United States District Court, S.D. Georgia, Savannah Division
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
CHRISTOPHER L. RAY UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE
pro se, Bruce Townsend (also known as “Ras
Lazarus Nazari”, see, e.g., Townsend v. United
States Bureau of Prisons, CV203-006) seeks to proceed
in forma pauperis (IFP) in bringing this Complaint
for “Declaratory relief” from a state criminal
court judgment. Docs. 1, 3, & 7. After reviewing his
affidavit supporting his application, it appears that he
lacks sufficient resources to pay the $400 filing fee. The
Court therefore GRANTS Townsend leave to
proceed in forma pauperis. His Amended Complaint
will thus be screened pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
filed a Complaint “calling on the Federal and State
government to stand as a legitimate Constitutional
government” to intervene in a state criminal case that
“violates ‘customary international
law'.” Doc. 1 at 1-2; see doc. 3 at 18
(asking the Court to “freeze all federal funding to the
State of Georgia, City of Savannah” to quash the
“new felony charge” filed against him). To wit:
he is dissatisfied with the course of his state criminal
case, and has several constitutional bones to pick with the
state prosecutor and judge assigned to his case. See
doc. 1 at 2 & doc. 3 at 2 (listing, among others, the
First, Fourth, Sixth, and Fourteenth Amendments and the
Supremacy Clause as grounds for his various stymied motions
in the state court). He further contends that the prosecutor
and judge are acting out of “biased religious
hate” (he is, after all “a Rastafarian and Public
Minister for the Ethiopian World Federation Inc.”, doc.
3 at 3 & 7), as evidenced by the state judge's denial
of “all motions and affidavits” he submitted,
pro se, to the trial court. Id. at 5;
see State v. Townsend, CR16-2247 (Chatham Cty.
Super. Ct.) (Alford plea accepted and case closed
November 26, 2018).
peppers his filings with legalistic gobbledygook. See,
e.g., doc. 3 at 3 (“Comes Now Public Minister (22
USC 252) Ras Lazarus Nazari, secured party, third party
intervenor on behalf of the DEBTOR BRUCE BERNARD TOWNSEND,
pursuant to UCC 3-403, UCC 1-207, UCC 1-308, UCC 3-410, UCC
1-103, UCC docket 0252005002433 but not limited too.”);
id. (“Comes now Affiant Ras Lazarus Nazari,
the living Human being, a living soul, sui juris, Foreign
Sovereign and holder in due course of the commercial vessel,
commercial trade name, en legis known as BRUCE BERNARD
TOWNSEND to present the facts of this matter as a victim
witness presenting the truth the whole truth and nothing but
the truth so help me Jah.”); id.
(“NOTICE! THIS THIRD PARTY INTERVENOR IS BROUGHT UNDER
THE JURISDICTION OF THE AMERICAN FLAG OF PEACE TITLE 4 USC
section 1 and the Red Gold Green Flag of Ghana and Ethiopia
but as a diplomatic nationalist”); id. at 17
(“THIS NOTICE IS FILED ALSO TO INFORM PURSUANT TO THE
UNIFORM COMMERCIAL CODES AND LEX LOCI CONTRACTUS”).
language has all the hallmarks of the “sovereign
citizen” theory that has been consistently rejected by
the federal courts as an utterly frivolous attempt to avoid
the statutes, rules, and regulations that apply to
all litigants, regardless of how they portray
themselves. See, e.g., United States v.
Sterling, 738 F.3d 228, 233 n.1 (11th Cir. 2013) (noting
that courts routinely reject sovereign citizen legal theories
as “frivolous”) (citing United States v.
Benabe, 654 F.3d 753, 761-67 (7th Cir. 2011)
(recommending that sovereign citizen theories “be
rejected summarily, however they are presented”));
Roach v. Arrisi, 2016 WL 8943290 at *2 (M.D. Fla.
2016) (noting that sovereign citizen theories have not only
been consistently rejected by the courts, but they have been
described as “utterly frivolous, ”
“patently ludicrous, ” and “a waste of . .
. the court's time, which is being paid for by
hard-earned tax dollars”) (cite omitted); United
States v. Alexio, 2015 WL 4069160 at *3 (D. Hawaii
2015). But see doc. 3 at 16 (“THE COURT can
not make any SHOWING THIS PROPRIA PERSONA Ras Lazarus Nazari
made any claim to be a sovereign citizen. In fact his propria
persona is not a citizen as stated on record and is a
Nationalist for the Ethiopian World Federation Inc. and the
(GNONA) Gullah Nation of North America.”).
the absolute frivolity of Nazari's filings, his case
should be DISMISSED. See 28 U.S.C.
1915(e)(2) (requiring dismissal “at any time if the
court determines that, ” inter alia, the
action is frivolous). Additionally, to the extent he waives
at a claim of malicious prosecution, his Amended Complaint
should be DISMISSED for failing to state a
claim. See Wallace v. Kato, 549 U.S. 384, 390 (2007)
(the tort of malicious prosecution “remedies detention
accompanied . . . by wrongful institution of legal
process.”); Wood v. Kesler, 323 F.3d 872, 881
(11th Cir. 2003) (identifying “malicious prosecution as
a violation of the Fourth Amendment and a viable
constitutional tort cognizable under § 1983.”). An
essential element of a malicious prosecution claim is the
termination of the criminal prosecution in the
plaintiff's favor. Id. at 882. And there can be
no allegation that the Chatham County criminal case has been
resolved in Townsend's favor. No. acquittal or dismissal
of charges has been filed by the Government, and no appellate
or habeas court has overturned his conviction. See
docs. 1 & 3; Townsend, CR162247 (one-year
sentence imposed for “possession of marijuana, more
than an ounce, ” with provision that “Defendant
Agrees to Violate No. Law” as requirement of suspension
Report and Recommendation (R&R) is submitted to the
district judge assigned to this action, pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 636(b)(1)(B) and this Court's Local Rule 72.3.
Within 14 days of service, any party may file written
objections to this R&R with the Court and serve a copy on
all parties. The document should be captioned
“Objections to Magistrate Judge's Report and
Recommendations.” Any request for additional time to
file objections should be filed with the Clerk for
consideration by the assigned district judge.
the objections period has ended, the Clerk shall submit this
R&R together with any objections to the assigned district
judge. The district judge will review the magistrate
judge's findings and recommendations pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(C). The parties are advised that
failure to timely file objections will result in the waiver
of rights on appeal. 11th Cir. R. 3-1; see Symonett v.
V.A. Leasing Corp., 648 Fed.Appx. 787, 790 (11th Cir.
2016); Mitchell v. United States, 612 Fed.Appx. 542,
545 (11th Cir. 2015).
REPORTED AND RECOMMENDED,
 In cases where the plaintiff is
proceeding in forma pauperis, the Court must screen
each case and must dismiss it at any time if the Court
determines either that the allegation of poverty is untrue or
that the action or appeal is frivolous or malicious, fails to
state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or seeks
monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from such
relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2).
 As a Rastafarian, Townsend argues that
he must utilize marijuana in his religious practices. Given
that his conviction was one for possession of marijuana, it
might be - though it is unclear in his ramblings - that he
believes he was wrongfully prosecuted for the practice of his
sincerely-held religious believes.
 Nazari's pleadings cite the
Uniform Commercial Code, and so-called “sovereign
citizens” often file “lots of rambling,
verbose” pleadings that, inter alia,
“rely heavily on the Uniform Commercial Code.”
United States v. Perkins, 2013 WL 3820716, at *1-2
(N.D.Ga. 2013). His reference to himself in the third person
as “a living Human being” and “living
soul” is also typical of such frivolous
sovereign-citizen claptrap. Trevino v. Florida, 687
Fed.Appx. 861, 862 (11th Cir. 2017) (dismissing as frivolous
sovereign citizen lawsuit filed by a “living,
breathing, flesh and blood human being”); Alexio,
2015 WL ...