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Gary v. Nichols

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

August 20, 2019

QUARTEZ J. GARY, Plaintiff,
v.
GAIL NICHOLS and GEORGE SMITH, Defendants.

          ORDER 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 Quartez J. Gary, who is incarcerated at the Shelby County Jail in Memphis, Tennessee, sued pro se and moved to proceed in forma pauperis. (ECF No. 1; ECF No. 2.) The Court granted leave to proceed in forma pauperis and assessed the civil filing fee under the Prison Litigation Reform Act (“PLRA”), 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(a)-(b). (ECF No. 4.) The Court ORDERS the Clerk to record the Defendants as Deputy Sheriff Gail Nichols and Deputy Sheriff George Smith.

         BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff alleges that during a state-court appearance, the judge used “the wrong name” to refer to Plaintiff. (ECF No. 1 at PageID 3.) When the judge asked Plaintiff for his name, Plaintiff responded “that he was the secured Party creditor with the Power of attorney in fact and the copyright and Trademark for the name that he was addressed as and also that he explicitly reserved all his rights under the Uniform Commercial Code.” (Id.) The judge cut off Plaintiff and ordered Deputies Nichols and Smith to remove Plaintiff from the courtroom. (Id. at PageID 4.) Plaintiff alleges the Deputies used “brute force” to remove him, despite his warning “that they were acting under the color of law against a sovereign Political Power Holder.” (Id.) Plaintiff accuses them of assault and asserts that they conspired with the judge “to deprive him of all his rights.” (Id.) He also asserts that the judge violated his right to due process and caused him extreme emotional distress. (Id. at PageID 5.)

         Plaintiff sues Defendants in their individual and official capacities. (ECF No. 1 at PageID 1.) He seeks a court order “directing the Shelby County Sheriff Office to implement a disciplinary system to punish those who continue to engage in” actions like those alleged here and $5 million each in compensatory and punitive damages. (Id. at PageID 6.)

         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 ...


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