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Akil Asim Bey v. Passaic Municipal Court

May 9, 2013

AKIL ASIM BEY, PLAINTIFF,
v.
PASSAIC MUNICIPAL COURT,
PROSECUTOR JOHN ZUNIC, JUDGE KAREN BROWN, AND JUDGE XAVIER RODRIGUEZ, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Chesler, District Judge

OPINION

This matter comes before the Court on the application of pro se Plaintiff Akil Asim Bey ("Plaintiff" or "Bey") to file a Complaint without prepayment of fees pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915. Based on Plaintiff's affidavit of indigence, the Court finds that Plaintiff qualifies for in forma pauperis status pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915. However, having thoroughly reviewed Plaintiff's pleading, the Court will dismiss the Complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii).

At the outset, the Court notes that because Plaintiff is proceeding pro se, the Court construes the pleadings liberally and holds them to a less stringent standard than those filed by attorneys. Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520 (1972). Even so, under 28 U.S.C. § 1915, which governs proceedings filed in forma pauperis, the Court must examine the merits of the claims asserted and dismiss a case if it determines that the action cannot or should not proceed. The statute provides as follows:

Notwithstanding any filing fee, or any portion thereof, that may have been paid, the court shall dismiss the case at any time if the court determines that --

(A) the allegation of poverty is untrue; or

(B) 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).

I.Factual Background

This case arises out of a criminal proceeding in the Passaic Municipal Court against Bey. According to the Complaint, Bey has appeared before the Passaic Municipal Court several times, beginning on October 10, 2012, the date of his arraignment, but has consistently contested that court's subject matter jurisdiction. The Complaint does not make clear what criminal charges Bey is facing in the municipal court action. The various individual defendants named as parties by Plaintiff have been involved in the municipal court proceedings against Bey. As recently as March 14, 2013, Bey continued to challenge the authority of the Passaic Municipal Court and refused to submit to its jurisdiction. It appears that on or about that date, Judge Xavier Rodriguez informed Bey that any applications he had made to terminate proceedings for lack of subject matter jurisdiction were denied and stated that the case against Bey was moving forward to trial.

Plaintiff submitted his Complaint for filing with the federal court on or about April 25, 2013. He seeks an order from this Court entering a "Writ of Prohibition and or Mandamus" that would enjoin the Passaic Municipal Court and its officers from proceeding against Plaintiff. The Complaint alleges that the Passaic Municipal Court lacks jurisdiction to proceed against Bey because it is a "foreign state" which enjoys the benefit of 11th Amendment immunity and, as such, according to Bey, also lacks the authority to initiate lawsuits against others. While the Complaint numbers 24 single-spaced pages, the following allegation summarizes the basis of Plaintiff's plea for injunctive relief:

If the State or municipal government can claim immunity under the 11th Amendment, then the State or municipal government cannot use Law or Equity jurisdiction against the Petitioner in Court, being one of the people and not subject to a "foreign state" under Title 28 USC, Judicial Procedure, ยงยง 1602-1610. The States are made up of "State Citizens," and under the 11th Amendment, ...


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