United States District Court, W.D. Tennessee, Western Division
ORDER DISMISSING CLAIMS, CERTIFYING AN APPEAL WOULD
NOT BE TAKEN IN GOOD FAITH AND NOTIFYING PLAINTIFF OF
APPELLATE FILING FEE
THOMAS ANDERSON, CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
13, 2016, Plaintiff Elmer Bohanon, who is currently an inmate
at the Shelby County Correction Center in Memphis, Tennessee,
filed pro se a Complaint pursuant to 18 U.S.C.
§ 241 and 42 U.S.C. § 1985(3), accompanied by a
motion to proceed in forma pauperis. (ECF Nos. 1
& 2.) On July 15, 2016, the Court granted Bohanon leave
to proceed in forma pauperis and assessed the civil
filing fee pursuant to the Prison Litigation Reform Act
(“PLRA”), 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(a)-(b).
(ECF No. 4.) On August 15, 2016, Bohanon filed an Amended
Complaint. (ECF No. 6.) The Clerk shall record the Defendants
as Demarcus Newberry and Family Dollar, LLC (“Family
alleges that on October 24, 2015, Newberry accused Bohanon of
shoplifting merchandise from a Family Dollar store. (Compl.
at 2-3, ECF No. 1.) Specifically, Newberry believed that
Bohanon had taken certain Memphis Grizzlies shirts.
(Id.) According to the police report attached as
exhibit 1 to the Amended Complaint, Newberry was the manager
of the Family Dollar store. (ECF No. 6-1 at 3). Newberry
detained Bohanon and reported him to the police for
shoplifting. (Compl. at 2.) Officers of the Memphis Police
Department eventually apprehended Bohanon and placed him
under arrest. (Id. at 3.) According to
Newberry, Bohanon had attempted to shoplift $90 worth of
Memphis Grizzlies shirts from the Family Dollar store.
(Id. at 4, see also Exhibit A, ECF No.
1-1.) Bohanon alleges that Newberry altered the UPC codes on
the items to inflate their value and with the knowledge that
Family Dollar does not sell Memphis Grizzlies apparel.
(Id.) In a subsequent statement given on June 10,
2016, Newberry admitted that Family Dollar does not sell
Memphis Grizzlies shirts. (Id. at 5, see
also Exhibit C, ECF No. 1-4.) Bohanon complains that his
arrest and incarceration have aggravated pre-existing health
conditions and caused him reputational harm. (Id. at
6.) Bohanon now seeks an award of compensatory damages,
punitive damages, and reasonable attorney's fees.
(Id. at 7.)
August 15, 2016, Bohanon filed an Amended Complaint (ECF No.
6). Although the amended pleading does not contain any new
allegations, Bohanon has included with the Amended Complaint
new exhibits and added a claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
(ECF No. 6.)
Court is required to screen prisoner complaints and to
dismiss any complaint, or any portion thereof, if the
(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
28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b); see also 28 U.S.C. §
assessing whether the Complaint in this case states a claim
on which relief may be granted, the Court applies the
pleadings standards under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
12(b)(6) announced in Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S.
662, 677-79 (2009) and Bell Atlantic Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555-57 (2007). Hill v.
Lappin, 630 F.3d 468, 470-71 (6th Cir. 2010). The Court
accepts the Complaint's “well-pleaded”
factual allegations as true and then determines whether the
allegations “plausibly suggest an entitlement to
relief.” Williams v. Curtin, 631 F.3d 380, 383
(6th Cir. 2011) (quoting Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 681).
Conclusory allegations “are not entitled to the
assumption of truth, ” and legal conclusions
“must be supported by factual allegations.”
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 679. Ultimately, a complaint need
only contain “a short and plain statement of the claim
showing that the pleader is entitled to relief.”
Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). Rule 8(a)(2) nevertheless requires
factual allegations to make a “showing, rather than a
blanket assertion, of entitlement to relief.”
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555 n.3.
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 (quoting Martin v.
Overton, 391 F.3d 710, 712 (6th Cir. 2004)). Even so,
pro se litigants and prisoners are not exempt from
the pleading requirements of the Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure. Wells v. Brown, 891 F.2d 591, 594 (6th
Cir. 1989). District courts are therefore not required
“to ferret out the strongest cause of action on behalf
of pro se litigants.” Young Bok Song v.
Gipson, 423 F. App'x 506, 510 (6th Cir. 2011). In
the final analysis, a court “cannot create a claim
which [a plaintiff] has not spelled out in his
pleading.” Brown v. Matauszak, 415 F.
App'x 608, 612-13 (6th Cir. 2011).
Court holds that Bohanon's Complaint and Amended
Complaint fail to state any plausible claim for relief. The