United States District Court, W.D. Tennessee, Western Division
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION PURSUANT TO 28 U.S.C.
CHARMIANE G. CLAXTON, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
the Court, by way of Administrative Order 2013-05,
a pro se complaint filed by Plaintiff Randall
Bernard Allen, a resident of Memphis, Tennessee, on August
14, 2018 accompanied by a motion seeking leave to proceed
in forma pauperis. (Docket Entries (D.E. # 2 &
1.) Plaintiff's motion seeking leave to proceed in
forma pauperis was granted on October 4, 2018. (D.E. #
document filed as a complaint is largely incomprehensible.
The forty-two pages that comprise the complaint and
attachments are a disjointed narrative alleging a
surveillance conspiracy conducted by unnamed law enforcement
officers. The relief sought is
“…to do something about the Mt. Mariah officers
lack of duty, is neglict (sic) to serve the people in the
community. My child has been terrorized at our home, at his
school and any businesses that we frequent like grocery
stores, simply because no effort to investigate has been put
forth. There is either a Los Angeles officer or the
ex-girlfriend that is involved with L.A. law enforcement,
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).
assessing whether the complaint in this case states a claim
on which relief may be granted, the Court applies the
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.”).
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
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
have to accept Afantastic or delusional” factual
allegations as true in prisoner complaints that are reviewed
for frivolousness. Neitzke, 490 U.S. at 327-28, 109
Id. at 471.
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 (internal quotation marks omitted). 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);
see alsoBrown v. Matauszak, 415 Fed.Appx.
608, 613 (6th Cir. 2011) (“[A] court cannot create a
claim which [a plaintiff] has not spelled out in his
pleading”) (internal quotation marks omitted);
Paynev. 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 (2004)
(“District judges have no obligation to act as counsel
or paralegal to pro se litigants.”); Young
Bok Song v. Gipson, 423 Fed.Appx. 506, 510 (6th Cir.
2011) (“[W]e decline to affirmatively require courts to
ferret out the strongest cause of action on behalf of pro
se litigants. Not only would that duty be overly
burdensome, it would transform the ...