United States District Court, District of Columbia
May 27, 2014
THURMAN RAY HAIRSTON, Plaintiff,
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, et al., Defendants.
COLLEEN KOLLAR-KOTELLY, District Judge.
Plaintiff pled guilty to unlawful possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine, and the Court imposed a sentence of 180 months' incarceration. See Judgment in a Criminal Case, United States v. Hairston, No. 09-cr-0192 (D.D.C. July 1, 2010). In an apparent attempt to effect his release from custody, plaintiff has concocted a fanciful scheme whereby the United States of America and the United States Attorney for the District of Columbia are contractually obligated to "obtain a court order for his release from custody and all conditions of supervised release, " or in the alternative, "to provide proof of claim of the court's jurisdiction, " Compl. at 3 (page numbers designated by the Court), merely because they had not responded timely to plaintiff's "Notice of Default, " See id. at 4; see also id., Ex. A (Private Administrative Remedy - Notice of Default dated April 13, 2013). As a result, plaintiff concluded, the criminal judgment against him is void, see id. at 4, 12, and defendants waived any objections they may have, see id. at 5, 6, to his release or the other conditions to which they allegedly have acquiesced, see id. at 6-7, 10.
In addition, plaintiff has challenged the jurisdiction of the sentencing court. According to plaintiff, because the sentencing court "was an administrative tribunal enforcing statutes, not a judicial Article III-type court, " it had "jurisdiction only over corporations and other fictional entities." Id. at 12. Plaintiff, as a "living, sentient being, not an artificial entity, " was not subject to the sentencing court's jurisdiction. Id. Furthermore, defendants allegedly "violated trust law by summoning an artificial entity into an administrative court, and then doing a switch wherein [they] prosecuted a living man, sentient being, as if he were in fact, an artificial entity." Id. In this way, plaintiff contended, defendants unlawfully incarcerated the true beneficiary - plaintiff himself - of a cestui que vie trust. Id. at 12-13; see id. at 1-2. For these and other alleged wrongs, see id. at 13, in addition to release from custody, plaintiff has demanded "a Civil Assessment... in the amount of $2, 472, 840, 000.00." Id. at 14.
Insofar as plaintiff challenges the jurisdiction of the sentencing court, his conviction or his sentence, he must proceed by filing a motion in the sentencing court under 28 U.S.C. § 2255. See Ojo v. INS., 106 F.3d 680, 683 (5th Cir. 1997) (explaining that the sentencing court is the only court with jurisdiction to hear a defendant's complaint regarding errors that occurred before or during sentencing); Arrington v. U.S. Dep't of Justice, No. 12-1532, 2012 WL 5471948, at *1 (D.D.C. Nov. 8, 2012) ("Furthermore, the plaintiff must pursue any correction to his judgment of conviction in the sentencing court...."). appeal dismissed, No. 13-5025 (D.C. Cir. May 7, 2013). He may not proceed by means of a civil action demanding a declaratory judgment or injunctive relief. See Williams v. Hill, 74 F.3d 1339, 1340 (D.C. Cir. 1996) (per Curiam) ("As to [appellant's] claim for injunctive and declaratory relief, it is well-settled that a prisoner seeking relief from his conviction or sentence may not bring such an action."). Nor can plaintiff collect damages, even if labeled a "Civil Assessment, " Compl. at 13, without first showing "that [his] conviction or sentence has been reversed on direct appeal, expunged by executive order, declared invalid by a state tribunal authorized to make such determination, or called into question by a federal court's issuance of a writ of habeas corpus." Heck v. Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477, 487 (1994). Here, plaintiff has made no such showing.
The complaint fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted and, accordingly, the Court will dismiss the complaint and this civil action. See 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2)(B), 1915A(b)(1). An Order is issued separately.