United States District Court, S.D. Ohio, Western Division
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
STEPHANIE K. BOWMAN UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
civil action is now before the Court on Defendants'
motions to dismiss (Docs. 8, 12) and the parties'
responsive memoranda (Docs. 16, 18, 19). Also before the
Court is Plaintiff's motion for a temporary restraining
order. (Doc. 4). The motions will be addressed in turn.
Background and Facts
filed the instant action against the Hamilton County Child
Support Enforcement Agency and the State of Ohio. (Doc. 1 at
1). It appears that Plaintiff is complaining about a child
support order and a paternity determination. In his
Complaint, Plaintiff claims CSEA violated his due process and
equal protection rights under the 14th Amendment.
Additionally, Plaintiff alleges CSEA violated his due process
under the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993 and also
appears to be bringing his complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983. Id. at 3. Plaintiff's Civil Cover
Sheet states that he is also relying on 18 U.S.C.
§§ 241 and 242 (Doc. 1- 1). Plaintiff seeks to have
this Court dismiss the child support order that has been
issued against him.
Motions to Dismiss
motion to dismiss pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) operates to test
the sufficiency of the claims. The court is required to
construe the complaint in the light most favorable to the
Plaintiff, and accept all well-pleaded factual allegations in
the complaint as true. See Scheuer v. Rhodes, 416
U.S. 232, 236, 94 S.Ct. 1683, 40 L.Ed.2d 90 (1974) and
Lewis v. ACB Business Services, 135 F.3d 389, 405
(6th Cir. 1998). A court, however, will not accept
conclusions of law or unwarranted inferences which are
presented as factual allegations. Blackburn v. Fisk
University, 443 F.2d 121, 124 (6th Cir. 1974). A
complaint must contain either direct or reasonable
inferential allegations that support all material elements
necessary to sustain a recovery under some viable legal
theory. Lewis v. ACB, 135 F.3d at 405 (internal
citations omitted). “While a complaint attacked by a
Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss does not need detailed
factual allegations, a plaintiff's obligation to provide
the ‘grounds' of his ‘entitlement to
relief' requires more than labels and conclusions, and a
formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action
will not do.” Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly,
550 U.S. 544, 555, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 167 L.Ed.2d 929 (2007)
(citations omitted); Association of Cleveland Fire
Fighters v. City of Cleveland, Ohio, 502 F.3d 545, 548
(6th Cir. 2007). Even though a complaint need not contain
“detailed” factual allegations, its
“[f]actual allegations must be enough to raise a right
to relief above the speculative level on the assumption that
all the allegations in the complaint are true (even if
doubtful in fact).” Id. (citations omitted).
State of Ohio
State of Ohio seeks dismissal of Plaintiff's claims based
upon lack of subject matter jurisdiction. The State contends
that it is absolutely immune from this suit, and therefore
Plaintiff has failed to state a claim for relief. The
Eleventh Amendment “bars all suits, whether for
injunctive, declaratory or monetary relief” brought by
individuals against a State. McCormick v. Miami
Univ., 693 F.3d 654, 661 (6th Cir. 2012) (quotations
omitted). Such immunity applies unless a state has consented
to suit or Congress has clearly expressed its intent to
abrogate immunity. Latham v. Office of Atty. Gen. of
State of Ohio, 395 F.3d 261, 270 (6th Cir. 2005).
the State has not consented to suit in this case, and
Plaintiff fails to identify any way in which Congress has
abrogated sovereign immunity relevant to his claims. See
Cartwright v. Garner, 751 F.3d 752, 760 (6th Cir.
2014) (placing the burden on Plaintiff to prove
jurisdiction). Indeed, the Supreme Court has explicitly
stated that there is no exception to Eleventh Immunity for
claims brought under § 1983. Will v. Mich. Dep't
of State Police, 491 U.S. 58, 66 (1989) (“Section
1983 provides a federal forum to remedy many deprivations of
civil liberties, but it does not provide a federal forum for
litigants who seek a remedy against a State for alleged
deprivations of civil liberties.”).
alternative, even if this Court had jurisdiction (which it
does not), Plaintiff's complaint also fails to state a
claim upon which relief may be granted against the State of
Ohio. (Doc. 9). In this regard, the State of Ohio argues that
a State is not a “person, ” and therefore, cannot
be subject to liability under § 1983 and cannot be
charged with a criminal offense under §§ 241 or
242. See, e.g., McKenna v. Bowling Green State
Univ., 568 Fed.Appx. 450, 456 (6th Cir. 2014) (noting
that a State is not a “‘person' subject to
suit under § 1983” (citing Will v. Mich.
Dep't of State Police, 491 U.S. 58, 64 (1989))).
Additionally, Section 242 involves a deprivation of rights
based on someone's race or ethnicity, but Plaintiff makes
no such allegations in his complaint. With regard to the
“Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993, ”
Plaintiff has not identified any provision of that bill that
the State has allegedly violated. Id.
light of the foregoing, Plaintiff's claims against the
State of Ohio are properly dismissed pursuant to Rule 12 of
the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Accordingly,