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Henderson v. Mitchell

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

February 26, 2015

JAMES HENDERSON, Plaintiff,
v.
CHARLES MITCHELL, ET AL., Defendants.

ORDER DISMISSING COMPLAINT, CERTIFYING THAT AN APPEAL WOULD NOT BE TAKEN IN GOOD FAITH AND NOTIFYING PLAINTIFF OF APPELLATE FILING FEE

JAMES D. TODD, District Judge.

On November 24, 2014, Plaintiff, James Henderson, booking number 11145066, a pretrial detainee at the Shelby County Criminal Justice Complex in Memphis, Tennessee, filed a pro se complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, accompanied by a motion seeking leave to proceed in forma pauperis. (ECF Nos. 1 & 2.) In an order issued on November 26, 2014, the Court granted leave to proceed in forma pauperis and assessed the civil filing fee pursuant to the Prison Litigation Reform Act ("PLRA"), 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(a)-(b). (ECF No. 4.) The Clerk shall record the Defendants as Charles Mitchell, a criminal defense attorney; Amy Weirich, the District Attorney General for the Thirtieth Judicial District at Memphis; and Shelby County Criminal Court Judge Carolyn Blackett.

The factual allegations of the complaint are as follows:

(false imprisonment) They violated my constitutional rights my fourth admendment [sic] I was seized threaten to make a statement without being "mirandized". I was charged with reckless homicide then indicted on 1st Degree Murder with the involuntary statement made by plaintiff. Plaintiff fifth admendant [sic] was violated by the delay of thirty-six months (36) without being afforded an opportunity to plea not guilty and be legally set for trial. Plaintiff six admendment [sic] right has been violated by plaintiff ascertaining that right to go to trial by has been consecutively set off for reports dates do [sic] to the complicity of my lawyer Mr. Mitchell #23789, Judge Cloring [sic] Blacket [sic]. Mr. Mitchell ineffectively assisting plaintiff as his conunsel [sic].

(ECF No. 1 at 2.) Plaintiff seeks money damages.

By way of background, on November 10, 2011, Plaintiff was arrested on a charge of reckless homicide. See http://jssi.shelbycountytn.gov (Booking # 11145066). On April 19, 2012, a grand jury returned an indictment charging Henderson with first degree murder. See id. (Indictment # 12 02158). The criminal case is pending.

The Court is required to screen prisoner complaints and to dismiss any complaint, or any portion thereof, if the complaint-

(1) is frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted; or
(2) seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief.

28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b); see also 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B).

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, 677-79 (2009), and in Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555-57 (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). "[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 679; see also Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555 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." Hill, 630 F.3d at 470 (citing Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 325 (1989)). "Any complaint that is legally frivolous would ipso facto fail to state a claim upon which relief can be granted." Id. (citing Neitzke, 490 U.S. at 328-29).

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. Unlike a dismissal for failure to state a claim, where a judge must accept all factual allegations as ...

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