Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Turner v. Ohio Department of Rehabilitation And Correction

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

August 15, 2019

JOSHUA KENNETH TURNER, Plaintiff,
v.
OHIO DEPARTMENT OF REHABILITATION AND CORRECTION, et al., Defendants.

          Judge Michael H. Watson

          INITIAL SCREEN REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          ELIZABETH A. PRESTON DEAVERS, CHIEF UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         Plaintiff, Joshua Kenneth Turner, a state inmate who is proceeding without the assistance of counsel, brings this action against the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction (“ODRC”), Warren Correctional Institution (“WCI”), and four individuals. (ECF No. 7.) On June 21, 2019, Plaintiff was granted leave to proceed in forma pauperis in this action. (ECF No. 6.) This matter is before the Court for the initial screen of Plaintiff's Complaint under 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2), 1915A to identify cognizable claims and to recommend dismissal of Plaintiff's Complaint, or any portion of it, which 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), 1915A. Having performed the initial screen of the Complaint required by 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e), 1915A, for the reasons that follow, it is RECOMMENDED that the Court DISMISS all claims against ODRC, WCI, Defendants Annette Chambers-Smith, and Defendant Wanda Jackson; any claims for monetary damages against the individual defendants in their official capacities; and any claims for monetary damages under the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (“RLUIPA”), 42 U.S.C. § 2000cc-1. It is FURTHER RECOMMENDED that Plaintiff be allowed at this juncture to proceed on his remaining claims against Defendants Mike Davis and Chaplain Kehr for violations of Plaintiff's rights under the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and RLUIPA.

         I.

         Congress enacted 28 U.S.C. § 1915, the federal in forma pauperis statute, seeking to “lower judicial access barriers to the indigent.” Denton v. Hernandez, 504 U.S. 25, 31 (1992). In doing so, however, “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.'” Id. at 31 (quoting Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 324 (1989)). To address this concern, Congress included subsection (e)[1] as part of the statute, which provides in pertinent part:

(2) Notwithstanding any filing fee, or any portion thereof, that may have been paid, the court shall dismiss the case at any time if the court determines that--
* * *
(B) the action or appeal--
(i) is frivolous or malicious;
(ii) fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted; or . . . .

28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(i) & (ii); Denton, 504 U.S. at 31. Thus, § 1915(e) requires sua sponte dismissal of an action upon the Court's determination that the action is frivolous or malicious, or upon determination that the action fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted. To properly state a claim upon which relief may be granted, a plaintiff must satisfy the basic federal pleading requirements set forth in Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a). See also Hill v. Lappin, 630 F.3d 468, 470-71 (6th Cir. 2010) (applying Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) standards to review under 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915A and 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii)). Under Rule 8(a)(2), a complaint must contain a “short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). Thus, Rule 8(a) “imposes legal and factual demands on the authors of complaints.” 16630 Southfield Ltd., P'Ship v. Flagstar Bank, F.S.B., 727 F.3d 502, 503 (6th Cir. 2013).

         Although this pleading standard does not require “‘detailed factual allegations,' . . . [a] pleading that offers ‘labels and conclusions' or ‘a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action, '” is insufficient. Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)). A complaint will not “suffice if it tenders ‘naked assertion[s]' devoid of ‘further factual enhancement.'” Id. (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 557). Instead, to survive a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim under Rule 12(b)(6), “a complaint must contain sufficient factual matter . . . to ‘state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'” Id. (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570). Facial plausibility is established “when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.” Id. “The plausibility of an inference depends on a host of considerations, including common sense and the strength of competing explanations for the defendant's conduct.” Flagstar Bank, 727 F.3d at 504 (citations omitted). Further, the Court holds pro se ain complaints “‘to less stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers.'” Garrett v. Belmont Cnty. Sheriff's Dep't., No. 08-3978, 2010 WL 1252923, at *2 (6th Cir. April 1, 2010) (quoting Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520 (1972)). This lenient treatment, however, has limits; “‘courts should not have to guess at the nature of the claim asserted.'” Frengler v. Gen. Motors, 482 Fed.Appx. 975, 976-77 (6th Cir. 2012) (quoting Wells v. Brown, 891 F.2d 591, 594 (6th Cir. 1989)).

         II.

         Plaintiff brings this action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, naming as Defendants ODRC, WCI, Mike Davis (Religious Services Administrator), Chaplin Kehr, Annette Chambers-Smith, and Wanda Jackson (the last four Defendants, collectively, “Individual Defendants”). (See generally ECF No. 7.) Plaintiff alleges that he practiced Reconstruction Judaism his entire life when he was committed to the custody of ODRC. (Id. at PAGEID # 87.) Although he previously received kosher meals at Lebanon Correctional Institution (“LeCI”), Plaintiff alleges that he was denied such meals when he asked for them after arriving at WCI. (Id. PAGEID ## 87-88.) As set forth in more detail below, Plaintiff grieved the denial of the requested kosher meals but did not receive a response in time file a timely ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.