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Stanton v. Hutchins

April 7, 2010

JERRY JAMES STANTON, PLAINTIFF,
v.
NANCY HUTCHINS, BRANCH COUNTY REGISTER OF DEEDS, BAMB SOMERLOTT, HILLSDALE COUNTY REGISTER OF DEEDS, SANDRA S. THATCHER, BRANCH COUNTY TREASURER, LAURIE ADAMS, COLDWATER TOWNSHIP ASSESSOR, JEFFREY BUDD, COLDWATER TOWNSHIP TREASURER, ROBERT J. KLEINE, STATE OF MICHIGAN TREASURER, MIKE COX, MICHIGAN ATTORNEY GENERAL, KEVIN T. SMITH, MICHIGAN ASSISTANT ATTORNEY GENERAL, MICHAEL A. STIMPSON, MICHIGAN TAX TRIBUNAL JUDGE, PATRICK W. O'GRADY, CIRCUIT COURT JUDGE, BRANCH COUNTY, MICHIGAN, MARK STODDARD, MICHIGAN APPEALS COURT COUNSEL, BRIAN DEITRICH, CLERK, MICHIGAN APPEALS COURT, DONALD S. OWENS, WILLIAM C. WHITBECK, STEPHEN L. BORRELLO, DAVID H. SAWYER, JOEL P. HOEKSTRA, DOUGLAS B. SHAPIRO, MICHIGAN COURT OF APPEALS JUDGES, CLIFFORD B. TAYLOR, MICHAEL F. CAVANAUGH, ELIZABETH A. WEAVER, MARILYN KELLY, MAURA D. CORRIGAN, ROBERT P. YOUNG JR., HONORABLE PAUL L. MALONEY AND STEPHEN J. MARKMAN, JUSTICES OF THE MICHIGAN SUPREME COURT, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Paul L. Maloney Chief United States District Judge

OPINION and ORDER

" Stanton 2 "

Denying Plaintiff's Motion to Reconsider Stanton 1, 2010 WL 882822 (W.D. Mich. Mar. 8, 2010)

(Adhering to Denial of Plaintiff's Application for Preliminary Injunctive Relief)

This court has federal-question jurisdiction because the plaintiff, Mr. Jerry James Stanton ("Stanton"), purports to assert claims under the United States Constitution, a federal civil-rights statute (42 U.S.C. § 1983), several provisions of Title 18 of the U.S. Code (§§ 1341 and 1346), and at least two provisions of RICO, 18 U.S.C. §§ 1962 and 1964. See Complaint filed March 4, 2010 ("Comp") at 1-3. Proceeding pro se, Stanton asserts 38 claims against 25 defendants, all of whom are employed by the State of Michigan's executive or judicial branches or one of its county or local government subdivisions' judicial or executive branches:

Register of Deeds for Branch County and Hillsdale County (Hutchins and Somerlott)

Coldwater Township Assessors (Adams and Budd)

State Treasurer Kleine and Branch County Treasurer Thatcher State AG Cox and Assistant State AG Smith State Tax Tribunal Judge Stimpson Branch County Circuit Court Judge Patrick O'Grady

Court of Appeals employees (Counsel Mark Stoddard and Clerk Deitrich)

Court of Appeals Judges (Owens, Whitbeck, Borrello, Sawyer, Hoekstra, Shapiro 7 Supreme Court Justices (Taylor, Cavanagh, Weaver, Kelly, Corrigan, Young, Markman) See Comp ¶ 8. Stanton owns two parcels of real property in the City of Coldwater, Branch County, Michigan, and brings this action to remedy alleged violations of his constitutional and natural rights with regard to those properties, see Comp ¶¶ 244-245, including the right to freely acquire and keep private property without interference or harassment or overriding government claims thereto (consistent with the understanding which prevailed in the colonies and Great Britain before the founding of the United States of America), the right to be left alone, the right to the pursuit of happiness and prosperity, and the right to a republican form of government with checks and balances and strictly limited powers where natural individual rights are not violated even with the approval of a majority of voters or elected officials or judges, see Comp ¶¶ 3-7 (citing Ex A ("Branch County Instrument #2006-07381, Page 34 ¶ 46")) and Comp ¶ 13. Although the caption does not state that Stanton is suing the defendants in their personal capacity, the body of the complaint does state that he is seeking monetary damages against them in that capacity. See Comp at 4, Section III-h.

Among many other types of relief sought in the complaint, Stanton's application for preliminary injunctive relief asks this court to prevent the State of Michigan from requiring him to pay the property taxes which a state tribunal has apparently held that he owes, as a condition precedent to bringing an appeal, by a March 14, 2010 deadline, in the Michigan state system. He contends that this court should effectively reverse or disregard a judgment of the Branch County, Michigan circuit court holding that the law requires such payment in that sequence, on the ground that that court lacked jurisdiction and hence that the resultant judgment is void. See P's PI App at 1-2. The PI application weaves in and relies on themes and legal premises from Stanton's complaint, including the notion that the Michigan tax and judicial system, in so requiring, and in refusing to consider his constitutional objections, violates the Northwest Ordinance of 1787 in some unspecified way, violates his natural and constitutional rights.

Stanton explains that he cannot or will not simply pursue a direct appeal to the Michigan Court of Appeals because Plaintiff has already established for the record of this Court [presumably in his complaint, summarized and discussed at length below] that the Michigan Appeals Court will completely subvert and circumvent, any appeal of the Plaintiff thereby denying due process and creating yet another basis of charge against the Court of Appeals Judges and Clerks just as the Branch County Circuit court and above named defendants have done yet again.

P's PI App at 2. As will be seen below, however, Stanton has not yet demonstrated or adequately explained -- if he ever will be able to do so -- that the Michigan Court of Appeals allegedly "subverted" or improperly thwarted or rejected his appeal from any judgment or order. Apparently Stanton argued before the Circuit Court of Branch County that that court lacked jurisdiction, relying on Hibbs v. Winn, 542 U.S. 88 (2004), which he characterized -- without any quotation or citation to the majority opinion -- as holding that "the State Courts lose absolute jurisdiction and protection of the Tax Injunction Act when their proceedings fail to allow and address constitutional arguments before them." P's PI App at 1-2. In any event, Stanton asked this court to preliminarily enjoin any action to enforce the Branch County Circuit Court judgment by way of foreclosure and/or eviction. Id. at 3. This court denied Stanton's application for preliminary injunctive relief. See Stanton v. Hutchins et al., No. 1:2010-cv-74 Document 10, 2010 WL 882822, *2-11 (W.D. Mich. Mar. 8, 2010) (Paul L. Maloney, C.J.) ("Stanton 1").

On March 25, 2010, Stanton filed a motion for reconsideration. For the reasons that follow, the court will deny reconsideration. Because the motion clearly lacks merit, the court will not require the defendants to respond.

First, Stanton disagrees with the court's statement that his complaint and PI application cited many sources which have no precedential force in Sixth Circuit federal courts, "such as the Magna Carta, the Northwest Ordinance of 1787, and former ...


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