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Quinn v. Western Mental Health Inst.

United States District Court, W.D. Tennessee, Eastern Division

January 22, 2015

LEONARD QUINN, Plaintiff,
v.
WESTERN MENTAL HEALTH INSTITUTE, et al., Defendants

Leonard Quinn, Plaintiff, Pro se, Memphis, TN.

REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

Edward G. Bryant, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

On June 17, 2014, Plaintiff Leonard Quinn, a pro se litigant who was previously a patient at the Western Mental Health Institute[1] filed a 42 U.S.C. § 1983 complaint against the Western Mental Health Institute, its Director, and two doctors, alleging inter alia, that he was being drugged against his consent and that it was making him sick.

This case has been referred to the United States Magistrate Judge for management and for all pretrial matters for determination and/or report and recommendation as appropriate. (Admin. Order 2013-05, April 29, 2013.)

The Court is required to screen in forma pauperis complaints and to dismiss any complaint, or any portion thereof, if the action--

(i) is frivolous or malicious;
(ii) fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted; or
(iii) seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2).

In assessing whether the complaint in this case states a claim on which relief may be granted, the standards under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6), as stated in Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 667-79, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1949-50, 173 L.Ed.2d 868 (2009), and in Bell A. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555-57, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 1964-66, 167 L.Ed.2d 929 (2007), are applied. Hill v. Lappin, 630 F.3d 468, 470-71 (6th Cir. 2010). " Accepting all well-pleaded allegations in the complaint as true, the Court 'consider[s] the factual allegations in [the] complaint to determine if they plausibly suggest an entitlement to relief.'" Williams v. Curtin, 631 F.3d 380, 383 (6th Cir. 2011) ( quoting Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 681, 129 S.Ct. at 1951) (alteration in original). " [P]leadings that . . . are no more than conclusions are not entitled to the assumption of truth. While legal conclusions can provide the framework of a complaint, they must be supported by factual allegations." Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 681, 129 S.Ct. at 1950; see also Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555 n.3, 127 S.Ct. at 1964-65 n.3 (" Rule 8(a)(2) still requires a 'showing, ' rather than a blanket assertion, of entitlement to relief. Without some factual allegation in the complaint, it is hard to see how a claimant could satisfy the requirement of providing not only 'fair notice' of the nature of the claim, but also 'grounds' on which the claim rests.").

" A complaint can be frivolous either factually or legally. See Neitzke [v. Williams], 490 U.S. [319, ] 325, 109 S.Ct. 1827, 104 L.Ed.2d 338 [(1989)]. Any complaint that is legally frivolous would ipso facto fail to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. See id. at 328-29, 109 S.Ct. 1827." Hill, 630 F.3d at 470.

Whether a complaint is factually frivolous under § § 1915A(b)(1) and 1915(e)(2)(B)(i) is a separate issue from whether it fails to state a claim for relief. Statutes allowing a complaint to be dismissed as frivolous give " judges not only the authority to dismiss a claim based on an indisputably meritless legal theory, but also the unusual power to pierce the veil of the complaint's factual allegations and dismiss those claims whose factual contentions are clearly baseless." Neitzke, 490 U.S. at 327, 109 S.Ct. 1827 (interpreting 28 U.S.C. § 1915). Unlike a dismissal for failure to state a claim, where a judge must accept all factual allegations as true, Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. at 1949-50, a judge does not have to accept " fantastic or delusional" factual allegations as true in prisoner complaints that are reviewed for frivolousness. Neitzke, 490 U.S. at 327-28, 109 S.Ct. 1827. Id. at 471.

" Pro se complaints are to be held 'to less stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers, ' and should therefore be liberally construed." Williams, 631 F.3d at 383 (quoting Martin v. Overton, 391 F.3d 710, 712 (6th Cir. 2004)). Pro se litigants, however, are not exempt from the requirements of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Wells v. Brown, 891 F.2d 591, 594 (6th Cir. 1989), reh'g denied (Jan. 19, 1990); see also Song v. Gipson, 423 F.App'x 506, 2011 WL 1827441, at *4 (6th Cir. 2011); Brown v. Matauszak, 415 F.App'x 608, 2011 WL 285251, at *5 (6th Cir. 2011) (affirming dismissal of pro se complaint for failure to comply with " unique pleading requirements" and stating " a court cannot 'create a claim which [a plaintiff] has not spelled out in his pleading'") (quoting Clark v. Nat'l Travelers Life Ins. Co., 518 F.2d 1167, 1169 (6th Cir. 1975)) (alteration in original); Payne v. Secretary of the Treas., 73 F.App'x 836, 837 (6th Cir. 2003) (affirming sua sponte dismissal of complaint pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2) and stating, " [n]either this court nor the district court is required to create Payne's claim for her"); cf . Pliler v. Ford, 542 U.S. 225, 231, 124 S.Ct. 2441, 2446, 159 L.Ed.2d 338 (2004) (" District judges have no obligation to act as counsel or paralegal to pro se litigants.").

ANALYSIS

Plaintiff appears to be seeking injunctive relief against Western Mental Health Institute, including a request for the institution to " stop overmedicating patient, " asking for the CEO to be fired, and requesting a smoking area. Plaintiff is no ...


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