Kinchloe v. Biden
ORDER Summarily Dismissing 1 Complaint. Signed by District Judge Terrence G. Berg. (AChu)
Case 2:22-cv-12722-TGB-CI ECF No. 8, PageID.29 Filed 01/19/23 Page 1 of 5
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF MICHIGAN
PAUL ANDREW KINCHLOE,
(ECF NO. 1)
Plaintiff Paul Andrew Kinchloe is an inmate imprisoned at the
Saginaw Correctional Facility. Plaintiff has filed a pro se civil rights
complaint under Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents of Federal
Bureau of Narcotics, 403 U.S. 388 (1971). In his complaint, Plaintiff
alleges that President Joseph R. Biden has violated his federal
constitutional rights by “continuing to use treaty law to put a stay of
execution on [a] Michigan Supreme Court judgment granting [him] relief
from involuntary servitude/slavery.” Complaint, ECF No. 1, PageID.5.
Plaintiff seeks compensatory and punitive damages against President
Biden for his claim. Id. at PageID.8. Having reviewed Plaintiff’s
complaint, the Court now dismisses it pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§
1915(e)(2)(B) and 1915A(b). The Court also concludes that an appeal from
this decision cannot be taken in good faith pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
Case 2:22-cv-12722-TGB-CI ECF No. 8, PageID.30 Filed 01/19/23 Page 2 of 5
I. LEGAL STANDARD
Plaintiff is proceeding in forma pauperis. ECF No. 7. Under the
Prison Litigation Reform Act of 1996 (“PLRA”), the Court is required to
dismiss an in forma pauperis complaint on its own accord before service
to the defendant if the Court determines that the action is frivolous or
malicious, fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted, or seeks
monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from such relief. See
42 U.S.C. § 1997e(c); 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B).
The Court is similarly required to dismiss a complaint seeking
redress against government entities, officers, and employees which it
finds to be frivolous or malicious, fails to state a claim upon which relief
may be granted, or seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is
immune from such relief. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. A complaint is frivolous
if it lacks an arguable basis in law or in fact. Denton v. Hernandez, 504
U.S. 25, 31 (1992); Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 325 (1989). The
screening provisions of the PLRA are applicable to Bivens actions
brought by federal inmates. See, e.g., Plunk v. Givens, 234 F.3d 1128,
1129 (10th Cir. 2000); Diaz v. Van Norman, 351 F. Supp. 2d 679, 680–81
(E.D. Mich. 2005).
A pro se civil rights complaint is to be construed liberally. Haines
v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520–21 (1972). Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
8(a) requires that a complaint set forth “a short and plain statement of
the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief,” as well as “a
Case 2:22-cv-12722-TGB-CI ECF No. 8, PageID.31 Filed 01/19/23 Page 3 of 5
demand for the relief sought.” Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a)(2)–(3). While this notice
pleading standard does not require “detailed” factual allegations, it does
require more than the bare assertion of legal principles or conclusions.
Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555–56 (2007). In other words,
Rule 8 “demands more than an unadorned, the-defendant-unlawfullyharmed-me accusation.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). “A
pleading that offers ‘labels and conclusions’ or ‘a formulaic recitation of
the elements of a cause of action will not do.’” Id. (quoting Twombly, 550
U.S. at 555). “Nor does a complaint suffice if it tenders ‘naked
assertion[s]’ devoid of ‘further factual enhancement.’” Id. (quoting
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 557).
Plaintiff’s complaint is subject to dismissal for several reasons.
First, Plaintiff’s action for monetary damages against President Biden
must be dismissed on the basis of absolute immunity. Plaintiff alleges
that President Biden violated his due process rights by enforcing treaty
law to stay the execution of a Michigan Supreme Court judgment
granting him relief from an illegal conviction and sentence. The United
States Supreme Court has recognized the defense of “absolute immunity”
for “officials whose special functions or constitutional status requires
complete protection from suit.” Harlow v. Fitzgerald, 457 U.S. 800, 807
(1982). The President of the United States is one such person entitled to
absolute immunity from suit and claims for damages. Id.; see also Hafer
Case 2:22-cv-12722-TGB-CI ECF No. 8, PageID.32 Filed 01/19/23 Page 4 of 5
v. Melo, 502 U.S. 21, 29 (1991); Nixon v. Fitzgerald, 457 U.S. 731, 756
(1982). Because President Biden is absolutely immune from suit,
Plaintiff’s complaint must be dismissed.
Second, even if absolute immunity did not apply, Plaintiff’s claim is
still barred under Heck v. Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477 (1994). Under Heck,
a state prisoner may not file a civil rights lawsuit for damages or
equitable relief challenging his conviction or sentence if a ruling on the
claim would render the conviction or sentence invalid, until and unless
“the conviction or sentence has been reversed on direct appeal, expunged
by executive order, declared invalid by a state tribunal authorized to
make such determination, or called into question by a federal court’s
issuance of a writ of habeas corpus.” Id. at 487. The rationale behind Heck
has been applied to Bivens actions brought against federal defendants.
See Lanier v. Bryant, 332 F.3d 999, 1005 (6th Cir. 2003); Robinson v.
Jones, 142 F.3d 905, 906–07 (6th Cir. 1998). Plaintiff appears to allege
that he is being detained illegally. However, there is no record of
Plaintiff’s conviction(s) being overturned. If Plaintiff were to prevail in
this action, his continued confinement in prison would be called into
question. Consequently, his civil rights complaint is barred by Heck and
must be dismissed.
Finally, Plaintiff’s complaint is further subject to dismissal for
failing to satisfy the Rule 8 pleading requirements. It is well-settled that
conclusory allegations without material supporting facts are insufficient
Case 2:22-cv-12722-TGB-CI ECF No. 8, PageID.33 Filed 01/19/23 Page 5 of 5
to state a claim. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678; Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555–57;
Moldowan v. City of Warren, 578 F.3d 351, 390–91 (6th Cir. 2009).
Plaintiff fails to allege any facts explaining how President Biden
specifically violated his federal constitutional rights. Nor does Plaintiff
provide a proper legal basis to support his claim. Accordingly, Plaintiff’s
naked assertions fail to satisfy the Rule 8 pleading requirements, and his
complaint must be dismissed.
For the reasons stated, Plaintiff’s complaint must be summarily
dismissed based upon Defendant’s absolute immunity and Plaintiff’s
failure to state a claim. Accordingly, Plaintiff’s complaint is DISMISSED
WITH PREJUDICE. The Court further concludes that an appeal from
this decision cannot be taken in good faith. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(3);
Coppedge v. United States, 369 U.S. 438, 445 (1962). This case is closed.
No further pleadings should be filed in this matter.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
Dated: January 19, 2023
s/Terrence G. Berg
TERRENCE G. BERG
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.
Why Is My Information Online?