United States District Court, D. Kansas
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
D. CRABTREE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Kendra Ross seeks default judgment against defendants Royall
Jenkins, The Value Creators, Inc. (f/k/a The United Nation of
Islam, Inc.), The Value Creators LLC, and The Value Creators,
Inc. Doc. 23. The court held a hearing on plaintiff's
motion on February 2, 2018. Plaintiff testified at the
hearing and presented other evidence. Plaintiff's
licensed clinical social worker also testified at the
hearing. Plaintiff asked the court to enter a default
judgment against defendants on all her claims. Plaintiff also
made a damages request at the hearing, asking the court to
award her damages for restitution, emotional distress,
punitive damages, liquidated damages, treble damages under
RICO, and damages for conversion. Finally, plaintiff asked
for reasonable attorneys' fees and costs. Doc. 34.
carefully considering the evidence adduced at the February 2,
2018 hearing and plaintiff's submissions, the court
grants plaintiff's Motion for Default Judgment (Doc. 23)
against all defendants and her Motion for Attorneys' Fees
(Doc. 34). The court awards plaintiff $453, 517.20 in
restitution damages, $2, 920, 000 in emotional distress
damages, $3, 373, 517.20 in punitive damages, $282, 677.50 as
liquidated damages, $907, 034.40 for trebled damages under
RICO, and $1, 800 as conversion damages. The court also
awards plaintiff $117, 184.34 for reasonable attorneys'
fees and costs.
September 15, 2017, plaintiff Kendra Ross filed a Complaint
against Royall Jenkins, The Value Creators, Inc. (f/k/a The
United Nation of Islam, Inc.), The Value Creators LLC, and
The Value Creators, Inc. Doc. 1. The Complaint asserts
federal and state law claims. The federal claims include
violations of the Trafficking Victims Protection
Reauthorization Act (“TVPRA”), 18 U.S.C.
§§ 1589, 1590, and 1595, for human trafficking and
forced labor; the Fair Labor Standards Act
(“FLSA”), 29 U.S.C. § 201 et seq.,
for unpaid wages; and the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt
Organizations Act (“RICO”), 18 U.S.C. §
1961. The state law claims consist of three categories: (1)
violations of human trafficking laws; (2) violations of
minimum wage laws; and (3) violations of Kansas tort and
quasi-contract law. Plaintiff asserts that defendants
violated Kansas, New York, New Jersey, and Ohio human
trafficking laws. Plaintiff also claims that defendants
violated minimum wages laws for those same states. Finally,
plaintiff alleges that plaintiff violated Kansas laws for
conversion, unjust enrichment, and both intentional and
negligent infliction of emotional distress.
served the Complaint on defendant Royall Jenkins on September
21 and 25, 2017. See Docs. 9 & 10. Plaintiff
served the Complaint on defendants The Value Creators, Inc.
(f/k/a The United Nation of Islam, Inc.), The Value Creators
LLC, and The Value Creators, Inc. (collectively, “The
Value Creators”) on September 18 and 20, 2017.
See Docs. 11-13, 15-17.
Royall Jenkins filed a Motion for a Writ of Certiorari on
October 11, 2017. Doc. 18. Magistrate Judge Teresa J. James
denied defendant's motion, and noted that defendant's
motion did not meet the requirements of the Federal Rules of
Civil Procedure to qualify as a timely Answer or other
response. The other defendants have not appeared.
October 23, 2017, plaintiff filed an Application for Clerks
Entry of Default against all defendants (Doc. 20). The
following day, the Clerk entered default against all
defendants under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 55(a) (Doc.
now asks the court to enter a default judgment against all
defendants under Rule 55(b)(2), awarding her damages and
Rule of Civil Procedure 55 provides a two-step process for
securing a default judgment. First, Rule 55(a) allows the
Clerk to enter a default against a party who “has
failed to plead or otherwise defend” a lawsuit. Second,
after the Clerk enters default, plaintiff may request the
Clerk to enter judgment if the amount sought is “a sum
certain or a sum that can be made certain by
computation.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 55(b)(1). But when, as here,
a plaintiff's claim is not for a sum certain or a sum
made certain by calculation, plaintiff must apply to the
court for a default judgment under Rule 55(b)(2). When
considering a motion for default judgment, the court may hold
a hearing if “it needs to (A) conduct an accounting;
(B) determine the amount of damages; (C) establish the truth
of any allegation by evidence; or (D) investigate any other
matter.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 55(b)(2).
the default is established, defendant has no further standing
to contest the factual allegations of plaintiff's claim
for relief.” Mathiason v. Aquinas Home Health Care,
Inc., 187 F.Supp.3d 1269, 1274 (D. Kan. 2016) (citations
and internal quotation marks omitted). The court accepts as
true all well-pleaded factual allegations in the Complaint.
Id. This does not extend, however, to allegations
about the amount of damages. Id.
even after default, “‘it remains for the court to
consider whether the unchallenged facts constitute a
legitimate cause of action, since a party in default does not
admit mere conclusions of law.'” Bixler v.
Foster, 596 F.3d 751, 762 (10th Cir. 2010) (quoting 10A
Charles A. Wright et al., Federal Practice and
Procedure § 2688, at 63 (3d ed. 1998)). When
deciding whether to enter a default judgment, a district
court enjoys broad discretion. Mathiason, 187
F.Supp.3d at 1274.
default judgment also does not establish the amount of
damages. Id. at 1274-75. Instead,
“[p]laintiff must establish that the amount requested
is reasonable under the circumstances.” Id. at
1275 (citing DeMarsh v. Tornado Innovations, LP, No.
08-2588-JWL, 2009 WL 3720180, at *2 (D. Kan. Nov. 4, 2009)).
A court may award damages “‘only if the record
adequately reflects the basis for [the] award via a hearing
or a demonstration by detailed affidavits establishing the
necessary facts.'” DeMarsh, 2009 WL
3720180, at *2 (quoting Adolph Coors Co. v. Movement
Against Racism & the Klan, 777 F.2d 1538, 1544 (11th
Cir. 1985) (further citations and internal quotation marks
Findings of Fact
Defendant Royall Jenkins
1978, Royall Jenkins was a member of the Nation of Islam
under the leadership of Elijah Muhammad. Dr. Louis Farrakhan
assumed leadership of the Nation of Islam when Elijah
Muhammad died in 1978. Mr. Jenkins asserts that, around the
time of Elijah Muhammad's death, angels and/or scientists
abducted him, escorted him through the galaxy in a spaceship,
and informed him he was “The Supreme Being.”
During his abduction, Mr. Jenkins asserts, these beings
instructed him how to govern Earth.
“returned to Earth” in 1978, Mr. Jenkins split
from Nation of Islam and informally organized the United
Nation of Islam (“UNOI”) as a radical alternative
to Dr. Farrakhan's Nation of Islam. Since that time, Mr.
Jenkins has ordered his UNOI followers to refer to him as
“Allah on Earth, ” “Allah in Person,
” or “The Supreme Being.”
around 1996, Mr. Jenkins founded “Heaven”-a UNOI
model community in an economically-disadvantaged neighborhood
in Kansas City, Kansas. Mr. Jenkins later established
additional UNOI communities in other places across the United
States, including: Atlanta, Georgia; Dayton, Ohio; Newark,
New Jersey; Harlem, New York; Temple Hills, Maryland; Mobile,
Alabama; and Cincinnati, Ohio. The Value Creators now own the
personal, real, and intellectual property used by these
communities in the nation-wide trafficking scheme at issue in
Jenkins has a large immediate family scattered around the
United States. He has had at least 13 wives, and has fathered
about 20 children (collectively, the “Royall
Family”). Mr. Jenkins calls some of his wives
“concubines.” Royall Family members reside in
different locations across the United States.
Jenkins has owned several houses on one street in Kansas
City, Kansas, where his wives, children, and grandchildren
have resided. Also, Mr. Jenkins has owned a house called the
“House of Peace” in Kansas City, Kansas. The
“House of Peace” is in a secret location, only
accessible by Mr. Jenkins and a few select people.
Jenkins holds ownership interests in several businesses,
including all three business entities collectively referred
to as The Value Creators. Mr. Jenkins and the rest of the
Royall Family directly have benefitted financially from the
revenues of these businesses, in large part because the
businesses employ trafficked laborers who are not paid any
wages for the work they perform. They also have derived
financial benefits from the trafficked laborers who are paid
no wages for providing around-the-clock child care and
housekeeping work to the Royall Family.
plaintiff was a member of the UNOI community, Mr. Jenkins was
the business and spiritual leader of UNOI and head of the
Royall Family. He personally made all the decisions about the
trafficked laborers which benefitted UNOI, the Royall Family,
and Mr. Jenkins himself.
operated as the corporate entity for Mr. Jenkins's cult
while trafficking plaintiff. UNOI employed a hierarchical
chain of command, starting with Local Secretaries at the
bottom; the National Secretary, Officers, Captains,
Lieutenants, and the National Lieutenant in the middle; and
Mr. Jenkins at the top. Everyone in the chain of command
ultimately reported to Mr. Jenkins. Mr. Jenkins approved
almost everything, if not everything, that happened in
divided its membership into two groups: (1)
“part-time” followers, who have a life or job
outside of UNOI community; and (2) “full-time”
followers, who work for UNOI, live in homes owned and
operated by UNOI, and interact only with other UNOI
followers. UNOI afforded “full-time” followers a
more respected status and fully included them in all
activities. UNOI leaders put followers on
“part-time” status as a form of punishment. UNOI
subjected “part-time” followers to full-body
searches before permitting them to enter UNOI meetings.
Individuals who UNOI demoted to “part-time”
status could regain “full-time” status by various
demonstrations of penance, including formal apologies
expressing shame and contrition to UNOI leaders.
employed a strict discipline system that Mr. Jenkins
primarily developed, approved, and enforced. Under this
system, individuals could receive “Class A”
discipline for severe misconduct (e.g., talking back
to superiors or using an incorrect tone). Followers subjected
to “Class A” discipline were not permitted to
speak freely to anyone and, instead, had to ask permission of
the individual to whom they wished to speak. The punishment
period could range from 15 days to indefinitely. Also,
followers subjected to “Class A” discipline often
were forced to fast.
could receive “Class B” punishment for moderately
severe misconduct (e.g., playing too much, not
cleaning one's bedroom, failing a home inspection).
Followers subjected to “Class B” discipline
endured public censure during meetings. Also, they often were
forced to fast.
could receive “Class C” punishment after Class A
or Class B punishment as a parole mechanism. Individuals who
received “Class C” punishment were observed more
closely for UNOI violations for about 30 days.
could receive “Class F” punishment for extremely
severe misconduct (e.g., being overweight, child
molestation). UNOI banished followers subjected to
“Class F” discipline.
doctrine primarily focused on the supremacy of Mr. Jenkins as
God on Earth. UNOI disciples thus considered Mr.
Jenkins's teachings as prophetical. Mr. Jenkins's
teachings emphasized and prioritized the differences between
the races and genders. Mr. Jenkins claims that the
“Black Man” is superior to the “White Man,
” and that the “Black Man” created the
“Black Woman” as a natural pleasure. Mr. Jenkins
also teaches that women are inferior to men and, to escape
eternal damnation, women should completely submit to men.
basic teachings mandated a regimented and controlled family
organizational structure within UNOI. UNOI required female
members to attend regular women's meetings, where women
learned how to be “good housewives” and how to
“submit” to their husbands. UNOI required male
members to attend regular men's meetings, where they
learned how to lead and direct their wives and children. Mr.
Jenkins is the primary author of the educational materials
for both the women and men's gender role meetings.
monitored women's body weights closely. UNOI weighs women
every Sunday before services. If a “full-time”
female member was over an “ideal” weight, UNOI
required her to fast. If a “part-time” female
member was over an “ideal” weight, UNOI required
her to pay a fee. Women were forced to meet with a psychic
“doctor” to discuss their nutritional needs and
controlled the language that members were permitted to use.
For example, members were not permitted to say, “Bless
You, ” “Please, ” or any words that began
with the letter “P.” UNOI instructed members to
say “however” instead of “but, ” and
to say “share with” instead of
employed an extensive system for courtship and marriage.
Under this system, men submitted “bids” on women
to Mr. Jenkins through his chain of command in the
organization. UNOI's chain of command either approved or
rejected these bids as they moved up to Mr. Jenkins. Mr.
Jenkins ultimately approved or rejected the bids already
approved by his lower deputies. Mr. Jenkins's reasons for
rejecting bids were often as simple as the individuals were
“not meant for each other.” There were no minimum
age limits or restrictions for marriage among UNOI members.
approved, the men engaged the women in three distinct stages
of courtship. First, men were instructed to send an email to
UNOI leadership with a list of women they wished to court.
The leaders then would forward that email to a psychic doctor
who, he claimed, knew which members were compatible with each
other. Then, the psychic doctor would notify UNOI's
leadership of his decisions about compatibility. After a man
selected a woman from this list, they would start
“interviewing” (i.e., dating). At first,
couples only could talk on the phone and in person. Then,
they were permitted to have physical contact with one
another, but no sexual contact.
entire courtship process typically lasted five months. If the
union was permitted by UNOI leadership, the final step in
this process was marriage. UNOI members married without
securing government-issued marriage licenses.
Education of Children and Adolescents within UNOI
Jenkins authored the central literature for UNOI, including
the children's education curriculum. This literature
included some original teachings from Elijah Mohammed and
some literature authored by Mr. Jenkins.
did not send its children and adolescent members to public
school. Instead, it required their attendance in UNOI's
own education system. Mr. Jenkins's teachings asserted
that public school systems are corrupt. UNOI's education
system did not include properly certified teachers or
teaching curriculum. If individuals excelled in a subject
area, UNOI would appoint them as teachers in that subject.
UNOI's education system included courses about Mr.
Jenkins's literature, science, and math. Mr.
Jenkins's teachings permeated all subjects in the
children's education curriculum. Courses often ended
abruptly, and did not follow a schedule or syllabus. During
UNOI classes, young students were shown horror films such as
“The Omen” and “Crazy as Hell.”
ran a school called the “University of the Art and
Logistics of Civilization.” UNOI required all
“full-time” members to attend this
“University.” Many other UNOI members attended
classes by listening to Mr. Jenkins's recordings or
conference calls led by other cult leaders in the living room
of the home where they lived.
disciplinary system at UNOI schools involved paddling
children for infractions, even accidental ones. For example,
if a child accidentally touched one of Mr. Jenkins's
children or grandchildren, they were beaten.
Working in UNOI
forced its members to work in various businesses it owned,
e.g., restaurants, bakeries, supermarkets, gas
stations, a sewing factory, and a construction company.
Specifically, UNOI ran a business called “Food for Life
Supreme.” The Value Creators currently owns and
operates Food for Life Supreme, with locations in Atlanta,
Georgia; Newark, New Jersey; Harlem, New York; Temple Hills,
Maryland; Dayton, Ohio; Cincinnati, Ohio; Mobile, Alabama;
and Kansas City, Kansas. UNOI members worked at UNOI
businesses but UNOI never paid them for the work they
members, including plaintiff, worked every day of the week
without breaks. Many members worked at UNOI business and
schools for eight-hour shifts during the day and then were
expected to perform additional work-cooking, cleaning,
childcare-when they returned to the home where they lived.
Several teenage members lived with UNOI heads of household,
and the heads of household would dictate their labor
responsibilities for the home.
controlled where and when members went to the supermarket and
which groceries they could buy. UNOI maintained a list of
approved grocery stores and approved items for members to
buy. Members were required to submit a grocery list for
approval during communal shopping runs. Many UNOI members,
including plaintiff, received food stamps from the federal
government. All “full-time” members had to
surrender their Electronic Benefit Transfer
(“EBT”) cards to UNOI leaders, and UNOI rationed
funds from those cards by household, controlling members'
budget allowance from the federal government. Members did not
receive a ration that was equivalent to the ration provided
to them individually through the EBT cards.
Health Care for Members of UNOI
did not provide its members with any health insurance. UNOI
also did not allow its members to receive medical care
offered by individuals outside of UNOI. Instead, UNOI limited
its members to medical care provided by an individual named
Dr. Marvin MacIntosh. He treated all medical issues
(e.g., obstetrics, gynecology, minor emergency
medicine, and pediatrics) experienced by UNOI members.
The Value Creators
September 2011, Mr. Jenkins began changing his teaching on
key doctrines such as death and free will. Mr. Jenkins said
UNOI would “be tested” and that he individually
was “going through a testing period.” At the same
time, UNOI's chain of command began to dissipate, and Mr.
Jenkins moved to Arizona, which he called “the land of
peace.” Following this “testing period, ”
Mr. Jenkins and other leaders organized The Value Creators
April 2015, Mr. Jenkins and others established The Value
Creators as a successor in interest to UNOI. The Value
Creators is effectively UNOI but using a different name, and
it includes all the same (or similar) businesses and members.
The Value Creators essentially maintains the same doctrines,
chain of command structure, “employment”
practices, educational mandates, and health care directives
the UNOI employed.
Plaintiff Kendra Ross
1991, Plaintiff Kendra Ross was born in Memphis, Tennessee.
At the age of two, she moved to Atlanta, Georgia with her
mother. Shortly after settling in Atlanta, the local UNOI
temple leader introduced plaintiff's mother to UNOI.
Plaintiff's mother, and therefore plaintiff, joined UNOI
around that time.
age two until age 11, plaintiff and her mother were
“part-time” members of UNOI, meaning they
participated in UNOI but lived outside the organization. When
she was nine years old, plaintiff began cooking and packaging
food for UNOI fundraisers. UNOI received the proceeds from
these fundraisers. Plaintiff received no compensation for
this work. Plaintiff attended public school in the Atlanta
area through the fifth grade.
Kansas City, Kansas
2002, at the age of eleven, plaintiff and her mother moved to
Kansas City, Kansas. There, they were elevated to
“full-time” status members of UNOI. Around that
time, UNOI commanded plaintiff's mother to remove
plaintiff from public school and to send her to a UNOI-run
school. Plaintiff's mother obeyed the command.
time, a UNOI Secretary forced plaintiff to work at a UNOI-run
bakery and restaurant for a few hours before school and a
full eight-hour shift after school. UNOI also forced
plaintiff to sell baked goods and work at catering events for
UNOI. After working in the bakery, plaintiff worked in a UNOI
home, performing such work as cooking and cleaning, and
next year, Mr. Jenkins ordered that plaintiff be removed from
her mother's home, and directed that she go live in a
UNOI women's household. This household consisted of a few
women with young girls, other girls around plaintiff's
age, and plaintiff's sister. During this time, UNOI
forced plaintiff to maintain a strict diet of rice, beans,
fruit, and salad. So, plaintiff became severely malnourished.
Plaintiff was not permitted to see a licensed doctor or
otherwise receive medical attention for her malnourishment.
the age of 11 through the age of 14, plaintiff worked about
8, 320 hours at the bakery, and about 2, 080 hours as a maid.
The prevailing wages at that time for Kansas City were $11
per hour for bakery services and $9 per hour for cleaning
services. But UNOI did not compensate plaintiff for any of
age of 15, UNOI removed plaintiff from UNOI-run school so she
could work at a UNOI-owned and operated diner and teach
younger UNOI students. At the diner, she prepared and cooked
food. UNOI never permitted plaintiff to attend any school,
UNOI-sponsored or otherwise, after age 15. Plaintiff worked
about 2, 600 hours at the diner in 2006 and 2007. The
prevailing wages at that time for a diner cook in Kansas City
were $12 per hour. UNOI never compensated plaintiff for any
of this work.
a UNOI celebration, Ayesha Mohammad, one of Mr. Jenkins's
wives, publicly called plaintiff and others to gather on a
stage and announced where each of the individuals would be
shipped to work. Plaintiff did not have any prior notice of
this forced relocation. Plaintiff moved to Atlanta within two
days of that announcement.
UNOI moved plaintiff to Atlanta, Georgia, plaintiff's
mother and sister were placed on “part-time”
status and were living together. Plaintiff's mother did
not know that plaintiff would be moving to Atlanta.
in Atlanta, plaintiff was forced to work full-time in a
restaurant owned and operated by UNOI without any pay. Her
work consisted of preparing food for the restaurant and
baking pies, cakes, and other pastries.
working at the restaurant in Atlanta, plaintiff severely cut
her finger. She was not given any medical attention except
for two band-aids to stop the bleeding.
in Atlanta, plaintiff lived in one of Mr. Jenkins's
family homes. The residents of the home included one of Mr.
Jenkins's wives, one of his concubines, the husband and
son of the concubine's sister, another couple, and about
12 other minors. After plaintiff returned home from the
restaurant, UNOI forced her to prepare food, cook, and clean
for this household of about 15-18 people.
lived in Atlanta for four or five months. During the five
months she was there, plaintiff worked about 1, 320 hours as
a cook at the restaurant, and about 308 hours as a house cook
and maid. The prevailing wages at that time in Atlanta were
$12 per hour for restaurant cooking services and $10 per hour
for maid services. UNOI did not compensate plaintiff for any
of this work.
sent plaintiff back to Kansas because, according to UNOI
officials, she did not have the “proper
Back to Kansas City, Kansas
Kansas City, plaintiff lived in a UNOI home with a few
younger women, men, and couples. The caretaker of the home
physically and emotionally abused plaintiff. Although she
reported several injuries, UNOI did not permit her to see a
licensed medical professional.
during this time, plaintiff worked at a diner making meals
for 25 single UNOI men. And she provided childcare for the
children in the home. Plaintiff typically would arrive at the
diner at 8:00 a.m. and work until 5:00 p.m., seven days a
week. She also waited tables, but was not permitted to keep
her tips. When she returned home, plaintiff cleaned, cooked,
and served everyone until 8:30 p.m. or 9:00 p.m. each night.
Jenkins, the granddaughter of Royall Jenkins, called
plaintiff while she was living in Kansas to tell her that she
was moving to Newark, New Jersey. UNOI moved plaintiff to New
Jersey a few days after she received this phone call.
her time in Kansas City, plaintiff worked about 6, 552 hours
at the diner, and about 2, 184 hours as a maid. The
prevailing wages at that time in Kansas City were $12 per
hour for her services at the diner and $10 per hour for her
housemaid and childcare services. UNOI never compensated
plaintiff for any of this work.