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Denofre v. City of Ishpeming

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

September 13, 2019

REBECCA SUZANNE DENOFRE, Plaintiff,
v.
CITY OF ISHPEMING; STEVE SNOWAERT; and JUSTIN BIANCO, Defendants.

          HON. PAUL L. MALONEY U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          MAARTEN VERMAAT U.S. MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         I. Introduction

         Plaintiff Rebecca Suzanne Denofre filed this action against the City of Ishpeming, Police Chief Steve Snowaert, and Police Officer Justin Bianco. The Court granted Denofre leave to proceed in forma pauperis under 28 U.S.C. § 1915. Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii), the undersigned recommends that the complaint be dismissed for failure to state a claim.

         II. Factual Allegations

         The allegations in this case are quite confusing. Denofre alleges that she received an “unwelcomed” phone call from a Wells Fargo Bank employee on February 23, 2018. The unnamed employee asked Denofre to come to a Wells Fargo Bank to retrieve a password for her bank account profile. The next day, Denofre went to the Wells Fargo Bank in Ishpeming, Michigan, where she attempted to obtain her password. However, Denofre was unable to get her password and, instead, she was yelled at by the branch manager.

         Following the verbal altercation, Denofre drove to the Ishpeming Police Department to report the incident and met with Defendant Bianco. Denofre asked Defendant Bianco to drive her to the Wells Fargo Bank in Ishpeming so she could retrieve her password. But Defendant Bianco declined and told her that he would speak with the branch manager about the incident.

         On an unspecified date, Denofre went to the Wells Fargo Bank in Marquette, Michigan to make a formal complaint about the branch manager at the Wells Fargo Bank in Ishpeming. While Denofre was in Marquette, Defendant Bianco apparently went to Denofre's mother's home and told Denofre's brother that “he would be watching [Denofre].” (ECF No. 4, PageID.6.) Shortly thereafter, Denofre met with an attorney to discuss the situation, and the attorney allegedly told Denofre that she was being targeted by the City of Ishpeming.

         Denofre claims that the investigation by the Ishpeming Police Department was incomplete “including the failure to collect interview, watch surveillance footage from Wells Fargo and anything else required.” (ECF No. 4, PageID.7) (mistakes in original). Denofre alleges that Defendants have violated her constitutional rights while acting under color of state law. Denofre further alleges that Defendants acted “recklessly and with negligence” and that “it's a violation of policy. I didn't go to them to be bullied or abused.” (ECF No. 4, PageID.7.) Finally, Denofre alleges that Defendants have defamed her because she has been “publicly accused by this department of having a mental health disorder and called nasty names.” (ECF No. 4, PageID.7.)

         III. Standard of Law

         Under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B), the court must dismiss any action brought in forma pauperis if the action is (1) frivolous or malicious; (2) fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted; or (3) seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from such relief.

         A complaint may be dismissed for failure to state a claim if it fails “‘to give the defendant fair notice of what the . . . claim is and the grounds upon which it rests.'” Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007) (quoting Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 47 (1957)). While a complaint need not contain detailed factual allegations, a plaintiff's allegations must include more than labels and conclusions. Id. The court must determine whether the complaint contains “enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.” Id. at 570. “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.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 679 (2009). Although the plausibility standard is not equivalent to a “‘probability requirement, . . . it asks for more than a sheer possibility that a defendant has acted unlawfully.” Id. at 678 (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556).

         In addition, the Court must read Plaintiff's pro se complaint indulgently, see Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520 (1972), and accept Plaintiff's allegations as true, unless they are clearly irrational or wholly incredible. Denton v. Hernandez, 504 U.S. 25, 33 (1992).

         IV. ...


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