Schmidt v. Kalkaska, County of et al
OPINION AND ORDER ADOPTING REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION 5 , 9 , 8 , 12 , 3 ; dismissing the complaint; denying all pending motions as moot; terminating and closing the case; signed by Chief Judge Paul L. Maloney (Chief Judge Paul L. Maloney, aeb)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
WESTERN DISTRICT OF MICHIGAN
Case No. 1:10-cv-1198
| HONORABLE PAUL L. MALONEY
| Magistrate Judge Joseph G. Scoville
JAMES EDWARD SCHMIDT,
KALKASKA COUNTY et al.,
OPINION and ORDER
Adopting the R&R without Objection;
Dismissing the Complaint for Failure to State a Claim on Which Relief Can Be Granted;
Denying All Pending Motions as Moot;
Terminating and Closing the Case
Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636 and W.D. MICH. LCIVR 72.2(b), this matter was automatically
referred to the Honorable Joseph G. Scoville, United States Magistrate Judge, who issued a Report
and Recommendation (“R&R”) on December 16, 2010 (Document 9). Plaintiff did not file any
objections, or any document which might reasonably be construed as objections, within the time
allotted by the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and our Local Civil Rules
The court finds the R&R to be well-reasoned. As the R&R explains, pro se plaintiff
James Edward Schmidt (“Schmidt”)’s complaint alleges that he is 64 years old, legally blind, uses
a wheelchair, and is disabled, but it fails to coherently or clearly describe the nature of the
controversy or the alleged legally actionable wrongs committed by the defendants, merely seeming
to request unspecified accommodations in connection with a criminal case pending in Michigan state
court, see R&R at 1.
First, as the Magistrate notes (R&R at 2-3), even a pro se plaintiff must do more than this
to meet the notice-pleading standard as interpreted by the U.S. Supreme Court’s decisions in
Twombley and Iqbal. See, e.g., Brown v. Mason, No. 2:10-cv-783, 2011 WL 31111, *3 (S.D. Ohio
Jan. 3, 2011) (Terence P. Kemp, M.J.) (recommending dismissal of pro se civil-rights plaintiff’s
access-to-courts claim, reasoning, “as far as Mr. Brown’s access to the courts claim is concerned *
* * in response to the motion to dismiss, he mentions for the first time an alleged impact on his
criminal appeal, [but] the complaint is not that specific. General allegations that the alleged
confiscation or destruction of some (but not all) of an inmate’s legal material has had some
unspecified impact on the inmate’s unspecified legal proceedings are simply not enough, under Iqbal
and Twombley, to state a plausible claim for relief.”); cf. Davis v. Solis, 2011 WL 831562, *3 (M.D.
Tenn. Mar. 3, 2011) (William R. Haynes, Jr., J.) (“While pro se complaints are liberally construed
and are held to less stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers, pro se complaints
must also satisfy the ‘facial implausibility’ standard articulated in Twombley and Iqbal.”) (other
internal quotation marks and citations omitted) (citing Stanley v. Vining, 602 F.3d 767, 771 (6th Cir.
Second, the Magistrate is correct (R&R at 3) that Schmidt’s claims against the Kalkaska
County Circuit Court are barred by the doctrine of sovereign immunity because that court is an arm
of the State of Michigan. See also Pucci v. 19th District Court, 628 F.3d 752, 760-64 (6th Cir. 2010)
(C.J. Batchelder, J. Gibbons, Chief D.J. Maloney) (applying the “arm of the State” standard to
subordinate Michigan state courts).
Third, the Magistrate is correct (R&R at 3-4) to conclude that to the extent that Schmidt’s
complaint seeks federal-court interference with ongoing state-court criminal proceedings, such
interference is prohibited by the Younger v. Harris doctrine. See generally Baze v. Parker, 632 F.3d
338, 341 (6th Cir. 2011) (noting “a ‘longstanding public policy against federal court interference’
with state criminal proceedings”) (quoting Younger, 401 U.S. at 43-44).
The R&R was filed on December 16, 2010 and sent the following day to Schmidt’s home
address of record in Traverse City, Michigan. As noted above, Schmidt never filed any document
which was denominated as objections to the R&R, and did not file any document within the allotted
time period which could be construed as objections. Instead, on December 30, 2010, Schmidt filed
a document entitled “Complaint Regarding Notice to Appear; Complaint for Discrimidation [sic]
and Non-Accommodations Against Defendant; Request for Damages; Affidavit in Support”
(document 10). This document, which was erroneously docketed as an amended complaint, is
apparently lodged by “Wendy McIntire”, who explains that she was a witness in the state-court
criminal proceeding against Schmidt, that she has a pacemaker, suffers from muscular dystrophy,
uses a walker due to limited mobility, and takes medications; that she was illegally forced to act in
a “compacity” for the defendant in that proceeding; that the Kalkaska County Circuit Court and the
Kalkaska County prosecutor and others are covering up a fraud by charging Schmidt with a crime
that does not exist; that she has filed a pro se complaint in state court for discrimination, retaliation,
and other alleged wrongs. The McIntire “affidavit” has no relevance whatsoever to the legal issues
and conclusions in the R&R, and it makes no attempt to identify any defect in the R&R. It cannot
serve as an objection.
Finally, on January 11, 2011, Schmidt filed a document entitled “Writ of Mandamus.” It too
makes no attempt to identify any defect in the R&R’s legal reasoning, instead asking this court to
stay the state-court prosecution. See Doc 12 at 5. This document likewise does not constitute an
objection to the R&R.
For the foregoing reasons, the R&R will be adopted because Schmidt has not filed objections
thereto, and because it is cogent and legally correct.
The R&R [document #9] is ADOPTED.
The complaint is DISMISSED for failure to state a claim on which relief can be granted
The other pending motions are DENIED as moot:
Application for preliminary injunction [document #5] filed December 6, 2010
Motion for order for accommodations [document #6] filed December 6, 2010
Motion for hearing [document #8] filed December 18, 2010
Petition for writ of mandamus [document #12] filed January 11, 2011
A separate judgment will issue contemporaneously as required by FED. R. CIV. P. 58.
This case is TERMINATED and CLOSED.
This is a final order, but plaintiff’s failure to file objections renders it non-appealable.
IT IS SO ORDERED this 5th day of May 2011.
/s/ Paul L. Maloney
Honorable Paul L. Maloney
Chief United States District Judge
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