United States District Court, S.D. Alabama, Southern Division
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
WILLIAM E. CASSADY, Magistrate Judge.
Plaintiff, who is proceeding pro se, filed a self-styled complaint and a motion to proceed without prepayment of fees ("motion") to commence this action. (Docs. 1, 2). Plaintiff's motion was referred to the undersigned for appropriate action pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B) and Local Rule 72.2(c)(1), which provides for the automatic referral of non-dispositive pretrial matters to a Magistrate Judge. In filing this motion, plaintiff requested to be granted in forma pauperis status pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915. This statute requires a complaint be screened under § 1915(e)(2)(B) to determine if the complaint should be dismissed because it is frivolous or malicious, fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted, or seeks monetary relief against a person immune from such relief. Troville v. Venz, 303 F.3d 1256, 1260 (11th Cir. 2002) (affirming the application of 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B) to non-prisoner actions).
In screening the superseding Court-ordered amended complaint (Doc. 4), the Court ordered plaintiff to answer interrogatories, which required the filing of documents from the state court action that formed the basis of the present action, for the purpose of clarifying her claims, as the Court had questions about whether it had subject matter jurisdiction over plaintiff's action. (Doc. 6). Instead of filing her answers to the Court's interrogatories, plaintiff paid the $400 filing fee and filed a "response to magistrate judge order and request that the court impose a restraining order or in the alternate an injunction." (Doc. 8). In this filing, plaintiff states that she has the information and documents the Court requested, and does not want to appear as if "she is overstepping the Court in any way, " but she has learned that "defendants are seeking to sell the property" and requests injunctive relief "to halt the sale of the property." ( Id. at 1-2).
After careful review of this action and the dockets of the pertinent actions in state court, see Alacourt.com, and the electronic Baldwin County probate records, it is recommended that this action be dismissed without prejudice for lack of subject matter jurisdiction or, in the alternative, for failure to obey the Court's order.
I. Amended Complaint. (Doc. 4)
Plaintiff filed an amended complaint for violations of her federal civil rights and of the civil RICO laws for which she seeks compensatory and punitive damages, injunctive and declaratory relief, appointment of a guardian ad litem, any other relief that the Court deems equitable, and attorney fees. (Doc. 4 at 2, 20-21). Additionally, plaintiff alleges that she "suffers under a legal disability caused by incompetent and ineffective assistance of counsel since 2001" and suffered a denial of her due process rights, which has caused her to file this action to protect herself and her family from the unlawful and continuing conspiracy by defendants. ( Id. at 3 ¶ 7). Defendants are alleged to have "affect[ed her] rights to Liberty and Property" from 2003 to the present by conspiring to harm her. ( Id. at 4 ¶ 5).
The factual predicate for plaintiff's claims is her marriage to Peter J. Nashville, his subsequent death without leaving a will, and state-court proceedings involving his property and the administration of his estate. The defendants to plaintiff's claims are: Sherlene Nashville White (sometimes "administrator"), the "alleged" daughter of Peter Nashville ("decedent"); James Saunders, the "alleged" adopted son of decedent; Joyce Nashville-Moore, sister of decedent; Jacob Nashville, brother of decedent; Anita Nashville, wife of Jacob Nashville; Western Surety Company of Sioux Falls, South Dakota; Neill Bonding and Insurance Services, agent of Western Surety Company, in Fairhope, Alabama; John Pittman, her retained attorney; and D. Robert Stankoski, Jr., attorney for defendants Sherlene N. White and Anita and Jacob Nashville. ( Id. at 2-3, 10).
According to plaintiff, she and Peter Nashville married on June 9, 2000 in Mobile, Alabama, and she "and her husband owned and lived in a trailer on their property... at 7550 Moore Lane[.]" ( Id. at 5 ¶ 8) (emphasis added). Then, in an immediately following statement, plaintiff alleges that "Plaintiff's husband was the owner of said trailer and that portion of the property wherein said trailer was situated." ( Id. at 6 ¶ 9) (emphasis added).
Plaintiff further alleges that later "[s]he and her husband had a home built on property deeded to her husband on the Nashville estate at 7420 Moore Lane, Daphne[.]" ( Id. at 6 ¶ 10). On January 26, 2003, plaintiff's husband died intestate. ( Id. at ¶ 11). Prior to her husband's death, his mother, Amanda Nashville, had died on July 12, 1995 intestate, leaving three heirs, her daughter, Joyce Nashville-Moore, and two sons, Jacob Nashville and Peter Nashville. ( Id. at ¶ 12). Plaintiff maintains that she, as heir to her husband's estate, is entitled to one hundred percent of his estate as well as an equal share of his late mother's estate. ( Id. at ¶ 13).
Plaintiff alleges that defendants Joyce Nashville-Moore, Anita and Jacob Nashville, Sherlene Nashville White, and James Saunders "entered into a Rico Conspiracy and acted in concert to defraud and deprive Plaintiff [of] the right to inherit from the aforesaid estates as surviving spouse[.]" ( Id. at 6 ¶ 14). She alleges that "defendant Jacob Nashville and his sister defendant Joyce Nashville-Moore began conspiring to take the rent the Plaintiff was receiving from said trailer that her and her husband owned... 7550 Moore Lane, Daphne, Alabama." ( Id. ).
Plaintiff alleges that on December 13, 2004, defendant Sherlene N. White filed a complaint in the Circuit Court of Baldwin County, Alabama, seeking "Partition; Conversion; and Rental arrearage" in furtherance of the RICO conspiracy, Sherlene White v. Erica Nashville, Case No. CV-2004-1429. ( Id. at 9 ¶ 22). Defendants Jacob and Anita Nashville filed motions to dismiss asserting that neither defendant Sherlene N. White nor plaintiff Erica Nashville is the owner of the property and that these matters must be filed in the Probate Court. ( Id. at ¶ 23). Plaintiff alleges that defendants Jacob and Anita Nashville did this to further the RICO conspiracy and to defraud plaintiff of her right to inherit from her husband and mother-in-law and that defendants Sherlene N. White, Joyce Nashville-Moore, and Jacob Nashville conspired with others and did take "Plaintiff's trailer and the property where it was situated and began a campaign to ruin [her] financially as well as emotionally in furtherance of the Rico conspiracy[.]" ( Id. at ¶ 24).
In 2004, plaintiff retained defendant John Pittman to defend her and to determine through discovery if defendants Sherlene N. White and James Albert Sanders "were legally the children of the decedent[, plaintiff's] husband[.]" ( Id. at 10 ¶ 25). Instead, defendant Pittman "conspired with the defendants to force the Plaintiff to sign away her suc[c]ession rights to portions of the Nashville estate under color of law in furtherance of a Rico conspiracy." ( Id. ). Plaintiff claims that defendant Stankoski represented defendants Sherlene N. White and Jacob and Anita Nashville and "knew or should have known that defendant White and the said Adopted son' were not the legal children of Peter J. Miles[sic], the Plaintiff's husband." ( Id. at ¶ 26). In fact, defendant Stankoski referred to "James Saunders" from the beginning in his pleadings as "James Albert Miles, Jr. Nashville' Adopted Son a/k/a James Albert Sanders[.]" ( Id. ).
On August 24, 2006, defendant Sherlene N. White filed a petition for letters of administration in the Probate Court of Baldwin County, Alabama, requesting to be the administrator in Case No. 24, 291 as she was the daughter of the deceased. ( Id. at 7 ¶ 15). Defendants Jacob and Anita Nashville were "cross claim defendants' [who] acted in concert with defendant White to defraud Plaintiff... [in this case] all in furtherance of the ongoing Rico conspiracy." ( Id. at ¶ 16). Defendant James Saunders alleged that he is the adopted son of Peter Nashville thereby furthering the conspiracy to defraud plaintiff. ( Id. at ¶ 17).
On September 25, 2006, the probate court granted defendant Sherlene N. White letters of administration. ( Id. at ¶ 18). Prior to being granted the letters of administration, on September 8, 2006, defendant Western Surety Company issued a bond for defendant Sherlene N. White with respect to her position as administrator through its agent, defendant Neill Bonding and Insurance Services. ( Id. at 7-8 ¶ 19). These bond defendants are alleged to have "engage in a racketeering enterprise to per[pet]rate fraud under color of law" when this bond was issued. ( Id. at 8 ¶ 19). Both defendants Sherlene N. White and James Saunders are alleged to have "falsely represented themselves as the lawful children of the decedent in furtherance of the Rico conspiracy to defraud Plaintiff... her husband's... estate... [and his mother's] estate[.]" ( Id. at ¶ 20).
In 2006, defendant Sherlene N. White filed an "inventory of estate" in probate court in the sum of $76, 799.48. ( Id. at 11 ¶ 27). Defendants Pittman and Stankoski "attempted to force the Plaintiff into a settlement of the estate whereby if Plaintiff agreed to sign over said trailer and property among other things, defendant White would agree to waive or drop said $76, 799.48 inventory allegedly owed to said estate if Plaintiff would sign and agree to said settlement[.]" ( Id. ). Plaintiff refused. ( Id. ). Defendants "became furious when the Plaintiff refused to sign away her suc[c]ession rights and thereby moved to have her arrested for co[ntempt] of court and defendant Pittman withdrew from the case all in furtherance of a Rico conspiracy." ( Id. at 12 ¶ 24). Then, plaintiff filed a pro se motion to reduce the inventory amount owed, which was granted. ( Id. at 12 ¶ 27).
In response to plaintiff's refusal, defendants are alleged to have begun a campaign of terror against the plaintiff by filing a motion for sanctions requesting the court to order plaintiff to provide to defendant Sherlene N. White keys to the trailer, documents related to the 2002 Ford Mustang and 1995 Mecury Sable, and $5, 200 in rental income from the trailer. ( Id. at ¶ 28). The court held plaintiff in contempt and issued an arrest warrant for her. ( Id. ). Pursuant to Alabama Code § 43-8-41,  plaintiff maintains that she is entitled to inherit her husband's entire intestate estate, but "the defendants... conspire[d] and acted in concert to falsely represent Sherlean White and James Saunders as Plaintiff's husband's legitimate children[.]" ( Id. at ¶ 29). "[D]efendants conspired to fraudulent[ly] take Plaintiff's intestate ...