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
claims that Sheriff Gabriel Morgan has "conspired to
administering on private property and kidnapping." (ECF
No. 1, at 1.) Brown asserts that such actions violate,
inter alia, a variety of federal criminal statutes,
"the Treaty of Peace & Friendship 1787, " the
"Clock of Destiny, " and the "Zodiac
Constitution." (Id.) Elsewhere in his filings,
Brown makes references which indicate that he subscribes to
the Moorish American ideology. (ECF No. 2.) Brown demands
billions of dollars in damages for his kidnapping and for the
other violations alleged above. (ECF No. 1, at 1.)
records before the Court reflect that Brown has not been
kidnapped. 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., Dep7
of Corr., No. 3:14CV52, 2015 WL 1138246, at *3 (E.D.
Va. Mar. 3, 2015) (alteration in original) (quoting
Abdullah, v. New Jersey, No. 12-1202 (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 Sheriff Gabriel Morgan, who apparently was involved
in his arrest or detention. 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
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 defendant!] rather than to