United States District Court, N.D. Ohio, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM OF OPINION AND ORDER
SOLOMON OLIVER, JR., UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Se Plaintiff Maurice Rhoades, Zulu, has filed this
in forma pauperis civil rights action against
numerous Ohio public officials and agencies, including the
Ohio Civil Rights Commission (OCRC), and state and OCRC
employees. (Doc. No. 1.) His allegations are disjointed and
unclear, but he contends he was subjected to unlawful housing
discrimination in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and the
Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988 (FHAA), as well as state
law, after he received a rejection notice in connection with
housing he sought at Rainbow Place in Cleveland.
(See Rejection Notice, Doc. No. 1-1.) The gravaman
of his federal claims is that the OCRC and its employees
failed to properly investigate a charge of discrimination he
filed with the agency and did so because they were
“biased, ” “prejudiced, ”
“aggressive, ” and “partisan” (Doc.
No. 1 at ¶ 44) and for the purpose of torturing,
discrediting, humiliating, and inflicting pain and suffering
on him (id. at ¶ 48).
OCRC has filed a Motion to Dismiss the Plaintiff's
Complaint pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6). (Doc. Nos. 4,
6.) The Plaintiff has not responded to this motion.
Plaintiff's application to proceed in forma
pauperis (Doc. No. 2) is granted, but for the reasons
stated below, the OCRC's Motion to Dismiss is granted and
the Plaintiff's Complaint is dismissed as against all
complaint is subject to dismissal under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6)
if it fails to state claim upon which relief can be granted.
To survive dismissal under Rule 12(b)(6), a complaint
“must present ‘enough facts to state claim to
relief that is plausible on its face'” when its
factual allegations are presumed true and all reasonable
inferences are drawn in favor of the non-moving party.
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). In addition, federal district courts are
expressly required, under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B), to
review all complaints that are filed in forma
pauperis, and to dismiss sua sponte any such
complaint that the Court determines fails to state a
plausible claim. Hill v. Lappin, 630 F.3d 468, 471
(6th Cir. 2010 (holding that the dismissal
standard articulated in Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S.
662 (2009) and Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, governs
dismissals under 28 U.S.C. §1915(e)(2)(B)).
pleadings and documents filed by pro se litigants
are “liberally construed” and held to less
stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers,
Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007), a
pro se plaintiff must still meet basic pleading
requirements and courts are not required to conjure
allegations on his behalf in determining whether his
complaint states a plausible claim. See Erwin v.
Edwards, 22 F. App'x 579, 580 (6th Cir.
review, the Court finds that the Plaintiff's Complaint
fails to state any plausible federal claim on which relief
may be granted against any Defendant in the case.
OCRC correctly asserts in its Motion to Dismiss, the OCRC has
broad discretion in determining matters in investigations
before it. A claimant has no constitutional claim arising
from allegations that the ODRC failed to properly investigate
a claim so long as the claimant had an opportunity to be
heard before any final order becomes effective. (OCRC Motion,
Doc. No. 4 at 3, citing Rhoades v. OCRC, Case No. 1:
07 CV 0802 (N.D. Ohio June 22, 2007) (Boyko, J.)). The
Plaintiff's Complaint does not reasonably suggest he was
not afforded a full opportunity to be heard by the OCRC. In
fact, his Complaint indicates he was afforded an
opportunity to be heard before the OCRC's determination
became final. (See Doc. No. 1 at ¶¶
33-34.) Thus, the Plaintiff has alleged no plausible
constitutional claim under § 1983 based on his
allegations that the OCRC and its employees failed to
properly investigate his claim.
Plaintiff also has not alleged any plausible federal claim
under the FHAA, which makes it unlawful “[t]o
discriminate in the sale or rental, or to otherwise make
unavailable or deny, a dwelling to any buyer or renter
because of a handicap of - (A) that buyer or renter.”
42 U.S.C. § 3604(f)(1)(A). The Plaintiff alleges in
purely conclusory terms that the Defendants took actions
against him that were biased, prejudiced, aggressive and
partisan, but he does not set forth allegations reasonably
suggesting any Defendant discriminated against him
“because of” a handicap. In fact, the only
suggestion that appears on the face off his pleading as to
the reason his application for housing at Rainbow Place was
initially rejected appears on the Notice of Rejection, which
indicates his application was rejected due to unfavorable
criminal history and “fraud alert.” (See
Doc. No. 1-1.) Plaintiff does not allege facts plausibly
suggesting any Defendant subjected him to discrimination in
violation of the FHAA.
reasons set forth above, the Court finds Plaintiff's
Complaint fails to allege any plausible federal claim.
Accordingly, the OCRC's Motion to Dismiss (Doc. Nos. 4
and 6) is granted with respect to the Plaintiff's federal
claims, and his federal claims are ...