United States District Court, D. Arizona
G. Campbell Senior United States District Judge
Imani Magnolia suffers from a delusional disorder that
renders her not competent to stand trial. The government
seeks to administer antipsychotic drugs in order to restore
her to competency, but she refuses medication. The Court held
an evidentiary hearing on October 23, 2018, to determine
whether Defendant should be involuntarily medicated under the
principles of Sell v. United States, 539 U.S. 166
(2003). Doc. 145. Having considered the relevant evidence and
case law, the Court finds that the government has not shown
that Defendant should be medicated against her will.
has been indicted on three counts of filing false liens
against federal employees and one count of conspiracy to do
the same in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1521. Doc. 14. As
discussed below, the charges are based on Defendant's
filing of liens on the real property of three postal workers.
Doc. 2 at 6.
November 17, 2016, Defendant and her brother (the
co-defendant in this case) went to Camping World RV Sales in
Bellmont, Arizona, to buy a motor home and trailer for
approximately $330, 000. Id. at 3-4. They attempted
to pay with a “promissory note” they had created.
Id. at 4. The note contained Defendant's social
security number, purporting to be an account number, and
claimed to draw on the account of Jacob J. Lew, Secretary of
the U.S. Treasury. Id. Camping World and Chase Bank
refused to accept the note as payment. Id.
and her brother then attempted to use the promissory note to
obtain money orders from the post office, but were declined.
Id. at 5. They continued to visit the post office
and were denied services because they would not present valid
identification. Id. at 6.
mid-December 2016, three postal employees received electronic
invoices in the amount of $34, 098, 000 from trusts created
by Defendant. Id. at 7. On December 28, 2016,
Defendant filed a 15-page document with the Coconino County
Recorder's Office which placed liens on the real property
of the three postal workers and others who are not federal
employees. Id. The liens purported to secure the
amounts Defendant claimed to be owed by these individuals.
and her brother were arrested in January 2017. Docs. 24-25.
Defendant's brother later pled guilty to count one of the
indictment and was sentenced to 15 months in prison. Docs.
48-50, 86. At her attorney's request, Defendant was
evaluated for competency by clinical psychologist John
Walker, who found that she was suffering from a delusional
disorder, mixed type. Doc. 55-2. During the evaluation,
Defendant stated her beliefs that the United States is a
corporation which operates under a term of international
bankruptcy and anyone “in the higher level of
intelligence” would know this, and that she is a
“secured party creditor” of the United States and
“a bonded official [with] an oath to syntax and
structure.” Id. at 2. She further stated that
the sovereign citizens movement she is alleged to follow
consists of “intelligent people who know what's
going on, ” and the government wants to “suppress
people who know things.” Id. With respect to
the charges against her, Defendant claimed that “God
placed [the] false liens . . . and it's God's
intent.” Id. Given the severity of her
delusional thinking, Dr. Walker concluded that Defendant was
not competent to stand trial. Id. at 4.
Court held a competency hearing on July 11, 2017. Doc. 60.
The government argued that Defendant's sovereign citizen
views do not render her clinically delusional. Dr. Walker
testified that Defendant's delusional beliefs go beyond
those of a typical member of the sovereign citizens movement,
noting that Defendant stated during her evaluation that she
is an empress, her brother is heir to the throne of Babylon,
and the undersigned judge answers to the Queen of England.
Doc. 63 at 1-2; see Doc. 55-2 at 2-4. The Court
found Defendant not competent to stand trial and committed
her to the custody of the Attorney General to determine
whether she could be restored to competency pursuant to 18
U.S.C. § 4241(d). Doc. 63 at 2.
was transferred to the Bureau of Prisons' Federal Medical
Center (“FMC”) at Carswell, Texas, and evaluated
by forensic psychologist Amor Correa. Doc. 95. Dr. Correa
diagnosed Defendant with delusional disorder, grandiose and
persecutory type. Id. at 12. The diagnosis was based
in part on Defendant's firmly held beliefs about vast
government conspiracies and that she is a trustee,
ambassador, postmaster, notary, and judge for her own nation.
Id. at 9-12. Dr. Correa concluded that Defendant was
not competent to stand trial, but that further treatment,
including psychotropic medication, might restore her
competency. Id. at 12. Dr. Correa requested that
Defendant stay at Carswell so staff could encourage her to
take medication. Id.
December 22, 2017, FMC staff psychiatrist Gary Etter prepared
a psychiatric treatment proposal in which he recommended
involuntary medication in the form of injectable
antipsychotic drugs. Ex. 4(d). An administrative hearing was
held on January 4, 2018. Ex. 4(b). Drs. Etter and Correa
presented the case for involuntary medication to FMC
psychiatrist Jose Silvas, who approved the proposed
treatment. Id. Defendant's administrative appeal
was denied. Exs. 4(f)-(h).
receiving Dr. Correa's recommendation that Defendant stay
at Carswell, the Court held a status hearing on January 16,
2018, and ordered that Defendant remain there until March 16,
2018, to see if further efforts at restoring her competency
would be successful. Docs. 94-96. Defendant continued to
refuse medication, and her condition did not improve. Doc.
March 8, 2018, the Court ordered a dangerous assessment
pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 4246. Doc. 99. Defendant was
again evaluated by Dr. Correa, who found that Defendant's
release from custody would pose no danger to herself or
others. Doc. 121.
April 20, 2018, the government filed a request for a
Sell hearing. Doc. 107. The hearing was delayed by
defense counsel's involvement in a lengthy federal trial.
Following the trial, on July 30, 2018, the Court met with
counsel and agreed to address the first Sell factor
- the importance of the governmental interests at stake -
before proceeding further. Doc. 120. The Court found that the
first Sell factor is satisfied in this case, and set
a status hearing for August 31, 2018, at which the scope of
the hearing on the remaining Sell factors and the
appointment of a guardian ad litem were discussed. Docs. 123,