United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division
OPINION, MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
EDWARD AUTREY, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter is before the Court on a motion by defendants Ricardo
Morales, Melvin Leroy Tyler and Timothy Garnett titled,
“Federal Removal”. For the reasons discussed
below, defendants' request to “remove” their
closed criminal actions must be denied, and this action will
be dismissed without prejudice.
are pro se litigants currently incarcerated in the Jefferson
City Correctional Center in Jefferson City, Missouri.
According to the Missouri Department of Corrections, Ricardo
Morales is currently serving a 45-year sentence. Melvin Leroy
Tyler is currently serving a 185-year sentence.
August 4, 1978, defendant Melvin Leroy Tyler was convicted of
two counts of first-degree robbery by means of a deadly
weapon, two counts of assault with intent to commit rape
without malice aforethought, and armed criminal action.
State v. Tyler, 622 S.W.2d 379, 382 (Mo.Ct.App.
1981). He was sentenced to fifty years on each robbery count,
five years on each assault count, and fifty years for the
armed criminal action count. Id. All terms were
ordered to be served consecutively. Id.
Missouri Court of Appeals reversed defendant Tyler's
armed criminal action conviction based on double jeopardy.
Id. at 387. The judgment was affirmed in all other
respects. Id. Defendant has since attempted to seek
post-conviction relief through the state courts, but those
attempts have not been successful. See Tyler v.
State, 18 S.W.2d 117 (Mo.Ct.App. 2000); State v.
Tyler, 103 S.W.3d 245 (Mo.Ct.App. 2003); Tyler v.
State, 111 S.W.3d 495 (Mo.Ct.App. 2003); Tyler v.
State, 229 S.W.3d 103 (Mo.Ct.App. 2007); and Tyler
v. State, 292 S.W.3d 338 (Mo.Ct.App. 2009).
Tyler also filed a federal writ of habeas corpus pursuant to
28 U.S.C. § 2254. Tyler v. Armontrout, 917 F.2d
1138, 1139 (8th Cir. 1990). The District Court
denied his petition on July 12, 1989. Id. at 1140.
The Court of Appeals affirmed the denial in all respects.
Id. at 1143. Defendant has made various other
attempts to seek habeas relief in federal court, to no avail.
See Tyler v. Purkett, 26 F.3d 127, 1994 WL 281821,
at *1 (8th Cir. 1994) (unpublished opinion)
(noting that instant petition was “not the first habeas
petition filed by [defendant] for the purpose of challenging
these convictions…It is either the fifth or sixth such
27, 2010, defendant Ricardo Morales was charged with thirteen
counts of statutory rape in the first and second degree and
statutory sodomy in the first and second degree. State v.
Morales, No. 1022-CR3880 (22nd Judicial
Circuit, St. Louis City Court). Morales moved for a judgment
of acquittal at the close of the trial. The trial court
granted defendant Morales' motion as to Count XI (one
count of statutory sodomy in the second degree) and denied it
in all other respects. A jury convicted Morales of twelve
counts of the indictment and the trial court sentenced him to
15 years in counts I (statutory sodomy in the first degree),
III, and IV (both were statutory rape in the first degree),
to run consecutively, and 10 years on counts V, VI, VII, and
VIII (statutory rape and statutory sodomy in the first
degree) to run concurrently, and 7 years on counts IX, X,
XII, and XIII (statutory rape and statutory sodomy in the
second degree) to run concurrently. Id.
appealed his conviction and sentence on June 4, 2012, and the
Missouri Court of Appeals affirmed the conviction on
September 3, 2013. Morales v. State, No. ED98553
(Mo.Ct.App.2013). He filed his post-conviction motion to
vacate his sentence on January 24, 2014. Morales v.
State, No. 1422-CC00191 (22nd Judicial
Circuit, St. Louis City Court). His motion to vacate was
denied on March 28, 2016. Id.
filed a post-conviction appeal on April 27, 2016. Morales
v. State, No. ED104364 (Mo.Ct.App. 2017). It was denied
on October 5, 2017, and the mandate was entered on October
18, 2017. Id. Morales filed his application for writ
of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254 in this
Court on May 16, 2014, and the writ was denied on September
27, 2017. Morales v. Cassady, 4:14-CV-943 NAB
(E.D.Mo 2017). The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals denied a
certificate of appealability to Morales on July 3, 2018.
Morales v. Cassady, No. 18-1621 (8th Cir.
August 28, 2015, defendant Tyler, along with two other
inmates, filed a document titled “Petition for Federal
Removal” against the State of Missouri. State of
Missouri v. Kniest, et al., No.
4:15-cv-1352-HEA (E.D. Mo.). In his petition, defendant
alleged that the Missouri court system was an organized
criminal enterprise and “corrupt from bottom to
top.” He stated that pro se litigants could not enforce
their rights in any circuit or appellate court in the state.
As such, he sought to remove State v. Tyler, No.
77-232 to federal court. On September 22, 2015,
this Court denied defendant's petition for removal. In
doing so, the Court noted that it was unclear whether
defendant's case had ever been removed from state court
by the filing of his petition, since the criminal case was
closed. Nonetheless, the Court remanded this action back to
the St. Louis City Court.
December 11, 2015, defendant Tyler, along with two other
inmates, filed a document titled “Petition for Removal
of Pending Criminal Cases/Appeals/Motions.” State
of Missouri v. Kniest, et al., No. 4:15-cv-1849-NCC
(E.D. Mo.). In the petition, defendant alleged that the state
court had intentionally and maliciously delayed the
processing of his pending motion to appeal. He again sought
to remove his case, State v. Tyler, No. 77-232, to
federal court. The District Court dismissed defendant's
petition on January 4, 2016 due to defendant's failure to
pay the filing fee. Defendant appealed the dismissal and the
Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals summarily affirmed on June
27, 2016. State of Missouri v. Kniest, et al., No.
16-1314 (8th Cir. 2016).
the case being closed, defendant Tyler filed a motion titled
“Motion for Specific Orders in Compliance with 28
U.S.C. 1447(c) and to Modify the Order without Prejudice to
File a 42 U.S.C. 1983 Suit and Pendent State Claims
Forthwith.” The motion sought a certified remand order
to the Circuit Court of the City of St. Louis. The district
court denied the order as frivolous. In explanation, the
District Court noted that “[t]he state criminal cases
were never properly removed to this Court because they were
closed long before defendants brought this action.”
Once again, defendant appealed. The Eighth Circuit Court of
Appeals summarily affirmed the District Court on September 5,
2017. State of Missouri v. Kniest, et al., No.
17-1704 (8th Cir. 2017).
October 18, 2016, defendant Tyler filed a document that was
docketed as a writ of habeas corpus but was titled
“Federal Removal.” Tyler v. State of
Missouri, No. 4:16-cv-1630-NAB (E.D. Mo.). In the
petition, defendant claimed to be a “political
prisoner” without any rights, and that
“politicians run the show and money buys
justice.” He further asserted that he was framed; that
his witnesses were terrorized; that prosecutors manufactured
evidence and used perjured testimony; and that he was
factually innocent. Attached to the petition was a
“Notice of Criminal Case Removal” in which
defendant purported to remove State v. Tyler, No.
77-232 and State v. Tyler, No. ED40843
District Court dismissed this action without prejudice on
October 25, 2016. In doing so, the District Court noted that
it did not have jurisdiction to remove a case that has been
closed. Defendant appealed the dismissal. However, on
February 6, 2017, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals denied
his application for a certificate of appealability. Tyler
v. State of Missouri, No. 16-4269 (8th Cir.
Tyler filed another “removal action” on March 21,
2019. State v. Tyler, No. 4:19-cv-546 HEA (E.D.Mo.).
The Court denied the application for removal and dismissed
the action on July 19, 2019.
19, 2019, defendant Tyler and defendant Morales filed a joint
application for petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant
to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. Morales, et al. v. Ramey,
No. 4:19-CV-1791 CDP (E.D.Mo.2019). This action has not yet