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Myers v. Shelby County

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

March 15, 2017

MARIO MARQUETTE MYERS, Plaintiff,
v.
SHELBY COUNTY, ET AL., Defendants.

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

          JAMES D. TODD UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         On February 22, 2016, Plaintiff Mario Marquette Myers (“Myers”), who is currently a pre-trial detainee at the Shelby County Criminal Justice Complex (“Jail”) in Memphis, Tennessee, filed a pro se complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, accompanied by a motion to proceed in forma pauperis. (ECF Nos. 1 & 2.) After receiving the proper documentation from Myers, this Court issued an order on March 3, 2016, granting leave to proceed in forma pauperis and assessing the civil filing fee pursuant to the Prison Litigation Reform Act (“PLRA”), 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(a)-(b). (ECF No. 6.) The Clerk shall record the Defendants as Shelby County, [1] Shelby County Sheriff William “Bill” Oldham, Floyd Bonner, and Shelby County Criminal Court Judge James “Jim” Lammey. Defendants are sued in their individual and official capacities.

         Myers alleges that on May 11, 2015, he and his family were unlawfully removed from their home at 5406 Stephen Forest Cove in Memphis, Tennessee without service of a summons and without due process allowing them to prove they had a right to be on that property. (ECF No. 1 at 2.) Myers's daughter called the Shelby County Sheriff out to the scene, requested that a report be taken, and asked for the deputies to stop the “strangers from putting all their property on the street.” (Id.) Myers's daughter told the deputies that she needed Defendant Oldham to come to the home to present the documents proving they had a right to be there, but the deputies said Defendant Oldham would not come to the scene and no report would be taken because it was a civil matter. (Id.)

         Myers's second allegation is that on October 14, 2015, he was unlawfully “detained, kidnapped and arested [sic]” in Alabama without a writ, warrant or valid agreement, by two Shelby County Sheriff Deputies, C. Hillard and Mr. Chers. (Id. at 3.) Even though Myers told the deputies that he had documents prohibiting their action against him, they told Myers that they were going to extradite him from Alabama to Shelby County, Tennessee on warrants. (Id.) When Myers asked for the warrants, the deputies told him that he would get the warrants when they got to the Jail in Memphis. (Id.) Myers states he has not been served the writ or warrants, and he has been continually denied in his request to see Defendant Oldham to “clarify, verify, and reconcile” these issues. (Id.) Myers contends that he has been in jail from the arrest date through the present day, going through four different court divisions, all who have seen his documentation relating to how he should be treated. (Id.)

         Myers alleges that he has been compelled by Jail deputies, under the direction of Defendant Oldham, to “Trespass into these lower/inferior court venue(s) without [his] consent for an overwhelming [number] of times, ” where he was denied due process and solicited into contractual agreements for attorneys, which he refused. (Id. at 4.) After a number of court appearances where Myers refused attorneys and tried to recuse each appearing judge, Myers was transferred to Division Five and Defendant Lammey's courtroom. Defendant Lammey ordered Public Defender Dewayne Settles, who is not a party to this complaint, to get Myers to agree to his counsel. (Id.at 4-5.) Myers told Settles that it is conflict of interest for Settles to represent him, that Division Five is operating outside of the Article III of the Constitution, and that it is a conflict of interest on behalf of Defendant Lammey to hear from Myers. (Id.at 5.) Myers was told by Settles that Defendant Lammey was going to assume jurisdiction. (Id.)

         Even though Myers told Settles that he needed to talk to the judge, Settles returned to the courtroom without Myers and agreed to the return court date of December 16, 2015. (Id. at 6.) Myers contends that on December 16, 2015, Defendant Lammey denied him due process by denying his attempt to recuse Lammey, compelled Myers to be represented by Settles, disregarded Myers's statement that “this is not a court of law and is not a court of record, ” became upset at Myers and told Myers to leave his court room while resetting the next hearing date for February 1, 2016. (Id.) On the next court date, Myers again argued that Defendant Lammey did not have jurisdiction, resulting in Defendant Lammey holding Myers in contempt of court and telling Myers that he would remain in jail until he underwent a psychological evaluation. (Id.)

         Myers alleges that while in the custody of Defendant Oldham, he filed eight grievances; has been attacked and beaten by Defendant Oldham's subordinates, DRT Lieutenant K. William and Interpol on camera; has been placed in solitary confinement; has been pepper sprayed for trying to request the chain of command to assist him in getting free; has been sent to solitary confinement for not consenting to receive unknown medical shots; has been photographed and placed under the radar of Defendant Oldham's deputies; and has been slandered by being called a “sovereign citizen.” (Id. at 8-9.) Myers alleges that Defendant Oldham and Interpol have denied him equal protection under the law.

         Myers contends that on another unspecified date he called the Sheriff's Department to his home to help him deal with a “peaceful civil matter” but was taken from his home and wrestled to the ground by two deputies, who also sprayed him with pepper spray, handcuffed him, and beat him. (Id. at 9.) He was taken to the regional medical center but was denied treatment due to not having insurance and being called a sovereign citizen. (Id.) The deputies said that he resisted arrest and called 911 too many times. (Id.) Myers was told that to get out of jail, he had to get fingerprinted and make bail. (Id.) After experiencing blood in his bowels, Myers was “forced” to pay bail in order to get medical treatment for the injuries he incurred after being beaten by the two deputies. (Id. at 9-10.) Myers received treatment from Baptist Memorial Hospital and forwarded the bill to the Shelby County Sheriff's Department; however, he was later informed that the deputies were not liable, resulting in the debt being on Myers's credit report. (Id. at 10.)

         Myers alleges that due to the actions of Defendants Oldham, Lammey and Interpol, he now suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder, abnormal blood pressure and pain in his head, face, neck, and back. (Id.at 11.) Myers further alleges that the change in his health is due to the cruel and unusual punishment to which he was subjected while at the Jail. (Id.)

         Myers seeks $40 million in damages, to be exonerated and reconciled from any charges, sanctions, claims, or warrants, $500, 000 in damages for violation of his liberty, and $6, 000 per day for the time his was compelled to be in jail. (Id. at 12.)

         By way of background, on December 19, 2013, two indictments were issued against Myers. Indictment #13 06342 charged him with unlawful possession of a weapon and possession of a controlled substance. See jssi.shelbycountytn.gov. That case is still pending. Indictment #13 06304 charged Myers with aggravated assault, reckless endangerment with a deadly weapon, intentionally evading arrest and domestic assault with bodily harm. Id. Those charges were dismissed on March 7, 2017. Id. On July 2, 2015, two additional indictments were issued against Myers. Indictment #15 03122 and #15 03160 charged him with failure to appear in a felony matter. (Id.) Those matters are also still pending. Id.

         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 court applies standards under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 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). 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) (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.”).

         “A complaint can be frivolous either factually or legally. Any complaint that is legally frivolous would ipso facto fail to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.” Hill, 630 F.3d at 470 (citing Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 325, 328-29 (1989)).

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.” Neitzke, 490 U.S. at 327, 109 S.Ct. 1827 (interpreting 28 U.S.C. § 1915). Unlike a dismissal for failure to state a claim, where a judge must accept all factual allegations as true, Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. at 1949-50, a judge does not ...

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