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Burress-El v. Born

United States District Court, S.D. Ohio, Eastern Division

February 12, 2018

ANTUAN BURRESS-EL, Plaintiff,
v.
JOHN BORN, et al., Defendants.

          Algenon L. Marbley, Judge.

          ORDER AND REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          CHELSEY M. VASCURA, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         Plaintiff, Antuan Burress-El, an Ohio resident proceeding without the assistance of counsel, has submitted a request to file a civil action in forma pauperis. (ECF No. 1.) The Court GRANTS Plaintiff's request to proceed in forma pauperis. 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). This matter is also before the Court for the initial screen of Plaintiff's Amended Complaint as required by 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2) to identify cognizable claims and to recommend dismissal of Plaintiff's Amended Complaint, or any portion of it, which is frivolous, malicious, fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2). Having performed the initial screen, for the reasons that follow, it is RECOMMENDED that the Court DISMISS this action pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii) and Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(h)(3) WITHOUT PREJUDICE to filing any state-law claims in state court.

         I.

         Congress enacted 28 U.S.C. § 1915, the federal in forma pauperis statute, seeking to “lower judicial access barriers to the indigent.” Denton v. Hernandez, 504 U.S. 25, 31 (1992). In doing so, however, “Congress recognized that ‘a litigant whose filing fees and court costs are assumed by the public, unlike a paying litigant, lacks an economic incentive to refrain from filing frivolous, malicious, or repetitive lawsuits.'” Id. at 31 (quoting Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 324 (1989)). To address this concern, Congress included subsection (e)[1], which provides in pertinent part as follows:

(2) Notwithstanding any filing fee, or any portion thereof, that may have been paid, the court shall dismiss the case at any time if the court determines that--
* * *
(B) the action or appeal--
(i) is frivolous or malicious;
(ii) fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted; or . . . .

28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(i) & (ii); Denton, 504 U.S. at 31. Thus, § 1915(e) requires sua sponte dismissal of an action upon the Court's determination that the action is frivolous or malicious, or upon determination that the action fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted.

         To properly state a claim upon which relief may be granted, a plaintiff must satisfy the basic federal pleading requirements set forth in Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a). See also Hill v. Lappin, 630 F.3d 468, 470-71 (6th Cir. 2010) (applying Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) standards to review under 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915A and 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii)). Under Rule 8(a)(2), a complaint must contain a “short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). Thus, Rule 8(a) “imposes legal and factual demands on the authors of complaints.” 16630 Southfield Ltd., P'Ship v. Flagstar Bank, F.S.B., 727 F.3d 502, 503 (6th Cir. 2013).

         Although this pleading standard does not require “‘detailed factual allegations, ' . . . [a] pleading that offers ‘labels and conclusions' or ‘a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action, '” is insufficient. Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)). A complaint will not “suffice if it tenders ‘naked assertion[s]' devoid of ‘further factual enhancement.'” Id. (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 557). Instead, to survive a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim under Rule 12(b)(6), “a complaint must contain sufficient factual matter . . . to ‘state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'” Id. (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570). Facial plausibility is established “when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.” Id. “The plausibility of an inference depends on a host of considerations, including common sense and the strength of competing explanations for the defendant's conduct.” Flagstar Bank , 727 F.3d at 504 (citations omitted). Further, the Court holds pro se complaints “‘to less stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers.'” Garrett v. Belmont Cnty. Sheriff's Dep't., 374 Fed.Appx. 612, 614 (6th Cir. 2010) (quoting Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520 (1972)). This lenient treatment, however, has limits; “‘courts should not have to guess at the nature of the claim asserted.'” Frengler v. Gen. Motors, 482 Fed.Appx. 975, 976-77 (6th Cir. 2012) (quoting Wells v. Brown, 891 F.2d 591, 594 (6th Cir. 1989)).

         Finally, when the face of the complaint provides no basis for federal jurisdiction, the Court may dismiss an action as frivolous and for lack of subject matter jurisdiction under both 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B) and Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(h)(3). Williams v. Cincy Urban Apts., No. 1:10-cv-153, 2010 WL 883846, at *2 n.1 (S.D. Ohio Mar. 9, 2010) ...


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