United States District Court, W.D. Tennessee, Eastern Division
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
YORK, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
September 26, 2018, pro se plaintiff, Kimberly
Michelle Ware, filed this Complaint against Mark Alexander,
Ed Hatton, and Charity Singleton (D.E. 1). In an order issued
on October 24, 2018, the Court granted Plaintiff leave to
proceed in forma pauperis (D.E. 9). This case has
been referred to the United States Magistrate Judge for
management and for all pretrial matters for determination
and/or report and recommendation as appropriate. (Admin.
Court is required to screen in forma pauperis
complaints and to dismiss any complaint, or any portion
thereof, if the action-
(i) is frivolous or malicious;
(ii) fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted;
(iii) seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is immune
from such relief.
28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B).
assessing whether the Complaint in this case states a claim
on which relief may be granted, the standards under
Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6), as stated in Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 667-79, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1949-50,
173 L.Ed.2d 868 (2009), and in Bell Atl. Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555-57, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 1964-66,
167 L.Ed.2d 929 (2007), are applied. 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, 129 S.Ct. at 1951) (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 681, 129 S.Ct. at 1950; see
also Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555 n.3, 127 S.Ct. at 1964-65
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 (quoting Martin v.
Overton, 391 F.3d 710, 712 (6th Cir. 2004)). 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), reh'g
denied (Jan. 19, 1990); see also Brown v.
Matauszak, No. 09-2259, 2011 WL 285251, at *5 (6th Cir.
Jan. 31, 2011) (affirming dismissal of pro se complaint for
failure to comply with “unique pleading
requirements” and stating “a court cannot
‘create a claim which [a plaintiff] has not spelled out
in his pleading'”) (quoting Clark v. Nat'l
Travelers Life Ins. Co., 518 F.2d 1167, 1169 (6th Cir.
1975)) (alteration in original); Payne v. Secretary of
Treas., 73 Fed.Appx. 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, 124 S.Ct. 2441, 2446, 159 L.Ed.2d 338 (2004)
(“District judges have no obligation to act as counsel
or paralegal to pro se litigants.”).
Plaintiff's Complaint she includes an assortment of
information including, but not limited to, various
unidentified case citations, police reports, extensive notes
on drug traffickers and cartels, a discussion of whether the
United States is a republic or a democracy, a history of
clothing brands, information on child support, and a long
list of names with “intent to kill” notated next
to the name. However, after a laborious deciphering of
Plaintiff's notes, it seems the crux of Plaintiff's
Complaint are claims pursuant to the Fair Housing Act
(“FHA”) 42 U.S.C. § 3601, et seq.,
and the Tennessee Human Rights Act (“THRA”) Tenn.
Code Ann. § 4-21-101, et seq., for “all
the retaliation, discrimination, coercion, retaliation - from
THRD/HUD and private landlord.” (D.E. 1 PageID 3).
Tennessee courts have held that the legislature intended the
Tennessee Human Rights Act to be coextensive with federal
civil rights laws. See Parker v. Warren Cnty. Util.
Dist., 2 S.W.3d 170, 172 (Tenn.1999). Thus, the
Magistrate Judge will analyze the housing discrimination
claims under the FHA and the THRA the same.
purpose of the Fair Housing Act is “to provide, within
constitutional limitations, for fair housing throughout the
United States.” 42 U.S.C. § 3601. To that end, the
Act prohibits discrimination against “any person
because of race, color, religion, sex, familial status, or
national origin” in the rental or sale of housing. 42
U.S.C. § 3604(a). To state a claim under the FHA,
plaintiff must show: (1) that she is a member of a protected
class; (2) that she applied for and was qualified to rent
housing; (3) that she was rejected; and (4) that the housing
remained available thereafter. Mencer v. Princeton Square
Apartments, 228 F.3d 631, 634-35 (6th Cir.2000).
provides in relevant part:
It shall be unlawful to coerce, intimidate, threaten, or
interfere with any person in the exercise or enjoyment of, or
on account of his having exercised or enjoyed, or on account
of his having aided or encouraged any other person in the
exercise or enjoyment of, any right granted or protected by
section 3603, 3604, 3605, or 3606 of this title.
42 U.S.C. § 3617. Similarly, it is a discriminatory
practice in Tennessee for a person to retaliate or
discriminate in any matter against someone because that
person filed a complaint under the Tennessee Human Rights
Law. Tenn. Code Ann. § 4-21-301(1).To state a claim
under § 3617, the plaintiff in this case must establish
(1) that she exercised or enjoyed a right guaranteed by
§§ 3603-3606; (2) that the defendant's
intentional conduct constituted coercion, intimidation,
threat, or interference; and (3) a causal connection ...