Schmidt #779266 v. Parker et al
OPINION ; signed by Chief Judge Paul L. Maloney (Chief Judge Paul L. Maloney, aeb)
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF MICHIGAN
JAMES EDWARD SCHMIDT,
Case No. 1:11-cv-1133
Honorable Paul L. Maloney
ROBERT E. PARKER et al.,
This is a civil rights action brought by a state prisoner. The Court has granted
Plaintiff leave to proceed in forma pauperis, and Plaintiff shall pay the filing fee as funds become
available. Under the Prison Litigation Reform Act, PUB. L. NO. 104-134, 110 STAT. 1321 (1996),
the Court is required to dismiss any prisoner action brought under federal law if the complaint is
frivolous, malicious, fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted, or seeks monetary relief
from a defendant immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2). 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). Applying these standards, Plaintiff’s action will be dismissed for failure to state
Plaintiff presently is incarcerated at the Carson City Correctional Facility. In his pro
se complaint, he sues Attorneys Robert E. Parker, Donald Parker and Catholine Gortsch, the Law
Offices of Parker and Parker, and the Administrator of the Estate and Trust of Carl James Schmidt.
In his complaint, Plaintiff alleges (verbatim):
I James Edward Schmidt 65 yrs. Old, Blind and in a wheel-chair work for
Monarch Machine Products Company, 7072 South Fenton Road, Fenton Michigan
48430 from 1994 thru 2006. Social Security deductions were appropriately deducted
from my wages per year. The years 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, have
not been credited to my social security account, as required per Federal Statute, First
Statute the Social Security Contributions need to be posted to my social security
Relitive to a serious accident on September 28, 1996 I are eligable for
permanent since September 28, 1996 through social security disability insurance.
(Compl., docket #1, Page ID#3.)1
Failure to state a claim
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, 45-46 (1957)).
While a complaint need not contain detailed factual allegations, a plaintiff’s allegations must include
more than labels and conclusions. Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555; Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S. Ct. 1937,
1949 (2009) (“Threadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere
conclusory statements, do not suffice.”). The court must determine whether the complaint contains
“enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.” Twombly, 550 U.S. 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.” Iqbal, 129 S. Ct.
at 1949. 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.” Iqbal, 129 S. Ct. at
To the extent Plaintiff is requesting social security benefits, he is not entitled to benefits during the period of
his incarceration. See 42 U.S.C. § 402(x)(1)(A)(i).
1949 (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556). “[W]here the well-pleaded facts do not permit the court
to infer more than the mere possibility of misconduct, the complaint has alleged – but it has not
‘show[n]’ – that the pleader is entitled to relief.” Iqbal, 129 S. Ct. at 1950 (quoting FED. R. CIV. P.
8(a)(2)); see also Hill v. Lappin, 630 F.3d 468, 470-71 (6th Cir. 2010) (holding that the
Twombly/Iqbal plausibility standard applies to dismissals of prisoner cases on initial review under
28 U.S.C. §§ 1915A(b)(1) and 1915(e)(2)(B)(i)).
Plaintiff fails to state a claim against all of the Defendants because his complaint does
not allege any conduct on their part, much less unconstitutional conduct. It is a basic pleading
essential that a plaintiff attribute factual allegations to particular defendants. See Twombly, 550 U.S.
at 544 (holding that, in order to state a claim, a plaintiff must make sufficient allegations to give a
defendant fair notice of the claim). Where a person is named as a defendant without an allegation
of specific conduct, the complaint is subject to dismissal, even under the liberal construction
afforded to pro se complaints. See Gilmore v. Corr. Corp. of Am., 92 F. App’x 188, 190 (6th Cir.
2004) (dismissing complaint where plaintiff failed to allege how any named defendant was involved
in the violation of his rights); Frazier v. Michigan, 41 F. App’x 762, 764 (6th Cir. 2002) (dismissing
plaintiff’s claims where the complaint did not allege with any degree of specificity which of the
named defendants were personally involved in or responsible for each alleged violation of rights);
Griffin v. Montgomery, No. 00-3402, 2000 WL 1800569, at *2 (6th Cir. Nov. 30, 2000) (requiring
allegations of personal involvement against each defendant); Rodriguez v. Jabe, No. 90-1010, 1990
WL 82722, at *1 (6th Cir. June 19, 1990) (“Plaintiff’s claims against those individuals are without
a basis in law as the complaint is totally devoid of allegations as to them which would suggest their
involvement in the events leading to his injuries”). Because Plaintiff’s claims fall far short of the
minimal pleading standards under FED. R. CIV. P. 8 (requiring “a short and plain statement of the
claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief”), his complaint must be dismissed against
Defendants Robert E. Parker, Donald Parker and Catholine Gortsch, the Law Offices of Parker and
Parker, and the Administrator of the Estate and Trust of Carl James Schmidt.
Having conducted the review now required by the Prison Litigation Reform Act, the
Court determines that Plaintiff’s action will be dismissed for failure to state a claim pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2).
The Court must next decide whether an appeal of this action would be in good faith
within the meaning of 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(3). See McGore v. Wrigglesworth, 114 F.3d 601, 611
(6th Cir. 1997). For the same reasons that the Court dismisses the action, the Court discerns no
good-faith basis for an appeal. Should Plaintiff appeal this decision, the Court will assess the
$455.00 appellate filing fee pursuant to § 1915(b)(1), see McGore, 114 F.3d at 610-11, unless
Plaintiff is barred from proceeding in forma pauperis, e.g., by the “three-strikes” rule of § 1915(g).
If he is barred, he will be required to pay the $455.00 appellate filing fee in one lump sum.
This is a dismissal as described by 28 U.S.C. § 1915(g).
A Judgment consistent with this Opinion will be entered.
Dated: December 6, 2011
/s/ Paul L. Maloney
Paul L. Maloney
Chief United States District Judge
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