United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Tampa Division
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
CHRISTOPHER P. TUITE, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
me on referral for a Report and Recommendation are pro
se Defendant Thomas R. Castillo's (1) Demand for
Dismissal & Summary Judgment Due to Acquiescence,
Negligence (Motion for Dismissal & Summary
Judgment); (2) Request for Entry of Default Judgment
(Request for Default); (3) Notice of Motion and Motion to
Dismiss (Motion to Dismiss); and (4) Response to
United States Government [sic] Opposition of Demand to
Dismiss the Indictment and Motion to Compel(Motion to
Compel). See (Docs. 54, 63, 65, 68, 73). The
government has responded to each of these motions,
see (Docs. 66, 71, 72, 79), and the matters are now
ripe for my review. For the reasons discussed below, I
recommend that the Court deny the Defendant's motions as
both procedurally infirm and substantively without merit.
November 2, 2017, the Defendant was indicted on two counts of
making and presenting, and causing to be made and presented,
false claims to a department and agency of the United States,
in violation 18 U.S.C. §§ 287, 2. (Doc. 1). In both
counts, the Defendant is alleged to have claimed tax refunds
exceeding $230, 000 despite knowing that such claims were
false, fictitious, and fraudulent. Id.
Defendant was arraigned on these charges on November 17,
2017, and pleaded not guilty to both counts. (Doc. 7).
Because the Defendant was indigent, the Federal Public
Defender's Office was appointed to represent him. (Doc.
November 20, 2017, the Court entered a Pretrial Discovery
Order establishing a number of deadlines governing the
disposition of this case. (Doc. 8). Of relevance here, that
Order directed the Defendant to file any motions challenging
the sufficiency of the Indictment within fifteen days of his
arraignment (i.e., by on or about December 4, 2017),
unless otherwise ordered or permitted by the trial judge.
Id. at 4.
January 8, 2018, the Defendant appeared before the Court for
a bond revocation hearing and made an ore tenus
motion to represent himself. (Docs. 21, 23). After conducting
the appropriate inquiry pursuant to Faretta v.
California, 422 U.S. 806, 835 (1975), the Court granted
the Defendant's request and directed that the Federal
Public Defender's Office remain in the case as stand-by
counsel. (Docs. 22, 23, 25). During the course of the
hearing, the Defendant made an ore tenus motion to
dismiss the Indictment, which the Court denied. (Doc. 23).
February 23, 2018, the Defendant and government counsel
appeared for a status conference before the Honorable
Elizabeth A. Kovachevich. (Doc. 28). Because an issue arose
at that hearing regarding the Court's filing
requirements, the Defendant was instructed to appear before
me to discuss the matter. Id.
subsequent hearing conducted on March 3, 2018, the Defendant
was reminded of the importance of adhering to the Court's
deadlines and the consequences of his failure to do so. (Doc.
34)) (court "discusses with pro se defendant...
the importance, need and consequences of not meeting the
deadlines"). The Court thereafter issued an Order
extending the Defendant's discovery and motions deadlines
to April 15, 2018. (Doc. 33).
April 2, 2018, the Court received a document from the
Defendant in which he stated, inter alia, that the
Indictment and the judicial officers involved in this matter
had "fraudulently claim[ed] authority from this Executor
Office to administrate for" the Defendant. (Docs. 38-1,
39 at 1)). The Court liberally construed this document, in
part, to challenge the sufficiency of the Indictment,
directed the government to respond to that challenge, and, of
relevance here, noted in the interim that "[a] district
court has personal jurisdiction over any defendant brought
before it on a federal indictment charging a violation of
federal law." (Doc. 38 at 1-2) (citing United States
v. Rendon, 354 F.3d 1320, 1326 (11th Cir. 2003)).
April 13, 2018, the Defendant filed a Notice of Special
Appearance-Mandatory Judicial Notice-Motion
to Dismiss-Notice of Subrogation, in which he
sought, among other relief, dismissal of the Indictment and a
certification of his right of "subrogation." (Doc.
40 at 1-2, 41). In support of these requests for relief, the
Defendant included with his filing, among other items, a
"Letter Rogatory for Relief," a "Notice of Fee
Schedule and Remedy," and the "United Nations
Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples."
Id. at 3-39. The Defendant also included a motion
for an extension of time to "fil[e] documents to aid his
defense properly." Id. at 40.
April 19, 2018, the Court entered an Order denying both of
the Defendant's construed motions to dismiss. (Doc. 43).
In doing so, the Court noted that the Indictment properly
tracked the language of the charging statute, alleged each of
the essential elements of the charged offense, and provided
the Defendant with sufficient notice for him to prepare his
defense and invoke double jeopardy if necessary. Id.
at 2. The Court also denied the Defendant's request for
an extension of time, observing that the Defendant had
already been warned regarding the significance of the
Court's pretrial motions deadline and "the
consequences for noncompliance." Id.
April 25, 2018, the Defendant filed a Constructive Notice
of Conditional Acceptance (Notice of Conditional
Acceptance), stating, inter alia, that he sought an
"abatement of.. . [the] public proceedings processes
[sic] . . . pending the outcome of the Counterclaim that is
attached hereto." (Doc. 50 at 2). The Defendant included
with his Notice of Conditional Acceptance an "Affidavit
of Specific Negative Averment," in which he alleged,
inter alia, that "[i]f tender of payment of an
obligation to pay an instrument is made to a person entitled
to enforce the instrument and tender is refused, there is a
discharge, to the extent of the amount of the tender, ...
making further prosecution moot." Id. at 3.
same date, the Defendant filed a Notice of Tender for
Setoff and Notice of Fiduciary Appointment and Notice of
Settlement Offer. (Doc. 51). In that Notice, the
Defendant identified himself as the "Holder" of a
particular "Account" and "appointed"
Assistant U.S. Attorney (AUSA) Megan Kistler and the judicial
officers who have been involved in this matter as fiduciaries
charged with, among other duties, "execut[ing] the
setoff, settlement, and closing of ACCOUNT [sic]."
Id. at 2. The Defendant also referenced "three
private tender instruments" and requested that the
"balance of the ACCOUNT be adjusted to Zero dollars
($0.00) to reflect the ledgering of said TENDERS."
Id. at 4. The Defendant additionally referenced a
"Statement of Account" and asserted that,
"[u]pon the Respondent's acceptance of the Request
Regarding a Statement of Account, the Respondent shall,"
among other things, "credit the remaining balance for
the ACCOUNT with the TENDER;" "give proper public
notice of the satisfaction of all obligations on the ACOUNT
... by executing or causing to be executed a Discharge for
charges Title 18 U.S.C. § 287;" and "give
notice to the CLAIMANT of the filing of the Discharge for
charges Title 18 U.S.C. § 287." Id. at 5.
Interspersed throughout the Defendant's Notice were
references to, among other citations, various provisions of
the Uniform Commercial Code, Rule E of the Supplemental
Admiralty Rules, and "Private International Law."
See, e.g., Id. at 2, 4-6.
2, 2018, the Defendant filed his Motion for Dismissal &
Summary Judgment, in which he referenced the above Notices
and complained that AUSA Kistler (whom the Defendant
denominated as the "Representative") had not yet
"compl[ied] with the demand of fulfilling her fiduciary
responsibility via Subrogation." (Doc. 54 at 1-2). The
Defendant similarly alleged that "[a]ll judges have yet
to comply with the[ir] appointed responsibility," that
"[a]ll fiduciaries have neglected to give a Statement of
Account as requested" by the Defendant, and that
"[r] ejection of payment is called for [sic] discharge
of charges [sic] via Uniform Commercial Code."
Id. at 2. The Defendant requested the Court
"issue a Bill of Quia Timet for an injunction to move
the [C]ourt for dismissal via Fraud Upon the Court with
prejudice if the Representative failed to comply with the
demand." Id. at 1. In support of these claims,
the Defendant again cited the Uniform Commercial Code and
Private International Law, as well as "Ecclesiastical
Law." Id. at 1-2.
days later, on May 10, 2018, the Defendant filed his Request
for Default, stating that he was entitled to such relief
because, inter alia, 'there ha[d] been a failure
to respond or otherwise defend to [sic] the Undersigned's
previous Notices." (Doc. 63 at 1). The Defendant
additionally argued "that no Corpus Delecti ha[d] been
proven for this court case," apparently on the grounds
that "there [wa]s no constitutional lawful money in
exchange and the common tender people use on a daily basis
[wa]s a debt via promissory note. .." Id. at2.
11, 2018, the Defendant filed his Motion to Dismiss, arguing
that the Indictment was "void on its face[, ] ... the
institution of the prosecution is invalid[, and] ... thus,
the case must be dismissed for want of jurisdiction."
(Doc. 65 at 2). In support of these claims, the Defendant
asserted, inter alia, that the "Plaintiff"
lacked "standing" to bring the action and that the
Court did not have personal jurisdiction over him.
Id. at 2-5.
18, 2018, the Defendant filed his Motion to Compel, arguing,
inter alia, that "dismissal [wa]s
appropriate" under the circumstances in this case,
including the government's "selective and/or
vindictive . . . prosecution," as evidenced by the
Representative's failure to respond to the
Defendant's "documents," as well as the
"improper joinder" that occurred after the
Representative withdrew. (Doc. 68 at 1-2). In support of
these claims, the Defendant cited, among other authority,
"Ecclesiastical Law" and "Indigenous
Rights." Id. at 3. The Defendant concluded his
motion by asserting that "the courthouse & [sic]
government would rather leave . .. [him] in dishonor and use
his body as collateral for a fine to be ...