United States District Court, N.D. Iowa, Cedar Rapids Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
WILLIAMS, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter is before the Court pursuant to Joseph Howard
Yennie's pro se filing (Doc. 1) “invoking the
common law petition for writ of habeas corpus.” Yennie
ostensibly filed the petition on behalf of Michael
Strain. The petition was originally filed in the
District of Minnesota. On October 1, 2019, the Minnesota
District Court entered an order (Doc. 3) transferring the
case to this district. The clerk's office docketed the
petition as one brought pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254,
since state authorities are named as the respondents.
recently filed a very similar petition in this district.
19-CV-0090 CJW, Doc. 1. The Court denied that petition,
Petitioner appears to be making some type of ‘common
law' claim that the government does not have authority to
prosecute him. 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). In his filing, petitioner states
“[p]etitioner is a non-corporate live man and not
subject to corporate rules, regulations or statutes . .
.” Doc. 1 at 1. To the extent petitioner is attempting
to file a habeas petition pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254,
he failed to pay the required filing fee and the above
captioned case is dismissed without
prejudice. See 28 U.S.C. § 1914(a) (requiring
$5.00 filing fee). The clerk's office is directed to note
this denial on petitioner's criminal docket.
19-CV-0090 CJW, Doc. 2 at 1-2. The Court also stated:
To the extent petitioner is moving to dismiss the indictment
in his criminal case, he must file a motion in that case. To
the extent petitioner is attempting to file a motion pursuant
to 28 U.S.C. § 2255, a habeas petition pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 2241 or a claim for damages pursuant to 42
U.S.C. § 1983, his pro se filing is too vague to be
properly construed by this Court.
19-CV-0090 CJW, Doc. 2 at 2.
case, Strain paid the $5.00 filing fee. However, the
substance of the motion is a collection of nonsensical
sovereign citizen dogma such as, “[p]risoner is a
non-corporate live man and not subject to corporate rules,
regulations or statutes not in pursuance of the law of the
land as established by the Organic Constitution, ” and
“Michael Duane: of the Strain Family is ‘not
property belonging to the United States.'” Doc. 1
at 1-2. It is impossible for the Court to make any meaningful
analysis of those statements. Suffice to say, Strain is not
being held pursuant to a judgment of the State of Iowa or any
subdivision thereof, so relief pursuant to 28 U.S.C §
2254(a) is not appropriate. Accordingly, the petition (Doc.
1) is denied. A certificate of appealability
shall not issue. See 28 U.S.C. § 2253(c)(2);
Fed. R. App. P. 22(b); see also Tiedeman v.
Benson, 122 F.3d 518, 521 (8th Cir. 1997).
in a recent order in Strain's criminal case, the Court
warned Yennie that he may be subject to sanctions if
continues to file frivolous motions.
The Court also cautions Yennie that continuing to file
frivolous motions may result in the Court imposing monetary
sanctions against him. See, e.g., Kurkowski v.
Volcker, 819 F.2d 201, 203-04 (8th Cir. 1987) (upholding
sanctions against a pro se litigant for repeatedly filing
identical and frivolous claims); Swanson v. Wilford,
No. 19-CV-117(DWF/LIB), 2019 WL 4575826, at *19 (D. Minn.
Aug. 30, 2019) (noting that sanctions may be rendered against
pro se litigants with a history of filing frivolous claims);
Urban v. Sells, No. C14-4025-MWB, 2014 WL 3809977,
at *13 (N.D. Iowa Aug. 1, 2014) (noting that pro se litigants
have no right to clog the courts with meritless litigation).
11-CR-2039 CJW, Doc. 46 at 2. The Court now extends that
warning to both Strain and Yennie and the filing of further
pretrial habeas petitions. If they continue to file the same
frivolous petitions, the Court will consider sanctions.
IS SO ORDERED