United States District Court, S.D. Ohio, Eastern Division
C. Smith Judge.
INITIAL SCREEN REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
ELIZABETH A. PRESTON, DEAVERS UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
Joseph Wilson Lewis, who is proceeding without the assistance
of counsel, is an inmate under the control of the Ohio
Department of Rehabilitation and Correction.
(“ODRC”) and brings this prisoner civil rights
action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. On June 19, 2018, the
Court granted Plaintiff's request to proceed in forma
pauperis. (ECF No. 3.) This matter is now before the
Court sua sponte for an initial screen of
Plaintiff's Complaint as required by 28 U.S.C. §
1915(e)(2) to identify cognizable claims and to recommend
dismissal of Plaintiff's 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. §
1915A(e)(2). Having performed the initial screen, for the
reasons that follow, it is RECOMMENDED that
the Court DISMISS this Plaintiff's
claims for failure to assert any claim on which relief may be
has authorized the sua sponte dismissal of
complaints that fail to state a claim upon which relief maybe
granted. 2 8 U.S.C. §§ 1915 (e)(2)(B)(ii) and
1915A(b)(1). A complaint filed by a pro se plaintiff
must be “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) (quoting Estelle v. Gamble, 429
U.S. 97, 106 (1976)). By the same token, however, the
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 Bell
Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007));
see also Hill v. Lappin, 630 F.3d 468, 470-71 (6th
Cir. 2010) (“dismissal standard articulated in
Iqbal and Twombly governs dismissals for
failure to state a claim” under §§
1915A(b)(1) and 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii)).
federal court has limited subject matter jurisdiction.
“The basic statutory grants of federal court
subject-matter jurisdiction are contained in 28 U.S.C. §
1331, which provides for ‘[f]ederal-question'
jurisdiction, and § 1332, which provides for
‘[d]iversity of citizenship' jurisdiction.”
Arbaugh v. Y&H Corp., 546 U.S. 500, 501 (2006).
Federal-question jurisdiction is invoked when a plaintiff
pleads a claim “arising under” the federal laws,
the Constitution, or treaties of the United States.
Id. (citation omitted). For a federal court to have
diversity jurisdiction pursuant to Section 1332(a), there
must be complete diversity, which means that each plaintiff
must be a citizen of a different state than each defendant,
and the amount in controversy must exceed $75, 000.
Caterpillar, Inc. v. Lewis, 519 U.S. 61, 68 (1996).
to the Complaint, Defendant was temporarily housed at the
Mansfield Correctional Institution (“MCI”) in
Richland, County, Ohio. (ECF No. 1-2 at 5-6.) Plaintiff's
claims arise from events that occurred while he was
incarcerated under ODRC control at MCI. In his Complaint,
Plaintiff names only the “State of Ohio,
‘ODRC'” as Defendants, rather than the
individuals responsible for the alleged refusal to treat his
seizure disorder. (ECF No. 1 at 1.) Plaintiff seeks
unspecified declaratory relief and compensatory damages. (ECF
No. 1-2 at 6.)
Eleventh Amendment to the United States Constitution
precludes a private party from bringing suit against a state
or any of the state's agencies unless the state has
expressly consented to the suit or Congress has properly
abrogated the state's sovereign immunity. Seminole
Tribe of Fla. v. Florida, 517 U.S. 44, 58 (1996);
Alabama v. Pugh, 438 U.S. 781, 782 (1978).
“Ohio has not waived its sovereign immunity in federal
court.” Mixon v. Ohio, 193 F.3d 389, 397 (6th
Cir. 1999). And “Congress did not intend to override
well-established immunities or defenses under the common
law” by enacting § 1983. Will v. Mich. Dept.
of State Police, 491 U.S. 58, 67 (1989). Accordingly,
there are very limited exceptions to state and state actor
immunity here. Cady v. Arenac Cnty., 574 F.3d 334,
344 (6th Cir. 2009). First, a plaintiff may bring a claim
against a state official acting in his or her official
capacity if the plaintiff seeks only “prospective
injunctive or declaratory relief.” Id. (citing
Papasan v. Allain, 478 U.S. 265, 276-78 (1986)).
Second, a plaintiff may bring a claim for monetary damages
against a state official in his or her individual capacity.
See Kentucky v. Graham, 473 U.S. 159, 165- 68
(1985); Turker v. Ohio Dep't of Rehab. &
Corr., 157 F.3d 453, 457 (6th Cir. 1998).
none of the limited exceptions to Eleventh Amendment immunity
apply here, the Undersigned finds that Plaintiff has failed
to state a claim on which relief may be granted.
reasons explained above, Plaintiff's Complaint fails to
assert any claim on which relief may be granted. It is
therefore RECOMMENDED that the Court dismiss
Plaintiff's claims pursuant to Section 1915(e)(2). If
Plaintiff intended to name the individuals responsible for
the alleged refusal to treat his seizure disorder and
mistakenly named only O.D.R.C., he may file an Amended
Complaint. (ECF No. 1 at 1.)
party seeks review by the District Judge of this Report and
Recommendation, that party may, within fourteen (14) days,
file and serve on all parties objections to the Report and
Recommendation, specifically designating this Report and
Recommendation, and the part in question, as well as the
basis for objection. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1); Fed.R.Civ.P.