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Luke Ammon Preacher v. Barack Obama

October 22, 2012


The opinion of the court was delivered by: Honorable B. Lynn Winmill Chief U. S. District Judge


Pending before the Court is Petitioner Luke Ammon Preacher's ("Preacher") Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus (Dkt. 1), Motion Demanding Jury Trial (Dkt. 7), Motion for Evidentiary Hearing (Dkt. 8), and Motion for Appointment of Counsel (Dkt. 9). For the reasons set forth below, the Court will dismiss the Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus and find the remaining motions to be moot.


On May 3, 2000, the Grand Jury returned a two-count indictment against Preacher charging him with (1) attempted aggravated sexual abuse of a child in Indian country in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 2241(c) and 1153; and (2) kidnaping of the child in Indian country in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 1153 and 1201. Several individuals had observed Preacher disrobing the victim and himself and placing her on the ground in an isolated area near a storage unit on the Fort Hall Indian Reservation. Plea Agreement, ¶ 2 (Dkt. 13).*fn1 After those individuals called the Fort Hall police, the responding tribal police officer observed Preacher in the act of attempting to have sexual intercourse with the victim. Id. Pursuant to the Plea Agreement, Preacher pled guilty to the attempted aggravated sexual abuse of a minor charge in exchange for dismissal of the kidnaping charge. On December 18, 2000, Preacher was sentenced to 168 months of incarceration. Judgment, Dkt. 16.

Preacher unsuccessfully appealed his sentence to the Ninth Circuit and unsuccessfully petitioned the United States Supreme Court for a writ of certiorari before timely filing his initial § 2255 Motion (Dkt. 25). He subsequently filed an Amended § 2255 Motion (Dkt. 37) alleging that his conviction should be set aside because (1) his guilty plea was neither knowing nor voluntary; (2) his attorney provided ineffective assistance in several respects; and (3) his conviction violated the Double Jeopardy Clause of the Fifth Amendment. The various grounds contained several subparts alleging, inter alia, lack of jurisdiction based on sovereign immunity and tribal law grounds.

The Court denied all but one of Preacher's claims summarily. Mem. Dec. and Order, Dkt. 64. Following appointment of counsel and an evidentiary hearing, the Court on July 27, 2006, dismissed the final claim. Mem. Dec. and Order, Dkt. 100. It also declined to issue a certificate of appealability. Order, Dkt. 102. Preacher appealed the dismissal of his Amended § 2255 Motion and the denial of a request for a certificate of appealability. Notice of Appeal, Dkt. 103. The Ninth Circuit also denied his request for a certificate of appealability initially and on motion for reconsideration. Ninth Circuit Orders, Dkts. 108 and 114.

Throughout the post-appeal period and the § 2255 proceedings, Preacher filed numerous documents which became increasingly more frivolous, incomprehensible, and procedurally improper. They continued after his Amended § 2255 Motion was dismissed, prompting the Court to enter an order on October 30, 2007, striking them from the record and ordering Preacher to cease filing such documents. Order, Dkt. 113. On February 15, 2011, he attempted to file a Notice of Suggestion of Death advising the Court pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 25(a)(1) that "Luke Ammon of Preacher, sui generis, Justice, real party in interest" was alive and noting "the civil death during the pendancy (sic) of this action of Luke Ammon of Preacher, Defendant." Dkt. 115. On December 2, 2011, Preacher filed the pending Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241.


A. Summary and Claims

As Applicant, Preacher names "Luke Ammon: Preacher, sui generis, Justice" and "Warren Daniel:Clinton" whom he identifies at "foreign personal intervenor." As Respondents in the caption, he names "Barack Obama, U.S. Federal Corporation, U.S. FEDERAL CORPORATION, U.S. of America, U.S. OF AMERICA, Betty H. Richardson, BETTY H. RICHARDSON, U.S. Attorney, B. Lynn Winmill, B. LYNN WINMILL, Federal Judge, Jack B. Haycock, JACK B. HAYCOCK, Ass. U.S. Attorney, Thomas E. Moss, THOMAS E. MOSS, U.S. Attorney."*fn2

Although Preacher does not identify the individual Respondents, Betty H. Richardson was the United States Attorney for the District of Idaho at the time the Indictment was filed. Jack B. Haycock was the Assistant United States Attorney who prosecuted the case. Thomas E. Moss succeeded Betty H. Richardson as United States Attorney for the District of Idaho in 2001 and remained in that capacity throughout the § 2255 proceeding.

Preacher's prior history of frivolous filings and the caption of his current pleading together suggest that his pending petition is likewise frivolous. Nevertheless the Court will not dismiss it without analysis. Although Preacher's allegations are difficult to follow, the Court is obligated to liberally construe them given Preacher's pro se inmate status. See Thomas v. Ponder, 611 F.3d 1144, 1150 (9th Cir. 2010). Doing so, it appears that essentially he is alleging claims and/or seeking relief as follows:

Claim One -- lack of subject matter jurisdiction; seeks dismissal of the Indictment and Plea Agreement, release from incarceration, and the sum of $1,565, 217 per day from December 18, 2000 until release.

Claim Two -- involuntary plea; seeks a "commercial redemption" on all court bonds attached to the indictment for using his "equity (time/energy) to create bond(s), which bond(s) are actually Applicant's plus interest at 10%."

Claim Three -- removal of B. Lynn Winmill pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 25(a) due to the fact that he is "civilly dead."

Claim Four -- sovereign immunity and substitution of parties pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 25(a) noting his "civil death;" appears to seek substitution of himself as a "natural person, Idaho citizen" as opposed to a "U. S. citizen."

Claim Five -- implicit repeal of 28 U.S.C. § 1915 (in forma pauperis statute) by 42 U.S.C. § 1977 (the Prisoner Litigation Reform Act); appears to contend that 42 U.S.C. § 1997 is not applicable to him because it applies to U.S. citizens. This claim is incomprehensible and will not be addressed further.

Claim Six -- violation of the July 3, 1868 treaty with the Shoshone and Bannock Tribes by the enactment of 8 U.S.C. § 1401 (deeming a person born in the United States to a member of an Indian tribe to be a U.S. citizen) and by enactment of 18 U.S.C. § 1153 (providing that an Indian who commits certain specified offenses "shall be subject to the same law and penalties as all other persons committing any of [those] offenses, within the exclusive jurisdiction of the United States."); seeks release from custody.

Claim Seven -- appears to challenge the $350 filing fee required by 28 U.S.C. ยง 1914 although he paid the $5 habeas filing fee provided for in the same statute. This claim is moot ...

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