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Picklesimer v. Ohio Department of Corrections & Rehabilitation

United States District Court, Sixth Circuit

August 30, 2013

JIMMIE PICKLESIMER, Plaintiff,
v.
OHIO DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS AND REHABILITATION, et al., Defendants.

INITIAL SCREEN REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

ELIZABETH A. PRESTON DEAVERS, Magistrate Judge.

Plaintiff, Jimmie Picklesimer, an Ohio inmate who is proceeding without the assistance of counsel, brings this action against the Ohio Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Southeastern Correctional Institution ("SCI"), and fifteen John Doe Defendants (collectively "Defendants"), alleging various claims arising from an accidental injury he sustained while performing his prison job. This matter before the United States Magistrate for the initial screen of Plaintiff's Complaint under 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2) and 1915A to identify cognizable claims and to recommend dismissal of Plaintiff's Complaint, or any portion of it, which is frivolous, malicious, fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2). Having performed the initial screen, for the reasons that follow, it is RECOMMENDED that the Court DISMISS this action for failure to assert any claim with an arguable basis in law over which this Court has subject matter jurisdiction.

I.

According to Plaintiff's Complaint and the grievances he attaches as exhibits to the Complaint, on July 15, 2013, inmate Mike McClasky and Plaintiff were working as mechanics at SCI's mechanic shop. After repairing a zero-turn mower, Mr. McClasky took the mower for a test drive while Plaintiff watched. Mr. McClasky inadvertently ran over a piece of metal that was hidden in the ground, causing the sliver of metal to fly from the mower. The piece of metal struck Plaintiff's right arm. Plaintiff alleges that injuries he sustained as a result of this incident are attributable to "Defendant[s'] negligence, reckless negligence and cruel and unusual punishment under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, " as well as "faulty equipment and a lack of proper safety training." (Compl. ¶ 1, ECF No. 7.) Thus, it appears that Plaintiff seeks to assert an Eighth Amendment claim as well as state-law tort claims. In terms of relief, Plaintiff seeks compensatory damages, punitive damages, costs, and attorneys' fees.

II.

Congress enacted 28 U.S.C. § 1915, the federal in forma pauperis statute, seeking to "lower judicial access barriers to the indigent." Denton v. Hernandez, 504 U.S. 25, 31 (1992). In doing so, however, "Congress recognized that a litigant whose filing fees and court costs are assumed by the public, unlike a paying litigant, lacks an economic incentive to refrain from filing frivolous, malicious, or repetitive lawsuits.'" Id. at 31 (quoting Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 324 (1989)). To address this concern, Congress included subsection (e)[1] as part of the statute, which provides in pertinent part:

(2) Notwithstanding any filing fee, or any portion thereof, that may have been paid, the court shall dismiss the case at any time if the court determines that-
* * *
(B) the action or appeal-
(i) is frivolous or malicious;
(ii) fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted; or....

28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(i) & (ii); Denton, 504 U.S. at 31. Thus, § 1915(e) requires sua sponte dismissal of an action upon the Court's determination that the action is frivolous or malicious, or upon determination that the action fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted.

To properly state a claim upon which relief may be granted, a plaintiff must satisfy the basic federal pleading requirements set forth in Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a). See also Hill v. Lappin, 630 F.3d 468, 470-71 (6th Cir. 2010) (applying Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) standards to review under 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915A and 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii)). Under Rule 8(a)(2), a complaint must contain a "short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief." Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). Thus, Rule 8(a) "imposes legal and factual demands on the authors of complaints." 16630 Southfield Ltd., P'Ship v. Flagstar Bank, F.S.B., ___ F.3d ____, No. 12-2620, 2013 WL 4081909, at *1 (6th Cir. Aug. 14, 2013).

Although this pleading standard does not require "detailed factual allegations, '... [a] pleading that offers labels and conclusions' or a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action, '" is insufficient. Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)). A complaint will not "suffice if it tenders naked assertion[s]' devoid of further factual enhancement.'" Id. (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 557). Instead, to survive a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim under Rule 12(b)(6), "a complaint must contain sufficient factual matter... to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'" Id. (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570). Facial plausibility is established "when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged." Id. "The plausibility of an inference depends on a host of considerations, including common sense and the strength of competing explanations for the defendant's conduct." Flagstar Bank, 2013 WL 4081909 at *2 (citations ...


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