United States District Court, W.D. Tennessee
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
YORK, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
December 31, 2018, pro se Plaintiff James Williams
filed this Complaint against the Dyersburg Police Department,
Billy Williams, a Dyersburg police officer, Jane Doe, front
desk personnel at the Dyersburg Police Department, and two
John Does, both Dyersburg police officers accompanied by a
motion to proceed in forma pauperis (D.E. 1-2). In
an order issued on January 3, 2018, the Court granted
Plaintiff leave to proceed in forma pauperis (D.E.
4). 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. Order 2013-05).
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). To avoid dismissal for
failure to state a claim, “a complaint must contain
sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to state a claim
to relief that is plausible on its face.”
Hill, 630 F.3d at 470-71 (6th Cir. 2010) (quoting
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 (2009)); see also
Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6). “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.”).
filed this Complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. In
the Complaint, Plaintiff asserts that he was attacked while
at a residence in Dyersburg, Tennessee on July 6, 2018. After
escaping his attacker, Plaintiff made his way to the
Dyersburg Police Department. Upon his arrival, he called an
emergency number on the door because the police department
was closed. A Dyersburg police officer arrived soon after,
and Plaintiff explained the attack. However, Plaintiff
contends that the officer responded that he could not do
anything to the attacker because the officer did not witness
the attack. Plaintiff did not recall the officer's name,
so he made a request for the copy of the 911 record.
Plaintiff was informed by police officer Billy Williams and
an unknown female front desk personnel employee that he could
not have access to the record, obstructing Plaintiff's
right to file a complaint. The police officer that responded
to Plaintiff on July 6, 2018 is identified by Plaintiff as
John Doe with the case number 187060016. Plaintiff maintains
that Billy Williams and John Doe 187060016, both Dyersburg
police officers, and Jane Doe, a front desk personnel
employee for the Dyersburg Police Department violated his
constitutional right to equal protection. Further, Plaintiff
alleges the aforementioned Defendants' misconduct is due
to discrimination based on “race, color and national
origin (me being a native Illinoisian [sic] The Union against
the Confederacy) and violates my right to equal protection of
the law which is guaranteed by the 14th amendment of
art.7.” (D.E. 1 PageID 4).
Plaintiff contends that in September 2018 he reported his
vehicle stolen and a Dyersburg police officer responded. The
officer took Plaintiff's information and told Plaintiff
that he would be contacted within three weeks by the
Dyersburg Police Department regarding the vehicle theft.
However, as of the date of this Complaint filing, Plaintiff
was not contacted. Plaintiff refers to this officer as John
Doe of September 2018. Plaintiff argues this inaction
violated his 14th Amended right to equal
protection of the law.
state a claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983,  a plaintiff must
allege two elements: (1) a deprivation of rights secured by
the “Constitution and laws” of the United States
(2) committed by a person acting ...