The Government just laid the smack-down on Pastor Jim Staley and his recent effort to manipulate the system for his gain.
For those who aren’t up to speed, just 20 days before his incarceration date, Staley, in a final act of desperation, filed a motion attempting to challenge the constitutionality of the fraud laws that convicted him to a 7 year prison sentence.
In this motion Staley used jargon commonly used by sovereign citizen extremists, stating that the Federal Government has no “jurisdiction” over him, among other absurdities.
Due to this legal malarkey, Staley became a flight risk, resulting in him being detained, processed and imprisoned 18 days before his incarceration date.
The US Government responded to Staley’s constitutional challenge describing it as “awkwardly written and vague,” rejecting his arguments as “meritless.”
They went on to suggest that the courts deny his request to rescind his guilty plea, stating that it was too late to do so.
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT EASTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI EASTERN DIVISION UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff, v. JAMES STALEY, Defendant. ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) )No. 4:14-cr-153 ERW/TCM GOVERNMENT’S RESPONSE TO DEFENDANT’S NOTICE OF CONSTITUTIONAL CHALLENGE TO STATUTE AND MOTION TO INTERVENE.Comes now the United States of America, by and through its Attorneys, Richard G. Callahan, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Missouri, and Dianna R. Collins, an Assistant United States Attorney for said District, and responds to Defendant’s Notice of Constitutional Challenge to Statute and Motion to Intervene [Doc.119]..The defendant filed a pro se Motion on September 30, 2015 which is awkwardly written and vague as to its purpose. It appears as if the defendant is challenging the constitutionality of a number of decade old statutes without stating the basis for the constitutional challenge. Reading between the lines, it can perhaps be gathered that the defendant is claiming he is a sovereign citizen and that this United States District Court does not have jurisdiction over him. Courts have routinely rejected this argument as meritless. [Emphasis mine] United States v. Hardin, 489 F. 984 (8th Cir. 2012).
Additionally, the defendant cites the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure as the roadway for his constitutional challenge. Even if the defendant were able to question a criminal federal statute under FRCP Rule 5.1, the rule is clear in that it does not apply if one of the parties is the United States, one of its agencies, or one of its officers or employees in an official capacity. FRCP Rule 5.1(1)(A). Case: 4:14-cr-00153-ERW Doc. #: 123 Filed: 10/23/15 Page: 1 of 3 PageID #: 442 The defendant also cites intervention under FRCP Rule 24. This rule doesn’t apply for a number of reasons. One, this is a criminal action and the defendant has cited civil procedure. Two, even if the defendant could cite this rule, Mr. Staley is already the defendant in the matter and he can’t intervene in a matter that he is already a party.
The defendant mentions in his motion that he wishes to “rescind all pleas of guilty that were made on April 30, 2015”. Pleas of guilty cannot be withdrawn once a sentence has been imposed. [Emphasis mine] See Fed. Rules Cr. Pro. Rule 11(e); United States v. Reyes-Contreras, 349 F.3d 524 (8th Cir. 2003). To the extent the defendant intended his declaration regarding his plea as a notice to appeal, his motion is procedurally flawed and should have been included in a Notice of Appeal to the Court of Appeals within 14 days of the entry of the judgment of conviction. Fed. Rules App. Pro. Rule 4 (b)(1)(A)(i)..WHEREFORE, the government requests this Court deny whatever relief the defendant is seeking in his Notice of Constitutional Challenge to Statute and Motion to Intervene. [Emphasis mine].Respectfully submitted, RICHARD G. CALLAHAN United States Attorney /sDianna R. CollinsDianna R. Collins Assistant United States Attorney111 South 10th Street, Rm. 20.333St. Louis, Missouri 63102 314-539-2200CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE I hereby certify that on October 23, 2015, the foregoing was filed electronically with the Clerk of the Court to be served by operation of the Courts electronic filing system upon the following:.James StaleyInmate # 41812-0444500 Prison RoadMarion, IL 62959.Case: 4:14-cr-00153-ERW Doc. #: 123 Filed: 10/23/15 Page: 2 of 3 PageID #: 443 /s/Dianna R. CollinsDianna R. Collins, #59641Assistant United States Attorney