United States District Court, D. Maryland, Southern Division
J. Hazel United States District Judge
about October 11, 2016, Charles Smith, an inmate detained at
the Brockbridge Correctional Facility in Jessup, Maryland,
filed a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus in the United
States District Court for the District of Columbia. ECF No.
1. Holding himself out as a Moorish-American National, Smith
seeks assistance from a "Republican form of
Government" to obtain his immediate release from
unlawful imprisonment. Id. at 2. He contends that
his case arises out of the "Treaty of Peace and
Friendship of 1787 /1836" between Morocco and the United
States of America, the Constitution, the United States
Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the
"Clearfield Doctrine, " and the Inter-American
Commission on Human Rights. Id. at 2-5. On November
7, 2016, United States District Judge Richard J. Leon ordered
the case transferred to this District, finding that the case
could not be reviewed in the District of Columbia, as
Smith's Writ challenged his current confinement in
Maryland. ECF No. 5; Smith v. Foxwell,
16-cv-02042-RJL (D.D.C. Nov. 8, 2016). The matter was ordered
transferred to this Court on November 8, 2016 and was
received on November 29, 2016. Id.
Writ represents the ninth federal habeas corpus action filed
by or on behalf of Smith in the past two years. In his prior
Petitions, Smith raised claims related to his
Moorish-American ancestry and the jurisdiction of state
authorities to prosecute him. Until Smith's most recent
two Petitions, each Petition was summarily dismissed without
prejudice. See Smith-Bey v. Wolfe, 2015 WL 7721815,
GJH-15-3448 (D. Md. Nov. 30, 2015); Smith-Bey v.
Wolfe, GJH-15-1915 (D. Md. July 8, 2015); Smith-Bey
v. Wolfe, GJH-15-1654 (D. Md. June 17, 2015);
Smith-Bey v. Wolfe, GJH-15-1336 (D. Md. May 29,
2015); Smith-Bey v. Wolfe, GJH-15-764 (D. Md. Apr.
24, 2015); md Smith-Bey v. Wolfe, GJH-15-1067 (D.
Md. Apr. 22, 2015). la Smith-Bey v. Wolfe,
GJH-15-1915, the Court cautioned that any further Petitions
by Smith raising a challenge to his conviction on grounds of
his Moorish-American defense would be decided on the merits.
Id. at ECF No. 3. Nonetheless, Smith raised similar
challenges in Petitions instituted as Smith-Bey v.
Wolfe, GJH-15-2606 (D. Md. Oct. 6, 2015) and
Smith-Bey v. Warden of Jessup Correctional Institution
(Inc.), GJH-16-665 (D. Md. Mar. 28, 2016). Those
Petitions were denied and dismissed with prejudice on October
7, 2015 and March 28, 2016.
present Petition, Smith attacks his March 27, 2014
"violation of probation" conviction and five-year
sentence imposed in the Circuit Court for Charles
County. ECF No. 1. Affording his self-represented
Writ a generous construction, it appears that Smith is
claiming that as a "sovereign autonomous
Moorish-American National Moslem of the Moroccan
Empire/Moorish Nation, " he is a descendant of Moroccans
and is not a "corporate citizen." Smith contends
that he is being held unlawfully, in involuntary servitude,
and restrained in violation of the Constitution and the
aforementioned Treaty between Morocco and the United States.
Smith further claims that he is being detained under a
fictitious name and "denationalized" by
"assimilating" him as a stateless person under the
name of "CHARLES SMITH, ID 424503,
Black/African-American race." ECF No. 1 at 5-6.
additionally alleges that he was arrested without a warrant
and "arbitrarily searched, detained and held as prize of
the STATE OF MARYLAND (Inc.) compelled to sign several
misrepresented instruments - bills of attainder under threat,
duress, and coercion, and compelled to pay a ransom in
Federal Reserve Notes (private commercial paper) for his
release." Id. at 6. Smith next contends that an
administrative officer in the Circuit Court for Charles
County issued a void bill of attainder against him, which
caused him to be imprisoned for five years. Id. at
7. Smith complains that Circuit Court personnel have failed
to respond to his Affidavits, and he continues to be held
against his will at various local and State correctional
facilities. ECF No. 1 at 6-10.
U.S.C. § 2254 requires "a person in custody
pursuant to the judgment of a State court [to demonstrate]
... that he is in custody in violation of the
Constitution." § 2254(a). Although previously
warned by this Court that only constitutional claims would be
subject to review, Smith has failed to set out colorable
claims in support of his challenge to his 2014 Maryland
conviction and current confinement. Thus, habeas corpus
relief will be denied.
district court dismisses a habeas petition, a certificate of
appealability may issue only if the applicant has made a
substantial showing of the denial of a constitutional right.
28 U.S.C. § 2253(c)(2). A prisoner satisfies this
standard by demonstrating "that reasonable jurists would
find the district court's assessment of the
constitutional claims debatable or wrong.” Tennard
v. Dretke, 542 U.S. 274, 282 (2004) (quoting Slack
v. McDaniel, 529 U.S. 473, 484 (2000)), or that
"the issues presented were 'adequate to deserve
encouragement to proceed further." Miller-el v.
Cockrell, 537 U.S. 322, 335-36 (2003) (quoting
Barefoot v. Est elle, 463 U.S. 880, 893 n.4 (1983)).
Smith does not satisfy this standard, and the Court declines
to issue a certificate of appealability.
foregoing reasons, Smith's Petition for Writ of Habeas
Corpus, ECF No. 1, shall be denied and dismissed with
prejudice, A separate Order follows.
 In raising this claim Smith invokes
the "Clearfield Trust Doctrine, " which refers to
the rule describing the federal courts' power to make
federal common law when there is a federal lawmaking power to
do so and a strong federal interest in a nationally uniform
rule. The name is derived from the case Clearfield Trust
Co. v. United Slates, 318 U.S. 363 (U.S. 1943) wherein
the criteria for determining whether the court should create
a federal common law rule due to the existence of a
significantly important federal interest was
The state court docket shows that Smith
was represented by counsel in his criminal proceeding. After
a jury trial before Judge Robert C. Nalley, Charles Amell
Smith was convicted of second-degree physical child abuse in
the Circuit Court for Charles County, Maryland. On March 27,
2014, he was sentenced to a five-year term. State v.
Smith, Case Number 08K1000792 (Circuit Court for Charles
County). On July 1, 2015, the Court of Special Appeals of
Maryland denied Smith-Bey's application for leave to
appeal. See Maryland Judiciary Case Search Results
visited December 1, 2016). The docket further shows that a
"writ of habeas corpus ad subjiciendum" was filed
on or about March 14, 2016, and remains pending.
 Attached to the Writ are copies of the
"Affidavits" Smith submitted to the Circuit Court
for Charles County, Maryland. ...