Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

In re Pate

United States District Court, S.D. Georgia, Augusta Division

April 2, 2019

In re TIMOTHY JERMAINE PATE a/k/a AKENATEN ALI
v.
Timothy Jermaine Pate a/k/a Akenaten Ali, Defendant. UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff-Intervenor,

          ORDER

          J. RANDAL HALL CHIEF JUDGE.

         Before 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.

         I. BACKGROUND

         The 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, [1] 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.

         II. DISCUSSION

         A. Validity of Liens

         "[T]he 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.

         Here, 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.

         Initially, 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 invalid.

         B. Declaratory Judgment

         Pursuant 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 facts.

Id. (internal quotation marks and citation omitted).

         1. Defendant's Liens ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.