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Justice v. Brownback

United States District Court, D. Kansas

November 20, 2018

SAM BROWNBACK, et al., Defendants.



         The issue before the court is whether pro se plaintiff Jason Alan Justice has complied with the court's July 11, 2018, Order (Doc. 33). It directed Mr. Justice to file an Amended Complaint, providing facts sufficient to state a claim for habeas and civil rights relief. The court-construing Mr. Justice's pleadings liberally-will consider Mr. Justice's filing on August 21, 2018, titled “Plaintiffs Response to Courts Order to Show Cause, ” as an Amended Complaint. Doc. 38 at 3-60. But, after reviewing Mr. Justice's filing, the court concludes that Mr. Justice has not addressed the dispositive defects identified previously by the court. For this reason, the court dismisses Mr. Justice's case.

         I. Facts

         Mr. Justice is a prisoner at the Lansing Correctional Facility. In 2016, a state court jury convicted Mr. Justice of violating the Kansas Offender Registration Act (“KORA”). An appeal from that conviction currently is pending in the Kansas Court of Appeals. Mr. Justice also has convictions from 2001 and 2008. And, Kansas state prosecutors filed a third case against Mr. Justice in 2015, but those charges were dismissed.

         Mr. Justice filed his initial Complaint in 2016 while in pretrial detention at the Sedgwick County Detention Facility. Mr. Justice sought habeas relief under 28 U.S.C. § 2241 and further relief under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. U.S. Senior District Judge Sam A. Crow screened Mr. Justice's initial Complaint and concluded that Mr. Justice's action was subject to dismissal in its entirety as frivolous and for failure to state a claim. Doc. 10 at 9. Judge Crow granted Mr. Justice 30 days to show good cause why the court should not dismiss the action. Mr. Justice responded with a Preliminary Response Brief and an Amended Complaint. Docs. 13-14. Mr. Justice's case was then reassigned to the undersigned District Judge.

         In July 2018, the court screened Mr. Justice's Amended Complaint. Doc. 14. The Amended Complaint lists 17 defendants and identifies three causes of action. Count I alleges that KORA violates the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Count II alleges a Fourth Amendment violation based on an allegedly illegal search and seizure that produced evidence used to convict plaintiff in 2016. And, Count III alleges that KORA violates the First, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Eighth, Ninth, Tenth, Thirteenth, and Fourteenth Amendments.

         In its July 11 Order, the court concluded that Mr. Justice had failed to state a claim for relief for his habeas, § 1983, and Bivens[1] claims because of several dispositive defects in the Amended Complaint. The court then granted Mr. Justice an additional 30 days to file a Second Amended Complaint. Doc. 33 at 16. The court warned Mr. Justice that failure to file an Amended Complaint within 30 days would result in dismissal of his case with prejudice. Id. The court also directed Mr. Justice, if he wished to proceed with his habeas corpus claim, to file a separate action. Id.

         In response, Mr. Justice filed a Motion for Extension of Time, which the court granted. Doc. 35. So, Mr. Justice's Amended Complaint then was due on August 27, 2018. Mr. Justice filed a “Mandamus to Suppress Sophistry” on August 21, 2018. Doc. 38. This filing also included “Plaintiffs Response to Courts Order to Show Cause.” Doc. 38 at 3-60. In the interim, Mr. Justice also has filed a bevy of motions and notices, which the court will consider below. Docs. 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 45, 46, 47, 48.

         II. Legal Standard

         This case is before the court to screen the Complaint under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A and decide Mr. Justice's pending motions. The court is mindful that “[a] pro se litigant's pleadings are to be construed liberally and held to a less stringent standard than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers.” Hall v. Bellmon, 935 F.2d 1106, 1110 (10th Cir. 1991). But a pro se litigant is not relieved from following the same procedural rules as any other litigant. Green v. Dorrell, 969 F.2d 915, 917 (10th Cir. 1992). Likewise, the court may not act as an advocate for the litigant. Hall, 935 F.2d at 1110.

         When screening the Complaint, the court determines whether it fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b)(1). So, the court must determine whether the Complaint contains “sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to ‘state a claim for relief that is plausible on its face.'” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)); see also Kay v. Bemis, 500 F.3d 1214, 1217 (10th Cir. 2007) (using the same standard courts apply to a Rule 12(b)(6) motion when screening the complaint of an in forma pauperis litigant). The court views the Complaint's well-pleaded factual allegations in the light most favorable to plaintiff. Smith v. United States, 561 F.3d 1090, 1098 (10th Cir. 2009). But a Complaint does not state a claim for relief simply by alleging that the elements of a cause of action are met, or making broad legal conclusions. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678. The governing case law instructs the court that it need not accept legal conclusion as true. Id.

         III. Discussion

         A. “Plaintiffs Response to Courts Order to Show Cause” (Doc. 38 at 3-60)

         While the court will liberally construe Mr. Justice's “Plaintiffs Response to Courts Order to Show Cause” as an Amended Complaint, it again finds the same defects outlined in the court's July 11 Order. Doc. 38 at 3-60. Mr. Justice does not bolster his response with facts, as requested by the court. Instead, Mr. Justice relies on previously submitted materials to support his allegations, accuses the court of sophistry, and contests the case law relied on by the court. See, e.g., Doc. 38 at 24 (giving the court “one last chance” to “READ THE RECORD” as [plaintiff has] presented it); id. at 5 (arguing that sovereign immunity does not exist in the United States); i ...

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