United Nation of Islam Lawsuit Against Ex-Member Dismissed as Seeking Lifelong “Indentured Servitude”

Ephraim, Fatimah, Fatimah, Dwight Johnson, Raasikh and Raasikh are all members of the community once known under the United Nation of Islam. Kendra Ross and Cheryl Ross, her mother, were sued by each plaintiff in a suit against them. Both claimed they had been defamed and breached a contract. Kendra filed a motion to dismiss all claims against her after the federal courts removed the cases. These motions were granted by the court and she was dismissed from all cases. However, Cheryl did not appear in any of these proceedings and she didn’t sign any documents made in them. The court therefore declined to take action on the claims of plaintiffs against Cheryl.

Cheryl has not yet appeared in any of these cases. Therefore, Cheryl has been declared in default by the Clerk. In each case, the plaintiffs have filed Motions for Default Judgment Against Cheryl Ross. Motions for Hearing were also filed by the plaintiffs.

Plaintiffs do not have the right of default judgment against Cheryl, even though she is in default. Because each of her Complaints doesn’t state any claim against Cheryl. The court denied plaintiffs’ Motions to Default Judgment as well as their related Motions For a Hearing. And, because no amendment could salvage plaintiffs’ claims against Cheryl, the court dismisses these cases with prejudice….

These cases result from an earlier case before this court. Ross v. Jenkins, No. 17-2547 (D. Kan.). Kendra Ross, the plaintiff in that case, brought a suit against Royall Jenkins, as well as several corporate successors of interest to The United Nation of Islam, Inc. The case was closed because the defendants failed to show up. Kendra then presented evidence and claimed damages to the court. Kendra was granted default judgment by the court after concluding her evidence is sufficient to support her claims. She received damages of nearly $8 million.

Later, plaintiffs in these cases—filing suit as individual members of the former UNOI— alleged that Kendra had breached a purported membership agreement with the community and defamed the community when she filed her federal lawsuit. They claim that Kendra signed a UNOI membership agreement as a child.

According to this agreement, plaintiffs allege that Kendra would receive food, shelter, education, and other services from the UNOI in exchange for Kendra being a lifelong servant of the community. Kendra allegedly broke her membership agreement when she left the community to demand payment for the work that she did in the community. Kendra was also accused of defaming the UNOI, the community and herself when she filed the federal lawsuit. She was interview on NBC. Today Show, and when A&E aired an episode about UNOI on a show called “Cults and Extreme Belief.”

Kendra is not being accused of Cheryl’s murder. Kendra was the only one who she claims to have signed the membership agreement. Plaintiffs claim that Kendra is the victim of their contract breach. The plaintiffs do not claim that Cheryl violated the membership agreement by herself. Nor do they allege that Cheryl had anything to do with Kendra’s alleged defamatory statements….

Kendra took these cases to the federal court, and filed a motion to dismiss all claims against her. On July 21, 2021, the court granted Kendra’s motions and dismissed her from these cases…. But, after the court’s Order dismissing Kendra from the cases, plaintiffs didn’t do anything with their claims against Cheryl, who remained a defendant….. Plaintiffs … ask[]Cheryl for default judgment. They also objected to the court’s Order dismissing Kendra from the case….

An automatic default judgment does not apply. The court must still consider the legality of the facts, even after a default is entered against the defendant. A party in default doesn’t admit to mere law conclusions. Also, the plaintiffs still need to “state a claim on which relief could be granted.” …

Cheryl Ross is the target of these remaining lawsuits. They claim she’s liable for Cheryl Ross’s alleged violation of her daughter’s membership agreement with UNOI. The plaintiffs are also members. The agreement allegedly provided that UNOI would give Kendra shelter, food and education in exchange Kendra being a lifelong servant to the community. Kendra is accused of violating the terms and conditions of the membership agreement by leaving her community, then requesting payment for her labor. And—liberally construing plaintiffs’ claim—because Kendra “received the benefits of” the membership agreement while she was “a minor under Mother Cheryl Ross’ jurisdiction[,]Cheryl will be held liable for Kendra’s alleged breach. There are several reasons why plaintiffs’ allegations fail to state a claim for breach of contract….

ErstThe plaintiffs deny that Cheryl has signed any contracts. Plaintiffs claim a complicated theory as to how Cheryl became a member of the UNOI. They also allege that she signed a membership agreement for Kendra and herself. Despite accepting these allegations, plaintiffs do not claim that they are true. They are parties to this purported membership agreement between Cheryl and the UNOI….

SecondThe plaintiffs do not claim that Cheryl violated the agreement. Their allegations focus only on Kendra—claiming she violated the membership agreement by leaving the UNOI and filing a federal lawsuit against the community. Plaintiffs argue that Kendra was in Cheryl’s jurisdiction.[,]Kendra is responsible for Cheryl’s actions. The court has already ruled that the plaintiffs didn’t allege any facts which, if true could render Kendra’s acts (or omissions), a breach of contract. Instead, plaintiffs simply plead conclusions—e.g., Kendra “breached a contract with the community”—and those won’t suffice. Plaintiffs don’t have any evidence to support a conclusion or inference that Kendra “breached” the contract with the community. Cheryl could be held responsible. Plaintiffs also don’t claim that Cheryl broke the membership agreement by herself. Therefore, the plaintiffs are unable to assert a Kansas contract breach claim against Cheryl.

DritteThe purported membership agreement was not conscionable, thus it is inapplicable. Kendra Ross, Cheryl Ross, and several other UNOI members have brought nearly identical lawsuits in the United States District Court for the District of Maryland against them. The court dismissed those lawsuits. It stated that an agreement in which members “volunteer” to help the community was in violation when the member chooses to. Please leaveThe command to serve as a servitude in exchange for some food and shelter can be understood only. This claim can only be read as a contract of indentured slavery. Robertson v. Ross (D. Md. (D. Md.

In agreement with District of Maryland, the court RobertsonIt concludes that any purported agreement made between Cheryl Ross and the UNOI for food, shelter and lifelong servitude in return for it is not conscionable. Public policy prohibits the enforcement of illegal or imprudent contracts[.]Kendra worked in UNOI houses and businesses for 10 years without being paid, beginning at 11 years of age. The UNOI was found to have violated federal and state labor and human trafficking laws. Enforcing a purported agreement allowing such illegal conduct thus would violate public policy….

{The plaintiffs have never brought a defamation case against Cheryl. But to the extent their defamation claims against Kendra implicate Cheryl, those claims are without merit… The defamatory acts that plaintiffs allege—KendraRoyall Jenkins and UNOI are being sued KendraInterview by Megyn on the Today Show, and A&E’s segment on UNOI—have no connection to Cheryl. Kendra did not bring Cheryl to the lawsuit. Kendra did not appear alongside Cheryl on this occasion. Today ShowInterview (or any other appearance in that segment). And plaintiffs don’t allege that Cheryl had anything to do with A&E’s episode about the UNOI on the show, “Cults and Extreme Beliefs.” Thus, plaintiffs haven’t stated a defamation claim against Cheryl.}