United States District Court, D. Maryland
Richard D. Bennett United States District Judge.
Caruthers Gant IV ("Defendant" or
"Gant") has been charged in the Circuit Court of
Maryland for Baltimore City with Motor Vehicle Theft, in
violation of Md. Code, Crim. Law, § 7-105 (Count I);
Theft, in violation of Md. Code, Crim. Law, § 7-104
(Count II); and Unauthorized Removal of Property, in
violation of Md. Code, Crim. Law, § 7-203 (Count III).
See Charge Information, ECF No. 1-1. Defendant's
state court jury trial was scheduled for November 29, 2016.
However, on the morning of trial, Defendant filed a
"Notice of Removal" in this Court (ECF No.
to 28 U.S.C. § 1455(a):
A defendant or defendants desiring to remove any criminal
prosecution from a State court shall file in the district
court of the United States ... a notice of removal . . .
containing a short and plain statement of the grounds for
removal, together with a copy of all process, pleadings, and
orders served upon such defendant in such action.
28 U.S.C. § 1455(a). When a pending state criminal
prosecution is removed to a federal district court, the court
"shall examine the notice [of removal] promptly. If it
clearly appears on the face of the notice and any exhibits
annexed thereto that removal should not be permitted, die
court shall make an order for summary remand." 28 U.S.C.
§ 1455(b)(4). "Removal may be permitted in certain
civil rights cases, see 28 U.S.C. § 1443, or
where the defendant is acting in his capacity as an officer
of the United States, see 28 U.S.C. § 1442(a),
or as a member of the armed forces of the United States,
see 28 U.S.C. § 1442a." Mem. Op. and
Order, Crim. No. PWG-13-0413 (D. Md. Aug. 14, 2013) (Grimm,
offers the following argument in support of removal:
Let it be known by all court clerks and all Secretaries of
States for now and forever that I am not nor will I ever be a
U.S. Citizen and U.S. National. And let it be known I am a
Non-Citizen Nation 8 USC 1452 (b) . . . You have three days
to bring forth proof that I am.
Certificate of Service, ECF No. 1. However, the United States
Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit has observed that
"[n] either the citizenship nor the heritage of a
defendant constitutes a key ingredient to a . . . court's
jurisdiction in criminal prosecutions . . . ."
United States v. White, 480 F.App'x 193, 194
(4th Cir. 2012). This Court has previously rejected similar
attempts to evade state court jurisdiction. See, e.g.,
Maryland v. Ghay-El, No. RDB-16-0207, 2016 WL 2736183,
at *1 (D. Md. May 11, 2016). Defendant also references this
Court's "diversity jurisdiction" and cites
"UCC 1-103.6 UCC 1-308, UCC 1-301 UCC 1-107." Not.
Of Removal, ECF No. 1. However, none of the cited provisions
of the Uniform Commercial Code provide grounds for removal of
this action. Furthermore, "diversity jurisdiction,
" a form of subject-matter jurisdiction in civil actions
before this Court, is inapplicable.
district courts have a duty to construe self-represented
pleadings liberally, Plaintiff must nevertheless allege facts
that state a cause of action." Id. (citing
Beaudett v. City of Hampton, 775 F.2d 1274, 1278
(4th Cir. 1985) (duty to construe liberally does not require
courts to conjure up questions never squarely presented)).
Here, Plaintiff has provided no basis for removal of the
present action to this Court. See Ghazi-El, 2016 WL
2736183, at *1. See also Wynn-Bey v. Talley, No.
RWT-12-3121, 2012 WL 5986967, at *2 (D. Md. Nov. 28, 2012)
(citing Johnson v. Mississippi, 421 U.S. 213, 219
(1975)) (Remanding state criminal action where the Defendant
"ha[d] failed to comply with the pleading requirements
or to show mat he ha[d] been denied or cannot enforce a
specified federal right in the state court respecting this
prosecution."); Maryland p. White, No.
JFM-09-3318, 2010 WL 325946, at *1 (D. Md. Jan. 20, 2010)
("Removal is not proper where there is no evidence that
the criminal defendant will be unable to avail himself of the
normal protections afforded to all criminal
defendants."). For these reasons, this case is REMANDED
to the Circuit Court of Maryland for Baltimore City.
foregoing reasons, it is this 12th day of December, ...