United States District Court, N.D. Ohio, Eastern Division
LIOI UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Angela Lumpkin and Ayana Hill, bring this civil rights action
for damages against defendants, Lorain Municipal Court
Magistrate Chris Cook, Lorain Municipal Court Bailiff Ron
Bombeck, and Lorain Municipal Court Magistrate Bailiff
“Cathy.” The complaint alleges plaintiffs made an
agreement on December 27, 2014 to lease a rental unit under
Section 8 owned by Annette Harrington. Because
Harrington did not make certain repairs required to pass
Lorain Metropolitan Housing Authority inspections, however,
plaintiffs were unable to use their Section 8 voucher for the
unit and could not afford the rent. Harrington filed an
eviction action against Plaintiffs on July 10, 2015-see
Harrington v. Hill, Lorain Municipal Court Case No. 2015
plaintiffs were thereafter ordered to vacate. Plaintiffs'
belongings were put outside the residence on August 28,
2015. Some of those belongings were damaged or
pro se pleadings are liberally construed, Boag
v. MacDougall, 454 U.S. 364, 365, 102 S.Ct. 700, 70
L.Ed.2d 551 (1982) (per curiam) (citing Haines v.
Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520, 92 S.Ct. 594, 30 L.Ed.2d 652
(1972)), the district court is required to dismiss an 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. Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S.
319, 325, 109 S.Ct. 1827, 104 L.Ed.2d 338 (1989).
of action fails to state a claim upon which relief may be
granted when it lacks “plausibility in [the]
complaint.” Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly,
550 U.S. 544, 564, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 167 L.Ed.2d 929 (2007). A
pleading must contain a “short and plain statement of
the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to
relief.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662,
677-78, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 173 L.Ed.2d 868 (2009) (citing
Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2)). 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. Twombly, 550
U.S. at 555 (citations omitted). The plaintiff is not
required to include detailed factual allegations, but must
provide more than “an unadorned,
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 (2009) (citations omitted). 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.
officers are generally absolutely immune from civil suits for
money damages. Barnes v. Winchell, 105 F.3d 1111,
1115 (6th Cir. 1997) (citing, among authority, Mireles v.
Waco, 502 U.S. 9, 9, 112 S.Ct. 286, 116 L.Ed.2d 9
(1991)). This far-reaching protection is needed to ensure
that the independent and impartial exercise of judgment is
not impaired by the exposure of potential damages.
Barnes, 105 F.3d at 1115 (citing Mirles,
502 U.S. at 10). For this reason, absolute immunity is
overcome only in two situations: (1) when the conduct alleged
is not performed in the judge's judicial capacity; or (2)
when the conduct alleged, although judicial in nature, is
taken in complete absence of all jurisdiction.
Mireles, 502 U.S. at 11-12; Barnes, 105
F.3d at 1116. Plaintiffs have not alleged facts indicating
either of these criteria has been met in this case.
judicial immunity extends to officers performing bailiff
functions at the court's instruction. Beckham v. City
of Euclid, Ohio, Case No. 1:14-cv-696, 2015 WL 9480682,
at *6 (N.D. Ohio Dec. 29, 2015) (citing Martin v.
Hendren, 127 F.3d 720 (8th Cir. 1997); Robinson v.
Freeze, 15 F.3d 107 (8th Cir. 1994); Dellenbach v.
Letsinger, 889 F.2d 755, 762 (7th Cir. 1989);
Haldane v. Chagnon, 345 F.2d 601 (9th Cir. 1965);
Nabkey v. Gibson, 923 F.Supp. 117, 121 (W.D. Mich.
1996)). Plaintiffs do not set forth allegations reasonably
suggesting the defendant bailiffs acted in a manner outside
the court's instructions.
on the foregoing, the request to proceed in forma
pauperis is granted and this action is dismissed under
§ 1915(e). Further, the Court certifies, pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 1915(a)(3), that an appeal from this decision
could not be taken in good faith.
IS SO ORDERED
 Plaintiff does not bring suit or serve
a summons on Annette Harrington, and she does not appear to
be a party to this action. Furthermore, a private citizen
generally cannot be sued for violating an individual's
constitutional rights. See Am. Mfrs. Mut. Ins. Co. v.
Sullivan, 526 U.S. 40, 50, 119 S.Ct. 977, 143 L.Ed.2d
 The Lorain Municipal Court docket
reflects the eviction order was filed and issued on August
 A claim may be dismissed sua
sponte, without prior notice to the plaintiff and
without service of process on the defendant, if the court
explicitly states that it is invoking section 1915(e)
[formerly 28 U.S.C. § 1915(d)] and is dismissing the
claim for one of the reasons set forth in the statute.
McGore v. Wrigglesworth, 114 F.3d 601, 608-09 (6th
Cir. 1997); Spruytte v. Walters, 753 F.2d 498, 500
(6th Cir. 1985), cert. denied, 474 U.S. 1054 (1986);
Harris v. Johnson, 7 ...