United States District Court, W.D. Tennessee, Western Division
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
PHAM UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
the court by order of reference is Tamara Brown's
pro se complaint against the state of
Tennessee. Pursuant to Administrative Order No. 2013-05, this
case has been referred to the United States magistrate judge
for management and for all pretrial matters for determination
or report and recommendation, as appropriate. For the reasons
below, it is recommended that the complaint be dismissed
sua sponte pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
PROPOSED FINDINGS OF FACT
filed this complaint pro se on September 9, 2019.
(ECF No. 1.) The court granted her motion to proceed in
forma pauperis on September 24, 2019. (ECF No. 6.) Brown
brings suit against the state of Tennessee under 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983. Brown's statement of claim against Tennessee
reads, in its entirety: “Employment discrimination
based on race, sex, color[, and] religion.”
PROPOSED CONCLUSIONS OF LAW
Standard of Review
court is required to screen in forma pauperis
complaints and must dismiss any complaint, or any portion
thereof, if the action: (i) is frivolous or malicious; (ii)
fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted; or
(iii) seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is immune
from such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(i-iii).
avoid dismissal for failure to state a claim, “‘a
complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as
true, to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its
face.'” Hill v. Lappin, 630 F.3d 468,
470-71 (6th Cir. 2010) (quoting Ashcroft v. Iqbal,
556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009)); see also Fed.R.Civ.P.
12(b)(6). “A claim is plausible on its face if the
‘plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court
to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable
for the misconduct alleged.'” Center for
Bio-Ethical Reform, Inc. v. Napolitano, 648 F.3d 365,
369 (6th Cir. 2011) (quoting Iqbal, 556 U.S. at
678). Without factual allegations in support, mere legal
conclusions are not entitled to the assumption of truth.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 679.
se complaints are held to less stringent standards than
formal pleadings drafted by lawyers, and are thus liberally
construed. Williams v. Curtin, 631 F.3d 380, 383
(6th Cir. 2011). Even so, pro so litigants must
adhere to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, see Wells
v. Brown, 891 F.2d 591, 594 (6th Cir. 1989), and the
court cannot create a claim that has not been spelled out in
a pleading. See Brown v. Matauszak, 415 Fed.Appx.
608, 613 (6th Cir. 2011); Payne v. Sec'y of
Treas., 73 Fed.Appx. 836, 837 (6th Cir. 2003).
Eleventh Amendment to the United States Constitution provides
that “[t]he Judicial power of the United States shall
not be construed to extend to any suit in law or equity,
commenced or prosecuted against one of the United States by
Citizens of another State, or by Citizens or Subjects of any
Foreign State.” U.S. Const. amend. XI. The Eleventh
Amendment prohibits citizens from suing their own states in
federal court. Welch v. Texas Dep't of Highways &
Pub. Transp., 483 U.S. 468, 472 (1987); Pennhurst
State Sch. & Hosp. v. Halderman, 465 U.S. 89, 100
(1989); see also Virginia Office for Protection &
Advocacy v. Stewart, 131 S.Ct. 1632, 1638 (2011)
(“A State may waive its sovereign immunity at its
pleasure, and in some circumstances Congress may abrogate it
by appropriate legislation. But absent waiver or valid
abrogation, federal courts may not entertain a private
person's suit against a State.” (citations
omitted)). Tennessee has not waived its sovereign immunity.
See Tenn. Code Ann. § 20-13-102(a). Moreover,
“a state is not a ‘person' against whom a
§ 1983 claim for money damages might be asserted.”
Lapides v. Bd. of Regents of the Univ. Sys. of Ga.,
535 U.S. 613, 617 (2002) (citing Will v. Michigan Dept.
of State Police, 491 U.S. 58, 66 (1989)). Consequently,
Brown's claim is barred by sovereign immunity.
reasons above, it is recommended that the court suasponte dismiss the complaint pursuant to 28 ...