United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
ORDER GRANTING PLAINTIFFS' APPLICATION TO PROCEED
IN FORMA PAUPERIS  AND DISMISSING THE COMPLAINT
G. EDMUNDS UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter comes before the Court on Plaintiffs' application
to proceed in forma pauperis pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915. The Court has reviewed Plaintiffs'
application and affidavit and GRANTS their request to proceed
in forma pauperis (Dkt. # 2). For the reasons that
follow, however, the Court dismisses Plaintiffs'
complaint as frivolous pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
standards governing in forma pauperis motions are
set forth in 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a). The district court may
authorize the commencement of a civil action without the
prepayment of fees or costs by a person who submits an
affidavit that he “is unable to pay such fees or give
security therefor.” 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(1).
Plaintiffs claim that they are unemployed and rely on
disability or worker's compensation payments for
subsistence. Based on this affidavit, the Court grants
Plaintiffs' application to proceed without prepayment of
fees pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915.
when a plaintiff establishes indigence, the district court
must screen the complaint as mandated by Congress in §
1915(e)(2). See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2); see
also McGore v. Wrigglesworth, 114 F.3d 601, 608 (6th
Cir. 1997). Specifically, the district court is obligated to
dismiss a civil complaint if it is “frivolous . . .;
[or] fails to state a claim on which relief may be
granted." § 1915(e)(2)(B). While the Court is
mindful that a pro se litigant's complaint is
held to “less stringent standards” than a
complaint drafted by counsel, it must contain facts
sufficient to show that a redressable legal wrong has been
committed. See Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520
(1972); see also Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b). Dismissal is
appropriate where "the claim is based on an indisputably
meritless legal theory[.]" Wilson v. Yaklich,
148 F.3d 596, 600 (6th Cir. 1998).
Plaintiffs sue fifteen Defendants for several unrelated
reasons bringing a number of constitutional claims under 42
U.S.C. § 1983 . The complaint contains vague and general
allegations of harassment by police and 36th District Court
Judges. Plaintiffs make allegations of "cover-ups,
" but it is unclear who covered up what. The complaint
also includes allegations against individuals and entities
not named as defendants.
reviewing the complaint, the Court finds that Plaintiffs have
failed to follow the rules of pleading set forth in Rule 8(a)
of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure which requires
"a short and plain statement of the claim showing that
the pleader is entitled to relief." Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a).
Even liberally construing the complaint, the Court finds that
Plaintiffs have failed to allege factual grounds showing that
they are entitled to any relief from Defendants. As to
Defendants Corrections Commission of the State of Michigan,
Detroit Federal Bureau of Investigation, Barbara McQuade,
City of Detroit Traffic and Ordinance Division, Mike Duggan,
Detroit Friend of the Court, James Craig, Arthur McNamara,
Charles Reed, Robert Wallet, and James Raby, the complaint
contains no factual allegations of any wrongdoing whatsoever.
Court further finds that some of Plaintiffs' claims are
untimely. State law provides the statute of limitations to be
applied in a Section 1983 action for damages, and Michigan
has a three-year statute of limitations for such claims.
Carroll v. Wilkerson, 782 F.2d 44, 45 (6th Cir.1986)
(citing Mich. Comp. Laws § 600.5805(8)). "The
statute of limitations begins to run when the plaintiff knows
or has reason to know of the injury which is the basis of his
action.” Trzebuckowski v. City of Cleveland,
319 F.3d 853, 856 (6th Cir. 2003) (quotations and citations
omitted). As to Defendants Benny Napoleon and Marvin Redmond,
the allegations in the complaint relate to a drug raid that
took place in October 1994--well before the three years prior
to the filing of the complaint. As to Defendant Judge Franco,
the allegations in the complaint relate to a sentence of five
days in jail that he imposed on Plaintiff Watts in 1988, also
well outside the statute of limitations period.
Plaintiffs' allegations against Judge Franco and other
36th District Court Judges fail because judges and judicial
employees are entitled to absolute immunity on claims for
damages. See Mireles v. Waco, 502 U.S. 9, 9-10
(1991) (finding that a judge performing judicial functions is
absolutely immune from suit seeking monetary damages even if
acting erroneously, corruptly or in excess of jurisdiction);
Collyer v. Darling, 98 F.3d 211, 221 (6th Cir.1996)
(citing Mireles, 502 U.S. at 9); see also
Kircher v. City of Ypsilanti, 458 F.Supp.2d 439, 446-47
(E.D. Mich. 2006) (noting that judges are entitled to
absolute judicial immunity).
Plaintiffs bring malicious prosecution, false arrest, and
false imprisonment claims against Defendant David Harmon, FBI
agent. Where probable cause to arrest exists, no
constitutional violation occurs. Criss v. City of
Kent, 867 F.2d 259 (6th Cir. 1988). Further, a plaintiff
must allege four elements to proceed on a malicious
prosecution claim: (1) that a criminal prosecution was
initiated against the plaintiff, and that the defendant made,
influenced, or participated in the decision to prosecute; (2)
that there was a lack of probable cause for the criminal
prosecution; (3) that as a consequence of the legal
proceeding, the plaintiff suffered a deprivation of liberty,
apart from the initial seizure; and (4) that the criminal
proceeding was resolved in the plaintiff's favor.
Sykes v. Anderson, 625 F.3d 294, 308 (6th Cir.
complaint in this case states:
Federal Agent Harmon did order Officer Pettit, Badge #2619,
Precinct NWD to arrenst [sic] Plaintiff on or around May 22,
2008, for threatening 36th District Court Judge Marilyn E.
Atkins on the telephone. The Plaintiff was arraigned on May
23, 2008 and the charges were reduced to a misdemeanor
charge. Federal Agent David Harmon intentionally kept [the
case] in the lien system for 6 years as a felony. Plaintiff
continued to be arrested on felony charges for 6 years and he
kept giving Plaintiff excessive bonds . . . . Plaintiff's
case . . . was eventually dismissed on September 12, 2014.
The complaining witness refused to prosecute Plaintiff again.
(Dkt. # 1 at 2).
absent from the complaint is any allegation that Plaintiff
Watts did not threaten Judge Atkins or that Harmon lacked
probable cause; any allegation regarding the subsequent
arrests; or any allegation that Harmon influenced or
participated in the decision(s) to prosecute. Accordingly,
even assuming the above allegations are true, Plaintiffs have
failed to allege facts sufficient to show that Harmon
committed a legal wrong.
Court concludes that Plaintiffs have failed to state any
claim against Defendants upon which relief may be granted.
This action is DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE. In addition,
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(3), this Court hereby
certifies that an appeal may not be taken in forma