United States District Court, N.D. Ohio, Eastern Division
OPINION AND ORDER
CHRISTOPHER A. BOYKO, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
se Plaintiff Alfredo de la Luz filed this action under
42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the Willoughby Hills Police
Department. In the Complaint, Plaintiff alleges he was
arrested for trespass and obstruction of official business.
He contends he was not told the reason for his arrest and was
not read his Miranda rights. He contends the officers placed
him in handcuffs and drove recklessly on the way to the
police station. He asserts claims for use of excessive force
and defamation. He seeks monetary and expungement of his
also filed an Application to Proceed In Forma
Pauperis (Doc No. 2). That Application is granted.
pro se pleadings are liberally construed, Boag
v. MacDougall, 454 U.S. 364, 365 (1982) (per curiam);
Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520 (1972), the
Court is required to dismiss an in forma pauperis
action under 28 U.S.C. §1915(e) if it fails to state a
claim upon which relief can be granted, or if it lacks an
arguable basis in law or fact. Neitzke v. Williams,
490 U.S. 319 (1989); Lawler v. Marshall, 898 F.2d
1196 (6th Cir. 1990); Sistrunk v. City of
Strongsville, 99 F.3d 194, 197 (6th Cir. 1996). An
action has no arguable basis in law when the Defendant is
immune from suit or when the Plaintiff claims a violation of
a legal interest which clearly does not exist.
Neitzke, 490 U.S. at 327. An action has no arguable
factual basis when the allegations are delusional or rise to
the level of the irrational or “wholly
incredible.” Denton v. Hernandez, 504 U.S. 25,
32 (1992); Lawler, 898 F.2d at 1199.
of action fails to state a claim upon which relief may be
granted when it lacks “plausibility in the
Complaint.” Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550
U.S. 544, 564 (2007). A pleading must contain a “short
and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is
entitled to relief.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556
U.S. 662, 677-78 (2009). The factual allegations in the
pleading must be sufficient to raise the right to relief
above the speculative level on the assumption that all the
allegations in the Complaint are true. Bell Atl.
Corp., 550 U.S. at 555. The Plaintiff is not required to
include detailed factual allegations, but must provide more
than “an unadorned, the-Defendant-unlawfully-harmed-me
accusation.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678. A
pleading that offers legal conclusions or a simple recitation
of the elements of a cause of action will not meet this
pleading standard. Id. In reviewing a Complaint, the
Court must construe the pleading in the light most favorable
to the Plaintiff. Bibbo v. Dean Witter Reynolds,
Inc., 151 F.3d 559, 561 (6th Cir. 1998).
initial matter, the Willoughby Hills Police Department is not
sui juris, meaning it is merely an arm of the City,
and not its own legal entity capable of bringing its own
lawsuit or being sued. Hale v. Vance, 267 F.Supp.2d
725, 737 (S.D.Ohio 2003). Plaintiff's claims against the
police department are liberally construed as asserted against
the City of Willoughby Hills.
cannot sue a local government entity under 42 U.S.C. §
1983 solely for the actions of its employees on the theory
of respondeat superior. Monell v. New York City
Dep't of Soc. Servs., 436 U.S. 658, 692- 94 (1978).
Plaintiff may only hold a local government entity liable
under § 1983 for the entity's own wrongdoing.
Id. A local government entity violates § 1983
where its official policy or custom actually serves to
deprive an individual of his or her constitutional rights.
Id. A “municipal policy” includes
“a policy statement, ordinance, regulation, or decision
officially adopted and promulgated.” Powers v.
Hamilton County Pub. Defender Comm'n, 501 F.3d 592,
607 (6th Cir. 2007) (quoting Monell, 436 U.S. at
690). A “custom” for purposes of Monell
liability must “be so permanent and well-settled as to
constitute a custom or usage with the force of law.”
Monell, 436 U.S. at 691. It must reflect a course of
action deliberately chosen from among various alternatives.
City of Oklahoma v. Tuttle, 471 U.S. 808, 823
(1985). In short, a “custom” is a legal
institution not memorialized by written law. Feliciano v.
City of Cleveland, 988 F.2d 649, 655 (6th Cir. 1993). To
state a claim for relief against a municipality under §
1983, Plaintiff must: (1) identify the municipal policy or
custom, (2) connect the policy to the municipality, and (3)
show that his particular injury was incurred due to execution
of that policy. Alkire v. Irving, 330 F.3d 802, 815
(6th Cir. 2003). The Plaintiff does not identify a custom or
policy of the City of Willoughby Hills that caused him
injury. Instead, his allegations center on the actions of
individual officers. This will not support a claim against
the City under § 1983.
Plaintiff's Application to Proceed In Forma
Pauperis (Doc. No. 2) is granted this action is
dismissed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §1915(e). The Court
certifies, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(3), that an
appeal from this decision could not be taken in good
 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(3)
An appeal may not be taken in forma pauperis
if the trial court certifies that it is not taken in ...