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Bey v. Gascon

United States District Court, N.D. California

October 15, 2019

JAMIL BEY, Plaintiff,
GEORGE GASCON, et al., Defendants.


          William H. Orrick United States District Judge.

         Pro se plaintiff Jamil Malik Bey has filed a pleading titled Claim for Damages & Injunctive Relief that I construe as a complaint. (“Compl.”) [Dkt. No. 1]. It names three state court judges, two state court clerks, the San Francisco District Attorney, the San Francisco Sheriff, twenty doe deputies of the Sheriff's Department, and two private individuals as defendants. Id. Bey brings multiple constitutional law claims under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, state law claims, and international law claims. He has filed an application to proceed in forma pauperis (“IFP”), which I grant. [Dkt. No. 3]. However, even if a plaintiff qualifies for IFP status, I must still examine the complaint to ensure that the complaint alleges non-frivolous claims that can be pursued in this court. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(i)-(ii). If a complaint is frivolous or fails to state a claim, the statute requires me to dismiss the case. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2). For the reasons described below, Bey's complaint is DISMISSED without leave to amend. His motion seeking permission for electronic case filing is denied as moot. [Dkt. No. 8].



         On June 7, 2019, Bey filed the underlying Complaint and a motion for a temporary restraining order. [Dkt. No. 2]. On June 17, 2019, Bey filed a pleading entitled “Affidavit of Facts of Jamil Malik Bey in Support of Preliminary Injunction, ” in which Bey appears to withdraw his motion for a temporary restraining order because the underlying criminal charges against him were dismissed without prejudice on June 12, 2019. (“Bey's Affidavit”) [Dkt. No. 11]. I construe this as Bey withdrawing his motion for a temporary restraining order and instead seeking a preliminary injunction.


         Bey's Complaint is rambling and difficult to understand, but his claims appear to stem from a dispute regarding his property located in a storage unit owned by Bey's associate, Marimar Cornejo. Compl. ¶¶ 43, 56. On January 16, 2018, the storage unit company, Public Storage, filed a small claims lawsuit against Cornejo in the San Francisco County Superior Court, seeking to recover unpaid rent and fees or exercise its lien and sell property within the unit to satisfy the debt. Ex. D, Docket in Public Storage v. Cornejo, Case No. CSM-18-857198 [Dkt. No. 1-2]. Employee Amador Brenneman represented Public Storage and hired Eugene Lee as his counsel. Compl. ¶ 43; Ex. D. The small claims court did not recognize Bey as party to the action, and Bey unsuccessfully tried to enter an appearance as Cornejo's counsel. Compl. ¶ 51. Bey then attempted to file a special appearance as party in interest, claiming that he had substantial interest because he had property located in Cornejo's unit. Id. ¶ 56. On March 5, 2018, Judge Pro Tem Andrea McGary denied Bey's special appearance on behalf of himself and on behalf of Cornejo, but Bey claims that the judge eventually recognized his appearances and “acknowledge[d] the Power of Attorney agreement” between Cornejo and Bey. Id. ¶ 57. The underlying docket does not show such a recognition was ever made. See Ex. D. Bey's complaint against all defendants arose from what allegedly took place in that small claims case and the criminal charges that were subsequently filed against Bey.

         A. Small Claims Case, Where Bey is Non-Party

         1. Initial Hearing Before Judge Kiesselbach

         The small claims case transferred to Judge Charlene Padovani Kiesselbach because Cornjeo did not stipulate to a judge pro tem adjudicating the lawsuit. See Ex. D. At a hearing held on March 30, 2018, Bey again attempted to speak as a non-party. Compl. ¶ 59. Bey alleges that Judge Kiesselbach was biased against him because she recognized Bey from another case, Cornejo v. Keypoint Credit Union, and said that Bey was not allowed to be heard in the case because he was not party to it. Id. Bey further alleges that Deputy Nunes[1] told Judge Kiesselbach that Bey had a camera and intended to record the proceedings. Id. Judge Kiesselbach then ordered Bey to erase the recording or be held in contempt of court. Id. ¶ 63. Bey claims that Deputy Nunes seized the recording device, allegedly located in Cornejo's purse, without a warrant. Id. Judge Kiesselbach ordered that Bey leave the courtroom or be held in contempt of court. Id. ¶ 66. Bey further alleges that before he could leave, Judge Kiesselbach ordered deputies to seize him a again because “one deputy stated that he believes [Bey] may have another recording device in [his] pocket.” Id.

         Subsequently, Bey claims that Cornejo moved to recuse Judge Kiesselbach and that Kiesselbach accepted this challenge for recusal for being prejudicial towards Cornejo and Bey. Compl. ¶¶ 72, 74. While the docket shows that the case was reassigned to Judge Gail Dekreon, it does not reflect the reasons for recusal. See Ex. D. On May 1, 2018, the court denied Cornejo's request to transfer the case from small claims to superior court. See id.

         2. Final Judgment Entered in Small Claims Case

         On May 2, 2018, Judge Dekreon entered judgment against Cornejo, ordering Cornejo to pay Public Storage the unpaid rent within 30 days or Public Storage would be authorized to sell the property contained in the unit. See Ex. D. The docket reveals that Bey, as non-party, attempted to file an appeal on Cornejo's behalf. Id. The court eventually accepted the appeal on Cornejo's consent. Id. On July 18, 2018, the court affirmed the small claims judgment and ordered Cornejo to pay Public Storage unpaid rent within 45 days or Public Storage would be authorized to sell the property contained in the unit. See Ex. D; Ex. E, July 18, 2018 Judgment [Dkt. No. 1-2].

         3. Public Storage Preemptively Sold Property in Unit

         Following final judgment, Public Storage sold Cornejo's property located in her unit before the 45-day deadline set forth in the July 18, 2018 order. Compl. ¶ 78; Ex. F, Order to Show Cause [Dkt. No. 1-2]. Bey seems to argue that his property was also improperly sold because Cornejo's storage unit allegedly contained some of his property too. Id. On August 31, 2018, Cornejo filed an order to show cause why Public Storage should not be held in contempt because it sold the property before 45 days had run. See Ex. F.

         Judge Harold E. Kahn ordered Public Storage to appear in court on September 5, 2018 and provide the court and Cornejo with any and all contact information of people and entities to whom the goods were sold. Compl. ¶ 79; Ex. F. Although Brenneman and Lee did not initially bring the requested information at the September 5, 2018 hearing, the matter continued to the following day when the requested information was provided. See Ex. D (docket entries on September 6, 2018 and September 7, 2018). The court ultimately did not find Public Storage in contempt of court for preemptively selling the property within the unit because it found that the appellate order on July 18, 2018 was vague and ambiguous. See Ex. D (docket entry on October 1, 2018). No further filing have been made and it appears that the case has been closed. See id.

         4. Altercation Between Bey, Brenneman and Lee

         The rambling Complaint reflects Bey's frustration following the September 5, 2018 hearing when Brenneman and Lee requested more time to provide the requested information on who bought Cornejo's property. After the hearing adjourned, Lee claims that Bey confronted him and Brenneman outside the courtroom. Ex. I, Lee's September 5, 2018 Letter to Judge Kahn [Dkt. No. 1-2]. Lee filed a letter with Judge Kahn recounting the incident, which states that Bey physically threatened both Lee and Brenneman and told them that he would come after them and kill them. Ex. I. Lee states that Brenneman and Lee attempted to walk away from Bey but Bey continued to threaten and yell at them. Id. Lee further states that both of them turned the block to seek shelter and wait until Bey was gone before returning to their respective offices. Id. Bey claims that Brenneman and Lee falsely accused him of making threats against them. Compl. ¶ 80.

         Bey argues that Lee and Brenneman conspired against him by filing a police report in order to destroy Bey and Cornejo's credibility. Compl. ¶ 42; see also Ex. G, San Francisco Sheriff's Department Arrest by Private Person Forms [Dkt. No. 1-2]. Bey further believes that Lee conspired with judges to obtain a warrant. Compl. ¶ 82. Bey claims that Lee approached Judge Kahn to issue a warrant and that Judge Kahn purportedly refused. Id. Bey then claims that Lee went to Judge Kiesselbach, who was previously recused, to help him get a warrant for Bey's arrest. Id. ¶ 82. Bey believes that Judge Kiesselbach, Brenneman, and Lee were in conspiracy with the District Attorney to bring these criminal threat charges against him. Id. ¶ 83. During his arrest, it appears Bey resisted giving officers a DNA sample as part of the booking procedure. Id. ¶¶ 216-17. Bey alleges that he was in custody for 29 hours. Id. ¶ 214.

         B. Criminal Case Against Bey

         1. Initial Hearing Before Judge Woods

         On September 7, 2018, San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon filed a felony complaint against Bey for two counts of criminal threats against Brenneman and Lee and one count of refusal or failure to provide specimen. See Ex. J, Felony Complaint in People of California v. Bey, Case No. 18-012876 [Dkt. No. 1-2]. Judge Branden Woods conducted the initial proceedings in Bey's criminal case on September 12, 2018, and assigned Crystal Lamb, a public defender, as Bey's counsel. Id. ΒΆΒΆ 31, ...

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