United States District Court, N.D. Ohio, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM OF OPINION AND ORDER [RESOLVING ECF NOS.
4, 6, & 7]
Y. Pearson United States District Judge
se Plaintiff Karla Jenkins has filed this fee-paid
action against Key Bank, N.A. (Key Bank); Manley, Deas &
Kochalski and James Bitterman; and Clifford Pickney of the
Cuyahoga County Sheriff's Department. Her Amended
Complaint (ECF No. 3) pertains to a state mortgage
foreclosure action Key Bank brought against Leila Shiozawa
relating to property located at 510 Jeanette Drive in
Richmond Heights, Ohio. See KeyBank N.A. v. Leila
Shiozawa, No. CV-16-872750 (Cuyahoga County Ct. of
Common Pleas). According to the docket in the state court
case, the Magistrate entered a decree of foreclosure in Key
Bank's favor on March 24, 2017, which the state court
adopted on April 13, 2017. On May 30, 2017, the subject
property was sold at public auction by the Cuyahoga County
filed this federal action challenging the foreclosure. She
alleges that on April 7, 2017, she “accepted a
quitclaim deed” for the property that allowed her to
intervene as a third party in the foreclosure action (ECF
No. 3 at PageID #: 24), although there is no indication
on the state court docket that she actually intervened in
that case. Plaintiff contends the loan to Shiozawa was
fraudulent, that the foreclosure complaint was fraudulent,
and that the Sheriff's Department conspired to commit
fraud and theft against the plaintiff's rights in selling
the property (apparently because the property was sold after
she filed a “Notice of Lis Pendens and Notice of Action
Pending” in state court, purporting to indicate she had
filed litigation against Key Bank). See id. and
amended complaint, Plaintiff alleges the following claims:
violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and conspiracy in
violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1985 (Counts 1- 3),
“malicious abuse of process” (Count 4),
conspiracy in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 241 and
242 (Count 5), intentional infliction of emotional
distress (Count 6), mail fraud (Count 7), and fraud (Count
8). For each claim, Plaintiff seeks $50, 000 in damages.
Bank and Defendants Bitterman, Cuyahoga County Sheriff's
Department, and Pickney have filed motions to dismiss the
plaintiff's complaint pursuant toFed. R. Civ. P.
12(b)(6). ECF Nos. 4 & 6.
Plaintiff has responded to the motions with her own
“Motion, ” in which she asks that the Court not
dismiss the Complaint. ECF No. 7.
reasons stated below, Defendants' motions to dismiss are
granted with respect to Plaintiff's federal claims,
Plaintiff's “motion” in opposition is denied,
and the case is dismissed.
Standard of Review
complaint is subject to dismissal under Fed. R. Civ. P.
12(b)(6) if it fails to state claim on which relief can be
granted. In deciding a motion to dismiss, the Court must
presume the complaint's factual allegations are true,
draw all reasonable inferences in favor of the non-moving
party, and determine whether the complaint presents
“enough facts to state claim to relief that is
plausible on its face.” Total Benefits Planning
Agency, Inc. v. Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, 552
F.3d 430, 434 (6th Cir. 2008), citing Bell Atlantic Corp.
v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544 (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.
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556.
pro se pleadings generally are “liberally
construed” and “held to less stringent standards
than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers, ”
Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007) (per
curiam), pro se plaintiffs must still satisfy
basic pleading requirements. Wells v. Brown, 891
F.2d 591, 594 (6th Cir.1989). Thus, to survive a dismissal
under Rule 12(b)(6), a pro se complaint
“must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as
true, to ‘state a claim to relief that is plausible on
its face.'” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S.
662, 678 (2009) (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570);
see also Barnett v. Luttrell, 414 Fed.Appx. 784, 786
(6th Cir. 2011).
review of Defendants' motions, the Court finds that
Plaintiff has failed to allege any plausible federal claim on
which relief may be granted.
state a federal civil rights claim under 42 U.S.C. §
1983, a complaint must allege “that there was the
deprivation of a right secured by the Constitution” and
“that the deprivation was caused by a person acting
under color of state law.” Wittstock v. Mark A. Van
Sile, Inc., 330 F.3d 899, 902 (6th Cir.
2003). A claim under § 1985(3) requires a
plaintiff to demonstrate a conspiracy “for the purpose
of depriving, either directly or indirectly, any person or
class of persons of the equal protection of the laws, or of
equal privileges or immunities of the laws. Vakilian v.
Shaw, 335 F.3d 509, 518-19 (6th Cir. 2003).
In addition, the acts which are alleged to have deprived a
plaintiff of equal protection in a conspiracy claim must also
result from class-based discrimination. Id.
amended complaint, even construed liberally, fails to allege
any discernible, plausible federal constitutional claim. The
counts pertaining to purported civil rights claims under
§§ 1983 and 1985 do not allege any specific
constitutional violation other than that Defendants allegedly
denied her “rights” with the intent to deny her
equal protection of the law. See ECF No. 3 at PageID #:
27-28. Plaintiff, however, has no plausible equal
protection claim as she has not alleged facts that plausibly
suggest Defendants intentionally discriminated against her on
the basis of her membership in a protected class. See
Moniz v. Cox,512 Fed.Appx. 495, 500 (6th
Cir. 2013) (holding that to sustain a claim under §
1985(3), a claimant must prove both membership in a
protected class and discrimination on account of it);
Deleon v. Kalamazoo County Road Com'n., 739 F.3d
914, 918 (6th Cir. 2014) (“[t]o state a
claim under the Equal Protection Clause, a §