v. New
Jersey, No. 12-4202 (RBK), 2012 WL 2916738, at *5
(D.N.J. July 16, 2012)). Neither the Zodiac Constitution, the
Treaty of Peace and Friendship, nor any of Brown's other
silly theories provide a viable basis for relief. See
Id. at *6. "Notwithstanding [Brown's] personal
subscription to the Zodiac Constitution ... and his belief
that the Treaty of Peace and Friendship between Morocco and
the United States ... deprive the state courts of
jurisdiction over him, courts have soundly rejected these
claims." Id.', see El Ameen Bey v. Stumpf,
825 F.Supp.2d 537, 558 (D.N.J. 2011) ("[A]
litigant's reliance on any Barbary Treaty, including on
the Treaty with Morocco, for the purposes of a civil suit
raising claims based on the events that occurred within what
is the United States' geographical territory is facially
frivolous."); Jones-El v. South Carolina, No.
5:13-cv-01851-JMC, 2014 WL 958302, at *8 (D.S.C. Mar. 11,
2014) (rejecting habeas claims under the Zodiac Constitution
and Treaty of Peace and Friendship as "completely
frivolous, whether raised under § 2254, § 2241, or
by way of civil complaint"). Accordingly, the Court
finds the action is subject to dismissal as frivolous.
the Court finds the action is subject to dismissal as
malicious. Brown demands billions of dollars of damages
against Mr. Hayes, who apparently arrested Brown. Brown
provides no coherent explanation for this outlandish demand.
Under similar circumstances, courts have observed:
when there is no recital of credible probative facts that
support the allegations that the plaintiff is attempting to
make, the Plaintiff sues those involved in securing his
incarceration, and the tone of all the Plaintiffs allegations
indicates that he is bringing his suit merely to satisfy his
desire for vengeance against the Defendants and not to
rectify any wrong done to him, then the suit is a MALICIOUS
Cain v. Virginia,
982 F.Supp. 1132, 1136 (E.D. Va.
1997) (quoting Spencer v Rhodes,656 F.Supp. 458,
463-64 (E.D. N.C. Mar. 19, 1987)). Brown has filed dozens of
suits of this ilk in recent months. The sum of all of this
compels the conclusion that Brown filed the present action
"to merely harass or vex the defendants rather than to
seek redress for a ...