ORDER OF DISMISSAL
Plaintiff Seson Deon Teleo Adams, proceeding pro se, brings this action in which he names the United States of America, the Internal Revenue Service, and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin as defendants. Plaintiff's complaint is not entirely clear, but it seems to consist of an assertion by him that he is a "sovereign citizen." Plaintiff states that because he is a "sovereign citizen," he is not subject to any legal obligations, including the obligation to pay taxes. He appears to seek damages. For the reasons discussed below, the Court dismisses this action as frivolous.
The Court notes that Plaintiff has paid the relevant fees to bring this action.
Plaintiff has attached many documents to his 152-page complaint, including documents listing his complete Social Security number and date of birth. Under Rule 5.2(a)(1) and (2) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, a court submission must refer to a person's Social Security number by listing only the last four digits of that number, and it must refer to a person's date of birth by listing only the birth year. But a person waives Rule 5.2's protection if he reveals, in a court submission without seal or redaction, his own personal information. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 5.2(h). --------
STANDARD OF REVIEW
The Court has the authority to dismiss a complaint, even when the plaintiff has paid the relevant fees, if it determines that the action is frivolous. See Fitzgerald v. First E. Seventh Tenants Corp., 221 F.3d 362, 363-64 (2d Cir. 2000) (per curiam). The Court is obliged, however, to construe pro se pleadings liberally, Harris v. Mills, 572 F.3d 66, 72 (2d Cir. 2009), and interpret them to raise the "strongest [claims] that they suggest," Triestman v. Fed. Bureau of Prisons, 470 F.3d 471, 474 (2d Cir. 2006) (per curiam) (internal quotation marks and citations omitted, emphasis in original).
A claim is frivolous when it "lacks an arguable basis either in law or in fact." Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 325 (1989), abrogated on other grounds by Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544 (2007); see also Denton v. Hernandez, 504 U.S. 25, 33 (1992) (holding that "a finding of factual frivolousness is appropriate when the facts alleged rise to the level of the irrational or the wholly incredible"); Livingston v. Adirondack Beverage Co., 141 F.3d 434, 437 (2d Cir. 1998) ("An action is 'frivolous' when either: (1) the factual contentions are clearly baseless . . . ; or (2) the claim is based on an indisputably meritless legal theory.") (internal quotation marks and citation omitted).
Even when read with the "special solicitude" due pro se pleadings, Triestman, 470 F.3d at 475, Plaintiff's complaint must be dismissed. Plaintiff appears to allege that he is exempt from taxation because he is "a sovereign of the [s]everal (de jure) United States." Compl. at 6; see id. (stating that "ONLY people working for the government as a government or state official ... are possibly liable for 'income' taxes."). This claim is "both factually and legally frivolous." Paul v. New York, No. 13-CV-5047 (SJF)(AKT), 2013 WL 5973138, at *3 (S.D.N.Y. Nov. 5, 2013); see id. ("[T]he conspiracy and legal revisionist theories of 'sovereign citizens' are not established law in this court or anywhere in this country's valid legal system.") (internal quotation marks omitted).
District courts generally grant a pro se plaintiff an opportunity to amend a complaint to cure its defects, but leave to amend is not required where it would be futile. See Hill v. Curcione, 657 F.3d 116, 123-24 (2d Cir. 2011); Salahuddin v. Cuomo, 861 F.2d 40, 42 (2d Cir. 1988). Because the defects in Plaintiff's complaint "is substantive[,] better pleading will not cure it" and "[r]epleading would thus be futile." Cuoco v. Moritsugu, 222 F.3d 99, 112 (2d Cir. 2000).
The Court dismisses this action as frivolous. The Court certifies under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(3) that any appeal from this order would not be taken in good faith, and therefore in forma pauperis status is denied for the purpose of an appeal. See Coppedge v. United States, 369 U.S. 438, 444-45 (1962).
The Clerk of Court is directed to docket this order as a "written opinion" within the meaning of Section 205(a)(5) of the E-Government Act of 2002. SO ORDERED. Dated: May 29, 2019
New York, New York
United States District Judge