United States District Court, M.D. Tennessee, Nashville Division
A. Trauger United States District Judge.
Ron Teasley, proceeding pro se,  has filed a civil
rights complaint against defendants Metro Nashville Police
Department (“MNPD”); State of Tennessee;
attorneys Joy Kimbrough, Robert Vaughn, Ryan C. Caldwell and
Edward Swinger; MNPD Police Officers James A. King, Joshua
Lunn, Alex Moore and Gerald Hyder; Assistant District
Attorney Antoinette Welch; Unknown Grand Jury Foreperson and
Unknown Grand Jury Witness. (ECF No. 1.) Additionally, the
plaintiff has applied to proceed in forma pauperis.
(ECF No. 2)
it is apparent from the plaintiff's application that he
lacks sufficient resources from which to pay the required
filing fee, his application to proceed in forma
pauperis (ECF No. 2) will be granted.
to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2), the Court is required to
conduct an initial review of any complaint filed in forma
pauperis and to dismiss the complaint if it is facially
frivolous or malicious, if it fails to state a claim upon
which relief may be granted, or if it seeks monetary relief
against a defendant who is immune from such relief.
Begola v. Brown, 172 F.3d 47 (Table), 1998 WL
894722, at *1 (6th Cir. Dec. 14, 1998) (citing McGore v.
Wrigglesworth, 114 F.3d 601, 604 (6th Cir. 1997),
overruled on other grounds by Jones v. Bock, 549
U.S. 199 (2007)). The Court must construe a pro se
plaintiff's complaint liberally, Boag v.
McDaniel, 454 U.S. 364, 365 (1982), and accept the
plaintiff's allegations as true unless they are clearly
irrational or wholly incredible. Denton v.
Hernandez, 504 U.S. 25, 33 (1992).
complaint the plaintiff alleges that attorneys Vaughn,
Caldwell and Kimbrough were negligent in various respects
when they represented the plaintiff in connection with his
criminal case. Specifically, the plaintiff alleges that in
January, 2012, attorney Vaughn advised him that the evidence
against him was overwhelming and instructed him to waive his
preliminary hearing, “failed to exhaust my state
remedy, ” failed to investigate the plaintiff's
case even though there was no “chain of custody,
” the evidence was illegally obtained, there was no
warrant authorizing an undercover operation, a confidential
informant was used and the forfeiture warrants were
misleading. (ECF No. 1 at Page ID# 8.) With respect to
attorney Caldwell, the plaintiff alleges that in July 2013,
Caldwell engaged in the same conduct as Vaughn.
(Id.) Additionally, Caldwell failed to move for
dismissal “due to the statute of limitations had
expired in this case.” (Id.) Finally, with
respect to attorney Kimbrough, the plaintiff alleges that in
June 2014, Kimbrough engaged in the same conduct as Vaughn
and Caldwell, and she coerced and mislead the plaintiff into
pleading guilty despite knowing that the evidence against him
was illegal and fabricated. (Id.)
plaintiff alleges that Officers King, Lunn, Moore and Hyder
engaged in a variety of misconduct with respect to an
undercover sting operation that allegedly took place November
22 and 23, 2011 and in connection with obtaining a forfeiture
warrant during that same time period. (Id. at Page
ID# 9.) Specifically, the plaintiff alleges that Officers
King, Lunn, Moore and Hyder abused their power as police
officers on November 22 and 23, 2011, when they conducted an
undercover sting operation without the proper authorization,
they committed perjury when they said that the “buy
money” was previously photocopied, they violated
policy, procedure, rules and regulations in connection with
the plaintiff's case, illegally obtained a forfeiture
warrant and committed perjury when they said that $600
belonged to the plaintiff. (Id.) Additionally, they
failed to do a field analysis test on the marijuana and
instead sent it to a lab for testing. (Id.) Finally,
they failed to ensure a proper “chain of custody”
with respect to the evidence in the plaintiff's case.
plaintiff alleges that in July, 2013 Assistant District
Attorney Welch maliciously prosecuted him even though she
knew that the evidence against him was illegally obtained,
knew about Officer King's illegal activity, knew that the
Officers violated policy, procedure, rules and regulations,
that the statute of limitations had passed and that Officer
King had committed perjury with regard to the “buy
money” and the alleged listening device. (Id.
at Page ID# 10.) Additionally, the plaintiff alleges that on
March 8, 2013, the Unknown Grand Jury Witness offered
perjured testimony before the Grand Jury of Davidson County
and the Unknown Grand Jury Foreperson knowingly accepted
perjured testimony and illegal evidence to obtain an
relief, the plaintiff seeks compensatory and punitive damages
against each defendant.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
action is filed in forma pauperis, “the court
shall dismiss the case at any time if the court determines
that . . . the action . . . fails to state a claim on which
relief may be granted.” 28 U.S.C. §
1915(e)(2)(B)(ii). In assessing whether the complaint in this
case states a claim on which relief may be granted, the court
applies the standards under Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal
Rules of Civil Procedure, as construed by Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678-79 (2009), and Bell
Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555-57 (2007).
See Hill v. Lappin, 630 F.3d 468, 470-71 (6th Cir.
2010) (holding that “the dismissal standard articulated
in Iqbal and Twombly governs dismissals for
failure to state a claim under § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii)]
because the relevant statutory language tracks the language
in Rule 12(b)(6)”). “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) (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 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.”).
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 (internal quotation marks and citation omitted). 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).
The Court is not required to create a claim for the
plaintiff. Clark v. Nat'l Travelers Life Ins.
Co., 518 F.2d 1167, 1169 (6th Cir. 1975); see also
Brown v. Matauszak, 415 F.App'x 608, 613 (6th Cir.
2011) (“[A] court cannot create a claim which [a
plaintiff] has not spelled out in his pleading”)
(internal quotation marks and citation omitted); Payne v.
Sec'y of 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”).
plaintiff raises claims for attorney negligence, official
misconduct, malicious prosecution and perjury. For the
reasons that follow, the plaintiff fails to state any claim
upon which ...