United States District Court, S.D. Ohio, Eastern Division
James M. Jackson, Plaintiff,
Stuart Hudson, et at., Defendants.
Deavers, Magistrate Judge
OPINION AND ORDER
MICHAEL H. WATSON, JUDGE
James M. Jackson, Jr., is a state inmate proceeding without
the assistance of counsel. He brings this action under 42
U.S.C. § 1983 against Defendants Stuart Hudson (Director
of the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections),
Trayce Thalheimer (Chairperson of the Ohio Board Authority),
Kathleen Kovach, Ellen Venters, RF Rauschengerg, Mark Houk,
Alicia Handwerk, Shirley Smith, Dr. T. Reveal, Ron Nelson,
Jr., Lisa Hunter, and the Ohio Adult Parole Authority
(collectively, "Defendants"). Compl., ECF No.
3. Defendants moved to dismiss Plaintiffs case for failure to
state a claim, for lack of jurisdiction, and for lack of
standing. Mot., ECF No. 9. On June 17, 2019, Magistrate Judge
Deavers issued a Report and Recommendation
("R&R") recommending the Court grant in part
and deny in part Defendants' motion. R&R, ECF No. 18.
Defendants timely objected to portions of the Magistrate
Judge's R&R, ECF No. 19, and Plaintiff responded,
Resp., ECF No. 20. For the following reasons, the Undersigned
SUSTAINS Defendants' objection,
GRANTS Defendants' motion to dismiss for
failure to state a claim, Mot., ECF No. 9, and
DISMISSES Plaintiffs Complaint.
§ 1983 claim rests on Defendants' alleged
"fail[ure] to provide a meaningful statutory mandated
parole eligibility/suitability hearing." Compl. 5, ECF
No. 3. Plaintiffs parole hearing was insufficient, he says,
for two reasons. First, "information provided by Ms.
Lisa Hunter, Institutional Parole Officer...was considered by
the parole board to be of a mental health nature," but
"Ms. Hunter is not a qualified individual by standards
set forth by the State of Ohio to determined [sic] mental
health fitness to reenter society." Id. Second,
"past criminal history going back to when plaintiff was
12 years of age is of an erroneous nature and is part of
plaintiffs juvenile record," and it "fail[s] to
highlight the improvements made by plaintiff in his
rehabilitation process." Id. To remedy these
alleged deficiencies, Plaintiff requests a new parole
hearing, a mental health and psychological evaluation by a
licensed and qualified practitioner, and that "erroneous
and outdated information not be used in his parole
decision." Id. at 6.
moved to dismiss Plaintiffs claim on several bases. They
asserted that Plaintiff failed to state a claim for relief
because he did not allege that the Parole Board knowingly
relied on false information when it made its parole
determination. Mot. 4-6, ECF No. 9. For the same reason,
Defendants argued that the Court lacks jurisdiction under
§ 1983. Id. Additionally, they contended that
the Adult Parole Authority could not be sued under §
1983 because it is not a "person" under the
statute. Id. at 6. They also argued that Defendant
Thalheimer must be dismissed because Plaintiff did not allege
that Thalheimer personally participated in the alleged
deprivation of Plaintiff's constitutional rights.
Id. at 6-8. Finally, Defendants asserted that
Plaintiff failed to establish Article III standing because he
did not demonstrate that the harm he alleged was traceable to
any named defendant. Id. at 8-9. Plaintiff opposed
Defendants' motion to dismiss. Resp., ECF No. 15.
Judge Deavers recommended granting the motion to dismiss
Defendants Adult Parole Authority and Thalheimer from the
lawsuit but denying the motion to dismiss for failure to
state a claim, lack of jurisdiction, and lack of standing.
R&R 8-9, ECF No. 18. She notified the parties of their
right to file objections to the R&R pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 636(b)(1). Id. at 9. And she advised the
parties that the failure to object to the R&R within
fourteen days would result in a waiver of the right to de
novo review by the District Judge and waiver of the
right to appeal the decision of the District Court adopting
the R&R. Id.
timely objected to only the Magistrate Judge's
recommendation to deny the motion to dismiss for failure to
state a claim. Obj., ECF No. 19. Plaintiff opposed
Defendants' objection, Resp., ECF No. 20, but did not
file any of his own objections.
sole objection is now ripe for review.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
Rule 72(b), the Court reviews de novo any part of the
Magistrate Judge's disposition to which a party has
properly objected. Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b)(3). The Court may
accept, reject, or modify the R&R, receive further
evidence, or return the matter to the Magistrate Judge with
object to the Magistrate Judge's recommendation to deny
their motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim under
Federal Rule of Procedure Rule 12(b)(6),  contending that
Plaintiffs complaint contains only conclusory allegations
devoid of any factual support. A claim survives a motion to
dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6) if it "contain[s] 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). "The plausibility
standard is not akin to a 'probability requirement; but
it asks for more than a sheer possibility that a defendant
has acted unlawfully." Id. This standard
"calls for enough fact to raise a reasonable expectation
that discovery will reveal evidence of [unlawful
conduct]." BellAtl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S.
544, 556 (2007). A complaint's "[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. at 555 (internal citations
se litigant's pleadings must be, and in this instance
are, construed liberally and held to less stringent standards
than formal pleadings drafted by attorneys. Haines v.
Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520-21 (1972). Still, even
"the lenient treatment generally accorded to pro se
litigants has limits." Pilgrim v. Littlefield,
92 F.3d 413, 416 (6th Cir. 1996). Just like any other
plaintiff, pro se plaintiffs must allege more than
"naked assertion[s]"-they must provide enough
factual enhancement to make their claim not just possible,
but plausible. Twombly, 550 U.S. at 557.