Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Moorish National Republic Federal Government v. U.S. Department of State

United States District Court, D. Nevada

September 9, 2019

MOORISH NATIONAL REPUBLIC FEDERAL GOVERNMENT; and ANTONIO EL, Consulate General, Plaintiffs,
v.
US DEPARTMENT OF STATE; STATE OF CALIFORNIA HIGHWAY PATROL; CALIFORNIA HIGHWAY PATROL; J.R. YOUNT, California Highway Patrol 445; and M CORTEZ, Kings County Sheriff's Office, Defendants.

          ORDER APPLICATION TO PROCEED IN FORMA PAUPERIS [ECF NO. 1] AND COMPLAINT [ECF NO. 1-1]

          CAM FERENBACH, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         Before the Court are pro se plaintiffs the Moorish National Republic Government[1] and Antonio El, the Consulate General on behalf of the MNRG's application to proceed in forma pauperis (ECF No. 1) and complaint (ECF No. 1-2). Plaintiffs' in forma pauperis application is denied without prejudice.

         DISCUSSION

         Plaintiffs' filings present two questions: (1) whether they may proceed in forma pauperis under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e) and (2) whether the complaint states a plausible claim for relief.

         I. Plaintiff MNRG May Not Proceed In Forma Pauperis

         A natural person may bring a civil action “without prepayment of fees or security therefor” if the person submits a financial affidavit demonstrating that the person is “unable to pay such fees or give security therefor.” 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(1). The Supreme Court has held that the term “person” in the context of 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a) only applies to “natural persons”, meaning that only a natural person, not a company, organization, association, or any other artificial entity can, “qualify for treatment in forma pauperis pursuant to 28 U.S.C.S. § 1915”. Rowland v. Cal. Men's Colony, 506 U.S. 194, 196 (1993). The Rowland Court found that the individual people associated the artificial entity (the Council) could not file suit in the Council's name, and suggested that plaintiffs file suit, “under the title ‘X, Y, and Z, known as the Council v. Rowland,' X, Y, and Z would each need to file an affidavit stating that he met the indigency requirements of § 1915.” Id. at 211.

         Plaintiffs' complaint states that the MNRG and Antonio El, the Consulate General, are the plaintiffs in this action. (ECF No. 1-2 at 1). Plaintiffs' application to proceed in forma pauperis states that the plaintiff is the MNRG and El appears to have signed the application to proceed in forma pauperis on behalf of the MNRG. The sworn application states that the MNRG has no income, assets, or financial information. (ECF No. 1). Only a natural person may qualify to proceed in forma pauperis, so MNRG does not qualify to proceed with its complaint without paying filing fees. A natural person will not qualify to proceed in forma pauperis if the natural person is attempting to commence an action on behalf of the MNRG. Plaintiffs' application to proceed in forma pauperis is denied without prejudice.

         II. Plaintiffs' Complaint Fails to State a Claim Upon Which the Court May Grant Relief

         Section 1915 also requires that if the Court grant an application to proceed in forma pauperis, the Court must review plaintiffs' complaint to determine whether the complaint is frivolous, malicious, fails to state a claim on which the Court may grant relief, or if the complaint seeks damages against a defendant who is immune from that relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B). Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a) provides that a complaint “that states a claim for relief” must contain “a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the [plaintiff] is entitled to relief.” The Supreme Court's decision in Ashcroft v. Iqbal states that to satisfy Rule 8's requirements, a complaint's allegations must cross “the line from conceivable to plausible.” 556 U.S. 662, 680 (2009) (quoting Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 547, (2007)).

         Though the Court does not need to screen plaintiffs' complaint at this time, the Court will provide guidance to plaintiffs on the screening that will take place should plaintiff El's application be granted in the future, or if plaintiffs pay the filing fee. If Antonio El files a new in forma pauperis application for himself only, then El must file an amended complaint stating that he is the plaintiff, not the MNRG, as outlined by the Rowland Court above. If the MNRG wishes to proceed as the plaintiff, then it must pay the court filing fees.

         The allegations in the complaint appear to arise from events that took place in California. Antonio El appears to be a resident of Oakland, California and all the defendants appear to be in California. This makes it doubtful that this Court would have personal jurisdiction over any of the parties or could possibly be considered a proper venue. See Morrill v. Scott Fin. Corp., 873 F.3d 1136, 1141-42 (9th Cir. 2017); 28 U.S.C. § 1391(b).

         Based on these issues with the complaint, it is likely that the Court will require Antonio El to amend the complaint when it is screened under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B). El should consider submitting an amended complaint if he files an in forma pauperis application for himself or pays the filing fee.

         ACCORDINGLY, and for good cause shown, IT IS ORDERED that plaintiffs' application to proceed in forma pauperis (ECF No. 1) is DENIED without prejudice.

         IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that by October 9, 2019, plaintiffs must either (1) file an application to proceed in forma pauperis on behalf of plaintiff El as a natural person or (2) ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.