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Richardson v. TI Automative Group Systems

United States District Court, S.D. Ohio, Western Division, Dayton

November 2, 2017

EARL RICHARDSON, Plaintiff,
v.
TI AUTOMOTIVE GROUP SYSTEMS, et al., Defendants.

          Thomas M. Rose, District Judge

         REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION[1] THAT: (1) THIS CASE PROCEED ON PRO SE PLAINTIFF'S AMENDED COMPLAINT (DOC. 9); (2) DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO DISMISS PRO SE PLAINTIFF'S INITIAL COMPLAINT (DOC. 8), THEREFORE, BE DENIED AS MOOT; (3) DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO DISMISS PRO SE PLAINTIFF'S AMENDED COMPLAINT (DOC. 10) BE GRANTED, AND THE AMENDED PLEADING AGAINST ALL DEFENDANTS BE DISMISSED; AND (4) THIS CASE BE TERMINATED ON THE COURT'S DOCKET

          Michael J. Newman, United States Magistrate Judge

         This is a personal injury case filed pro se by Plaintiff Earl Richardson (“Richardson”) against four Defendants: TI Automotive Group Systems (“TI”); Bundy Tubing Corporation (“Bundy Tubing”); Product Action International (“PAI”); and the Industrial Commission of Ohio (“Industrial Commission”), an agency of the State of Ohio. Claiming that he is entitled to relief under Ohio law as well as 42 U.S.C. § 1983, Richardson suggests that diversity jurisdiction and federal question jurisdiction both exist in this instance.[2]

         Now before the Court is TI's[3] motion to dismiss Richardson's initial complaint (doc. 8). In response to the motion, Richardson filed an amended complaint. Doc. 9.[4] Thereafter, TI filed a motion to dismiss the amended complaint as well. Doc. 10. Richardson then filed a memorandum in opposition to TI's motion to dismiss the amended complaint. Doc. 11. The Court has carefully reviewed each of the foregoing, and TI's two motions are now ripe for decision.

         Given that Richardson intends his amended complaint to replace his initial complaint, the Court here reviews that amended pleading and the corresponding motion to dismiss. TI's earlier dismissal motion, therefore, should be DENIED AS MOOT.

         Additionally, this case is before the Court for a sua sponte review -- pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2) -- of the amended complaint filed by Richardson. Richardson filed a motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis (“IFP”) on July 5, 2017 (doc. 1), which the Court granted. Doc. 3. It is appropriate for the Court to conduct this review sua sponte “so as to spare prospective defendants the inconvenience and expense of answering such complaints.” Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 324 (1989).

         I.

         A. Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6)

         A motion to dismiss filed pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6) operates to test the sufficiency of the complaint and permits dismissal for “failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.” To show grounds for relief, Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2) requires that the complaint contain a “short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief.” While Fed.R.Civ.P. 8 “does not require ‘detailed factual allegations' . . . it demands more than an unadorned, the-defendant-unlawfully-harmed-me accusation.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (citing Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)). Pleadings offering mere “‘labels and conclusions' or ‘a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do.” Id. (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555).

         In determining a motion to dismiss, “courts ‘are not bound to accept as true a legal conclusion couched as a factual allegation.'” Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555 (citing Papasan v. Allain, 478 U.S. 265, 286 (1986)). Further, “[f]actual allegations must be enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative level.” Id.

         In order “[t]o survive a motion to dismiss, a complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to ‘state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678. In addition to well-pleaded allegations in the complaint, the Court may also consider “matters of public record, orders, items appearing in the record of the case, and exhibits attached to the complaint, ” as well as documents attached to a defendant's motion to dismiss that are important to the plaintiff's claims or if referred to in the complaint. Amini v. Oberlin College, 259 F.3d 493, 502 (6th Cir. 2001) (citation omitted); Composite Tech., L.L.C. v. Inoplast Composites S.A. de C.V., 925 F.Supp.2d 868, 873 (S.D. Ohio 2013).

         A claim is plausible where “plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678. Plausibility “is not akin to a ‘probability requirement, ' but it asks for more than a sheer possibility that a defendant has acted unlawfully.” Id. “[W]here the well-pleaded facts do not permit the court to infer more than the mere possibility of misconduct, the complaint has alleged -- but it has not ‘show[n]' -- ‘that the pleader is entitled to relief.'” Id. at 679 (alteration in original) (citing Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2)).

         While pro se parties must satisfy basic pleading requirements, Wells v. Brown,891 F.2d 591, 594 (6th Cir. 1989), their pleadings must be liberally construed and are “held to less stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers.” Erickson v. Pardus,551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007). Nevertheless, “even a pro se complaint ‘must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its ...


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