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Myers v. Leasure

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

August 22, 2019

ANDRE' S. MYERS, Plaintiff,
v.
MS. LEASURE, et al., Defendants.

          George C. Smith Judge.

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          ELIZABETH A. PRESTON DEAVERS CHIEF UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         Plaintiff, a state inmate proceeding without the assistance of counsel, brings this action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging that Defendants, Ms. Leasure, Mr. Bond, and Mr. Cobb, violated his First Amendment rights by retaliating against him for using the prison grievance process. (See Plt's Compl., ECF No. 1.) Plaintiff claims that he was found guilty of two false conduct reports and was transferred to a different prison unit. (Id.) This matter is before the Court for an initial screen of Plaintiff's Complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B) and 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b). The screening procedures established by § 1915 apply to complaints filed by prisoners against governmental entities, officials, or employees regardless of whether the plaintiff has paid the filing fee, as Plaintiff has done so in this case, or is proceeding in forma pauperis. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a); Hyland v. Clinton, 3 Fed.Appx. 478, 479 (6th Cir. 2011); Bell v. Rowe, No. 97-4417, 1999 WL 196531, at *1 (6th Cir. 1999) (citing McGore v. Wrigglesworth, 114 F.3d 601, 608-09 (6th Cir. 1997)); Suber v. Maus, No. 1:18-cv-143, 2018 WL 1473400, at *1 (S.D. Ohio March 26, 2018). For the following reasons, it is RECOMMENDED that Plaintiff's Complaint be DISMISSED in its entirety.

         II.

         Congress enacted 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e) and 1915A, 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; see also 28 U.S.C. § 1915A (requiring the Court to screen a prisoner's complaint “as soon as practicable” and dismiss any portion of the complaint if it is frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a claim). Thus, §§ 1915(e) and 1915A require 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 Rule 8(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. See 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. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii)). 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)). Furthermore, 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) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, “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.

         In considering whether this facial plausibility standard is met, a Court must construe the complaint in the light most favorable to the non-moving party, accept all factual allegations as true, and make reasonable inferences in favor of the non-moving party. Total Benefits Planning Agency, Inc. v. Anthem Blue Cross & Blue Shield, 552 F.3d 430, 434 (6th Cir. 2008) (citations omitted). Additionally, the Court must construe pro se complaints liberally. Younis v. Pinnacle Airlines, Inc., 610 F.3d 359, 362 (6th Cir. 2010). The Court is not required, however, to accept as true mere legal conclusions unsupported by factual allegations. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 677.

         III.

         Plaintiff alleges that the Unit Manager's “engineering” of a false conduct report in retaliation for filing prison grievances violated his First Amendment rights and Defendants collectively conspired to infringe upon his First Amendment right of petition for redress of grievances. (Plt's Compl., ...


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