Khalifah Whitner v. US


UNPUBLISHED PER CURIAM OPINION filed. Motion dispositions in opinion--denying Motion transfer case [998873355-2]; granting Motion to proceed in forma pauperis (FRAP 24) [998891840-2]; denying as moot Motion to waive court filing fees [998891844-2]; denying Motion for injunctive relief pending appeal (FRAP 8) [998891848-2]; denying Motion for the court to serve the notice of appeal on Defendants [998893752-2]; denying Motion for leave to file DVD/Video exhibits [998899989-3]; denying Motion to expedite decision [998899989-2]. Originating case number: 1:12-cv-00480-CMH-IDD. Copies to all parties and the district court/agency. [998976541]. Mailed to: Khalifah Whitner. [12-7007]

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Appeal: 12-7007 Doc: 21 Filed: 11/07/2012 Pg: 1 of 6 UNPUBLISHED UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE FOURTH CIRCUIT No. 12-7007 KHALIFAH IMAN WHITNER, Plaintiff - Appellant, v. UNITED STATES; FIDELITY INVESTMENTS; J.P. MORGAN & CHASE N.A.; FIRST PLACE BANK; BANK OF TOKYO MITSUBISHI UFJ LTD; COMERICA BANK; BANK OF AMERICA; STATE OF MICHIGAN; LARRY WHITNER; VENUS WHITNER; WALTER WHITNER; DELANO WRIGHT; ANNURAL WHITNER; HIROSHI KOJIMA, Defendants - Appellees. Appeal from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, at Alexandria. Claude M. Hilton, Senior District Judge. (1:12-cv-00480-CMH-IDD) Submitted: October 31, 2012 Decided: November 7, 2012 Before KING, GREGORY, and SHEDD, Circuit Judges. Affirmed by unpublished per curiam opinion. Khalifah Iman Whitner, Appellant Pro Se. Unpublished opinions are not binding precedent in this circuit. Appeal: 12-7007 Doc: 21 Filed: 11/07/2012 Pg: 2 of 6 PER CURIAM: Khalifah Iman Whitner appeals the district court’s order dismissing her civil action filed under 42 U.S.C. §§ 1981, 1983 (2006), 28 U.S.C.A. § 1346(b) (West 2006 & Supp. 2012), and 5 U.S.C. § 702 (2006) for damages and injunctive relief, and its denial of her motions for emergency injunctive relief. We affirm. After review of the record and Whitner’s appellate brief, we conclude that the district court dismissed Whitner’s action pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B) (2006), which requires a district court to dismiss those civil actions filed in forma pauperis that are frivolous or fail to state claim on which relief may be granted. A claim is frivolous when it lacks an arguable basis in law or fact. 319, 322-23, 325 (1989). Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. We review the dismissal of a claim as frivolous for abuse of discretion. 252, 254-55 (4th Cir. 2004). Nagy v. FMC Butner, 376 F.3d The dismissal of a claim for failure to state a claim on which relief may be granted is reviewed de novo. 243, 248 pleadings (4th are Slade v. Hampton Rds. Reg’l Jail, 407 F.3d Cir. to be 2005). Although construed a liberally, pro se Gordon litigant’s v. Leeke, 574 F.2d 1147, 1151 (4th Cir. 1978), her complaint must contain factual allegations sufficient “to raise a right to relief above the speculative level” and that “state a claim to relief that is 2 Appeal: 12-7007 Doc: 21 Filed: 11/07/2012 plausible on its face.” 544, 555, 570 (2007). Pg: 3 of 6 Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. This “plausibility standard requires a plaintiff to demonstrate more than a sheer possibility that a defendant 588 F.3d has 186, omitted). true, acted 193 She relief. (4th must demonstrate unlawfully.” Cir. 2009) articulate she has Francis (internal facts stated v. a that, claim Giacomelli, quotation when marks accepted entitling her as to Id. Whitner’s allegations fail to state a plausible claim for relief under § 1981 against any named Defendant because she does not allege facts sufficient to show that any Defendant intentionally discriminated against her on the basis of race concerning any § 1981(a). See Mian v. Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette Sec. Corp., 7 F.3d elements 1085, of of 1087 a the activities (2nd Cir. claim for 1993) relief enumerated (per under in curiam) 42 U.S.C. (listing § 1981). the Whitner’s allegations against all Defendants except the United States and the State of Michigan also fail to state plausible claims for relief under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for constitutional violations, as the complaint does not allege facts establishing any basis for concluding these Defendants took any action fairly attributable to the state. Cir. 2001) See Mentavlos v. Anderson, 249 F.3d 301, 310 (4th (noting that the deeds of ostensibly private organizations and individuals may be treated as having occurred 3 Appeal: 12-7007 Doc: 21 Filed: 11/07/2012 Pg: 4 of 6 under color of state law for purposes of § 1983 if “there is such a close nexus between the State and the challenged action that seemingly private behavior may be fairly treated as that of the State itself” (internal quotation marks omitted)). Additionally, insofar as Whitner’s allegations are meant to raise claims under § 1983 against the United States and the State of Michigan, such claims are frivolous. Supreme Court individual has federal recognized a cause officers who of Although the action violate a against plaintiff’s constitutional rights, Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents of Fed. Bureau of Narcotics, 403 U.S. 388 (1971), Whitner has not named any such officials as Defendants in this case, and this cause of action does not extend to such claims advanced against the United consented court, States. to be thereby Further, sued for waiving the civil its State rights immunity of Michigan violations under has in the not federal Eleventh Amendment, and there is no indication in this case that such immunity from suit has in any way been abrogated by Congress. See Seminole Tribe of Fla. v. Florida, 517 U.S. 44, 55-57 (1996) (explaining that Congress’ intent to abrogate the immunity of a state must (6th Cir. be 1986) clear); (noting Abick that v. the Michigan, state of 803 Michigan consented to civil rights suits in federal court). 4 F.2d 874, 877 has not Appeal: 12-7007 Doc: 21 Filed: 11/07/2012 Whitner’s Pg: 5 of 6 complaint also invokes 28 U.S.C.A. § 1346(b), the jurisdictional grant of the Federal Tort Claims Act (“FTCA”), and Administrative Section 5 U.S.C. Procedure 1346(b)(1) Act grants § 702, (“APA”), the a as provision of bases for relief. district courts federal the jurisdiction over a certain category of claims for which the United States has waived its sovereign immunity and rendered itself liable. 28 U.S.C.A. 510 U.S. 471, 477 (1994). States, however, do not § 1346(b)(1); FDIC v. Meyer, Whitner’s claims against the United fall within this category of claims because Whitner fails to allege facts sufficient to show that the United States, if a private person, would be liable to her in tort. See Meyer, 510 U.S. at 477 (listing the six elements necessary for a cognizable claim under § 1346(b)). We further conclude that Whitner’s allegations fail to state any plausible basis for granting her relief pursuant to the APA, as she fails to identify any final agency action entitling her to review in this court. See 5 U.S.C. § 704 (2006) (“Agency action made reviewable by statute and final agency action for which there is no other adequate remedy in a court are subject to judicial review.”); Lujan v. Nat’l Wildlife Fed’n, 497 U.S. 871, 882 (1990) (explaining that it is the plaintiff’s burden to identify specific federal conduct and explain how it qualifies as “final agency action”). 5 Appeal: 12-7007 Doc: 21 Filed: 11/07/2012 Pg: 6 of 6 Finally, as Whitner’s claims do not plausibly entitle her to relief or lack a basis in law, we conclude that the district court did not abuse its discretion in denying her motions for emergency injunctive relief, which we construe as motions for preliminary injunctions. See Winter v. Natural Res. Def. Council, Inc., 555 U.S. 7, 20 (2008) (listing the four elements for entitlement to relief in the form of a preliminary injunction); WV Ass’n of Club Owners & Fraternal Servs., Inc. v. Musgrave, 553 F.3d 292, 298 (4th Cir. 2009) (stating standard of review). Accordingly, forma pauperis, we although affirm we the grant leave district to proceed court’s in judgment. We deny as moot Whitner’s motion seeking waiver of court filing fees. We deny her motions to transfer the case, for injunctive relief pending appeal, for the court to serve the notice of appeal on Defendants, to expedite decision, and seeking leave to file DVD/Video exhibits. We dispense with oral argument because the facts and legal contentions are adequately presented in the materials before the court and argument would not aid the decisional process. AFFIRMED 6

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