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Adams v. County of Calhoun

United States District Court, W.D. Michigan, Southern Division

February 27, 2018

BARRY WAYNE ADAMS, Plaintiff,
v.
COUNTY OF CALHOUN, STATE OF MICHIGAN, and MICHIGAN DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS, Defendants.

          HON. PAUL L. MALONEY JUDGE.

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          RAY KENT UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         This is a pro se civil rights action brought pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against defendants County of Calhoun (“County”), the State of Michigan (“Michigan”), and the Michigan Department of Corrections (“MDOC”).[1] The only remaining defendant is the County.[2] This matter is now before the Court on the County's motion to dismiss (ECF No. 37) and plaintiff's “Notice of request for summary disposition; or, in the equivalent, verified motion for summary judgment” (docketed as a motion for summary judgment) (ECF No. 43).

         I. Plaintiff's amended complaint

         Plaintiff's amended complaint contains vague and sometimes incomprehensible statements of alleged misconduct (ECF No. 5, PageID.63-67), disjointed legal arguments (citing among other things natural law, federal statutes, federal constitutional law, and state contract law) (id. at PageID.67-70), and requests for relief which include $2.5 million in damages and an investigation of defendants by “the Federal District Attorney, or the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Government Corruption Division” (id. at PageID.70-71). The Court summarized plaintiff's claims in a previous report and recommendation as follows:

In his amended complaint, plaintiff identifies himself as a “natural person” who is an “inhabitant of the republic of Michigan.” Amend. Compl. (docket no. 5, PageID.65). Since 1996, plaintiff alleged that “certain agents and confederates” of defendants have conspired to deprive him of his “constitutionally-protected rights to the dominion, association, and consortium of his natural daughters.” Id. at PageID.65. Specifically, on October 31, 2006, plaintiff was arrested “with malicious intent and under fraudulent pretenses” by agents of the County. Id. From March 7, 2007 to February 28, 2015, during his eight years of incarceration, Michigan and the MDOC “fraudulently deprived [plaintiff] of his liberty (for a purported ‘failure to pay' a fraudulently-assigned ‘debt')”. Id. at PageID.66.
Plaintiff appears to raise two constitutional claims. First, plaintiff alleged that defendants violated his “clearly-established Constitutional right” of paternal dominion under the Fourteenth Amendment. Id. at PageID.67-68, 70. Second, plaintiff alleged defendants violated his rights under the Thirteenth Amendment and the Anti-Peonage statute by incarcerating him for a “failure to pay.” Id. at PageID.68, 70. Plaintiff seeks $2, 500, 000.00 in damages. Id. at PageID.70.

         Report and Recommendation (ECF No. 27, PageID.169-170), adopted in Order (ECF No. 30).

         Plaintiff alleged that since 1996, the four state actors, i.e., the “County of Calhoun, ” “37th Circuit Court, ” “10th District Court, ” and “Calhoun County Friend of the Court, ” conspired to deprive plaintiff of his dominion, association, and consortium of his natural daughters. Amend. Compl. at PageID.65. In addition, “agents and confederates” of the state actors arrested plaintiff and unconstitutionally returned him “to a condition of peonage and involuntary servitude in violation of federal law.” Id. The peonage and involuntary servitude refer to plaintiff's incarceration for failing to pay child support, which he characterized as follows:

That from March 7, 2007, to February 8, 2015, and with the further complicity of the de facto corporate “STATE OF MICHIGAN”, “MICHIGAN DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS” and their agents and confederates, Petitioner was fraudulently deprived of his liberty (for a purported “failure to pay” a fraudulently-assigned “debt”) in furtherance of said return to that de facto system of peonage as has been established and maintained by those state actors mentioned in paragraph 4, above, resulting in further and additional injuries and damages.

Id. at PageID.66.

         II. Defendant County's motion to dismiss (ECF No. 37)

         The County has moved to dismiss plaintiff's complaint pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6) for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. Plaintiff did not oppose the motion; however, as discussed infra, plaintiff filed his own motion for summary judgment. A complaint may be dismissed for failure to state a claim if it fails to give the defendants a fair notice of the claim and the grounds upon which it rests. Bell Atlantic Corporation v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007).

[A] complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face. A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged. The plausibility standard is not akin to a probability requirement, but it asks for more than a sheer possibility that a defendant has acted unlawfully. Where a complaint pleads facts that are merely consistent ...

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