Argued: August 3, 2017
from the United States District Court for the Northern
District of Ohio at Youngstown. No. 4:16-cr-00046-1-James S.
Gwin, District Judge.
Benjamin Beaton, SIDLEY AUSTIN LLP, Washington, D.C., for
D. Howard, UNITED STATES ATTORNEY'S OFFICE, Cleveland,
Ohio, for Appellee.
Allison L. Ehlert, EHLERT APPEALS, El Cerrito, California,
McMullen Ford, UNITED STATES ATTORNEY'S OFFICE,
Cleveland, Ohio, for Appellee.
Before: NORRIS, SUHRHEINRICH, and GRIFFIN, Circuit Judges.
SUHRHEINRICH, Circuit Judge.
Airiz Coleman (Coleman) was convicted by a jury of being a
felon in possession of a firearm in violation of 18 U.S.C.
§ 922(g). On appeal, he faults the district court for
failing to order sua sponte a mental competency
evaluation pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 4241(a). We find no
error and affirm.
Pretrial Filings and Proceedings
November 17, 2015, Defendant pointed a gun at Garry Valentine
(Valentine), a recovery agent with a vehicle repossession
company, and threatened to shoot him. As a result, he was
indicted on charges of being a felon in possession of a
firearm and ammunition in violation of 18 U.S.C. §
922(g)(1). At his arraignment, Defendant acknowledged his
presence in federal court, but challenged the court's
jurisdiction over him. Specifically, he contended that the
government was "trying to charge [him] with" a
"commercial crime" and that the United States could
not be the victim of a commercial crime. Defendant also asked
the magistrate judge if he was "forcing [Defendant] to
contract, " and referred to himself as a "flesh and
blood living being." He claimed that his detention on
"U.S. soil" was unconstitutional.
weeks later, Defendant's appointed counsel, Assistant
Federal Public Defender Charles Fleming, moved to withdraw as
counsel after Defendant became "combative" and
"confrontational" during a meeting. At the hearing
on the motion, Defendant told the court that he was present
"on special appearance, [as a] third-party
intervenor" and claimed that he was a "beneficiary
and executor to the legal estate of the decedent[.]"
Defendant stated that he had surrendered his birth
certificate "to the Court for set-off,
settlement[.]" He contended that he was not a
corporation, an estate, or a legal fiction, but rather, was
"a living man, . . . living private on the land."
And he "authorized" the court "to settle and
close the account, case, constructive trust." Defendant
also claimed that the court lacked "jurisdiction"
and referenced his "copyright." The district court
granted Fleming's motion, and ordered that Defendant
receive other counsel.
days before trial, Defendant filed a pro se notice
reiterating his challenge to the district court's
jurisdiction. In it he explained that he is "a living
man . . . not a 'corporate fiction' . . . [who] never
signed any 'Contract' with the Public Defender's
Office[.]" He also indicated that he had
"appointed" "Respondent: James S. Gwin"
"as Trustee to settle and close" the case.
Defendant signed the notice as his own "Authorized
Representative" and listed an address in "Warren,
Ohio Republic, " with a zip code in brackets. Defendant
included an "AFFIDAVIT OF OWNERSHIP[, ] Declaration of
Nationality[, ] Certificate/s of Titles[, ] Birth
Certificates" stating that he was a "Moorish
American National, " and claiming that using any of his
titles mention in the declaration required payment of
"1, 000, 000, 000.00 PER HOUR UPON OCCURANCE
[sic]." He further included several documents from the
State of Ohio, his original birth certificate, and a
"Common Law Copyright Notice" for his name.
Finally, he attached a proposed "Order of Dismissal With