United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
MICHAEL J. REAGAN U.S. Chief District Judge
Johnny Brett Gregory is currently incarcerated in La Tuna
FCI. This matter is before the Court on the Court's order
to Show Cause why Plaintiff should not be sanctioned, (Doc.
73), and Plaintiff's Response. (Doc. 74).
reasons set forth herein, Plaintiff will be sanctioned with a
fine and a filing ban.
described in the Court's Show Cause Order, Plaintiff
originally filed this suit on October 31, 2013 against the
Defendants in the case caption, all employees of United
States Penitentiary Marion, where Plaintiff was previously
incarcerated. (Doc. 1). On December 2, 2013, the Court
dismissed some claims and granted Plaintiff leave to amend on
others. (Doc. 11). Plaintiff filed an Amended Complaint on
December 16, 2013, (Doc. 15), and also appealed the order
dismissing the other claims. (Doc. 16). Plaintiff also filed
a “Motion to take Judicial Notice, ” which
purported to underwrite this litigation with “this
living principal's private exemption . . . all sums
certain, and all obligations” in the amount of $32,
000, 000, apparently for satisfying the fee demanded by the
appellate court. (Doc. 25). The 7th Circuit did not recognize
Plaintiff's “bond” and denied his first
appeal for failure to pay the filing fee on January 30, 2014.
(Doc. 26). The Court dismissed the Amended Complaint on May
14, 2014, for failure to state a claim, but once again,
granted Plaintiff leave to amend. (Doc. 31). That Order also
denied Plaintiff's Motion to recognize the bond described
in Doc. 25 on the grounds that the appeal was now moot. (Doc.
31). Plaintiff filed a Second Amended Complaint on May 30,
2014. (Doc. 32). He also filed a number of motions
challenging the Court's earlier rulings. (Docs. 33-36).
The Court dismissed the Second Amended Complaint, denied all
pending motions, and entered judgment in this case on
November 17, 2014. (Doc. 37).
by the closure of this case, Plaintiff began filing a series
of Motions to Reconsider, see, e.g., Doc. 39, 41,
43, 46, 47, all of which the Court denied. (Doc. 40) (Doc.
42) (Doc. 48). Specifically, as to Doc. 47, which again
raised the issue of the $32, 000, 000 bond, the Court noted
that the bond was “self-created, ” found that its
original denial of the motion seeking recognition of the bond
was correct, and declined to revisit this issue. (Doc. 48, p.
3). The Court also specifically warned Plaintiff that if he
continued to file frivolous motions, it would consider
sanctions, including fines or civil contempt. Id.
Plaintiff filed a Notice of Appeal on January 30, 2017. (Doc.
49). Despite the fact that the notice of appeal divested the
Court of jurisdiction over matters related to this case,
Plaintiff continued to file motions, including a Motion for
Clarification, which was denied on February 10, 2017. (Doc.
56) (Doc. 57).
also filed another motion seeking recognition for his $32,
000, 000 bond, but the Court found that his motion was more
properly filed in the appellate court and entered an order
directing the clerk to transfer the motion to the Seventh
Circuit on March 1, 2017. (Doc. 63). On April 6, 2017,
Plaintiff's appeal was denied for failure to pay the
required docketing fee. (Doc. 69).
from being discouraged, Plaintiff continued to file motions
in this closed case. On June 27, 2017, he filed a Motion
“for all Writs Act Under § 1651(a), which claimed
that Plaintiff was the beneficiary of an “irrevocable
cetsui que trust.” (Doc. 71, p. 1). The motion went on
to allege that the undersigned is the acting trustee of the
trust, and that Gino J. Agnello, the Clerk of the Court for
the Seventh Circuit, is the grantor of the trust. (Doc. 71,
pp. 1-2). The amount of the trust was $32, 000, 000;
Plaintiff alleges that Agnello incurred an obligation to give
him that amount when he refused to recognize Plaintiff's
self-created $32, 000, 000 bond. (Doc. 71, pp. 3, 8-23). The
Court denied this motion on August 2, 2017, finding that
Plaintiff's theory that he was owed $32, 000, 000 was
patently frivolous and completely unsupported by any legal
theory, despite Plaintiff's citation to the All Writs
Act. (Doc. 72, p. 4).
Court also denied Plaintiff's July 14, 2017 Motion
“Under the Federal Rules of Evidence/Declaratory
Judgment, ” seeking money from the law librarian at his
current institution on the grounds that she failed to
notarize Plaintiff's motion at Doc. 71. (Doc. 72, p. 2)
(Doc. 73). The Court also found that Plaintiff had no grounds
for relief against Ms. Valencia. (Doc. 73, p. 5). The Court
noted that Plaintiff had never filed a valid complaint naming
either Agnello or Valencia as defendants, and thus they were
not proper subjects of any request for relief. Id.
Further, the Court noted that there was not currently a valid
complaint on file in this case at this time. Id.
Without a valid complaint, there is no action. The Court
found that attempting to claim monetary relief against
non-parties in a case without a complaint was frivolous, and
directed Plaintiff to show cause why he should not be
sanctioned. (Doc. 73, pp. 5-6).
filed a Response to the show cause order and a notice of
appeal of that order on August 21, 2017. (Doc. 74) (Doc. 75).
In his Response to the show cause order, Plaintiff takes
issue with the Court's speculation that his repeated
attempts to get his $32, 000, 000 bond recognized is based on
sentient sovereign principles. (Doc. 74, p. 4). Plaintiff
denies that he is a member of the sentient sovereign
movement. Id. Plaintiff rejects the Court's
conclusion that the All Writs Act does not give him legal
standing to demand Agnello pay him $32, 000, 000. (Doc. 74,
p. 5). The Response also continues to insist that this case
created a valid trust with the undersigned as the trustee,
and then goes on to allege that the undersigned is not
performing his trustee duties, and has a conflict of
interest. (Doc. 74, p. 5). Plaintiff also alleges that the
undersigned is serving as a defense lawyer for Agnello and
Valencia. Id. Plaintiff further states that he has
served Agnello and Valencia, and that they have not
responded, which means that they have acquiesced to his legal
theories. (Doc. 74, p. 6). Finally, the Response states that
Plaintiff will file a judicial misconduct complaint against
the undersigned, which he did. (Doc. 74, p. 7).
Plaintiff's judicial misconduct complaint was dismissed.
In short, in response to the show cause order, Plaintiff
completely ignored the Court's prior order telling him he
has no claims against Agnello or Valencia, re-iterated
arguments previously rejected, and threatened the
filing his Response, Plaintiff has doubled down on his
frivolous theories through motion practice, despite his
appeal which divested this court of jurisdiction until
December 13, 2017, when a mandate issued dismissing the
appeal for failure to pay the filing fee. (Doc. 98). On
September 11, 2017, Plaintiff filed a “Notice for
Sanctions with a Monetary Amount and Cost, ” (Doc. 83),
which seeks sanctions against non-parties J. Ruiz, the mail
room supervisor at La Tuna and J.S. Willis, the warden. On
November 7, 2017, Plaintiff filed a motion seeking discovery
against Agnello and Valencia. (Doc. 93). Plaintiff also filed
a motion in which he alleges that the failure of Ruiz and
Willis to respond to his motion (again, neither is a party to
this action) means that he now has an enforceable order
against them in the amount of $2, 505 plus costs and .8%
interest. (Doc. 97, p. 1).
has also filed multiple notices claiming to have a lien on
some property in Georgia. Notably, in Doc. 89, p. 7,
Plaintiff represents “IN WITNESS WHEREOF, by the
parties hereto have executed this Agreement as of the date
hereof, October 12, 2017. Attestation: By U.C.C. §
3-415, 3-419 by accommodation and UCC 3-401(b) and 1-201(39).
Signed, private seal, and Delivered. (Deed of Trust).”
Near the bottom of the page, Plaintiff has represented that
the undersigned signed this document as an individual
trustee. (Doc. 89, p. 7). The undersigned is not a trustee
for Plaintiff and did not consent to permit the use of his
electronic signature. The undersigned did not sign Doc. 89.
It is a crime pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 505 to forge the
signature of any judge, punishable by a fine and imprisonment
not to exceed 5 years. Plaintiff's representation that
the undersigned signed Doc. 89 is a prosecutable offense, and
may result in further prison time for Plaintiff.
Cause Response and Issuance of Sanctions
reviewing Plaintiff's Response (Doc. 74) to the
Court's Order (Doc. 73), it is evident that Plaintiff
does not take the Court's Show Cause Order seriously and
has no regrets about his prior vexatious pleadings. Despite
the fact that this case has been closed for more than 3
years, Plaintiff continues to file vexatious, frivolous, and
harassing motions that waste the Court's time and
resources. Plaintiff's Response gave absolutely no