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James v. James

United States District Court, D. Alaska

September 3, 2019

FRANK JAMES, et al., Defendants.



         Samson Eugene James, a self-represented prisoner, has filed a Civil Rights Complaint under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, and an Application to Waive the Filing Fee under 28 U.S.C. §1915(a).[1] Mr. James names three Defendants: (1) Frank James, his brother (a retired Army officer); Officer Benns, a Fairbanks police officer; and Officer Kelly, an Anchorage police officer.[2] He also makes allegations against the FBI and other individuals in the body of his Complaint. Mr. James indicates that he is suing the police officers in both their personal and official capacities, [3] but he does not provide such information about his brother.[4] Nor does he state whether his brother is a state officer. Mr. James seeks $3 million in compensatory damages, $2 million in punitive damages, and an order requiring all police officers to stay away from him.[5]

         After filing his Complaint, Mr. James appears to have been released from incarceration.[6] Further, the Court takes judicial notice[7] that, of the criminal cases listed in the state docket, Mr. James was convicted of a misdemeanor on June 7, 2019, [8] and the most recent event on the docket in his other misdemeanor case is the August 15, 2019 “Findings and Order on Competence for Legal Proceedings, Commitment, and Transport.”[9]

         Screening Requirements

         Federal law requires a court to conduct an initial screening of a complaint brought by a self-represented plaintiff who has not paid the filing fee. In this screening, a court shall dismiss the case at any time if the court determines that the action

(i) is frivolous or malicious;
(ii) fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted; or
(iii) seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from such relief.[10]

         To determine whether a complaint states a valid claim for relief, a court considers if it contains sufficient factual matter that if accepted as true “state[s] a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.”[11] In conducting its review, the court is mindful that it must liberally construe a self-represented plaintiff's pleading and give the plaintiff the benefit of any doubt.[12] Before a court may dismiss any portion of a complaint for failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, the court must provide the plaintiff with a statement of the deficiencies in the complaint and an opportunity to amend or otherwise address the problems, unless to do so would be futile.[13]

         Factual Allegations

         In his first claim for relief, Mr. James alleges that he was beaten because

I'm openly gay and telling about gay cops, sheriffs, drug dealers, murderer in my family have the support of the federal gov. I don't I'm whistle blower. I'm born gay not a drug dealer.
This was a hate crime.
I went to see my doctor. I was in need of medical care. Paramedics were called. Police Officer Larimer call ran me off. I've never seen such a thing. I had rote Larimer up on a grievance about having sex with my boyfriend Arvin Castro, a Filipino on the run from his country being used in a drug sex ring in Fairbanks. He told me about other crimes. They are stilling money from my accts at Alaska USA. Tellers put some of the money back but not the fraudulent ATM card I never activated on 12-06-18.[14]

         In his second claim for relief, Mr. James alleges that, on or about September 10, 2018, the FBI said they would not investigate, and that Officers Benns, Kelly and Carpenter

Won't give me my opioid norco 5mg or medical [marijuana?] 4 seizures back pain only want to give me crazy medicine. I refuse it. Dr. Loomis Tylenol won't help.
Cops also evicted me out of my house apt. on 1-12-19 in Fairbanks, AK and on 6-8-19 in Anchorage AK after only 1 day in Center City Motel for the disabled people.[15] No. help from any agency. Cops are to corrupt, killing blacks on the spot in most case. I've already contact 2 foreign embassies in D.C. and United Nations.
Also Municipal Prosecutor McGrum knows I'm defending myself. But getting his help from Georgia corrupt prosecutor & Federal agents & Sheriff from my past court cases involving my family & cops trying to assassinate me.[16]

         Mr. James' third claim for relief is against FBI agents in Macon, Georgia for events allegedly occurring in about June 1989:

My mother Lillian James Wilcox won her bankruptcy case. Sheriff Bill Massee sent deputies Butler and other one to her house … [and] beat her, tore off her prosthetic leg, locked her up. NAACP & GBI-FBI help Masse cover this crime up - my brothers and sisters were allowed to sell drugs, rape, murder in 1993 fraudulent the insurance check. My mother had been in car accident. The Travelers Insurance never wrote a check in handwriting. I took documents all over Georgia to courthouses and [indecipherable] to it was a crime but no one got involved. Sheriff Bill Massee is a known cross dresser, rapist, murderer been in the position 30 years. Enough is enough. Federal agents need prison time especially the black one Agent Peebles I had problems with in 2013.[17]

         Mr. James attached a Settlement Agreement from the Alaska Workers' Compensation Division regarding his chronic back problems, dated July 1, 2019, with his Complaint.[18] He also submitted a handwritten statement stating that, on August 17, 2018, he was flown from a hospital in Georgia[19] to live with his brother, Defendant Frank James, and that on August 30, 2018, Frank beat him up for being openly gay.[20] Mr. James claims that the

FBI refused to investigate just like in Milledgeville, Ga my hometown. Agent Andy Smith wouldn't investigate that in Ga. Brother & family runs a drug & sex traffing ring well known in Georgia, murdered my mother because Sheriff Bill Massee let them sell drugs for the Jew I use to work for. Cops R protecting them. Not me I'm a whistle blower. I was gang raped in 1991. Cops say if I don't tell I can sell drugs …[21]


         Given the allegations supplied in his Complaint and attachments, it appears unlikely that Mr. James will be able to state a viable claim for relief in federal court. And this Court has no jurisdiction over the Georgia defendants and claims as presented in Claim 3. But because the Court liberally construes pro se pleadings, and gives liberal leave to amend, Mr. James will be given an opportunity to try to state a claim for relief under § 1983 against a state actor for (1) deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs, (2) excessive force, and/or (3) for failure to protect, if any of those claims are appropriate as explained below.

         1. Stating a Claim Under Federal Rule 8.

         Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a) requires that a complaint include:

(1) a short and plain statement of the grounds for the court's jurisdiction …;
(2) a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief; and
(3) a demand for the relief sought, which may include relief in the alternative or different types of relief.[22]

         Mr. James has not submitted a short and plain statement of any claim that shows he may be entitled to relief in the federal court.

         2. Establishing this Court's Jurisdiction Over the Case.

         Jurisdiction is “[a] court's power to decide a case or issue a decree[.]”[23] As explained by the United States Supreme Court, “[f]ederal courts are courts of limited jurisdiction. They possess only that power authorized by Constitution and statute.”[24] That is, the United States Constitution or a federal statute must generally be at issue to establish this Court's jurisdiction.[25] It is Mr. James' burden, as the plaintiff, to show that this Court has jurisdiction to hear his claims.[26] Mr. James has filed claims under 42 U.S.C. § 1983.

         3. Requirements for Filing an Action Under the Civil Rights Act.

         42 U.S.C. § 1983 “provides a cause of action for state deprivations of federal rights.”[27] That is, a plaintiff has “a cause of action against [1] state actors who [2] violate an individual's rights under federal law.”[28] Critically, a plaintiff must establish a causal link between the state action and the alleged ...

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