United States District Court, W.D. Tennessee, Western Division
ORDER TO MODIFY THE DOCKET, DISMISSING COMPLAINT,
CERTIFYING AN APPEAL WOULD NOT BE TAKEN IN GOOD FAITH, AND
DENYING LEAVE TO APPEAL IN FORMA PAUPERIS
L. PARKER UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Ray Howard, Jr., an inmate at the Shelby County Jail in
Memphis, Tennessee, sues pro se under 42 U.S.C. § 1983
seeking money damages. (ECF No. 1.) The Court granted
Plaintiff leave to proceed in forma pauperis under the Prison
Litigation Reform Act (“PLRA”), 28 U.S.C.
§§ 1915(a)-(b). (ECF No. 10.) The Court ORDERS the
Clerk to record the Defendants as Caitlin Lockerbie,
Memphis Police Department (“MPD”), and Mark
complaint suggests an infatuation gone too far. Defendant
Caitlin Lockerbie is a morning news anchor in Memphis. (ECF
No. 1 at PageID 2.) Plaintiff alleges he was trying to ask
Ms. Lockerbie out for a date. (Id. at PageID 3.)
Instead the authorities arrested him for aggravated stalking
and harassment, for which he allegedly faced a possible
six-year sentence. (Id.) Plaintiff alleges that
Lockerbie's attorney, the MPD, and his attorney, public
defender, Defendant Mark Alston, are in cahoots to frame
Plaintiff as a criminal. (Id. at PageID 2.)
Plaintiff seeks $2.2 million in money damages. (Id.)
He also asks the Court “to Free me From Jail . . . and
Take away this Aggravated Stalking and other Bad Things and
the 6 year Jail Sentencing [sic].” (Id. at
Screening Requirements Under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A
Court must screen prisoner complaints and dismiss any
complaint, or any portion of it, if the complaint-
(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. §
step one, in assessing whether the complaint 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). Under those standards, 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” because they are not
“factual” and legal conclusions “must be
supported by factual allegations.” Iqbal, 556
U.S. at 679. And Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8 provides
guidance on this issue.
though Rule 8 only requires a complaint to contain “a
short and plain statement of the claim showing that the
pleader is entitled to relief, ” it also requires
factual allegations to make a “‘showing,'
rather than a blanket assertion, of entitlement to
relief.” Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555 n.3.
conducting the screening analysis will give slightly more
deference to pro se complaints than to those drafted by
lawyers. “Pro 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)). That said, pro se litigants 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 also Brown v. Matauszak, 415 Fed.Appx. 608, 612,
613 (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.
Requirements to State a Claim Under 42 ...