United States District Court, N.D. Ohio, Eastern Division
MICHAEL D. DAVIS, Jr., Pro Se, Plaintiff
ARMOND BUDISH, et al., Defendants
MEMORANDUM OF OPINION AND ORDER
SOLOMON OLIVER, JR., UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Michael D. Davis, Jr., a detainee in the Cuyahoga County
Jail, has filed this in forma pauperis civil rights action
against Armond Budish, Ken Mills, Emily McNeeley, Eric Ivey,
Douglas Dykes, Judge Deena R. Calabrese, and Clifford
Pickney. (Doc. No. 1.) In his Complaint, Plaintiff objects to
numerous conditions in the Jail, contending they subject him
to cruel and unusual punishment for which he seeks
compensation and to be immediately released. He generally
alleges that: “[w]e have to breath in asbestos black
mold and drink polluted water”; “we sometimes are
deprived of showers due to Red Zone”; the “food
trays smell like feces and has water inside of them”;
and “we're denied church services and there is no
law library or drug classes.” (Id. at 3-4.) He
alleges he spoke to “[his] Judge about these things on
record and she refuse[d] to help [him].” (Id.
addition, the Plaintiff alleges he is a mental health patient
and has complained that the current medication he is being
provided is not helping him. (Id.) He contends he
was taken off the medication North Coast Behavioral
prescribed for him, and was told by the Cart Nurse
“that they do have the medication” but he was
taken off of it because it was too expensive. (Id.
at 5.) He alleges he has been told to send a kite about this
problem, but “when you send a kite it takes up to one
month to see them.” (Id. at 4.) He generally
alleges he has witnessed suicide attempts in the Jail, and
asserts he feels “like these people are using Red Zone
living conditions and medication to get inmates to plea out
in court.” (Id. at 5.)
the standard of review for pro se pleadings is liberal, the
generous construction afforded pro se plaintiffs has limits.
Pilgrim v. Littlefield, 92 F.3d 413, 416 (6th Cir.
1996). Pro se plaintiffs must still meet basic pleading
requirements, and courts are not required to conjure
allegations on their behalf. See Erwin v. Edwards,
22 Fed.Appx. 579, 2001 WL 1556573 (6th Cir. Dec. 4, 2001).
Federal district courts are required to screen all in forma
pauperis complaints and all complaints in which a prisoner
seeks redress from a governmental officer and employee, and
to dismiss before service any such action that the court
determines is frivolous or malicious, fails to state a claim
on which relief may be granted, or seeks monetary relief
against a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C.
§§ 1915(e)(2)B) and 1915A; Hill v. Lappin,
630 F.3d 468, 470 (6th Cir. 2010).
state a claim on which relief may be granted, a pro se
complaint must allege sufficient factual matter, accepted as
true, to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its
face. 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 Bell
Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544 (2007) governs
dismissals under 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2)(B) and
1915A). Although detailed factual allegations are not
required, the “allegations must be enough to raise a
right to relief above the speculative level.”
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555. Additionally, they must be
sufficient to give the defendants “fair notice of what
[the plaintiff's] claims are and the grounds upon which
they rest.” Swierkiewicz v. Sorema N.A., 534
U.S. 506, 514 (2002).
review, the court finds that the Plaintiff's Complaint
must be dismissed. Even liberally construed, it fails to set
forth allegations sufficient to state any plausible
constitutional conditions-of-confinement claim.
the exception of the “Judge” in his state
criminal case, the Plaintiff does not set forth allegations
specifically connecting any Defendant to the unconstitutional
conditions or misconduct he alleges. The Plaintiff cannot
establish the individual liability of any Defendant for
constitutional violations absent allegations showing that
each Defendant was personally involved in the conduct which
forms the basis of his claims. See Rizzo v. Goode,
423 U.S. 362, 371-72, 377 (1976). Conclusory allegations that
a defendant or group of defendants have violated
constitutional rights are insufficient to state a claim.
“[A] plaintiff must plead that each Government-official
defendant, through the official's own individual actions,
has violated the Constitution.” Iqbal, 556
U.S. at 676. Accordingly, where, as here, individuals are
merely named as defendants in a civil rights action without
supporting allegations of specific conduct in the body of the
complaint, the complaint is subject to dismissal even under
the liberal construction afforded to pro se plaintiffs. See
Gilmore v. Corr. Corp. of Am., 92 Fed.Appx. 188, 190
(6th Cir. 2004) (“Merely listing names in the caption
of the complaint and alleging constitutional violations in
the body of the complaint is not enough to sustain recovery
under §1983"); Frazier v. Michigan, 41
Fed.Appx. 762, 764 (6th Cir. 2002) (affirming dismissal of
complaint that did not allege with any degree of specificity
which of the named defendants were personally involved in or
responsible for each alleged violation of federal rights).
Plaintiff's Complaint fails to state a plausible claim
for relief against Judge Calabrese, even though she is tied
to specific alleged conduct. Judges are entitled to absolute
immunity from suits based on their judicial acts, even if
they acted erroneously or in bad faith. Mireles v.
Waco, 502 U.S. 9, 11 (1991). Judge Calabrese is entitled
to absolute immunity, as the Plaintiff's allegations
against her clearly pertain to actions she took in her
judicial capacity. See Ireland v. Tunis, 113 F.3d
1435, 1440 (6th Cir.1997) (judges are entitled to absolute
immunity for their judicial acts).
the Plaintiff's Complaint in this matter is hereby
dismissed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2)(B)
and 1915A. The court further certifies, pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915(a)(3), ...