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Lawrence v. Bevin

United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Bowling Green

March 23, 2017

MARCUS J. LAWRENCE PETITIONER
v.
MATTHEW BEVIN et al. RESPONDENTS

          Marcus J. Lawrence, pro se Defendants

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          Greg N. Stivers, Judge United States District Court

         Petitioner Marcus J. Lawrence initiated the instant pro se action by filing a handwritten document which he captioned as a “Common-Law Writ for Habeas Corpus Relief” (DN 1). Lawrence failed to pay the filing fee or to file an application to proceed without the prepayment of fees. Attached to his petition were 36 documents, each of which he captioned “U.S. Federal Warrant & Order to Arrest.” The documents demanded the arrest of Governor Matt Bevin, former Governor Steven Beshear, Attorney General Andy Beshear, and numerous other government officials, judges, and other personnel. In addition to these attachments, Petitioner filed two identical copies of a document which he captioned, “Notice to File this United States Court Order Named ‘U.S. Federal Warrant & Order to Arrest' Kentucky Governor Matthew G. Bevin” (DNs 5 and 7).

         Failure to comply with order

         By prior Memorandum and Order (DN 8) entered November 15, 2016, the Court ordered Lawrence, to the extent that he in fact sought habeas relief, to pay the $5.00 filing fee or file an application to proceed without prepayment of fees and affidavit form and a certified copy of his prison trust account statement within 30 days. The Court also ordered Lawrence to file his § 2254 petition on the Court's approved § 2254 petition form and to name the proper Respondent within 30 days. The Court warned Lawrence that his failure to comply with these requirements would result in dismissal of this action.

         More than 30 days passed, and Lawrence failed to comply with the Memorandum and Order. In fact, instead of complying, on November 23, 2016, he re-filed his original handwritten petition (DN 9) and filed a document captioned as a “U.S.C.A. Article III Memorandum of Law to Invoke the Jurisdiction of the United States Federal District Courts Judiciary Power & Legal Authority to Proceed” which named the undersigned as a “Conspiracy member & Defendant” (DN 10).

         On November 28, 2016, Lawrence also filed the Court-approved § 2254 petition form, which the Clerk of Court mailed to him, but provided no responsive information in the form and instead largely cited the Fifth Amendment in response to all of the question fields. He also wrote in the caption of the form, “‘SORRY FOLKS' Thanks for the Papers, But ‘I DO NOT ANSWER TO Greg N. Stivers Courts, & ‘I NEVER WILL!'” Greg N. Stiver's, ‘GO TO HELL'” (DN 11). Attached to the filing is a post-it note, in which Lawrence wrote the following:

Dear Greg N. Stivers,
Tell your Racist Momma that the 20 Black guys who kidnapped, tortured, raped, beat, nearly murdered, assaulted, sodomized her and held her Hostage for 3 years arrest is not a matter of her right to demand, order & Comand & tell the racist Bi*** None of the 20 Black guys arrest is a matter of the Laws they violated. Your Going to Jail & Im Justice Bitch!

         In addition, on December 5, 2016, Lawrence filed a document he captioned as “Court Order Demanding a Public Trial by Jury Pursuant to the Seventh Amendment of the United States Federal Constitution” (DN 12).

         Lawrence has willfully refused to comply with this Court's Order despite the Court's warning that his failure to comply within the allotted time would result in dismissal of his case. Therefore, dismissal of this action is appropriate. See, e.g., Erby v. Kula, 113 F. App'x 74, 75 (6th Cir. 2004) (“A district court has discretion to dismiss under Rule 41(b) if a party has engaged in contumacious conduct or has actual ‘notice that dismissal is contemplated.'” (citing Harris v. Callwood, 844 F.2d 1254, 1256 (6th Cir. 1988)). The Court will dismiss the instant action by separate Order. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 41(b) (governing involuntary dismissal).

         Sanctions

         In addition to addressing the above deficiencies with the habeas petition, the Court's prior Memorandum and Order also addressed Lawrence's attempts to have government officials arrested in this Court. The Court pointed out that it had ruled in two prior cases filed by Lawrence, Lawrence v. Smith, No. 1:14CV-177-GNS (DN 20, entered October 18, 2016), and Lawrence v. McConnell, No. 1:15CV-10-GNS (DN 9, entered November 4, 2016), that Fed.R.Civ.P. 11 permits a district court to impose sanctions on an attorney or unrepresented party who has filed a pleading, motion, or other paper which the court concludes was filed for any improper purpose and/or had no basis in law or fact. Fed.R.Civ.P. 11(b). The prior Memorandum and Order in this action stated that Lawrence has been informed by this Court repeatedly that he cannot initiate federal criminal charges as a private citizen. Therefore, the Court found that the filings attached to the habeas petition in the instant action seeking the arrest of various individuals were filed for an improper purpose and had no basis in law or fact. Moreover, the Court held that Lawrence's conclusory allegations against these individuals were baseless and frivolous on their face and again warned Lawrence that further baseless or frivolous filings in this action or in any other action could result in sanctions imposed against him.

         Lawrence has repeatedly attempted to sue or to have the judges of this Court added as Defendants to his lawsuits, presumably in an effort to have the judge recused from the action. See Lawrence v. Thompson, No. 3:14CV-919-DJH; Lawrence v. McConnell, No. 1:15CV-10-GNS; Lawrence v. Brown, 1:15CV-11-GNS; Lawrence v. Russell, No. 1:15CV-12-GNS; and Lawrencev. United States District Court, 3:16-cv-131-JHM. Despite this Court specifically informing him that he is not permitted to do so and despite this Court's prior ...


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