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Airrion Blake-Bey, A Natural Person, In Propria Persona, Sui Juris v. Village of South Holland

November 15, 2011


The opinion of the court was delivered by: Joan Humphrey Lefkow United States District Judge


Airrion Blake-Bey has filed a civil rights complaint under 48 U.S.C. § 1983 and other grounds*fn1 for an injunction and declaratory relief based on the following facts:

On August 26, 2011, Blake-Bey was driving an automobile on a public street and was pulled over by a South Holland policeman, Officer Zeller, because he did not display a license plate on his vehicle. Blake-Bey told Officer Zeller that he could lawfully drive his private automobile on the highway without a license and the officer was detaining him without probable cause. Other officers arrived at the scene, including Officer Barden who pointed a weapon at Blake-Bey and ordered him out of his vehicle, warning that if he did not comply, the officers would "taser" him. Without advising Blake-Bey of his "Miranda" rights, the officers then forcibly removed him from the automobile, handcuffed him, searched his pockets and took an expired driver's license from his wallet. They placed Blake-Bey in a police vehicle while they searched his automobile throughout. Officers Zeller and Barden drove him to the South Holland police department, where an individual Blake-Bey believes to be a Sergeant Specivick informed him that his bail would be $2000, requiring a $200 deposit. Officers directed Blake-Bey to remove his turban (calling it a "doo-rag"), a neck chain and medallion, and his shoes, but Blake-Bey refused, so the officers forcibly removed them. His photograph and fingerprints were taken against his will and he was placed in a holding cell until his "consort" posted bail for him. One or more of the officers made remarks disrespectful of Blake-Bey's race or religion. Police officers returned his possessions but withheld a paper on which he had noted the names of the officers involved in the incident. His automobile was towed and payment of more than $500 was demanded for its return. He is unwilling to pay and is thus deprived of his ability to travel and conduct his regular affairs of life. Blake-Bey was charged with resisting a police officer in violation of 720 ILL. COMP. STAT. 5/31-1. He was also cited for failing to have valid registration (625 ILL. COMP. STAT. 5/3-401), driving without a valid driver's license (id. at 5/6-101), and driving an uninsured motor vehicle (id. at 5/3-707), all of which he concedes he violated.

Blake-Bey contends that the officers committed tortious conduct in violation of federal criminal laws (Count I); that he was arrested without probable cause (Count II); that his automobile was searched and impounded without reasonable cause (Count III); that one or more unidentified officers and Judge Turner failed to intervene to stop the violation of his constitutional rights (Count IV); conspiracy to violate his civil rights (Count V); malicious prosecution (Count VI); intentional infliction of emotional distress (Count VII); assault and battery (Count VIII); indemnification against the Village of South Holland (Count IX) and violation of oath of office (Count X).

All parties have moved to dismiss. For reasons stated below, the motions are granted as to all claims except those alleging unlawful search and seizure of Blake-Bey's vehicle and the duty of South Holland to indemnify any officer ultimately held liable in the case.


A motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6) challenges a complaint for failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted. Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6); Gen. Elec. Capital Corp. v. Lease Resolution Corp., 128 F.3d 1074, 1080 (7th Cir. 1997). In ruling on a motion to dismiss, the court accepts as true all well-pleaded facts in the plaintiff's complaint and draws all reasonable inferences from those facts in the plaintiff's favor. Dixon v. Page, 291 F.3d 485, 486 (7th Cir. 2002). In order to survive a Rule 12(b)(6) motion, the complaint must not only provide the defendant with fair notice of the claim's basis, but must also establish that the requested relief is plausible on its face. Ashcroft v. Iqbal, --- U.S. ----, 129 S. Ct. 1937, 1949, 173 L. Ed. 2d 868 (2009); see also Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555, 127 S. Ct. 1955, 167 L. Ed. 2d 929 (2007). The allegations in the complaint must be "enough to raise a right of relief above the speculative level." Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555. At the same time, the plaintiff need not plead legal theories. Hatmaker v. Mem'l Med. Ctr., 619 F.3d 741, 743 (7th Cir. 2010). Rather, it is the facts that count.


Taken in order, Count I must be dismissed because federal criminal laws do not create private rights of action. Rather, the United States Attorney has the duty to prosecute all offenses against the United States. 28 U.S.C. § 547(a)(1).

Next, to the extent plaintiff rests any of his claims on a notion that under the Constitution of the United States he may drive his automobile where and as he pleases and is not subject to regulation by the state, his claim is frivolous. As Judge Robert Dow of this court explained in a similar case, Moorish Nat'l Republic: £Federal Gov't Moorish Divine and Nat'l Movement of the World v. City of Chicago,No. 10-CV-1047, 2011 WL 2893024, at *7 (N.D. Ill. July 19, 2011),

Probable cause for any one of these offenses is sufficient probable cause for Plaintiff's arrest. See, e.g., United States v. Jackson, 377 F.3d 715 (7th Cir. 2004) (deciding that probable cause existed where police stopped a car, requested the driver's license, and decided to detain the driver 'after he did not hand over a driver's license, and information from the police database raised doubts about his identity'). This is true even though the offenses may be punishable only by fine. See Atwater [v. City of Lago Vista, 532 U.S. 318, 354, 121 S. Ct. 1536, 149 L. Ed. 2d 549 (2001)] (holding that arrests for misdemeanor violations that would be punishable only by a fine do not offend any constitutional principles); Williams v. Jaglowski, 269 F.3d 778, 784 (7th Cir. 2001); Antia v. Thurman, 914 F.Supp. 256, 258 (N.D. Ill. 1996) (finding that officer had probable cause to arrest plaintiff when it was undisputed that the vehicle registration was expired).

To the extent that Blake-Bey rests his claims on his citizenship of a different sovereignty, such that he is not subject to the laws of the United States and the within states and territories, his claims are frivolous. The court will paraphrase Judge Dow, who carefully set out the folly of such a theory:

Whatever the religious belief system of [Blake-Bey], to which [he is] fully entitled, those beliefs, in and of themselves, do not save [him] from compliance with Illinois state law[.] Courts systematically have held that those who have claimed safe harbor and sought to be shielded by their Moorish heritage from the law have not been recognized, and their claims have been dismissed as frivolous. Although Plaintiff['s] complaint is replete with assertions that there are international laws and the idea that [he is a] member[] of the Moorish National Republic and [he is an] indigenous person[] entitled to certain rights under international laws and treaties, the Seventh Circuit has stated that '[a]ny claims or arguments based on that organization or which rely on documents or arguments based on the doctrines of those organizations are clearly frivolous.' Sanders--Bey v. U.S., 267 Fed. Appx. 464, 466 (7th Cir. 2008); U.S. v. Toader, 409 Fed. Appx. 9, at *13 (7th Cir. Nov. 24, 2010) ('[Defendant] argues that the federal courts lack subject matter jurisdiction over him and that the laws he is charged with violating are inapplicable to him because he is a Native Asiatic Moorish National Citizen. This argument is frivolous.'); United States v. James, 328 F.3d 953, 954 (7th Cir. 2003) ('Laws of the United States apply to all persons within its borders. Even if James were not a citizen of the United States (though he is, having been born here), he would be obliged to respect the laws of this nation.'); see also El--Bey v. North Carolina Dept. Of Health & Human Service, [No. 1:09CV693,] 2010 WL 520877 (M.D.N.C. 2010) (citing Sanders ) (noting the irony presented when litigants from the Moorish Nation 'attempt to benefit from the protection of federal and state law while simultaneously proclaiming independence from and total lack of responsibility under those same laws'). Notably, [Blake-Bey] seek[s] the protections of the very Constitution to which [he] claim[s] [he is] not subject and the laws that flow therefrom. A fair reading of the complaint . . . reveals that [Blake-Bey] is claiming that there was no probable cause for his arrest because he is a Moorish National and not subject to the same requirements as United States citizens. . . . [T]his is the only argument that [he] appears to make, and it fails . . .

Moorish Nat'l Republic: £Federal Gov't Moorish Divine, 2011 WL 2893024, at *8. See also Moorish Nat'l Republic: Fed. Gov't Moorish Divine and Nat'l Movement of the World v. City of Chicago, No. 10 CV 1047, 2011 WL 2893024, at *6 (N.D. Ill. July 19, 2011) ("[P]robable cause to arrest is an absolute defense to any claim under Section 1983 against police officers for wrongful arrest, false imprisonment, or malicious prosecution.") (quoting Mustafa v. ...

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