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Williams v. Richards

United States District Court, N.D. New York

January 12, 2018

JEROME J. RICHARDS, Judge; JAMES J. MINDELL, Assistant Attorney General; JOHN W. HALLETT, Attorney; ERIC T. SCHNEIDERMAN, Attorney General, Defendants.




         I. In Forma Pauperis

         Plaintiff pro se Shaka D. Williams commenced this action On October 13, 2017 with the filing of a complaint, Dkt. No. 1 (“Compl.”) and, in lieu of this Court's filing fee, submitted a motion to proceed In Forma Pauperis (“IFP”). Dkt. No. 2. Also on October 13, this Court directed administrative closure with opportunity to comply with the filing fee requirement. Dkt. No. 3. On October 20, 2017, plaintiff filed an inmate authorization form, Dkt. No. 4, and the Court reopened the case. Upon review of plaintiff's IFP application, Dkt. Nos. 2, 4, the Court determines that plaintiff may properly proceed IFP.[1]

         II. Initial Review

         A. Legal Standard

         Section 1915(e) of Title 28 of the United States Code directs that, when a plaintiff seeks to proceed IFP, "the court shall dismiss the case at any time if the court determines that . . . the action or appeal (i) is frivolous or malicious; (ii) fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted; or (iii) seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from such relief." 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B). Thus, it is a court's responsibility to determine that a plaintiff may properly maintain his complaint before permitting him to proceed with his action.

         B. Complaint

         Plaintiff, purporting to commence this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleges that defendants have violated Article I, Section 10, Clause 1 of the Constitution of the United States of America by “attempting to enforce a contract on plaintiff and incarcerating plaintiff without obtaining jurisdiction.” Compl. at 6. Plaintiff contends that he was “involuntarily and against his will brought to St. Lawrence County Court, at the request for an Order by Eric T. Schneiderman, Attorney General, via James J. Mindell, Assistant Attorney General, said Order given by Jerome J. Richards, Judge, to be arraigned on an Indictment/Presentment-/Offer to Contract.” Id. at 8. Plaintiff stated that, upon arrival to the courthouse, he was “seen by an attorney, ” and he informed the attorney that he “do [sic] not consent to these procedures, not do [sic] he grant power of attorney to him . . . that he is not to speak for him or on his behalf and is without permission to represent him nor do [sic] he want him to.” Id. at 9.[2]

         Plaintiff further contends that he was brought before Judge Richards, and stated that “he was not Shaka Williams, the fictitious entity (ens legis) and that he is making a special visitation to deny jurisdiction of the court, that he makes a reservation for all rights and he do [sic] not want to do business with the court or enter into any contract with the court.” Id. Plaintiff expressed that he did not understand the charges brought against him and did not wish to enter a plea. Id. Plaintiff refused to accept a copy of the “Indictment/Presentment/Offer” from Assistant Attorney General Mindell and “verbally declin[ed] the offer to contract and do business with him.” Id. at 10. Judge Richards “ordered plaintiff remanded without bail” and entered a not guilty plea “on behalf of the plaintiff without his consent.” Id. Judge Richards ordered plaintiff's fingerprints and photographs to be taken, “and instructed the officers to use force if necessary[.]” Id.

         Plaintiff further alleges that he was again brought before Judge Richards on July 13, 2017 “to be arraigned for the same offer the plaintiff previous [sic] denied on June 10, 2017.” Id. at 10. John W. Hallet, Esq. was assigned by the Court to represent plaintiff. Id. Plaintiff informed the Mr. Hallet that he did “not consent to representation by Mr. Hallett, Attorney” and informed him that “anything he say [sic] or do [sic] is without his consent pertinent to plaintiff and is on his own accord and not on behalf of plaintiff and plaintiff do [sic] not give power of attorney to Hallet for any of his affairs.” Id. Mr. Hallet informed the St. Lawrence County Court that plaintiff pleaded “not guilty.” Id. “Thereafter, plaintiff informed the court that he did not give consent for John W. Hallett to have power of attorney or the liberty to speak for him, and furthermore, the plaintiff do [sic] not plea at all or do [sic] he want to do business with the court. Plaintiff demanded that the charges be dismissed.” Id. at 11. Plaintiff alleges that Judge Richards ignored his statements and again remanded him to jail. Id.

         Plaintiff was next brought before Judge Richards on September 15, 2017. Compl. at 13. Plaintiff contended that the Judge, Mr. Hallett, and/or Eric T. Schneiderman “refuse to rescind their offer, Judge Richards refuse to dismiss the offer even after petitioner demand the dismissal on all Court dates where he refuse to contract and grant them jurisdiction.” Id. Judge Richards told plaintiff that he had three options: retain his own counsel, have Mr. Hallet represent him, or proceed pro se. Id. Plaintiff “declined” “all offers, ” “demanded a dismissal and demanded the Judge to stop bringing him here by Ordering agency(ies) of the government to bring e against my will.” Id. Plaintiff contends that his “life is in danger every time he is forced to court against his will, shall he refuse, government agency(ies) will use physical force that can cause grave injury to the plaintiff.” Id.

         Plaintiff requests that the Court (1) “[p]ermanently enjoin the defendants, their agents, assistants, successors, employees and persons acting in concert or cooperation with them from further violating the rights guaranteed by United States Constitution, Article 1, Section 10"; (2) “[t]he Court receive evidence at a hearing, to determine, whether plaintiff's constitutional rights has [sic] been violated and or that defendant violated the constitution [sic] rights in their individual and or their official capacity [sic], and declare that constitutional standards shall be employed to protect plaintiff's rights”; (3) “[t]hat the Court issue a judgment declaring that plaintiff have a right to contract or not to contract”; (4) “the Court issue a preliminary injunction, and upon final hearing, a permanent mandatory injunction, directing defendants from further seizing plaintiff without his consent, forcing him to the St. Lawrence County Court in an attempt to enforce an adhesive contract on him” (5) [t]hat the Court enter a judgment granting to plaintiff compensatory damages from each defendant in their individual capacity in the sum of $25, 000.00 for violating rights guaranteed by U.S. Const. Art. 1 Sec. 10”; (6) “[t]hat the Court enter a judgment granting to plaintiff punitive damages in the sum of $100, 000.00 for the malicious and willful misconduct by each defendant”; and (7) [t]hat the Court enter a judgment granting to plaintiff costs, fees, and expenses of this action; [a]nd for such other relief as this Court may deem just and proper.” Id. at 14-15.

         C. ...

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