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Martin v. Wilson

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

June 22, 2018

WILLIAM E. MARTIN, Plaintiff,
v.
ROGER WILSON, et al., Defendants.

          Vascura Magistrate Judge

          OPINION & ORDER

          ALGENON L. MARBLEY UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         This matter is before the Court on Plaintiff's Objection (ECF No. 4) to the Magistrate Judge's May 15, 2018 Report and Recommendation (ECF No. 3), recommending that the Court dismiss this case pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii). Upon independent review, and for the reasons set forth below, Plaintiff's Objection is hereby OVERRULED, and the Court ADOPTS the Magistrate Judge's Report and Recommendation. This case is dismissed.

         I. BACKGROUND

         A. Factual Background

         Plaintiff William Martin is a state inmate. (ECF No. 1). Defendants are various individuals associated with the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction and Madison Correctional Institution. (Id.). Plaintiff's claim is comprised of two issues.

         First, Plaintiff alleges that Defendant Alexander disposed of Plaintiff's property, declaring it to be trash. (Id. at 7). Neither Defendant Alexander nor any other Defendant gave an explanation as to why Plaintiff's property was designated as trash. (Id.). In response, Plaintiff filed three Informal Complaint Resolutions (ICRs) to the Deputy Warden of Operations, Defendant Heard, which Plaintiff alleges went unaddressed. Plaintiff subsequently filed an ICR with Defendant Brown, and later a Theft and Loss (T) Report. Plaintiff then attempted to file a grievance form but was barred from doing so due to a mandated time limit, which Plaintiff contends was unconstitutional due to the principle of equitable tolling. (Id. at 7-8). Plaintiff attempted to file a grievance with Defendant Bratton, the Assistant Chief Inspector, but Defendant Bratton's decision to “refuse to resolve the grievance” was “frivolous.” (Id. at 8-9). Next, Plaintiff alleges that three fellow inmates stole over $600 worth of Plaintiff's property. (Id. at 11). At no time, according to Plaintiff, did relevant Defendants investigate this theft, despite Plaintiff having reported it via ICRs and grievances. (Id. at 12-13).

         B. Procedural History

         Plaintiff filed a Motion for Leave to Proceed in forma pauperis on May 11, 2018. (ECF No. 1). Plaintiff then filed a Complaint on May 15, 2018, naming 18 defendants and requesting declaratory judgment, a preliminary and a permanent injunction, compensatory damages, punitive damages, and court costs and attorney's fees.[1] (ECF No. 2 at 16). Plaintiff brings his claims under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, contending that this Court has jurisdiction under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 because of the DRC's dismantling of post-deprivation remedies and the grievance procedure.

         Magistrate Judge Vascura filed a Report and Recommendation on May 15, 2018, recommending that the Court dismiss this action pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2) for failure to state a claim on which relief may be granted. (ECF No. 3 at 1). The Report and Recommendation also granted Plaintiff's motion to proceed in forma pauperis under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(1) and (2). (ECF No. 3 at 2).

         The Magistrate Judge concluded that Plaintiff's claim should be dismissed because Plaintiff failed to state a claim upon which relief can be granted per Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a). (ECF No. 3 at 5). Specifically, the Magistrate Judge found that Plaintiff failed to allege sufficiently the inadequacy of the remedies available under Ohio law, resulting in the failure to state a claim. (Id.). Further, the Magistrate Judge found that Plaintiff's discussion of the handling of his grievances fails to state a claim for which relief can be granted because there is no inherent constitutional right to an effective grievance procedure. (ECF No. 3 at 7). Thus, the Magistrate Judge recommended that the Court dismiss Plaintiff's claims pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii). (Id.).

         Plaintiff filed an Objection to the Report and Recommendation (ECF No. 4) on May 23, 2018. Plaintiff responds to the Report and Recommendation by explaining that in order sufficiently to state a claim that is plausible on its face, “[t]he only thing the plaintiff is required to plead and prove is that the state remedies are inadequate.” (ECF No. 4 at 2) (citing Vicory v. Walton, 721 F.2d 1062, 1065-66 (6th Cir. 1983)). Plaintiff contends that the grievance process is a post-deprivation remedy that, “makes it unnecessary in many cases to file a claim in either the Ohio Court of Claims or Court of Common Pleas.” (Id.). Thus, Plaintiff concludes that he has exhausted and proven inadequate state post-deprivation remedies and has stated a claim.

         II. STANDARD OF REVIEW

         Congress enacted 28 U.S.C. § 1915 to “lower judicial access barriers to the indigent”, though Congress also recognized that plaintiffs proceeding in forma pauperis lacked “an economic incentive to refrain from filing frivolous, malicious, or repetitive suits.” Denton v. Hernandez, 504 U.S. 25, 31 (1992). To counter this possibility, Congress ...


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