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Watkins v. The University of Memphis Campus Police Services

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

February 2, 2015

THELMA ANN WATKINS, Plaintiffs,
v.
THE UNIVERSITY OF MEMPHIS CAMPUS POLICE SERVICES, Defendant.

REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION FOR SUA SPONTE DISMISSAL

DIANE K. VESCOVO, Magistrate Judge.

On January 2, 2015, the plaintiff, Thelma Ann Watkins ("Thelma Watkins"), a resident of Cordova, Tennessee, filed a pro se complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, (Compl., ECF No. 1), accompanied by a motion seeking leave to proceed in forma pauperis, (Mot., ECF No. 2.)[1] On January 5, 2014, the court issued an order granting Thelma Watkins's motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis . (Order, ECF No. 4.) 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.) For the reasons that follow, it is recommended that this case be dismissed for failure to state a claim and because it seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from such relief.

I. PROPOSED FINDINGS OF FACT

In her complaint, Thelma Watkins sets forth the following factual allegations:

On February 6, 2014, two University of Memphis officers, Ballard #UM069 and Bell #UM103, came to my home located at 1622 Ranmar Drive, Cordova, TN 38016. My son (Calvin Watkins) responded to the officer's [sic] at the door. They told Calvin they needed him to come with them to the University of Memphis Campus Police Services so that they could "simply ask Calvin some questions about an incident.["] My son agreed and told the officers that he needed to back inside to put on his shoes and coat. As my son entered back into our home, he preceeded [sic] to pull the door shut. Ballard, however, used force to pull my security door open so he and Bell would come in. Ballard told Calvin that they were coming in with him. These officers did not ask to come in; they forced their way in and without a warrant of any kind. Since the officers did not have a warrant, they were repeatedly asked by my sons to leave out of the house; however, the officers refused to leave out of our home. These officers walked through my home, peeping around. Calvin continued to ask for a warrant. The officer/s [sic] then said "We can do this the easy way or we can do this the hard way." At that time Ballard reached to his side to pull out handcuffs. These officers bullied my sons in the privacy of our own home. The situation could have gotten worse if Calvin had not complied with the officers. These officers could have done harm to my sons, behind closed doors, because the officers had weapons. These University of Memphis Police Officers had no right entering into my home and escorting my son out of our home without a warrant. My and my sons' civil rights (4th Amendment rights) were, indeed violated. The University of Memphis Police Services came into my home unauthorized and arrested my son at our home, at 1622 Ranmar Drive, Cordova, TN, without a warrant.

(Compl., ECF No. 1 § IV.) The only defendant named in the complaint is The University of Memphis Campus Police Services.

For relief, Thelma Watkins states: "My [sic] and my sons' 4th Amendment rights were, clearly, violated on February 6, 2014. Therefore, I am filing a civil law suit [sic] of 2.5 million dollars against The University of Memphis Campus Police Services. I want the federal court to." (Compl., ECF No. 1 § V.)

II. PROPOSED CONCLUSIONS OF LAW

A. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2) Screening

Pursuant to Local Rule 4.1(a), service will not issue in a pro se case where the pro se plaintiff has been granted leave to proceed in forma pauperis until the complaint has been screened under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2). The clerk is authorized to issue summonses to pro se litigants only after that review is complete and an order of the court issues.

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 ...

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