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Kaiser v. Morfitt

United States District Court, N.D. Iowa, Cedar Rapids Division

May 6, 2019




         This case is before me pursuant to plaintiff Jesse Kaiser's pro se complaint (Doc. No. 1).

         I. BACKGROUND

         Kaiser has a long history before this court. On March 12, 2014, he was sentenced to 87 months for conspiracy to distribute marijuana.[1] CR11-0107-LRR, Doc. No. 107. On April 13, 2016, Kaiser filed a pro se civil complaint against Assistant United States Attorney Anthony Morfitt.[2] C16-0053-LTS, Doc. No. 1. In that complaint, Kaiser made various unsupported claims regarding the court's jurisdiction, consistent with various fringe theories such as those of the Sovereign Citizen, Posse Comitatus or Common Law Court groups. See Bey v. State, 847 F.3d 559, 561 (7th Cir. 2017) (discussing Sovereign Citizen ideology), United States v. Hart, 545 F.Supp. 470, 474 (D.N.D. 1982), aff'd, 701 F.2d 749 (8th Cir. 1983) (discussing Common Law groups); see also Michelle Theret, Sovereign Citizens: A Homegrown Terrorist Threat and Its Negative Impact on South Carolina, 63 S.C. L. Rev. 853, 861 (2012). On June 3, 2016, I dismissed Kaiser's complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A.[3]

         On November 18, 2016, Kaiser paid the $400 filing fee and filed another pro se complaint. See C16-0195-LTS, Doc. No. 1. Kaiser made the same frivolous jurisdictional arguments. On February 21, 2017, I again dismissed Kaiser's case pursuant to § 1915A. C16-0195-LTS, Doc. No. 2. Kaiser appealed and the dismissal was affirmed by the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals. C16-0195-LTS, Doc. No. 10.

         On September 26, 2018, Kaiser filed a third pro se complaint. C18-0104-LTS, Doc. No. 1. Kaiser paid the filing fee and made the same bogus jurisdictional arguments. On January 24, 2019, I entered an order observing that Kaiser had not served the summons (C18-0104-LTS, Doc. No. 6) and that his father signed and returned the Proof of Service form in an apparent attempt to comply with LR 41(a)(1). Because simply returning the Proof of Service form complied neither with LR 41(a) nor Fed.R.Civ.P. 11(a), I gave Kaiser a final 21 days to cure the service issue. C18-0104-LTS, Doc. No. 7. Kaiser did not answer the court's order. Accordingly, on March 4, 2019, I dismissed the case. C18-0104-LTS, Doc. No. 8. Kaiser filed his fourth, and current, pro se complaint on April 29, 2019.


         A pro se complaint must be liberally construed. See Hughes v. Rowe, 449 U.S. 5, 9 (1980); Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520 (1972) (per curiam); Smith v. St. Bernards Reg'l Med. Ctr., 19 F.3d 1254, 1255 (8th Cir. 1994); see also Stone v. Harry, 364 F.3d 912, 914 (8th Cir. 2004) (explaining that, although pro se complaints must be liberally construed, they must allege sufficient facts to support the claims that are advanced). In addition, unless the facts alleged are clearly baseless, they must be weighed in favor of the plaintiff. See Denton v. Hernandez, 504 U.S. 25, 32-33 (1992). A court, however, can dismiss at any time a complaint filed in forma pauperis if the complaint is frivolous, malicious, fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted or seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from such relief. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2); 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b)(1).

         A claim is “frivolous” if it “lacks an arguable basis in law or in fact.” Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 325 (1989); accord Cokeley v. Endell, 27 F.3d 331, 332 (8th Cir. 1994). An action fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted if it does not plead “enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.” Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007). Accordingly, a court may review the complaint and dismiss sua sponte those claims that fail “‘to raise a right to relief above the speculative level. . . .'”, Parkhurst v. Tabor, 569 F.3d 861, 865 (8th Cir. 2009) (quoting Bell Atl., 550 U.S. at 555), or that are premised on meritless legal theories or clearly lack any factual basis, see Neitzke, 490 U.S. at 325. See, e.g., Denton v. Hernandez, 504 U.S. at 27 (considering frivolousness); Myers v. Vogal, 960 F.2d 750, 751 (8th Cir. 1992) (concluding that a district court may dismiss an action if an affirmative defense exists).

         III. ANALYSIS

         As an initial matter, there is (again) a service issue. Plaintiff filed the complaint on April 29, 2019. Doc. No. 1. On that same date, plaintiff's father, Jeff Kaiser, served the complaint on defendant and filed the Proof of Service form. Doc. No. 3. However, instead of Jeff Kaiser signing and dating the Proof of Service form under “Server's Signature, ” that blank is filled by “Jesse Kaiser” with a date of April 29, 2019.[4] Obviously, plaintiff did not actually serve the summons, since he is incarcerated. Moreover, a party to the action cannot serve the summons. Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 4(c)(2).[5] However, because plaintiff's claim is plainly frivolous, I need not address this issue.

         Plaintiff begins his complaint:

Now Comes Aggrieved parties (U.C.C. § 1-201 (2)) Jesse-Louis: Kaiser© TM (hereinafter Aggrieved party), Sui Juris, Secured Party (U.C.C. § 9-105), NON-PERSON (U.C.C. § 1-201 (27)). NON-RESIDENT, NON-DEBTOR (28 U.S.C. § 3002(4). NON-CORPERATED. NON-FIXTION, NON-SUBJECT, NON-PARTICIANT in any government programs, a Living flesh and blood Man standing on the ground Sovereign, NON-CITIZEN, under Special Appearance (Rule 8 (E)) not generally, NON-DEFENDANT (U.C.C. § 1-201 (14), Holder-In-Due-Course (U.C.C. § 3-302 (A) (2) of all documentation. (U.C.C. § 5-102 (6) of the “Entity” Cestui Que Vie trust Jesse-Louis: Kaiser© TM. representing the Corporate Fiction: JESSE-LOUIS: KAISER[.]

         Doc. No. 1 at 6. He goes on to make the same nonsensical legalese arguments about jurisdiction that he made in his prior, rejected cases. Accordingly, plaintiff's case is frivolous and must be dismissed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(A) for the reasons set in my previous orders. See e.g., C16-0053-LTS, Doc. No. 5. Additionally, at this point, plaintiff's action is also barred by the principal of res judicata. See Urban v. Sells, No. C14-4025-MWB, ...

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