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Riley v. Picciano

United States District Court, Sixth Circuit

September 23, 2013

MICHAEL K. RILEY, Plaintiff,
v.
CYNTHIA PICCIANO, et al., Defendants.

ORDER AND INITIAL SCREEN REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

ELIZABETH A. PRESTON DEAVERS, Magistarte Judge.

Plaintiff Michael K. Riley, who is proceeding without the assistance of counsel, brings this action under Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA"), 42 U.S.C. §§ 1210 et seq, and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, 42 U.S.C. §2000e-2(a)(1). This matter is before the Court for consideration of Plaintiff's Motion for Leave to Proceed In Forma Pauperis, which is GRANTED. (ECF No. 1.) This matter is also before the Court for the initial screen of Plaintiff's Complaint under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2) 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 this action be DISMISSED.

I. BACKGROUND

Plaintiff purports to assert claims against Cynthia Picciano, Kevin Brooks Sr., Alesia Gillison, Jerry McAfee, and Maurice Oldham, for actions he alleges were taken against him while he worked for the Columbus Board of Education. Specifically, Plaintiff alleges that he was suspended for three days and demoted, and points to general "harassment" and "discriminatory behavior" as the cause of the adverse employment actions. Plaintiff seeks wages lost due to his demotion and punitive damages in the amount of $1, 000, 000.

II. STANDARD

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 claimunder 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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