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Holder v. Jacques

United States District Court, S.D. Ohio, Western Division

July 18, 2019

DEMETRIUS HOLDER Plaintiff,
v.
DANIELLE JACQUES, et. al., Defendant.

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          STEPHANIE K. BOWMAN UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         Plaintiff, a resident of Cincinnati, brings this action against Danielle Jacques and Arthur Coleman for identity theft. By separate Order issued this date, plaintiff has been granted leave to proceed in forma pauperis pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915. This matter is before the Court for a sua sponte review of plaintiff's complaint to determine whether the complaint, or any portion of it, should be dismissed because it 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. §1915(e)(2)(B).

         In enacting the original in forma pauperis statute, Congress recognized that a “litigant whose filing fees and court costs are assumed by the public, unlike a paying litigant, lacks an economic incentive to refrain from filing frivolous, malicious, or repetitive lawsuits.” Denton v. Hernandez, 504 U.S. 25, 31 (1992) (quoting Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 324 (1989)). To prevent such abusive litigation, Congress has authorized federal courts to dismiss an in forma pauperis complaint if they are satisfied that the action is frivolous or malicious. Id.; see also 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(i). A complaint may be dismissed as frivolous when the plaintiff cannot make any claim with a rational or arguable basis in fact or law. Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 328-29 (1989); see also Lawler v. Marshall, 898 F.2d 1196, 1198 (6th Cir. 1990). An action has no arguable legal basis when the defendant is immune from suit or when 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, 504 U.S. at 32; Lawler, 898 F.2d at 1199. The Court need not accept as true factual allegations that are “fantastic or delusional” in reviewing a complaint for frivolousness. Hill v. Lappin, 630 F.3d 468, 471 (6th Cir. 2010) (quoting Neitzke, 490 U.S. at 328).

         Congress also has authorized the sua sponte dismissal of complaints that fail to state a claim upon which relief may be granted. 28 U.S.C. § 1915 (e)(2)(B)(ii). 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, 630 F.3d at 470-71 (“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)).

         “A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556). The Court must accept all well-pleaded factual allegations as true, but need not “accept as true a legal conclusion couched as a factual allegation.” Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555 (quoting Papasan v. Allain, 478 U.S. 265, 286 (1986)). Although a complaint need not contain “detailed factual allegations, ” it must provide “more than an unadorned, the-defendant-unlawfully-harmed-me accusation.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555). A pleading that offers “labels and conclusions” or “a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do.” Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555. Nor does a complaint suffice if it tenders “naked assertion[s]” devoid of “further factual enhancement.” Id. at 557. The complaint must “give the defendant fair notice of what the . . . claim is and the grounds upon which it rests.” Erickson, 551 U.S. at 93 (citations omitted).

         Here, Plaintiff brings a claim for identity theft pursuant to the Fair Credit Reporting Act, 15 U.S.C § 1681. Plaintiff asserts that on April 23, 2019, Defendant Jacques, who is a police officer of the Cincinnati Police Department shared his address with Defendant Coleman. Plaintiff further alleges that Defendant Jacques “told Mr. Coleman that he had to file an eviction against [Plaintiff].” (Doc. 1 at p. 3). Plaintiff claims Defendant Jacques shared this information without his expressed written consent. Plaintiff seeks compensatory damages in the amount of $200, 000.00. Upon careful review, the undersigned finds that Plaintiff's complaint fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted in this federal court. Notably, section 1681 discusses the “Congressional Findings and Statement of Purpose” of the Fair Credit Reporting Act does not provide a private cause of action. As such, Plaintiff's complaint fails to state a claim for relief in this regard. Nor are there any allegations that support a claim for identity theft. Plaintiff alleges only that Defendant Jacques told Defendant Coleman where Plaintiff lived. As such, Plaintiff has failed to state a claim for identity theft.

         Furthermore, to the extent Plaintiff seeks to challenge the eviction action, this court lacks jurisdiction over such a claim. Notably, under the Rooker-Feldman doctrine, “lower federal courts lack subject matter jurisdiction to review the decisions of state courts.”” Givens v. Homecomings Fin., 278 Fed.Appx. 607, 608-09 (6th Cir. 2008) (citing D.C. Ct. of App. v. Feldman, 460 U.S. 462, 476 (1983). Accordingly, the complaint fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted and should be dismissed under 28 U.S.C. §1915(e)(2)(B).

         Accordingly, for these reasons, it is therefore RECOMMENDED this action be DISMISSED with PREJUDICE for failure to state a claim for relief. It is further RECOMMENDED that the Court certify pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a) that for the foregoing reasons an appeal of any Order adopting this Report and Recommendation would not be taken in good faith and therefore deny Plaintiff leave to appeal in forma pauperis.

         NOTICE

         Pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b), any party may serve and file specific, written objections to this Report & Recommendation (“R&R”) within FOURTEEN (14) DAYS after being served with a copy thereof. That period may be extended further by the Court on timely motion by either side for an extension of time. All objections shall specify the portion(s) of the R&R objected to, and shall be accompanied by a memorandum of law in support of the objections. A party shall respond to an opponent's objections within FOURTEEN DAYS after being served with a copy of those objections. Failure to make objections in ...


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