Emerson v. Toledo Police Department et al
ORDER Granting Application to Proceed Without Prepaying Fees 2 , Summarily Dismissing and Closing Action 1 Finding Allegations Frivolous, and Enjoining Plaintiff Joseph Emerson from Filing any New Action Without First Obtaining Permission from the Court. Signed by District Judge Denise Page Hood. (LSau)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF MICHIGAN
Civil Action No. 17-12252
HONORABLE DENISE PAGE HOOD
TOLEDO POLICE DEPARTMENT AND
ORDER GRANTING APPLICATION TO
PROCEED WITHOUT PREPAYING FEES,
SUMMARILY DISMISSING AND CLOSING ACTION,
FINDING ALLEGATIONS FRIVOLOUS,
ENJOINING PLAINTIFF JOSEPH EMERSON
FROM FILING ANY NEW ACTION WITHOUT FIRST
OBTAINING PERMISSION FROM THE COURT
SUMMARY DISMISSAL OF COMPLAINT
Before the Court is Joseph Emerson’s Application to Proceed In Forma
Pauperis. A review of the application supports his claim of pauper status. The Court
grants in forma pauperis status to proceed without prepayment of the filing fee for this
action. However, for the reasons set forth below, the Court dismisses the action as
frivolous and for failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted.
Pursuant to the provisions of 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B), a district court may
dismiss a complaint before service on a defendant if it is satisfied that the action is
frivolous, malicious, if it fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or
if it seeks monetary relief from a defendant or defendants who is/are immune from
such relief. A complaint may be dismissed as frivolous “where it lacks an arguable
basis either in law or in fact.” Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 325 (1989). In
McGore v. Wrigglesworth, the Sixth Circuit clarified the procedures a district court
must follow when faced with a civil action filed by a non-prisoner proceeding in
Unlike prisoner cases, complaints by non-prisoners are not
subject to the screening process required by § 1915A.
However, the district court must still screen the complaint
under § 1915(e)(2) ... Section 1915(e)(2) provides us with
the ability to screen these, as well as prisoner cases that
satisfy the requirements of this section. The screening must
occur even before process is served or the individual has
had an opportunity to amend the complaint. The complaint
must be dismissed if it falls within the requirements of §
1915(e)(2) when filed.
McGore v. Wrigglesworth, 114 F.3d 601, 608 (6th Cir. 1997)(overruled on other
grounds by Jones v. Bock, 549 U.S. 199 (2007)); Smith v. Bernanke, 283 F. App’x
356, 357 (6th Cir. Jun. 26, 2008). Federal courts hold the pro se complaint to a “less
stringent standard” than those drafted by attorneys. Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519
(1972). However, pro se litigants are not excused from failing to follow basic
procedural requirements. Jourdan v. Jabe, 951 F.2d 108, 110 (6th Cir. 1991); Brock
v. Hendershott, 840 F.2d 339, 343 (6th Cir. 1988).
Plaintiff filed a document purporting to be a complaint against Defendants
Toledo Police Department and Toledo FBI. (Doc. No. 1) The filed documents
include: a Decision by the State of Ohio Unemployment Compensation Review
Commission; a request for 3 subpoenas to the unemployment hearing; a fax
communication result report; notes regarding an apartment and laborers job; a weekly
benefits summary; faxes to the unemployment and cardinal temporary agency; a
Directors’ Redetermination; rambling notes regarding obtaining a permit to carry and
that the Toledo police and the Lucas County Ambulance were stalking him (Doc. No.
1, Pg ID 23-35).
Plaintiff failed to follow the rules of pleading set forth in Rule 8(a) of the Rules
of Civil Procedure which requires “a short and plain statement of the grounds for the
court’s jurisdiction” and “a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the
pleader is entitled to relief.” Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a). The documents submitted by
Plaintiff do not meet the requirements under Rule 8(a). Even liberally construing the
various documents, the Court finds that the “Complaint” fails to state a claim upon
which relief may be granted under Rule 12(b)(6). Since the documents in his
“Complaint” were failed, Plaintiff has since filed and faxed to chambers, various
documents and notes. The Court finds Plaintiff’s submissions frivolous.
ENJOINING FURTHER FILING
The instant action is the seventh action1 filed by Plaintiff within the last two
years. All actions have been summarily dismissed by the various judges assigned to
The Sixth Circuit has held that district courts may properly enjoin vexatious
litigants from filing further actions against a defendant without first obtaining leave
of court. Feathers v. Chevron U.S.A., Inc., 141 F.3d 264, 269 (6th Cir. 1998); see
also, Filipas v. Lemons, 835 F.2d 1145, 1146 (6th Cir. 1987). “There is nothing
unusual about imposing prefiling restrictions in matters with a history of repetitive or
vexatious litigation.” Feathers, 141 F.3d at 269. A district court need only impose
“a conventional prefiling review requirement.” Id. The traditional tests applicable to
preliminary injunction motions need not be applied since the district court’s prefiling
review affects the district court’s inherent power and does not deny a litigant access
to courts of law. See In re Martin-Trigona, 737 F.2d 1254, 1262 (2d Cir. 1984). A
prefiling review requirement is a judicially imposed remedy whereby a plaintiff must
obtain leave of the district court to assure that the claims are not frivolous or
The six previously-filed cases are: 1) Emerson v. Exclusive Auto, Case No.
16-10682 (Hood); 2) Emerson v. UAW Local 50, Case No. 10851 (Friedman); 3)
Emerson v. UA Local 50, Case No. 16-10981 (Leitman); 4) Emerson v. Mandros,
Case No. 16-11279 (Battani); 5) Emerson v. UA Local 50, Case No. 16-11506
(Edmunds); and 6) Emerson v. City Manager, Case No. 16-11507 (Hood).
harassing. See e.g., Ortman v. Thomas, 99 F.3d 807, 811 (6th Cir. 1996). Often, a
litigant is merely attempting to collaterally attack prior unsuccessful suits. Filipas,
835 F.2d at 1146.
In light of Plaintiff’s now seven filed actions which have been summarily
dismissed by various judges in this Court, it is appropriate the Plaintiff must obtain
permission of the district court for any new action to assure that the claims are not
frivolous or harassing. Plaintiff is a resident of Toledo, Ohio, yet he files various
actions against defendants who do not reside in the Eastern District of Michigan.
Plaintiff is enjoined from further filing new actions without permission from the judge
assigned to any new proposed complaint.
Plaintiff is further enjoined from faxing documents to the court or any chambers
in this District because the Rules of Civil Procedure and the Local Rules do not
provide for “filing” documents by “fax.” Because Plaintiff is not an approved e-filer,
Plaintiff must “deliver” any paper for filing “to the clerk” of court. Fed. R. Civ. P.
5(d)(2)(A). The Local Rules further provide that certain required information (name
of court, title and number of case, the nature of the paper to be filed, etc.) must be in
all papers presented for filing. E.D. Mich. LR 5.1(A)(1). Plaintiff’s various
documents submitted (either by fax or mail) for filing do not contain the required
For the reasons set forth above, Plaintiff’s Complaint is dismissed as frivolous
and Plaintiff is further enjoined from filing any new action without obtaining
permission to do so.
IT IS ORDERED that Plaintiff Joseph Emerson’s Application to Proceed In
Forma Pauperis Without Prepaying Fees or Costs (Doc. No. 2) is GRANTED.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the action is DISMISSED with prejudice and
this action is designated as CLOSED on the docket.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that this action is frivolous under 28 U.S.C. §
1915(e)(2)(B). Any Appeal of this Order would be frivolous and would not be taken
in good faith. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(3); Coppedge v. United States, 369 U.S. 438, 445
(1962), McGore, 114 F.3d at 610-11.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Plaintiff Joseph Emerson is ENJOINED
from filing any new action without first obtaining permission from the judge assigned
to any new proposed complaint sought to be filed.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Plaintiff Joseph Emerson is ENJOINED
from submitting any new documents by fax to the Court or any chambers in this
District. Plaintiff must either hand-deliver or mail to the Clerk of Court any new
documents to be filed. Any faxed documents will not be considered by the Court.
S/Denise Page Hood
Denise Page Hood
Chief Judge, United States District Court
Dated: July 31, 2017
I hereby certify that a copy of the foregoing document was served upon counsel of
record on July 31, 2017, by electronic and/or ordinary mail.
S/LaShawn R. Saulsberry
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