United States District Court, W.D. Tennessee, Western Division
ORDER DISMISSING COMPLAINT, CERTIFYING AN APPEAL
WOULD NOT BE TAKEN IN GOOD FAITH, AND NOTIFYING PLAINTIFF OF
APPELLATE FILING FEE
L. PARKER UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Vernon Charles Patton, an inmate at the Shelby County
Criminal Justice Center in Memphis, Tennessee, sued pro se
the State of Tennessee under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. (ECF No.
1.) After Plaintiff filed the necessary financial documents,
(ECF No. 5), 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. 6.)
alleges that the legislative branch of the State of Tennessee
“has failed to provide legal recourse to citizens
aggri[e]ved by judges who violate their rights.” (ECF
No. 1 at PageID 2.) He asserts that the Tennessee Board of
Judicial Conduct (“TBJC”) is constitutionally
flawed because it is made up of judges who are not subject to
oversight and because it fails to enforce the Codes of
Judicial Conduct. (Id.) He contends that he
“has been subjected to numerous abuses of discretion by
the T.B.J.C.” (Id. at PageID 3.) He seeks
injunctive relief and compensatory and punitive damages.
(Id. at PageID 3-4.)
Screening Requirements Under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A
Court must screen prisoner complaints and to 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 accord 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. 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 ...