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Willie R. Mccoy, Iii v. President Barak Obama

October 17, 2011


The opinion of the court was delivered by: Judge Sara Lioi


Pro se Plaintiff Willie R. McCoy, III filed this action against the United States President, Barak Obama. In the Complaint, Plaintiff alleges the United States Treasury is holding funds to which he believes he is entitled. He seeks release of the funds.

Plaintiff also filed an Application to Proceed In Forma Pauperis. That Application is granted.


Plaintiff's Complaint is very brief. It states in its entirety: President Barak Obama, Washington D.C. This Complaint is Consearning [sic] my funds that's [sic] being withheld by the President of the United States of America. I've been on a reality show called Big Brother for the last 8 years. I'm asking the court to have my funds released out of the United States treasury and into a personal bank account of my own.

ECF. No. 1 at 1.

Standard of Review

Although pro se pleadings are liberally construed, Boag v. MacDougall, 454 U.S. 364, 365 (1982) (per curiam); Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520 (1972), the district court is required to dismiss an in forma pauperis action under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e) if it fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted, or if it lacks an arguable basis in law or fact.*fn1 Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319 (1989); Lawler v. Marshall, 898 F.2d 1196 (6th Cir. 1990); Sistrunk v. City of Strongsville, 99 F.3d 194, 197 (6th Cir. 1996). A claim lacks an arguable basis in law or fact when it is premised on an indisputably meritless legal theory or when the factual contentions are clearly baseless. Neitzke, 490 U.S. at 327. A cause of action fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted when it lacks "plausibility in the complaint." Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 564 (2007). A pleading must contain a "short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief." Ashcroft v. Iqbal , 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1949 (2009). The factual allegations in the pleading must be sufficient to raise the right to relief above the speculative level on the assumption that all the allegations in the Complaint are true. Bell Atl. Corp., 550 U.S. at 555. The Plaintiff is not required to include detailed factual allegations, but must provide more than "an unadorned, the-defendant-unlawfully-harmed-me accusation." Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. at 1949. A pleading that offers legal conclusions or a simple recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not meet this pleading standard. Id. In reviewing a Complaint, the Court must construe the pleading in the light most favorable to the Plaintiff. Bibbo v. Dean Witter Reynolds, Inc., 151 F.3d 559, 561 (6th Cir. 1998).


This action lacks an arguable basis in law and fact. The United States, as a sovereign, cannot be sued without its prior consent, and the terms of its consent define the Court's subject matter jurisdiction. McGinness v. U.S., 90 F.3d 143, 145 (6th Cir. 1996). A waiver of sovereign immunity must be strictly construed, unequivocally expressed, and cannot be implied. U.S. v. King, 395 U.S. 1, 4 (1969); Soriano v. U.S., 352 U.S. 270, 276 (1957). Claims asserted against United States government officials in their official capacities are construed as claims against the United States. See Name.Space, Inc. v. Network Solutions, Inc., 202 F.3d 573, 581 (2d Cir. 2000)(finding that agencies, instrumentalities, and officers of the federal government cannot be sued under antitrust laws); Berger v. Pierce, 933 F.2d 393, 397 (6th Cir.1991)(stating that a Bivens claim cannot be asserted against the United States government or its employees in their official capacities).

Plaintiff's claims against Barak Obama are clearly asserted against him in his official capacity as the President of the United States. Consequently, Plaintiff must articulate a cause of action in his Complaint for which the United States has waived its sovereign immunity. No cause of action, however, is listed in the Complaint and none is apparent on the face of the pleading.

Principles requiring generous construction of pro se pleadings are not without limits. See Wells v. Brown, 891 F.2d 591, 594 (6th Cir. 1989); Beaudett v. City of Hampton, 775 F.2d 1274, 1277 (4th Cir. 1985). A Complaint must contain either direct or inferential allegations respecting all the material elements of some viable legal theory to satisfy federal notice pleading requirements. See Schied v. Fanny Farmer Candy Shops, Inc., 859 F.2d 434, 437 (6th Cir. 1988). District courts are not required to conjure up questions never squarely presented to them or to construct full blown claims from sentence fragments. Beaudett, 775 F.2d at 1278. To do so would "require ...[the courts] to explore exhaustively all potential claims of a pro se Plaintiff, ... [and] would...transform the district court from its legitimate advisory role to the improper role of an advocate seeking out the strongest arguments and most successful strategies for a party." Id. at 1278. Even liberally construing the pleading, there is not a sufficient indication that the United States waived its sovereign immunity to allow this matter to proceed.


For all the foregoing reasons, Plaintiff's Application to Proceed In Forma Pauperis is granted and this action is dismissed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e). The court certifies, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(3), that an ...

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