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Wright v. Tenn. Dep't of Health Office of Vital Records

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

December 13, 2017

JEFFREY WRIGHT, Plaintiff,
v.
TENN. DEP'T OF HEALTH OFFICE OF VITAL RECORDS, Defendant.

          ORDER ADOPTING MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION AND DENYING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO AMEND COMPLAINT

          John T. Fowlkes, Jr. United States District Judge.

         Before the Court is the Report and Recommendation entered by the Magistrate Judge in the above-styled case. (ECF No. 6.) On July 3, 2017, Plaintiff filed his pro se Complaint (titled, “Notice of Appeal”), accompanied by his pro se Motion seeking leave to proceed in forma pauperis. (ECF Nos. 1 & 2.) The matter was referred to the Magistrate Judge for management of all pretrial matters. On July 6, 2017, the Magistrate Judge issued a Report and Recommendation suggesting that the information in Plaintiffs in forma pauperis (“IFP') affidavit satisfies his burden of demonstrating that he is unable to pay the civil filing fee but that this Court should dismiss Plaintiffs Complaint for failure to state a claim on which relief may be granted pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii). (ECF No. 6, 2-4.) The Magistrate Judge also recommended that this Court, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(3), certify that an IFP appeal by Plaintiff would not be taken in good faith and, thus, may not be taken. (Id. at 5.) On July 19, 2017, Plaintiff filed a document titled “Letter of Dispute and Request for Reconsideration for In Forma Pauperis”, which the Court construes as Plaintiffs Objections to the Magistrate Judge's Report and Recommendation. (ECF No. 7.) Plaintiff filed his Amended Complaint, on August 24, 2017, which the Court also construes as his Motion to Amend Complaint. (ECF No. 8.)

         I. FINDINGS OF FACT

         Implicit in her Report and Recommendation, is the Magistrate Judge's determination that proposed findings of fact are not necessary in this case. Compare Fed. R. Civ. P. 72(b)(1), with ECF No. 6. Rather, the Magistrate Judge issued her Report and Recommendation based on Plaintiffs original Complaint and Motion seeking leave to proceed IFP, the factual circumstances surrounding both, and the applicable law. The Court, for purposes of its analysis, similarly incorporates the same as well as Plaintiffs “Letter of Dispute and Request for Reconsideration for In Forma Pauperis”, (ECF No. 7), and Plaintiffs Amended Complaint. (ECF No. 8.)

         II. LEGAL STANDARD

         Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b), magistrate judges may hear and determine any pretrial matter pending before the Court, except various dispositive motions. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(A). Upon hearing a pending matter, “the magistrate judge must enter a recommended disposition, including, if appropriate, proposed findings of fact.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b)(1); see also Baker v. Peterson, 67 F. App'x 308, 310 (6th Cir. 2003). The district court may accept, reject, or modify the proposed findings or recommendations of the Magistrate Judge. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(C).

         Any party who disagrees with a magistrate's proposed findings and recommendation may file written objections to the report and recommendation. Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b)(2). The standard of review that is applied by the district court depends on the nature of the matter considered by the magistrate judge. See Fed R. Civ. P. 72(b)(3) (“The district judge must determine de novo any part of the magistrate judge's disposition that has been properly objected to.”); Baker, 67 F. App'x at 310 (noting that a “district court normally applies a ‘clearly erroneous or contrary to law' standard of review for non-dispositive preliminary measures” and a de novo standard for review of dispositive motions). A district judge should adopt the findings and rulings of the magistrate judge to which no specific objection is filed. Brown, 47 F.Supp.3d at 674.

         Pursuant to Local Rule 4.1, service will not issue in a pro se case where the pro se plaintiff has been granted leave to proceed IFP until the complaint has been screened under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B). LR 4.1(b). Courts must screen IFP complaints and dismiss any complaint, or portion thereof, if the allegation of poverty is untrue or if the action (i) is frivolous or malicious, (ii) fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted, or (iii) seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2). To state a claim, courts hold as follows:

[A] complaint must contain a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief. A complaint must have enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face. A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.

Davidson v. Fed. Bureau of Prisons, No. 17-5429, 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 24272, at *6 (6th Cir. Nov. 29, 2017).

         Courts must also remain conscious that pro se pleadings, though not free from basic pleading requirements, are “held ‘to less stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers, ' and should therefore be liberally construed.” Williams v. Curtin, 631 F.3d 380, 383 (6th Cir. 2011) (quoting Martin v. Overton, 391 F.3d 710, 712 (6th Cir. 2004)).

         III. ANALYSIS

         After analyzing Plaintiff's original Complaint, the Magistrate Judge recommends that this Court dismiss Plaintiff's original Complaint for failure to provide “a short plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2) and failure to demand relief as required by Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(3). Plaintiff did not lodge objections to either finding. Upon review of Plaintiffs Complaint, this Court agrees with the Magistrate Judge's conclusion that Plaintiffs Complaint should be dismissed for failure to comply with the pleading requirements of Fed.R.Civ.P. 8.

         The Magistrate Judge also recommends that this Court certify, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(3), that Plaintiff may not appeal IFP because such an appeal would not be taken in good faith. (ECF No. 6, 5.) Plaintiff did not object to the recommendation. Under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(3), “An appeal may not be taken in forma pauperis if the trial court certifies in writing that it is not taken in good faith.” 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(3). “The good faith standard is an objective one” and considers whether the litigant seeks appellate review of any nonfrivolous issue. Beard v. Memphis, TN Crim. & Judicial Sys., No. 17-2184-STA-cgc, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 100175, at *8 (W.D. Tenn. June 16, 2017). Additionally, courts hold that it would be inconsistent for a ...


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