United States District Court, N.D. Ohio, Western Division
Harold E. Holmes, Jr., Plaintiff
Toledo Gaming Ventures, LLC, et al., Defendants
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Jeffrey J. Helmick United States District Judge.
se Plaintiff Harold Holmes, Jr. filed this action under
42 U.S.C. § 1981 against Toledo Gaming Ventures, Inc.,
and the Hollywood Casino in Toledo. In the Complaint,
Plaintiff alleges Defendants engaged in intentional racial
discrimination against Kiesha Holmes (“K.
Holmes”) and her daughter Kohrea McKinney
(“McKinney”) when they visited the Hollywood
Casino in Toledo in January 2016. That incident prompted K.
Holmes and McKinney to file a lawsuit against Defendants
asserting claims under § 1981. See Holmes v. Toledo
Gaming Ventures, 3:16 CV 464 (N.D. Ohio filed June 5,
2017)(Helmick, J.). That suit is still pending before me in
this Court. Plaintiff objects to the fact that Toledo Gaming
Ventures and Hollywood Casinos are defending that lawsuit
rather than settling with K. Holmes and McKinney. Plaintiff
also alleges the federal judiciary is in cahoots with
Defendants against K. Holmes and McKinney because of their
race. Plaintiff claims he is entitled to $ 1, 500, 000.00.
pro se pleadings are liberally construed, Boag
v. MacDougall, 454 U.S. 364, 365 (1982) (per curiam);
Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520 (1972), I am
required to dismiss an in forma pauperis 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 (1989); Lawler v. Marshall, 898 F.2d 1196 (6th
Cir. 1990); Sistrunk v. City of Strongsville, 99
F.3d 194, 197 (6th Cir. 1996). A claim lacks an arguable
basis in law or fact when it is premised on an indisputably
meritless legal theory or when the factual contentions are
clearly baseless. Neitzke, 490 U.S. at 327. A cause
of action fails to state a claim upon which relief may be
granted when it lacks “plausibility in the
Complaint.” Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550
U.S. 544, 564 (2007).
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 (2009). 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. Bell Atl. Corp., 550 U.S.
at 555. The Plaintiff is not required to include detailed
factual allegations, but must provide more than “an
accusation.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678. 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. In reviewing a Complaint, I
must construe the pleading in the light most favorable to the
Plaintiff. Bibbo v. Dean Witter Reynolds, Inc., 151
F.3d 559, 561 (6th Cir. 1998).
every federal case, the party bringing the suit has the
burden to establish standing to prosecute the action. Federal
courts have constitutional authority to decide only
“cases” and “controversies.” U.S.
Const. art. III § 2; see Muskrat v. United
States, 219 U.S. 346, 31 S.Ct. 250, 55 L.Ed. 246 (1911).
The requirement of standing is “rooted in the
traditional understanding of a case or controversy.”
Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins, ___ U.S. ___, 136 S.Ct.
1540, 1547, 194 L.Ed.2d 635 (2016). The “irreducible
constitutional minimum” of standing is that for each
claim, each Plaintiff must allege: (1) an actual or imminent
injury in fact; (2) that is traceable to the Defendant; and
(3) redressable by the Court. Lujan v. Defenders of
Wildlife, 504 U.S. 555, 560-62, 112 S.Ct. 2130, 119
L.Ed.2d 351 (1992); Friends of the Earth, Inc. v. Laidlaw
Envtl. Servs., 528 U.S. 167, 185, 120 S.Ct. 693, 145
L.Ed.2d 610 (2000) (agreeing that “a Plaintiff must
demonstrate standing separately for each form of relief
standing to bring a claim, the Plaintiff, himself, must have
suffered an actual or imminent injury in fact. An
“injury in fact, ” is defined as “an
invasion of a legally protected interest which is
(a) concrete and particularized, and (b) ‘actual or
imminent, not “conjectural” or
“hypothetical.'”” Lujan, 504
U.S. at 560, 112 S.Ct. 2130 (emphasis added) (citations
omitted) (quoting Whitmore v. Arkansas, 495 U.S.
149, 155, 110 S.Ct. 1717, 109 L.Ed.2d 135 (1990) (quoting
Los Angeles v. Lyons, 461 U.S. 95, 102, 103 S.Ct.
1660, 75 L.Ed.2d 675 (1983))). The requirement that an injury
be “concrete and particularized” has two discrete
parts: (1) concreteness, which is the requirement that the
injury be “real, ” and not “abstract,
” Spokeo, 136 S.Ct. at 1548, and (2)
particularization, which is the requirement that the
Plaintiff “personally [have] suffered some actual or
threatened injury” as opposed to bringing a generalized
grievance. Valley Forge Christian College v. Americans
United for Separation of Church and State, Inc., 454
U.S. 464, 472, 102 S.Ct. 752, 70 L.Ed.2d 700 (1982) (emphasis
added). Generally, “a plaintiff must ‘assert his
own legal rights and interests, and cannot rest his claim to
relief on the legal rights or interests of third
parties.'” Coyne ex rel. Ohio v. Am. Tobacco
Co., 183 F.3d 488, 494 (6th Cir. 1999) (quoting
Warth, 422 U.S. at 499, 95 S.Ct. 2197; see also
Ovalle, 136 F.3d at 1100-01; Powers v. Ohio,
499 U.S. 400, 410, 111 S.Ct. 1364, 113 L.Ed.2d 411 (1991)).
case, Plaintiff has not alleged a particularized,
personal injury. He merely alleges the Defendants
injured K. Holmes and McKinney. There is no indication that
Plaintiff was personally involved in the events that occurred
in the Casino in January 2016. He is not a party to the
lawsuit filed by K. Holmes and McKinney. Plaintiff does not
describe his relationship to Holmes and McKinney; however,
the fact that Plaintiff may be collaterally affected in some
way by the adjudication of K. Holmes's or McKinney's
rights does not necessarily extend the Court's Article
III powers to him. Allstate Insurance Co. v. Wayne
County, 760 F.2d 689, 692 (6th Cir. 1985). Further, I
find any allegation of a conspiracy between the federal
judiciary and Defendants to be merely
“conjectural” and “hypothetical” with
no basis in fact. Plaintiff has not alleged sufficient facts
to demonstrate he suffered an actual injury in fact to
establish standing to bring this action.
considered and examined the pro se Plaintiff's
pleadings to determine their legal viability, I conclude that
Plaintiff does not have standing to bring this action. Since
Plaintiff has no standing to bring this action, I find it
unnecessary to stay this action pending the possibility he
may be able to pay the filing fee. Therefore, Plaintiff's
Motion to Proceed In Forma Pauperis (Doc. No. 2) is
granted, Plaintiff's Motion to Stay is denied (Doc. No.
8), and this action is dismissed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §