United States District Court, N.D. Ohio, Eastern Division
JERROLD G. THOMAS, Plaintiff,
TACO BELL CORPORATE OFFICE, et al., Defendants.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
AARON POLSTER UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter is before the Court on the Complaint of pro
se Plaintiff Jerrold Thomas against Defendants Taco Bell
Corporate Office and Taco Bell Cantina. (Doc. # 1). Plaintiff
alleges that Defendants violated his “civil
rights” at the Taco Bell Cantina located at 200 Euclid
Avenue where he was a patron. Plaintiff seeks to proceed with
this action in forma pauperis, and that motion is
granted (Doc. # 2).
reasons that follow, this case is dismissed.
alleges that around 8:40 a.m. on March 9, 2019, he was a
patron at the Taco Bell Cantina located at 200 Euclid Avenue
in Cleveland, Ohio. On that day, Plaintiff was involved in a
dispute with the general manager, Faith Phelps. Plaintiff
alleges that he was complaining about bad service and
improperly prepared food, and Phelps falsely claimed that he
said he was going to shoot her. As a result of this dispute,
Plaintiff claims he went to jail for aggravated menacing and
criminal trespassing. According to Plaintiff he is homeless,
and Phelps is “far out of line when handling customers
such as myself.”
contacted Taco Bell's corporate office to seek a
resolution, but his telephone calls were not returned.
Plaintiff claims that this incident impacted his employment
and housing opportunities, but he has not yet determined the
amount of damages he is seeking from Defendants. (Doc. # 1).
STANDARD OF REVIEW
pro se pleadings are liberally construed and held to
less stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted by
lawyers, Boag v. MacDougall, 454 U.S. 364, 365
(1982) (per curiam); Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519,
520 (1972), the district court is required to dismiss an
in forma pauperis action under 28 U.S.C. §
1915(e) if it fails to state a claim upon which relief can be
granted, or if it lacks an arguable basis in law or fact.
Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 325 (1989);
Sistrunk v. City of Strongsville, 99 F.3d 194, 197
(6th Cir. 1996).
Plaintiff's Complaint is entitled to liberal
construction, the Court is not required to conjure unpleaded
facts or construct claims on Plaintiff's behalf. See
Grinter v. Knight, 532 F.3d 567, 577 (6th Cir. 2008)
(citation omitted); Beaudett v. City of Hampton, 775
F.2d 1274, 1277-78 (4th Cir. 1985). Moreover, “[i]f the
court determines at any time that it lacks subject-matter
jurisdiction, the court must dismiss the action.”
does not specify the legal basis for his Complaint or the
Court's subject matter jurisdiction. He only claims that
his “civil rights” have been violated. (Doc. #
Plaintiff fails to state a plausible § 1983
extent that Plaintiff is attempting to assert a § 1983
claim, that claim fails. In order to state a claim under 42
U.S.C. § 1983, Plaintiff must allege that a person
acting under color of state law deprived him of his rights,
privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution or the
laws of the United States. West v. Atkins, 487 U.S.
42, 48 (1988). Section 1983 applies only to the State or to
persons acting under color of state law. A private party may
act under color of state law when the private party's
actions “can fairly be seen as state action.”
Rendell-Baker v. Kohn, 457 U.S. 830, 838 (1982).
assuming the truth of Plaintiff's claims, there are no
allegations in the Complaint that Defendants exercised any
powers which are traditionally exclusively reserved to the
State. Accordingly, Plaintiff fails to state a § 1983
claim upon which relief ...