Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Howard v. Lockerbie

United States District Court, W.D. Tennessee, Western Division

August 20, 2019

RAY HOWARD, JR., Plaintiff,
v.
CALTLIN LOCKERBIE, CALTLIN LOCKERBIE'S ATTORNEY, MEMPHIS POLICE DEPARTMENT, and PUBLIC DEFENDER MARK ALSTON, Defendants.

          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

          THOMAS L. PARKER UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Plaintiff 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, [1] the Memphis Police Department (“MPD”), and Mark Alston.[2]

         BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff's 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 PageID 3.)

         LEGAL STANDARDS

         I. Screening Requirements Under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A

         The 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 such relief.

28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b); see also 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B).

         As to 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.

         Even 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.

         Courts 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. 1975))).

         II. Requirements to State a Claim Under 42 ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.