United States District Court, W.D. Michigan, Southern Division
ORDER ADOPTING REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION AND
L. Maloney United States District Judge.
matter comes before the Court on a Report and Recommendation
issued by the Magistrate Judge.
Dan Weese and Cheryl Sult-Weese filed this civil rights
complaint against the Kalamazoo Metro Transit Service.
Plaintiffs are proceeding without the benefit of an attorney.
Plaintiffs were granted leave to file their complaint in
forma pauperis, which allows them to file their lawsuit
without paying a filing fee. When the filing fee is waived,
however, courts are required to review the pleadings.
See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii).
magistrate judge reviewed the complaint and issued a report
recommending that the complaint be dismissed for failure to
state a claim on which relief may be granted. (ECF No. 8.)
Plaintiffs have since filed a document which this Court is
treating as their objections to the Report and
Recommendation. (ECF No. 9.) Because Plaintiffs' are
proceeding without the benefit of an attorney, this Court
must liberally construe their filings. See Boswell
v. Mayer, 169 F.3d 384, 387 (6th Cir. 1999);
Owens v. Keeling, 461 F.3d 763, 776 (6th Cir. 2006)
(citing Spotts v. United States, 429 F.3d 248, 250
(6th Cir. 2005)).
being served with a report and recommendation (R&R)
issued by a magistrate judge, a party has fourteen days to
file written objections to the proposed findings and
recommendations. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1); Fed.R.Civ.P.
72(b). A district court judge reviews de novo the portions of
the R&R to which objections have been filed. 28 U.S.C.
§ 636(b)(1); Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b). Only those objections
that are specific are entitled to a de novo review under the
statute. Mira v. Marshall, 806 F.2d 636, 637 (6th
Cir. 1986) (per curiam).
Plaintiffs assert their rights under the Americans with
Disabilities Act (ADA) were violated by the Kalamazoo Metro
Transit Authority. Plaintiffs claim to be disabled and
contend that the bus driver refused to accommodate them.
Specifically, the bus driver would not permit them to bring
their grocery cart on the bus. In order to use the bus after
shopping, Plaintiffs are forced to unload or reload their
cart, which is very stressful.
magistrate judge identified three deficiencies in the
complaint, which undermined any claim Plaintiffs might have:
(1) Plaintiffs failed to describe their disabilities, (2)
Plaintiffs failed to allege the connection between their
disabilities and the bus driver's actions, and (3) the
statute Plaintiffs cited protects individuals from
discrimination based on race, color, or national origin.
their objection, Plaintiffs address only the first omission.
Plaintiffs explain that they both suffer from post-traumatic
stress disorder (PTSD) and that Cheryl suffers from
“pseduoserizures.” (PageID.26). An individual is
disabled under the ADA if he or she suffers from a mental or
physical impairment that substantially limits one or more of
her major life activities, has a record of the impairment, or
is regarded as having the impairment. 42 U.S.C. §
12101(2)(A). Although the term “disability” under
the ADA must be construed broadly, 42 U.S.C. §
12102(4)(A), an individual's disability is determined on
a case-by-case basis, Sebest v. Campbell City School
District Board of Education, 94 F. App'x 320, 326-
27 (6th Cir. 2004).
explanation here is likely sufficient to overcome the first
factual hurdle identified by the magistrate judge. The Court
may assume that Plaintiffs' PTSD constitutes a disability
for the purpose of the ADA. See, e.g., Novak v. Bd. of
Trustees of Southern Illinois Univ, 777 F.3d 966, 975
(7th Cir. 2015) (involving a noting the parties did not
dispute that the plaintiff's PTSD diagnosis was
sufficient to establish that he suffered from a disability
under the ADA).
have not, however, overcome the second factual hurdle
identified by the magistrate judge. The complaint contains no
factual assertions suggesting that the bus driver's
actions were based on Plaintiffs' disability or that the
bus driver acted based on his or her perception of
Plaintiffs' disability. Put simply, the bus driver's
directions to Plaintiffs about their groceries and grocery
cart had nothing to do with their disabilities. The ADA does
not insulate disabled individuals from all conduct that makes
their lives more stressful or complicated. See, e.g.,
Hamilton v. Southwestern Bell Tel. Co., 136 F.3d 1047,
1052 (5th Cir. 1998) (concluding that the ADA did not protect
an employee from termination after that employee had loud and
disruptive outbursts at work, even though the employee
asserted that his emotional outbursts were caused by his
PTSD). Here, the conduct of which Plaintiffs' complain is
not because of their disability. Certainly, complying with
the bus driver's directions would be stressful and that
Plaintiffs' PTSD might make the stressful situation
worse. But, those facts are insufficient to allege
discrimination because of a disability.
the Court has concluded that the complaint fails to state a
claim, and will dismiss the lawsuit, the Court must consider
whether any appeal would be taken in good faith. See
28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(3). The standard is an objective
one. See Coppedge v. United States, 369 U.S. 438,
445 (1962). When any appeal would present a frivolous issue,
the appeal is not taken in good faith. Id. The same
concerns that require the Court to find that the complaint
fails to state a claim also require the Court conclude any
appeal would not be taken in good faith.
these reasons, the Report and Recommendation (ECF NO. 8) is
ADOPTED as the Opinion of this Court.
Plaintiffs' claims are DISMISSED.