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Wylie-Brown v. O'Leary

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

June 27, 2018

KIM WYLIE-BROWN, Pro Se, Plaintiff
v.
JUDGE RONALD O'LEARY, Defendant

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          SOLOMON OLIVER, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Currently pending before the court are multiple motions by pro se Plaintiff Kim Wylie-Brown (“Plaintiff” or “Wylie-Brown”). The first is Plaintiff's Motion to Proceed In Forma Pauperis (ECF No. 2); that Motion is granted. Next is Plaintiff's motion for Declaratory Judgment and/or Demand for Contempt Order (ECF No. 3). Finally, Plaintiff filed a Motion and Amended Motion for an Emergency Ex Parte Injunction asking the court to stop the Cleveland Municipal Court from evicting her from her apartment on March 12, 2018 (see ECF Nos. 4 and 5, respectively). Because the court determines that Plaintiff's Complaint should be dismissed for failure to state a claim upon which relief could be granted, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(3), each of those motions are denied.

         I. BACKGROUND

         On February 6, 2018, Wylie-Brown commenced this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and 42 U.S.C. § 1986 against Cleveland Municipal Court Judge Ronald O'Leary (“O'Leary” or “Defendant”). This case arises from an eviction proceeding in Cleveland Municipal Court (Housing Division) case No. 17 CVG 11790 (“State Case”).[1] O'Leary presided over the State Case. Plaintiff alleges that she and other tenants of Ambleside Tower Apartments (“Ambleside”) complained and signed petitions concerning alleged unlawful activity by the Cleveland Metropolitan Housing Authority (“CMHA”) officers and employees and, in retaliation, the CMHA filed the State Case to evict her from her Ambleside apartment. (Compl., ECF No. 1 ¶¶ 9-13.)

         The State Case docket indicates that Wylie-Brown was active in her own defense, including making a jury demand and filing a motion for injunctive relief. She also removed the State Case to the Northern District of Ohio on September 5, 2017 (Northern District of Ohio (“NDOH”) No. 1:17 CV 1857), but the case was remanded to the Cleveland Municipal Court (see No. 1:17 CV 1857, ECF Nos. 1, 6). Wylie Brown appealed the court's remand decision to the United States Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, but the appeal was dismissed (NDOH No. 1:17 CV 1857, ECF No. 16). (See Compl. ¶¶ 14-15.)

         Wylie-Brown then brought a second case in the Northern District of Ohio (also related to the State Case) - NDOH No. 1:17 CV 1924 - against Cleveland Municipal Court judges and employees of the Cleveland Metropolitan Housing Authority. In that case, Wylie-Brown sought declaratory, monetary, and injunctive relief claiming that the eviction proceedings in the State Case violated her federal constitutional rights. Wylie-Brown's claims for equitable relief were dismissed pursuant to Younger v. Harris because the State Case remained pending and, to the extent Plaintiff was seeking damages, those claims were stayed until conclusion of the State Case (NDOH No. 1:17 CV 1924, ECF No. 7). Wylie-Brown also appealed that decision to the United States Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. The Sixth Circuit dismissed Wylie-Brown's appeal to the extent she appealed the stay of certain claims, but permitted her appeal to go forward with respect to the issue of injunctive relief (NDOH No. 1:17 CV 1924, ECF No. 12) provided that she pay the filing fee (NDOH No. 1:17 CV 1924, ECF No. 13).[2]

         On January 4, 2018, Wylie- Brown filed a Writ of Prohibition in the Ohio Supreme Court (No. 2018-16) against respondents O'Leary and the State of Ohio, arguing that O'Leary lacked jurisdiction over the eviction proceeding (see Compl. ¶¶ 16-17). Respondents filed motions to dismiss, which were granted on the merits without opinion by the Ohio Supreme Court. State ex rel. Wylie-Brown v. O'Leary, 96 N.E.3d 294 (Table) (Ohio Apr. 25, 2018).

         While the writ of prohibition was pending before the Ohio Supreme Court, the State Case moved forward. On March 1, 2018, the Cleveland Municipal Court granted CMHA judgment as to possession of the premises. Wylie-Brown appealed the eviction order to the Eighth District Court of Appeals on March 6, 2018 (No. CA-18-106900), but the Eighth District dismissed the appeal on May 24, 2018, because she failed to properly file her appeal and trial court record.

         Wylie-Brown was evicted from her apartment on March 12, 2018. On April 10, 2018, CMHA dismissed its second (and last) cause of action from the State Case, thus concluding the eviction proceeding.

         The instant action is the third federal case brought by Wylie-Brown in connection with the State Case. Plaintiff alleges that O'Leary violated her federal civil and constitutional rights[3] in connection with the proceedings in the State Case. (Compl. ¶ 6 and at 9.) She seeks declaratory and injunctive relief, and $1 million dollars in damages. (Id. at 9-10.)

         II. LAW AND ANALYSIS

         A. Standard of Review

         Although pro se pleadings are liberally construed, Boag v. MacDougall, 454 U.S. 364, 365 (1982), federal district courts are expressly required under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B) to screen all in forma pauperis actions and to dismiss before service any such action that is frivolous or malicious, fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted, or seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. The standard for dismissal articulated in Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662 (2009) and Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544 (2007) with respect to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6) also governs dismissal under § 1915(e)(2)(B). Hill v. Lappin, 630 F.3d 468, 470-71 (6th Cir. 2010). Therefore, in order to survive scrutiny under § 1915(e)(2)(B), a pro se complaint must set forth sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to state a plausible claim for relief. Anson v. Corr. Corp. of Am., 529 Fed.Appx. 558, 559 (6th Cir. 2013) (“Section 1915(e)(2)(B) authorizes dismissal if the action fails to state a plausible claim for relief or is frivolous.”).

         B. ...


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