United States District Court, M.D. Tennessee, Nashville Division
H. Sharp Chief United States District Judge.
Mardoche Olivier, a resident of Clarksville, Tennessee,
brings this pro se, in forma pauperis action against
the United States Government, alleging violations of the
Plaintiff's civil rights. (Docket No. 1). The Plaintiff
seeks $40, 000 in damages, attorney fees, and injunctive
relief. (Id. at p. 3).
Required Screening of the Complaint
Plaintiff is proceeding as a pauper in this action;
therefore, the Court must conduct an initial review of the
complaint under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B) and dismiss it
or any portion of it that is frivolous or malicious, fails to
state a claim for which relief may be granted, or seeks
monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such
relief. 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)”).
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);
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”); cf. Pliler v. Ford, 542 U.S. 225, 231
(2004) (“District judges have no obligation to act as
counsel or paralegal to pro se litigants.”); Young
Bok Song v. Gipson, 423 F. App'x 506, 510 (6th Cir.
2011) (“[W]e decline to affirmatively require courts to
ferret out the strongest cause of action on behalf of pro se
litigants. Not only would that duty be overly burdensome, it
would transform the courts from neutral arbiters of disputes
into advocates for a particular party. While courts are
properly charged with protecting the rights of all who come
before it, that responsibility does not encompass advising
litigants as to what legal theories they should
to the complaint, the Honorable Waverly D. Crenshaw, Jr., a
member of this Court, dismissed sua sponte a pro
se action filed by the Plaintiff (Case No.
3:16-cv-3255). Rather than appeal that ruling, the Plaintiff
alleges in this complaint that Judge Crenshaw acted outside
of his authority when he dismissed the case. The Plaintiff
believes that Judge Crenshaw dismissed the Plaintiff's
case, in part, because he applied the wrong law to the case.
The Plaintiff is filing this action against the “U.S.
Gov.” as Judge Crenshaw's “employer.”
(Docket No. 1 at p. 2).
order to state a claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, the
Plaintiff must plead and prove that the Defendant, while
acting under color of state law, deprived him of some right
or privilege secured by the Constitution or laws of the
United States. Parratt v. Taylor, 451 U.S. 527, 535
Court finds that Judge Crenshaw not acting “under color
of state law” when he disposed of the Plaintiff's
previous lawsuit. See Mardoche Olivier v. U.S.
Government, No. 3:17-cv-00059 (M.D. Tenn. Jan. 31,
2017)(Trauger, J.)(similarly finding that Judge Crenshaw was
not acting under color of state law when he dismissed a
different federal lawsuit filed by the same Plaintiff). In
the absence of such a showing, the Plaintiff has failed to
state a claim upon which relief can be granted. In any event,
the Plaintiff is not suing the alleged tortfeasor here.
Rather, the Plaintiff is attempting to place liability on the
alleged tortfeasor's employer. The law is settled that
respondeat superior is not recognized as an
acceptable theory of liability under § 1983. See
e.g., Polk County v. Dodson, 454 U.S. 312, 325 (1981);
Monell v. Dept. of Social Servs. of The City of New York,
et al, 436 U.S. 658, 659, 691-95 (1978); Siggers v.
Campbell, 652 F.3d 681, 695 (6th Cir. 2011) (citing
Taylor v. Michigan Dep't of Corrections, 69 F.3d
76, 80-81 (6th Cir.1995)).
conclusion, the Court finds that the complaint fails to state
a claim upon which relief can be granted. This action,
therefore, will be dismissed with prejudice. 28 U.S.C. §
same reasons that the Court dismisses this action, the Court
finds that an appeal of this action would not be taken in
good faith. The Court therefore certifies, pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 1915(a)(3), that any appeal in this matter by
the Plaintiff would not be taken in good faith, and the