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Parsons v. State

United States District Court, Ninth Circuit

September 9, 2013

John James Parsons, Plaintiff,
v.
State of Arizona, et al., Defendants.

ORDER

ROBERT C. BROOMFIELD, Senior District Judge.

On April 9, 2013, Plaintiff John James Parsons, who is confined in the Fourth Avenue Jail, filed a pro se civil rights Complaint and an Application to Proceed In Forma Pauperis. In a May 28, 2013 Order, the Court granted the Application to Proceed and dismissed the Complaint because Plaintiff had failed to state a claim. The Court gave Plaintiff 30 days to file an amended complaint that cured the deficiencies identified in the Order.

On June 12, 2013, Plaintiff filed his First Amended Complaint. In a July 17, 2013 Order, the Court dismissed the First Amended Complaint because Plaintiff had failed to state a claim. The Court gave Plaintiff 30 days to file a second amended complaint that cured the deficiencies identified in the Order.

On August 14, 2013, Plaintiff filed a Second Amended Complaint (Doc. 15). Plaintiff has also filed a document responding to the Court's May 28 Order and asking that the Court stop deductions from his inmate trust account. (Doc. 12.) The Court will deny the request and dismiss the Second Amended Complaint and this action.

I. Statutory Screening of Prisoner Complaints

As set forth in the Court's May 28 and July 17 Orders, the Court is required to screen complaints brought by prisoners seeking relief against a governmental entity or an officer or an employee of a governmental entity. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). The Court must dismiss a complaint or portion thereof if a plaintiff has raised claims that are legally frivolous or malicious, that fail to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or that seek monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b)(1), (2).

A pleading 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) (emphasis added). While Rule 8 does not demand detailed factual allegations, "it demands more than an unadorned, the-defendant-unlawfully-harmed-me accusation." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). "Threadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not suffice." Id.

"[A] complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'" Id. (quoting Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). A claim is plausible "when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged." Id. "Determining whether a complaint states a plausible claim for relief [is]... a context-specific task that requires the reviewing court to draw on its judicial experience and common sense." Id. at 679. Thus, although a plaintiff's specific factual allegations may be consistent with a constitutional claim, a court must assess whether there are other "more likely explanations" for a defendant's conduct. Id. at 681.

But as the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has instructed, courts must "continue to construe pro se filings liberally." Hebbe v. Pliler, 627 F.3d 338, 342 (9th Cir. 2010). A "complaint [filed by a pro se prisoner] must be held to less stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers.'" Id. (quoting Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007) ( per curiam )).

II. Second Amended Complaint

Plaintiff captions his Second Amended Complaint as "America Republic De Jure Common Law Jurisdiction Jury Trial Demanded Sover[eig]n Rights Complaint by a Prisoner." (Doc. 15 at 1.) Plaintiff sues Arizona Department of Public Safety Officers Schmidt #7035, Simon #4687 and Hopkins #6536. Plaintiff asserts claims for loss of liberty and deprivation of property in Counts I and II and alleges in Count III that Defendants were "impersonating peace officers."

Plaintiff, who refers to himself variously as "John James: Parsons UCC-1" and "John James: Parsons-All Rights Reserved, " purports to grant the Court jurisdiction pursuant to the Bible; the Magna Carta, 1215; the Petition of Rights, 1628; the English Bill of Rights, 1689; the Right of Habeas Corpus; the Articles of Confederation; the Declaration of Independence; and a "Notice of Understanding and Intent Claim of Right and Independence by John James: Parsons." ( Id. at 01.) Plaintiff contends that "no statutes apply in this common-law jurisdiction claim, " and apparently instructs the Court to "not construe' anything with any de facto court rulings, or government created legal statutes." ( Id. at 03.)

As the factual basis for his Complaint, Plaintiff alleges in Count I that his "freedom as a sovereign free man-on-the-land to travel freely without har[]assment" was violated on January 3, 2012 when Defendants pulled him over and accused him of driving under the influence, which Plaintiff argues "is no crime under common law but a violation of statute law, not applicable to me a sovereign human being but are only to be enforced by the legal fiction State of Arizona Corporation, to other ens legis/legal fictions, who consent, after knowingly and willingly with full disclosure, of which I am not." ( Id. at 01-02.) In Count II, Plaintiff states he was arrested for driving under the influence, driving on a suspended license, "drug and gun charges and some others." ( Id. at 4.) Plaintiff alleges that the officers "took the opportunity to seize, search and steal" his property, namely a 2011 Ford truck, money, computer and computer accessories, phones, other electronics, jewelry, tools "and much more." ( Id. ) Plaintiff states that he tried to have his property returned, but Defendants used "the color of law and used their number with their might being armed to try to use statute legal rules as an excuse to take my property." ( Id. at 04.) In Count III, Plaintiff alleges that Defendants were impersonating peace officers when they pulled Plaintiff over. Plaintiff asserts that Defendants then proceeded to interrogate him, handcuff and arrest him, make false accusations against him and accuse him "of statute legal rules which do not apply to [Plaintiff] as a freeman-on-the-land." ( Id. at 5.)

Plaintiff seeks to have his property, or its equivalent, returned; $600, 000 for loss and suffering; and for "criminal charges to be brought for slander, perjury, armed robbery, ...


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