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Edoho-Eket v. Perryman

United States District Court, M.D. Tennessee, Nashville Division

January 30, 2017

UDEME EDOHO-EKET, Plaintiff,
v.
ALASTAIR PERRYMAN et al ., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          WAVERLY D. CRENSHAW, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Plaintiff Udeme Edoho-Eket, proceeding pro se, has filed a civil rights complaint against Defendants Alastair Perrymam; Davidson County Juvenile Court Judge Sheila Calloway; the Tennessee Department of Children's Services, Child Support Enforcement; Vanderbilt University employees Morgan Smith, Jeffrey Levy, Jill Overton, Carrie Mason and the Nashville Police Department. (Doc. No. 1.) Additionally, Plaintiff has applied to proceed in forma pauperis. (Doc. No. 2)

         Because it is apparent from the Plaintiff's application that she lacks sufficient resources from which to pay the required filing fee, her application to proceed in forma pauperis (Doc. No. 2) will be granted.

         Pursuant 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).

         Applying these standards, the Plaintiff's action will be dismissed because the Court lacks standing to consider her claims, and even if the Court had standing, Plaintiff fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted and sues a defendant who is immune from suit.

         I. FACTUAL ALLEGATIONS

         It is virtually impossible to follow the factual allegations in Plaintiff's complaint. Her complaint appears to cover events that occurred in 2013, 2014 and 2015, although the allegations are not in chronological order. The allegations appear to relate to events that took place in connection with a custody case involving Plaintiff's son, which appears to have been decided by Judge Calloway of the Davidson County Juvenile Court in 2013. Plaintiff largely claims violations of a multitude of state laws, although at various points in the complaint she cites to the First, Eighth, Ninth and Fourteenth Amendment, as well as 42 U.S.C. §16911 et seq..[1]

         As relief, Plaintiff seeks 27 billion dollars in damages, an injunction prohibiting the enforcement of the sole custody agreement entered June 24, 2013, criminal charges against various defendants, removal of Judge Calloway, disciplinary charges against various defendants and a change of venue with respect to all family law cases in Davidson County.

         II. STANDARD OF REVIEW

         If an 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.”).

         “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 (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”).

         III. DISCUSSION

         The federal courts are courts of limited jurisdiction, and Plaintiff has the burden of proving the Court's jurisdiction. United States v. Horizon Healthcare, 160 F.3d 326, 329 (6th Cir. 1998). Even where subject matter jurisdiction is not raised by the parties, the Court must consider the issue sua sponte. See City of Kenosha v. Bruno, 412 U.S. 507, 511 (1973); Norris v. Schotten, 146 F.3d 314, 324 (6th Cir. 1998); Mickler v. Nimishillen & Tuscarawas Ry. Co., 13 F.3d 184, 189 (6th Cir. 1993).

         To the extent that Plaintiff alleges that the state court decision deciding who would have sole custody of her son caused the injury about which she complains, this Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction over Plaintiff's action. A federal district court has no authority to review final judgments of state-court judicial proceedings. District of Columbia Court of Appeals v. ...


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