United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
A. ROSS, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter is before the Court on a "Notice of Removal"
filed by defendant Sionya Haley.(Docket No. 1). Defendant is
seeking to remove her state criminal case to federal court.
For the reasons discussed below, the Court will vacate
defendant's notice of removal and remand this matter back
to state court.
was indicted in Missouri state court on two Class B felony
charges of child abuse or neglect, and one Class D felony
charge of child abuse or neglect. State of Missouri v.
Haley, No. 1822-CR03243-01 (22nd Cir., St.
Louis City). She was arraigned on November 19, 2018.
The case has been set for trial on September 3, 2019.
filed this removal action on August 6, 2019. (Docket No. 1).
The notice of removal consists of a certificate of service,
along with a number of exhibits. The exhibits include a
document titled "UCC 1-202 Notice and Knowledge,"
sent to Missouri Circuit Court clerk Thomas Kloeppinger; a
document titled "UCC § 1-202 Notice;
Knowledge," sent to Judges Elizabeth Byrne Hogan and
Michael Noble; an "Enrolled Tribal Member
Certificate" for the Oka Lusa Achukma Arawak Chahta
Tribe/Nation; a state court "Motion to Challenge
Jurisdiction" signed by defendant; a state court Motion
to Dismiss with Prejudice" signed by defendant; an
"Ethnicity and Race Identification" form; a
"Statutory Declaration" signed by defendant; a
"Notice, Affidavit and Declaration of Proof of
Life" signed by defendant; filings and court orders from
defendant's state case; and a motion titled
"3rd Party Interloper," signed by
Marshawn Shiloh Wijaya Sha'ulme'el©™.
providing receipts showing that defendant has mailed this
action to the state court, there is no indication that it has
been filed there.
has filed a notice of removal, seeking to remove her state
criminal case to federal court. A defendant who desires to
remove any criminal prosecution from a state court may file a
notice of removal in federal court "containing a short
and plain statement of the grounds for removal, together with
a copy of all process, pleadings, and orders served upon such
defendant." 28 U.S.C. § 1455(a). The notice of
removal must include all grounds for removal. 28 U.S.C.
§ 1455(b)(2). The notice of removal must also be filed
within thirty days of the state court arraignment, unless
good cause has been shown to warrant filing the notice at a
later time. 28 U.S.C. § 1455(b)(1). "If it clearly
appears on the face of the notice and any exhibits annexed
thereto that removal should not be permitted, the court shall
make an order for summary remand." 28 U.S.C. §
it clearly appears from the face of defendant's notice
and attached exhibits that removal should not be permitted.
To begin, plaintiff s notice of removal is untimely. As noted
above, the removal must be filed within thirty days of
arraignment. Defendant was arraigned on November 19, 2018.
She did not file the present action until August 6, 2019.
This 260-day period far exceeds the thirty day window
provided by statute. Furthermore, defendant does not provide
any reason to warrant the late filing, much less demonstrate
defendant's removal action was timely, she has failed to
state adequate grounds for removal. She does not, for
instance, allege that removal is necessary to enforce "a
right under any law providing for the equal rights of
citizens of the United States." See 28 U.S.C.
§ 1443(1). Instead, based upon the exhibits attached to
defendant's filing, it is clear that she is premising
removal upon her status as a "sovereign citizen."
Because of this status, defendant appears to believe that the
State of Missouri has no jurisdiction over her. She supports
this claim with rambling and incoherent explanations. For
instance, she cites as authority the 1931 Statute of
Westminster, the Articles of Confederation, the Treaty of
Ghent, and the 1836 Treaty of Marrakesh. (Docket No. 1-1 at
15). She also asserts that she learned that the registration
of her birth "was a contract between [her] mother and
the U.S. Government Corporation[, ] who did not tell her
[mother] that she was selling [defendant], a flesh and blood
child, to the State of Missouri Corporation as the Chattel
Property/Slave, which is a violation of Human Rights."
citizens are a loosely-affiliated group who believe the
government in the United States operates illegitimately and
outside the bounds of its jurisdiction." Waters v.
Madson, 921 F.3d 725, 732 n.4 (8th Cir.
2019). The arguments proposed by sovereign citizens have been
widely rejected as "having no conceivable validity in
American law." United States v. Hardin, 489
Fed.Appx. 984, 986 (8th Cir. 2012) (quoting
United States v. Schneider, 910 F.2d 1569, 1570
(7th Cir. 1990)). See also United States v.
Simonson, 563 Fed.Appx. 514 (8th Cir. 2014)
(stating that defendants' argument that they were
"special sovereign citizens" was frivolous). As
such, defendant's proposition that her criminal action
should be removed from state court because she is somehow
outside the state court's jurisdiction is meritless.
Therefore, defendant's notice of removal must be vacated,
and the action remanded to the 22nd Judicial
Circuit Court, City of St. Louis. See Minnesota v.
Barry, 2018 WL 3075983, at *1 (D. Minn. 2018) (adopting
magistrate's recommendation to vacate notice of removal
filed by sovereign citizen, and remand to state district
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that defendant's motion for leave to
proceed in forma pauperis (Docket No. 2) is GRANTED.
FURTHER ORDERED that defendant's notice of removal
(Docket No. 1) is VACATED.
FURTHER ORDERED that this action is REMANDED to the