United States District Court, S.D. Ohio, Eastern Division
C. SMITH JUDGE.
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION AND ORDER
KIMBERLY A. JOLSON UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
Charmane Smith, a Tennessee resident who is proceeding
without the assistance of counsel, brings this action against
Judge John Donald, Attorney Timothy L. Edington, Comenity
Bank, and World Financial Network Bank. This matter is before
the undersigned for consideration of Plaintiff's Motion
for Leave to Proceed in forma pauperis (Doc. 1) and
the initial screen of Plaintiff's Complaint under 28
U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2).
request to proceed in forma pauperis is
GRANTED. All judicial officers who render
services in this action shall do so as if the costs had been
prepaid. 28 U.S.C . § 1915(a). Furthermore, having
performed an initial screen and for the reasons that follow,
it is RECOMMENDED that the Court
DISMISS Plaintiff's claims.
Plaintiff is proceeding in forma pauperis, the Court
must dismiss the Complaint, or any portion of it, that is
frivolous, malicious, fails to state a claim upon which
relief can be granted, or seeks monetary relief from a
defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. §
1915(e)(2). Rule 8(a)(2) of the Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure requires a complaint to set forth “a short
and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is
entitled to relief.” In reviewing a complaint, the
Court must construe it in Plaintiff's favor, accept all
well-pleaded factual allegations as true, and evaluate
whether it contains “enough facts to state a claim to
relief that is plausible on its face.” Bell Atl.
Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007). “A
claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads
factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable
inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct
alleged.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678
(2009) (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556). On the
other hand, a complaint that consists of “labels and
conclusions” or “a formulaic recitation of the
elements of a cause of action” is insufficient.
Id. (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555).
Although pro se complaints are to be construed
liberally, Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520
(1972), “basic pleading essentials” are still
required. Wells v. Brown, 891 F.2d 591, 594 (6th
unclear, Plaintiff seems to allege deficiencies related to a
state-court proceeding in Tennessee. For instance, she
alleges “legal malpractice by Judge John Donald,
” whose address, as alleged, is “General Sessions
Court, 140 Adams Ave., Memphis, TN 38103.” (Doc. 1-1,
¶ 4, p. 4). She additionally claims that Attorney
Timothy Edington failed “to have the case removed from
the docket as closed and settled in [her] favor.”
(Id., p. 1). In addition, Plaintiff alleges claims
related to her credit and seeks a variety of relief,
including $280 million for “damage to Business Credit
Rating.” (Id., ¶ 5). The Court is unsure
whether the allegations regarding Plaintiff's credit
relate to the proceeding before Judge Donald.
Court recommends dismissal on a number of grounds.
to the extent Plaintiff challenges a judgment from a state
court in Tennessee, the Rooker-Feldman doctrine bars
such a claim. The United States District Court does not have
jurisdiction to review state-court judgments-only the United
States Supreme Court has that power. See Gottfried v.
Medical Planning Servs., 142 F.3d 326, 330 (6th Cir.
1998). Further, under the Rooker-Feldman doctrine, a
litigant cannot collaterally attack a state court judgment by
filing a civil rights complaint. Ritter v. Ross, 992
F.2d 750, 754 (7th Cir. 1993); Dist. of Columbia Court of
Appeals v. Feldman, 460 U.S. 462, 486 (1983); Rooker
v. Fidelity Trust Co., 263 U.S. 413, 416 (1923). On this
basis, the Court recommends dismissal of the Complaint to the
extent it is challenging any Tennessee state-court
addition, absolute judicial immunity bars Plaintiff's
claims against Judge Donald. “Judges are immune from
liability for damages for acts committed within their
judicial discretion.” Pierson v. Ray, 386 U.S.
547, 87 S.Ct. 1213, 18 L.Ed.2d 288 (1967). Because the
actions alleged here were taken in Judge Donald's
capacity as a judge-like allegedly “allowing Attorney
Edington to ...