United States District Court, N.D. Ohio, Western Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
JEFFREY J. HELMICK, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
se Plaintiff Joseph Emerson brings this action against
defendants Anthony Williams and Cody LNU. Emerson identifies
“unfair labor practice, ” “falsifying IRS
records, ” “possibly taking my pipefitting jobs
rigged, ” and “refusing to pay court ordered
debts” as the basis for federal question jurisdiction
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1331. (Doc. 1 and 3). Emerson
has filed a motion to proceed with this action in forma
pauperis, and I grant that motion. (Doc. 2).
following reasons, I dismiss this action.
Complaint is difficult to follow. Emerson states his claim in
its entirety as follows: “I won judgment court Tony
Williams refuses to pay. Brother in law sold his half
business possibly getting a bought illegal pipefitter book
blackballing me from my union entitled
jobs.” (Id. at 4). Plaintiff seeks $300,
000.00 in compensatory damages and punitive damages.
(Id.). Attached to the Complaint is a wide-ranging
statement by Plaintiff regarding work he performed for
Anthony Williams and his brother-in-law Cody, including
allegations of unpaid wages, tax fraud, subpoenaed documents,
and rigged pipefitter books. (Doc. 1-1 at 1). Numerous
documents are also attached to the Complaint, including a
Magistrate's Decision, dated September 19, 2016, by
Magistrate Blaufuss in the Toledo Small Claims Court
concerning a case brought by Emerson against A.L. Williams
Enterprises, Inc. for unpaid wages, awarding $3, 000.00.
(Id. at 2-4). On October 5, 2016, the Toledo
Municipal Court entered a judgment entry granting judgment in
favor of Emerson and against Anthony Williams in the amount
of $3, 000.00. (Id. at 5).
pro se pleadings are liberally construed, Boag
v. MacDougall, 454 U.S. 364, 365 (1982) (per curiam);
Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520 (1972), I am
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 (1989); Lawler v. Marshall, 898 F.2d 1196 (6th
Cir. 1990); Sistrunk v. City of Strongsville, 99
F.3d 194, 197 (6th Cir. 1996). A claim lacks an arguable
basis in law or fact when it is premised on an indisputably
meritless legal theory or when the factual contentions are
clearly baseless. Neitzke, 490 U.S. at 327. A cause
of action fails to state a claim upon which relief may be
granted when it lacks “plausibility in the
complaint.” Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550
U.S. 544, 564 (2007).
the ‘well-pleaded complaint rule,' the presence of
federal jurisdiction turns on whether ‘a
plaintiff's properly pleaded complaint presents a federal
question on its face.'” Klepsky v. United
Parcel Serv., Inc., 489 F.3d 264, 269 (6th Cir. 2007)
(quoting Smolarek v. Chrysler Corp., 879 F.2d 1326,
1329 (6th Cir.1989) (en banc)). Even liberally construing the
Complaint, Plaintiff fails to allege facts that, taken as
true, plausibly state a claim based upon federal question
jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1331,
upon which relief can be granted. In the absence of federal
subject matter jurisdiction, I lack authority to hear this
case. Id. at 268. To the extent that Plaintiff seeks
enforcement of his small claims state court judgment in
Toledo Municipal Court against defendant Anthony Williams, I
lack jurisdiction to do so. See Bright v. Mut., No.
4:17-CV-47-TAV-SKL, 2018 WL 1524603, at *4 (E.D. Tenn. Mar.
28, 2018) (“Federal courts generally lack authority to
enforce state-court judgments.”) (citing Dearborn
St. Bldg. Assocs. LLC v. D&T Land Holdings, LLC, No.
1:07-cv-1056, 2008 WL 2397660, at *2 (W.D. Mich. June 9,
2008) (citations omitted)).
reasons stated above, I dismiss this case pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 1915(e). I grant Plaintiff's motion to
proceed in forma pauperis.
certify pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(3) that an
appeal from this decision could not be taken in good faith.