United States District Court, S.D. Georgia, Augusta Division
RANDAL HALL CHIEF JUDGE.
the Court is the Government's Motion for Declaratory and
Injunctive Relief. (Doc. 5.) For the reasons herein, the
Government's motion is GRANTED IN PART
and the Court RESERVES JUDGMENT IN PART.
facts giving rise to this action are well documented in the
Court's Order dated January 8, 2019 (January 8, 2019
Order, Doc. 9), and the Order of the United States Bankruptcy
Court for the Southern District of Georgia. (Miscellaneous
Proceeding, No. 18-00101.) Since initiating involuntary
chapter proceedings against five government officials,
Defendant Timothy Jermaine Pate ("Defendant") has
increased his meritless filings. Defendant threatened and
filed frivolous liens against three additional government
officials. (Compl., Doc. 12, ¶ 9; Government's Mot.
for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief, Doc. 5, at 3.) The
Government intervened and requests declaratory and injunctive
relief declaring Defendant's asserted liens null and void
and prohibiting Defendant from filing liens in the future.
Validity of Liens
abusive practice of prisoners filing baseless liens and/or
UCC financing statements for the purpose of harassment and
credit impairment of the alleged debtor (almost always a
state or federal official involved with securing the
prisoner's incarceration) is well documented."
Torres v. Fla. Dep't of Corr., 742 Fed.Appx.
403, 407 n.1 (11th Cir. 2018). As this District previously
stated, "It is by now established beyond dispute that
the United States may request the assistance of Article III
courts to protect its officials from attempts at harassment,
intimidation, and extortion in the form of 'liens'
commonly filed by tax protesters and prisoners."
United States v. Barker, 19 F.Supp.2d 1380, 1383
(S.D. Ga. 1998). "Every court to consider the validity
of such documents has held them invalid." Id.
Defendant's liens are precisely the type that courts
throughout the country have repeatedly declared invalid. The
"liens have no basis in federal or state law.''
Id. at 1384; see also O.C.G.A. §
44-14-320. As the United States Bankruptcy Court for the
Southern District of Georgia already concluded,
Petitioner's filings are "odious, frivolous, abusive
and intended to intimidate, harass, injure, and damage the
individuals and destroy or harm their financial standing and
personal reputation." (Miscellaneous Proceeding, No.
18-00101.) This Court agrees.
Defendant offers no evidence that he obtained any type of
judgment against any of the officials named. Further, to the
extent Defendant contends he may assert liens against
officials performing their official duties, he is mistaken.
"Federal judges and prosecutors are absolutely
immune from damages liability under federal and state law for
actions taken in performance of judicial or prosecutorial
duties." United States v. McKinley, 53 F.3d
1170, 1172 (10th Cir. 1995) (emphasis in original). Finally,
there is no support in state or federal law for
Defendant's assertion that a failure to respond to a lien
amounts to acceptance of the debt. See United States v.
James, No. 5:14-cv-387-Oc-30TBS, 2014 WL 5178880, at *3
(M.D. Fla. Oct. 14, 2014). Defendant's largely incoherent
Affidavit in response (Doc. 7) to the Government's motion
does nothing to legitimize his actions, and the liens are
to the Declaratory Judgment Act, "[A]ny court of the
United States, upon the filing of an appropriate pleading,
may declare the rights and other legal relations of any
interested party seeking such declaration . . . ." 28
U.S.C. § 2201(a). Before a valid declaratory judgment
may be entered, "the facts alleged, under all the
circumstances, [must] show that there is a substantial
controversy, between parties having adverse legal interests,
of sufficient immediacy and reality to warrant the issuance
of a declaratory judgment." MedImmune, Inc. v.
Genentech, Inc., 549 U.S. 118, 127 (2007). Said
another way, the dispute should be:
[D]efinite and concrete, touching the legal relations of
parties having adverse legal interests; and that it be real
and substantial and admit of specific relief through a decree
of a conclusive character, as distinguished from an opinion
advising what the law would be upon a hypothetical state of
Id. (internal quotation marks and citation omitted).
Defendant's Liens ...