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Shaffer v. Hilton Hotel

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

April 30, 2019

ALONZO SHAFFER and MALIKAH STEVENSON, Plaintiffs,
v.
HOLTON HOTEL, Defendant.

          HON. ROBERT J. JONKER JUDGE

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          RAY KENT U.S. MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         This is a civil action brought by pro se plaintiffs Alonzo Shaffer and Malikah Stevenson. For the reasons set forth below, this complaint should be dismissed.

         I. Discussion

         A. Complaint

         Plaintiffs have filed a one-paragraph complaint against a Hilton Hotel in Atlanta, Georgia. The cursory complaint involves an undated incident, in which an unidentified elderly woman was “being pumble [sic] by Hilton hotel escalator.” Compl. (ECF No. 1, PageID.3). Plaintiff Shaffer tried to stop the escalator but could not because the emergency stop button was under a shield. Id. Shaffer injured his hand trying to stop it. Id. In the complaint, plaintiffs advise the Hilton Hotel that “You are being sued for the amount of USD 200, 000.00.” Id. at PageID.4

         (emphasis omitted).[1]

         B. Lack of jurisdiction

          The Court should dismiss this complaint for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. “[A] district court may, at any time, sua sponte dismiss a complaint for lack of subject matter jurisdiction pursuant to Rule 12(b)(1) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure when the allegations of a complaint are totally implausible, attenuated, unsubstantial, frivolous, devoid of merit, or no longer open to discussion.” Apple v. Glenn, 183 F.3d 477, 479 (6th Cir. 1999). Plaintiffs' complaint is attenuated and devoid of merit. Plaintiffs' cursory complaint: did not allege the date of the incident; did not allege any facts related to plaintiff Stevenson; did not allege the existence of a federal question to establish jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. §1331; and did not allege the existence of diversity jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. §1332. Accordingly, this action should be dismissed for lack of jurisdiction. See Apple, 183 F.3d at 479; Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(1).

         C. Failure to state a claim

         Furthermore, the complaint does not state a claim against defendant. The Court allowed plaintiff to file this action in forma pauperis pursuant to § 1915. For that reason, it must review the complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B), which provides that the Court “shall dismiss” actions brought in forma pauperis “at any time if the court determines that . . . the action . . . (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.” In determining whether a complaint should be dismissed for failure to state a claim under § 1915(e)(2), the Court applies the dismissal standard articulated in Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662 (2009) and Bell Atlantic Corporation v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544 (2007). See Hill v. Lappin, 630 F.3d 468, 470-71 (6th Cir. 2010).

         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. Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555.

[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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