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Herron v. State

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

August 30, 2019

FREDERICK HERRON, Plaintiff,
v.
STATE OF TENNESSEE, et al., Defendants.

          ORDER TO MODIFY THE DOCKET, DISMISSING COMPLAINT, CERTIFYING AN APPEAL WOULD NOT BE TAKEN IN GOOD FAITH, DENYING LEAVE TO PROCEED IN FORMA PAUPERIS ON APPEAL, AND DENYING MOTION FOR APPOINTMENT OF COUNSEL

          THOMAS L. PARKER, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Plaintiff Frederick Herron, an inmate at the Northwest Correctional Complex in Tiptonville, Tennessee, sued pro se under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 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. 5.) The Clerk is ORDERED to record the Defendants as the State of Tennessee, John Dolan, Patrick Stegall, James Jones, Kevin Balkwill, Detective B. Black, Tacoma A. McCrary, MM, [1] and Keyla Walker.

         BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff's complaint contains allegations about his state criminal matter, which began when Defendant Black contacted Plaintiff for questioning in December 2010. (ECF No. 1-1 at PageID 4.) Law enforcement arrested Plaintiff in July 2011 on charges of child rape. (Id.) A jury found him guilty after a trial in March 2012. (Id.) Plaintiff appealed through the state appellate courts. The Tennessee Supreme Court vacated his conviction and remanded for a new trial in March 2015. (Id.) Plaintiff now asserts that he has been waiting in custody since April 2015 for a new trial. (Id.) He named many parties as defendants.

         Plaintiff wants to sue the victim from his criminal matter--Defendant MM--and MM's sister, Defendant McCrary, who allegedly filed the criminal complaint with the Memphis Police Department that led to the investigation. (Id.) Plaintiff objects to evidence presented at trial, some of which he alleges the prosecution withheld from discovery. (Id. at PageID 4-5.) Plaintiff also complains about the performance of three of his attorneys-Defendants Dolan, Stegall, and Jones-and seeks to sue Defendant Balkwill, who allegedly investigated ethics complaints Plaintiff filed against his attorneys with the Tennessee Board of Professional Responsibility. (Id. at PageID 6-8.)

         Plaintiff requests a dismissal of the indictment in his criminal matter, acquittal of all charges, his release from custody, and punitive and compensatory damages. (ECF No. 1 at PageID 3.) Plaintiff has also moved for appointment of counsel. (ECF No. 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 that 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. Federal Rule also of Civil Procedure 8 also 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 ...


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