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United States v. Burnett

United States District Court, Middle District of Tennessee, Nashville Division

April 20, 2015

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
SHERROD BURNETT, Defendant.

MEMORANDUM

WILLIAM J. HAYNES, JR. Senior United State District Judge

Before the Court are Defendant's motion to dismiss indictment and set preliminary hearing (Docket Entry No. 26) and Defendant's pro se motions for "writ to remove defense counsel, object and strike" (Docket Entry No. 31), for "notice of hearing and petition for writ of habeas corpus" (Docket Entry No. 32), and for writ to strike (Docket Entry No. 35), to which the Government responded (Docket Entry No. 34). Defendant contends that he was entitled to a preliminary hearing before the Government was able to obtain Defendant's indictment. Defendant also contends, in essence, that he is not subject to the laws of the United States or the jurisdiction of this Court. In response, the Government contends that the Court possesses subject matter jurisdiction and that Defendant does not have a constitutional right to a preliminary hearing.

A. Review of the Record

On September 17, 2014, a federal criminal complaint was filed charging Defendant with being a previously convicted felon in possession of a firearm. (Docket Entry No. 1, Complaint). On September 22, 2014, Defendant was arrested, appeared for his initial appearance and was appointed counsel. (Docket Entry Nos. 4-8). The magistrate judge set a detention and preliminary hearing that was reset twice at Defendant's request. (Docket Entry Nos. 9-11). On October 10, 2014, prior to the swearing in of any witnesses, Defendant submitted two documents entitled "Affidavits of Fact" and "Writ of Discovery, " challenging the Court's jurisdiction in this criminal matter, that were denied by the magistrate judge. (Docket Entry Nos. 12-14). Defendant subsequently requested to proceed pro se, but this request was denied by the magistrate judge. The magistrate judge then granted Defendant's request to stay the proceedings so that he could appeal to the district court. Id. On October 22, 2014, a federal grand jury indicted Defendant for being a previously convicted felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition. (Docket Entry No. 15).

On October 29, 2014, Defendant's counsel filed a motion to revoke the magistrate judge's order regarding Defendant's right to self-representation. (Docket Entry No. 18). This Court remanded the action to the magistrate judge for an inquiry under United States v. Williams. 641 F.3d 758, 766-67 (6th Cir. 2004) to determine Defendant's ability to represent himself (Docket Entry No. 19). On December 1, 2014, the magistrate judge conducted a Williams hearing and determined that Defendant was competent to represent himself and to proceed in all further matters pro se. (Docket Entry No. 28).

On December 2, 2014, this Court conducted a status conference whereby Defendant requested the assistance of a "second chair" to aid in the filing of pleadings in this matter. The Court granted Defendant's request and appointed defense counsel to assist Defendant in such matters. (Docket Entry No. 30).

B. Conclusions of Law

Defendant, in his pro se filings, contends that the Court lacks jurisdiction over him in this criminal cation. In support, Defendant submits "Affidavits of Fact" entitled "The Moorish National Republic Federal Government Northwest Africa. The Moorish Divine and National Movement of the World." (Docket Entry No. 31 -2 at 7). The document further sets forth: "I, Sherrod Burnett Bey Sr., the executive of SHERROD BURNETT the corporation have no lawfully binding contract with THE METROPOLITAN GOVERNMENT OF NASHVILLE, AND DAVIDSON COUNTY nor any agents. Nor do I have any contract with the corporate District Court, nor the United States." Id.

Defendant further states:

-For The Record-
I do not wish to enter into any "Pleas nor Agreements" of any kind and Motion this Court or Request for the removal of any agreement made (Mispleading). But rather, motion this Court for "Dismissal" on the grounds that there are "No Injured Party Nor A STATEMENT BY AN INJURED PARTY.
-For The Record-
I CHALLENGE "THE STATE AND FEDERAL" ...

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