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El Bey v. City of Madison

United States District Court, N.D. Alabama, Northeastern Division

March 27, 2018

CITY OF MADISON, et al., Defendants.



         This matter is before the Court on the defendants' motions to dismiss (Docs. 6, 13, 15), motion to strike discovery (Doc. 22), and motion to strike demand for punitive damages (Doc. 8). Jabril El Bey ex Relatione Lamarcus Kentrell Jackson, who is representing himself, filed a “legal notice of removal, ” seeking to remove a state court criminal action to federal court. Reading Mr. El Bey's “legal notice” liberally, the Court construes the filing as a complaint in which Mr. El Bey alleges violations of his constitutional rights and seeks relief pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983.

         Standard of Review

         Rule 12(b)(6) enables a defendant to move to dismiss a complaint for “failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6). Pursuant to Rule 8(a)(2), a complaint must contain, “a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). “Generally, to survive a [Rule 12(b)(6)] motion to dismiss and meet the requirement of Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a)(2), a complaint need not contain ‘detailed factual allegations, ' but rather ‘only enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'” Maledy v. City of Enterprise, 2012 WL 1028176, at *1 (M.D. Ala. Mar. 26, 2012) (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555, 570 (2007)). “Specific facts are not necessary; the statement need only ‘give the defendant fair notice of what the . . . claim is and the grounds upon which it rests.'” Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 93 (2007) (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555).

         “Thus, the pleading standard set forth in Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8 evaluates the plausibility of the facts alleged, and the notice stemming from a complaint's allegations.” Keene v. Prine, 477 Fed.Appx. 575, 583 (11th Cir. 2012). “Where those two requirements are met . . . the form of the complaint is not significant if it alleges facts upon which relief can be granted, even if it fails to categorize correctly the legal theory giving rise to the claim.” Id. This is particularly true with respect to pro se complaints. Courts must liberally construe pro se documents. Erickson, 551 U.S. at 94. “‘[A] pro se complaint, however inartfully pleaded, must be held to less stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers.'” Id. (quoting Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 106 (1976)). Still, the Court may not “serve as de facto counsel for a party, or . . . rewrite an otherwise deficient pleading” to “sustain an action.” Campbell v. Air Jamaica Ltd., 760 F.3d 1165, 1168-69 (11th Cir. 2014) (internal quotations and citations omitted).

         When resolving a motion to dismiss, the Court must “accept[] the allegations in the complaint as true and constru[e] them in the light most favorable to the plaintiff.” Miljkovic v. Shafritz & Dinkin, P.A., 791 F.3d 1291, 1297 (11th Cir. 2015) (quoting Hill v. White, 321 F.3d 1334, 1335 (11th Cir. 2003) (per curiam)). The Court presents Mr. El Bey's allegations accordingly.

         Factual Allegations and Procedural Background

         In his complaint, Mr. El Bey alleges that the defendants violated his constitutional rights by forcing him off a public highway, detaining him, and confiscating his vehicle without due process of law. (Doc. 1, p. 3). According to the complaint, defendant David W. Templeton, an officer of the City of Madison Police Department, alleged that Mr. El Bey violated “unconstitutional private foreign corporate ordinance (not law).” (Doc. 1, p. 3). Mr. El Bey asserts that Officers Templeton and M. Craft kidnapped him on Saturday March 25th. (Doc. 1, p. 3).[1] The signature on the warrant was illegible, and the warrant was not accompanied by a sworn affidavit of fact by an injured party. (Doc. 1, p. 3). Deputy T. Johnson of the Limestone County Sheriff's Department witnessed and recorded the incident on body camera. (Doc. 1, p. 3). Mr. El Bey alleges that he was “unlawfully placed in handcuffs that bruised [his] wrists” and was “taken to Madison municipal complex” where his “intellectual property (Photograph and Fingerprints) were taken without consent and under threat.” (Doc. 1, p. 3).

         Judge Thomas R. Parker and other officers of the Madison County Municipal Court did not answer a Quo Warranto in which Mr. El Bey asked the state court to explain its jurisdiction. (Doc. 1, p. 3). “Under duress and threat of being unlawfully kidnapped by the corporate employees, ” Mr. El Bey contends that he “made a Special Appearance at the Unconstitutional unlawful venue on American soil.” (Doc. 1, p. 3). Mr. El Bey alleges that Judge Parker unlawfully and intentionally conspired to conceal affidavits and tamper with evidence. (Doc. 1, p. 3). Mr. El Bey adds that the Madison County Municipal Court is unconstitutional and did not provide to him due process or the rights secured by the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, Ninth, and Tenth Amendments of the United States Constitution. (Doc. 1, p. 3).

         Mr. El Bey asserts that he is an “Aboriginal Indigenous Moorish-American; possessing Free-hold by Inheritance status; standing squarely affirmed and bound to the Zodiac Constitution, with all due respect and honors given to the Constitution for the United States Republic, North America.” (Doc. 1, p. 2). He asserts that he holds this status because he is “a descendant of Moroccans and born in America, with the blood of the Ancient Moabites from the Land of Moab, who received permission from the Pharaohs of Egypt to settle and inhabit North-West Africa / North Gate.” (Doc. 1, p. 2). He asserts that “[t]he Moors are the founders and are the true possessors of the present Moroccan Empire; with [their] Canaanite, Hittite and Amorite brethren, who sojourned from the land of Canaan, seeking new homes.” (Doc. 1, p. 2).

Our dominion and inhabitation extended from Northeast and Southwest Africa, across the Great Atlantis, even unto the present North, South and Central America and the Adjoining Islands-bound squarely affirmed to THE TREATY OF PEACE AND FRIENDSHIP OF SEVENTEEN HUNDRED AND EIGHTY-SEVEN (1787) AD. superseded by THE TREATY OF PEACE AND FRIENDSHIP OF EIGHTTEEN HUNDRED and THIRTY-SIX (1836) A.D. between Morocco and the United States . . . .

(Doc. 1, p. 1). Based on this asserted heritage, Mr. El Bey believes that he is not subject to the jurisdiction of the City of Madison Municipal Court. (Doc. 1, p. 8).

         Mr. El Bey asks the Court to view him as a Moorish American National. (Doc. 1, pp. 3, 11). He contends that the charges against him are unconstitutional and that violations of various traffic laws “are not arrestable offenses.” (Doc. 1, pp. 6, 10). Mr. El Bey requests due process, and he asks the federal courts to stop the defendants from abusing their “colorable authority, ” to inform the defendants of their obligation to uphold the Constitution, and to find the defendants criminally liable and remove them from office. (Doc. 1, p. 11). Mr. El Bey also asks the Court to order the City of Madison Municipal Court to dismiss and expunge his traffic ticket or to bring the matter “before a legitimately-delegated, and competent ‘Court of Law' of International jurisdiction/venue.” (Doc. 1, p. 11). Mr. El Bey seeks $75, 000 in compensatory damages and $75, 000 in punitive damages from Mayor Paul Finley; $75, 000 in compensatory damages and $75, 000 in punitive damages from the City of Madison Police Department; $75, 000 in compensatory damages and $75, 000 in punitive damages from Judge Parker in his individual capacity; and $75, 000 in compensatory damages and $75, 000 in punitive damages from Officer Templeton in his individual capacity. (Doc. 1, pp. 11-12).

         Judge Parker's Motion to Dismiss

         Judge Parker asks the Court to dismiss the claims against him because he is entitled to absolute judicial immunity. (Doc. 16, p. 4).[2] In the Eleventh Circuit, “[j]udges are entitled to absolute judicial immunity from damages for those acts taken while they are acting in their judicial capacity unless they acted in the clear absence of all jurisdiction.” Bolin v. Story, 225 F.3d 1234, 1239 (11th Cir. 2000) (per curiam) (internal quotation marks and citations omitted). “Like other forms of official immunity, judicial immunity is an immunity from suit, not just from ultimate assessment of damages.” Mireles v. Waco, 502 U.S. 9, 11 (1991).

         Judicial immunity applies “even when the judge's acts are in error, malicious, or were in excess of his or her jurisdiction.” Bolin, 225 F.3d at 1239 (citing Stump v. Sparkman, 435 U.S. 349, 356-57 (1978)). Absolute judicial immunity applies, for example, when a party alleges that a judge accepted bribes, Bush v. Washington Mut. Bank, 177 Fed.Appx. 16, 18 (11th Cir. 2006), knowingly credited false testimony, Armstrong v. Andrews, 646 Fed.Appx. 705 (11th Cir.), cert. denied, ___ U.S. ___, 137 S.Ct. 197 (2016), or based a decision on false evidence, or suborned perjury, Drees v. Ferguson, 396 Fed.Appx. 656, 658 (11th Cir. 2010). “Although unfairness and injustice to a litigant may result on occasion, ‘it is a general principle of the highest importance to the proper administration of justice that a judicial officer, in exercising the ...

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