Cromer #211902 v. Snyder et al
OPINION; Judgment to issue; signed by Judge Janet T. Neff (Judge Janet T. Neff, clb)
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF MICHIGAN
EDWARD JAMES CROMER,
Case No. 1:17-cv-94
Honorable Janet T. Neff
RICK SNYDER et al.,
This is some form of action by a state prisoner invoking the Court’s admiralty and
maritime jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1333.1 It is difficult to pin down precisely what sort of
action Plaintiff intends to bring because his complaint is nothing more than unintelligible legalistic
gobbledygook. Plaintiff is not bringing an action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 or 28 U.S.C. § 2254.
Plaintiff clearly states that, under these statutes, no remedy is available. (Am. Compl., ECF No. 7,
Even if Plaintiff is raising an admiralty or maritime claim, because he is a prisoner
and because he seeks relief from employees or officers of governmental entities, the Court is
required to screen his action and dismiss it 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. § 1915A. The Court must read Plaintiff’s pro se complaint indulgently, see
Plaintiff also references “Diversity of Citizenship” on the cover page of his amended complaint. (Am. Compl.,
ECF No. 7, PageID.77.) Plaintiff and Defendants, however, are all citizens of the State of Michigan; thus Plaintiff
cannot premise jurisdiction on diversity of citizenship. 28 U.S.C. § 1332.
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 a claim.
Plaintiff Edward James Cromer is presently incarcerated with the Michigan
Department of Corrections (MDOC) at the Earnest C. Brooks Correctional Facility in Muskegon
Heights, Michigan. Plaintiff is serving life sentences for armed robbery and second-degree murder,
consecutive to a two-year sentence for felony firearm. Plaintiff sues Michigan Governor Rick
Snyder, Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette, and Michigan Parole Board members Amy Bonito
and Michael Eagen.2 Plaintiff sues the Defendants in their individual capacities. (Am. Compl.
Supplement, ECF No. 8, PageID.118.)
Plaintiff has been in the custody of the MDOC since 1990. He has filed many civil
rights and habeas corpus suits in the Michigan federal courts during his incarceration. When
Plaintiff alleges that there is no remedy available under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 or 28 U.S.C. § 2254, he
speaks from experience.
Having abandoned the federal question basis for jurisdiction, Plaintiff has turned to
admiralty. The nature and scope of the Court’s admiralty jurisdiction is not often considered in
actions brought by state prisoners. Admiralty jurisprudence involves very specific rights and
remedies, rights and remedies that are, or perhaps more accurately were, distinct from the “common
law.” As the Supreme Court stated in Manro v. Almeida, 23 U.S. 473 (1825):
Plaintiff also adds as Defendants “By and/or through any of their corporate agencies other instrumentalitities
other or uni[n]corporated association or persons having attained the attribution of a legal personality; and those JANE
DOES and JOHN DOES ET al.” (Am. Compl., ECF No. 7, PageID.77.)
The jurisdiction of the admiralty rests upon the grant in the constitution, and the
terms in which that grant is extended to the respective Courts of the United States.
The forms and modes of proceeding in causes of admiralty and maritime jurisdiction,
are prescribed to the Courts by the second section of the Process Act of 1792. In the
Process Act of 1789, the language made use of in prescribing those forms implied
a general reference to the practice of the civil law; but in the act of 1792, the terms
employed are, ‘according to the principles, rules, and usages, which belong to Courts
of admiralty, as contradistinguished from Courts of common law.’
Manro, 23 U.S. at 488.
In many respects the distinct forms and modes of proceeding of the 18th and 19th
century have fallen away. By way of example, the distinction between courts of law and courts of
equity disappeared because of the adoption of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure in 1938. City of
Morgantown v. Royal Ins. Co., 337 U.S. 254, 257 (1949) (“The coalescing of law and equity
procedure was completed in 1938, with the adoption of the Rules of Civil Procedure.”). But there
is still some life in the distinct “principles, rules and usages which belong to Courts of admiralty.
. .” Id. Indeed, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals cited the Manro decision and its approval of
maritime attachment just last year. See Malin Intern. Ship Repair & Drydock, Inc. v. Oceanografia,
S.A. de C.V., 817 F.3d 241, 244 (5th Cir. 2016). And, the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure still
include the Supplemental Rules for Admiralty or Maritime Claims and Asset Forfeiture Actions.3
Plaintiff describes himself as a “Property-vessel.” (Am. Compl., ECF No. 7,
PageID.83.) Plaintiff sprinkles statutory cites and terminology from Title 46 of the United States
Code regarding shipping and Michigan’s version of the Uniform Commercial Code throughout his
factual allegations. It appears that Plaintiff contends there was a flaw in his March 7, 1990
Indeed, Plaintiff cast his initial complaint as a “Statement of Interest” under Rule C(6) of the Supplemental
Rules for Admiralty or Maritime Claims and Assets Forfeiture Actions and he continues to reference the rule in his
Stemming from a March 7, 1990 Contract, 27 year Cromer have been falsely
imprisoned and injured by Respondents under the latent Admiralty in State Court
Criminal Process. Cromer was arrested by application of Title 46 USCS § 31-301
in rem, violating exclusive Federal Jurisdiction pursuant to USC §1333. Then
Military Action was used to alter and convert Plaintiff over into Attributed
Defendant/Debtor, and forced Cromer into standing trial as a created Legal Fiction
EDWARD JAMES CROMER WITHOUT EVER FACING AN INJURED PARTY
IN COMMON LAW, or without anyone alleging Cromer had committed a tort or
violated any of the constitutional rights into Evidence of Record in court of Equity.
(Am. Compl., ECF No. 7, PageID.81-82.) Specifically, Plaintiff objects to his counsel’s preliminary
examination stipulation with regard to the content of the medical examiner’s report and the
identification of the victim. Using that “flaw” as a foundation, Plaintiff adds layer upon layer of
misconstrued legal jargon. It is not possible to make any sense of the resulting structure; however,
Plaintiff does use some language that describes recognizable causes of action.
Construed liberally, Plaintiff claims that Defendants breached a contract (maritime
or otherwise), fraudulently concealed something, committed fraud, and committed a tort denying
Plaintiff access to the courts by denying him usage of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8 and
precluding him from obtaining an intellectual and commercial interest in himself. Plaintiff also
states that on March 7, 1990, these Defendants did something that was a “violation of the V.
Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, Due Process.” (Id., PageID.91.) Plaintiff also complains that
committed a tort by operating a parole board which violated the Michigan rules and regulations as
well as “V. Amendment of the U.S. Const.” (Id., PageID.92.) Plaintiff further contends that
Defendants committed a tort when they created a policy that prevents him access to uniform
commercial code documents which, in turn, denies him access to the courts contrary to the First
Amendment. (Id.) Plaintiff seeks equitable and declaratory relief and $27,000,000 in compensatory
and punitive damages.
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, 47 (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, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (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, 556 U.S. at 679. 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, 556 U.S. at 678 (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, 556 U.S. at 679 (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)
Prisoner civil rights claims
Plaintiff disclaims any intention to file a prisoner civil rights suit under 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983. Whatever his intention, he has failed to state a claim under the statute.4 To state such a
claim, a plaintiff must allege the violation of a right secured by the federal Constitution or laws and
must show that the deprivation was committed by a person acting under color of state law. West v.
Atkins, 487 U.S. 42, 48 (1988); Dominguez v. Corr. Med. Servs., 555 F.3d 543, 549 (6th Cir. 2009).
Because § 1983 is a method for vindicating federal rights, not a source of substantive rights itself,
the first step in an action under § 1983 is to identify the specific constitutional right allegedly
infringed. Albright v. Oliver, 510 U.S. 266, 271 (1994).
Plaintiff identifies two constitutional rights in his complaint and implicates one other.
He specifically states he was denied due process in his criminal proceedings and parole board
proceedings; he suggests that he was denied access to the courts, which might violate the First
Amendment; and he implies that his defense counsel rendered ineffective assistance which would
violate the Sixth Amendment.
Fifth (or Fourteenth) Amendment right to due process and Sixth
Amendment right to effective assistance of counsel
Plaintiff contends the criminal proceedings against him were constitutionally flawed.
Such a challenge to the fact or duration of confinement should be brought as a petition for habeas
corpus and is not the proper subject of a civil rights action brought pursuant to § 1983. See Preiser
v. Rodriguez, 411 U.S. 475, 484 (1973) (the essence of habeas corpus is an attack by a person in
custody upon the legality of that custody and the traditional function of the writ is to secure release
The Court may review any claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 to determine if it is frivolous, malicious, fails to state
a claim upon which relief can be granted, or seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from suit. 28 U.S.C.
from illegal custody). Therefore, to the extent that Plaintiff’s complaint challenges the fact or
duration of his incarceration, it must be dismissed. See Adams v. Morris, 90 F. App’x 856, 858 (6th
Cir. 2004) (dismissal is appropriate where § 1983 action seeks equitable relief and challenges fact
or duration of confinement); see also Moore v. Pemberton, 110 F.3d 22, 23-24 (7th Cir. 1997)
(reasons for not construing a § 1983 action as one seeking habeas relief include (1) potential
application of Heck v. Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477 (1994), (2) differing defendants, (3) differing
standards of § 1915(a)(3) and § 2253(c), (4) differing fee requirements, (5) potential application of
second or successive petition doctrine or three-strikes rules of § 1915(g)).
To the extent Plaintiff seeks injunctive, declaratory and monetary relief for alleged
violations of Constitutional rights, his claim is barred by Heck v. Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477, 486-87
(1994), which held that “in order to recover damages for allegedly unconstitutional conviction or
imprisonment, or for other harm caused by actions whose unlawfulness would render a conviction
or sentence invalid, a § 1983 plaintiff must prove that the conviction or sentence has been
[overturned].” See Edwards v. Balisok, 520 U.S. 641, 646 (1997) (emphasis in original). In Heck,
the Supreme Court held that a state prisoner cannot make a cognizable claim under § 1983 for an
allegedly unconstitutional conviction or for “harm caused by actions whose unlawfulness would
render a conviction or sentence invalid” unless a prisoner shows that 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 486-87 (footnote omitted). The holding in Heck has been extended to
actions seeking injunctive or declaratory relief. See Edwards, 520 U.S. at 646-48 (declaratory
relief); Clarke v. Stalder, 154 F.3d 186, 189-90 (5th Cir. 1998) (claim for injunctive relief
intertwined with request for damages); Wilson v. Kinkela, No. 97-4035, 1998 WL 246401, at *1
(6th Cir. May 5, 1998) (injunctive relief). Plaintiff’s allegations clearly call into question the
validity of his conviction. Therefore, his action is barred under Heck until his criminal conviction
has been invalidated.
If Plaintiff meant to challenge the process afforded him at his parole hearing under
the Fifth or Fourteenth Amendment, he has failed to state a claim. To establish a procedural due
process violation, a plaintiff must prove that (1) he was deprived of a protected liberty or property
interest, and (2) such deprivation occurred without the requisite due process of law. Club Italia
Soccer & Sports Org., Inc. v. Charter Twp. of Shelby, 470 F.3d 286, 296 (6th Cir. 2006); see also
Swihart v. Wilkinson, 209 F. App’x 456, 458 (6th Cir. 2006). Plaintiff fails to raise a claim of
constitutional magnitude because he has no liberty interest in being released on parole. There is no
constitutional or inherent right to be conditionally released before the expiration of a prison
sentence. Greenholtz v. Inmates of Neb. Penal & Corr. Complex, 442 U.S. 1, 7 (1979). Although
a state may establish a parole system, it has no duty to do so; thus, the presence of a parole system
by itself does not give rise to a constitutionally protected liberty interest in parole release. Id. at 7,
11; Bd. of Pardons v. Allen, 482 U.S. 369, 373 (1987). Rather, a liberty interest is present only if
state law entitles an inmate to release on parole. Inmates of Orient Corr. Inst. v. Ohio State Adult
Parole Auth., 929 F.2d 233, 235 (6th Cir. 1991).
In Sweeton v. Brown, 27 F.3d 1162, 1164-65 (6th Cir. 1994) (en banc), the Sixth
Circuit, noting “the broad powers of the Michigan authorities to deny parole,” held that the
Michigan system does not create a liberty interest in parole. The Sixth Circuit reiterated the
continuing validity of Sweeton in Crump v. Lafler, 657 F.3d 393, 404 (6th Cir. 2011). In Crump,
the court held that the adoption of specific parole guidelines since Sweeton does not lead to the
conclusion that parole release is mandated upon reaching a high probability of parole. See id.; see
also Carnes v. Engler, 76 F. App’x 79, 80 (6th Cir. 2003). In addition, the Sixth Circuit has rejected
the argument that the Due Process Clause is implicated when changes to parole procedures and
practices have resulted in incarcerations that exceed the subjective expectation of the sentencing
judge. See Foster v. Booker, 595 F.3d 353, 369 (6th Cir. 2010). Finally, the Michigan Supreme
Court has recognized that there exists no liberty interest in parole under the Michigan system.
Glover v. Mich. Parole Bd., 596 N.W.2d 598, 603-04 (Mich. 1999).
The discretionary parole system in Michigan holds out “no more than a mere hope
that the benefit will be obtained.” Greenholtz, 442 U.S. at 11. The Michigan Parole Board’s failure
or refusal to consider Plaintiff for parole, therefore, implicates no federal right. In the absence of
a liberty interest, Plaintiff fails to state a claim for a violation of his procedural due process rights.
First Amendment violation
It is clearly established that prisoners have a constitutionally protected right of access
to the courts under the First and Fourteenth Amendments. See Lewis v. Casey, 518 U.S. 343, 354
(1996); Bounds v. Smith, 430 U.S. 817, 821 (1977); Wolff v. McDonnell, 418 U.S. 539, 556 (1974).
Prison officials have a two-fold duty to protect a prisoner’s right of access to the courts. McFarland
v. Luttrell, No. 94-6231, 1995 WL 150511, at *3 (6th Cir. Apr. 5, 1995). First, they must provide
affirmative assistance in the preparation of legal papers in cases involving constitutional rights, in
particular criminal and habeas corpus cases, as well as other civil rights actions relating to the
prisoner’s incarceration. Id. (citing Bounds, 430 U.S. at 824-28). Second, the right of access to the
courts prohibits prison officials from erecting any barriers that may impede the inmate’s accessibility
to the courts. Id. (citing Knop v. Johnson, 977 F.2d 996, 1009 (6th Cir. 1992)); see also Bounds, 430
U.S. at 822 (citing Ex parte Hull, 312 U.S. 546, 549 (1941)). Further, in order to state a viable claim
for interference with his access to the courts, a plaintiff must show “actual injury.” Lewis v. Casey,
518 U.S. 343, 349 (1996); see also Talley-Bey v. Knebl, 168 F.3d 884, 886 (6th Cir. 1999).
The Supreme Court has strictly limited the types of cases for which there may be an
Bounds does not guarantee inmates the wherewithal to transform themselves into
litigating engines capable of filing everything from shareholder derivative actions to
slip-and-fall claims. The tools it requires to be provided are those that the inmates
need in order to attack their sentences, directly or collaterally, and in order to
challenge the conditions of their confinement. Impairment of any other litigating
capacity is simply one of the incidental (and perfectly constitutional) consequences
of conviction and incarceration.
Lewis, 518 U.S. at 355. “Thus, a prisoner’s right to access the courts extends to direct appeals,
habeas corpus applications, and civil rights claims only.” Thaddeus-X v. Blatter, 175 F.3d 378, 391
(6th Cir. 1999) (en banc). Moreover, the underlying action must have asserted a non-frivolous
claim. Lewis, 518 U.S. at 353; accord Hadix v. Johnson, 182 F.3d 400, 405 (6th Cir. 1999) (Lewis
changed actual injury to include requirement that action be non-frivolous).
Plaintiff fails to allege actual injury to a non-frivolous legal claim. Instead, he claims
that he has been denied the ability to receive materials that would permit him to file Uniform
Commercial Code (UCC) documents so that he could obtain an interest in himself. The UCC
regulates the law of sales and other commercial transactions. It is wholly irrelevant to a prisoner’s
claim of entitlement to release from prison in a habeas corpus proceeding or claim for damages or
relief in a prisoner civil rights case. A prisoner’s First Amendment access to the courts claim that
is founded upon a UCC claim, therefore, is frivolous. See Carter v. Wands, 431 F. App’x 628, 629
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(10th Cir. 2011) (affirming dismissal of petition claiming that the UCC provided a basis for habeas
relief); McNeil-El v. Diguglielmo, 271 F. App’x 283 (3d Cir. 2008) (affirming dismissal of an
access-to-the-courts claim based on the confiscation of UCC materials intended to be filed in a
criminal appeal); Brzezinski v. Smith, No. 12-cv-14573, 2013 WL 2397522, at *3 (E.D. Mich. May
31, 2013) (“The UCC speaks only to commercial law and does not provide a proper basis for
appealing a criminal conviction, writing a habeas petition, or bringing a civil rights action. . . . Any
appeal, habeas petition, or civil rights action that relied on the UCC would be frivolous.) Prisoners’
abuses of UCC financing statements are well-documented. See Rector v. Caruso, No. 1:10-CV-904,
2011 WL 446149, at *5 (W.D. Mich. Feb. 3, 2011) (collecting cases). As a consequence, Plaintiff
has failed to demonstrate that Defendants caused actual injury to a nonfrivolous legal action if they
interfered with Plaintiff’s acquisition or filing of UCC materials. He has failed to state a claim for
violation of his First Amendment rights.
Rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the United States
Constitution or laws
Plaintiff makes reference to three federal constitutional rights in support of his
claims; but, he also references violations of MDOC policies, state statutes, and state rules of
procedure. Plaintiff’s allegations of state policy, rule, and statutory violations, cannot form the basis
for relief under § 1983. Claims under §1983 can only be brought for “deprivation of rights secured
by the constitution and laws of the United States.” Lugar v. Edmondson Oil Co., 457 U.S. 922, 924
(1982). Section 1983 does not provide redress for a violation of a state law. Pyles v. Raisor, 60 F.3d
1211, 1215 (6th Cir. 1995); Sweeton v. Brown, 27 F.3d 1162, 1166 (6th Cir. 1994). Plaintiff’s
assertion that Defendants violated state law, regulation, or policy, therefore, fails to state a claim
under § 1983.
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Admiralty and Maritime claims
Stepping away from the familiar territory of 42 U.S.C. § 1983, Plaintiff has based his
claim of this Court’s jurisdiction on 28 U.S.C. § 1333, admiralty and maritime jurisdiction. The
statutory grant of such jurisdiction is broad: “The district courts shall have original jurisdiction,
exclusive of the courts of the States, of . . . [a]ny civil case of admiralty or maritime jurisdiction.”
42 U.S.C. § 1333. In most of the world’s nations, admiralty or maritime jurisdiction extended to “all
matters arising in marine commerce, as well as other marine matters of public concern, such as
crimes committed on the sea, captures, and even naval affairs.” New England Mut. Marine Ins. Co.
v. Dunham, 78 U.S. 1, 23-24 (1870).
In Mother England, however, the scope of admiralty
jurisdiction was “crippled and restricted” by hostility from the common law courts. Id. at 23. In that
regard, the United States differed from England. For example, where England limited maritime
jurisdiction to the “high seas” and excluded from it transactions relating to marine affairs but
transacted on the land, this country extended maritime jurisdiction to all navigable waters and to all
transactions related to marine commerce no matter where such transactions occurred. Id. at 24, 29.
The outlines of admiralty and maritime jurisdiction have been shaped and reshaped
by judicial decisions and statutes since the nineteenth century. Bringing the analysis into the twentyfirst century, the Sixth Circuit has more recently described the bounds of maritime jurisdiction as
Simply because this insurance policy relates to boats and a marina does not
necessarily imply that it is a “maritime contract.” As the Supreme Court explained
in Kirby, “[t]o ascertain whether a contract is a maritime one, we cannot look to
whether a ship or other vessel was involved in the dispute, as we would in a putative
maritime tort case.” 543 U.S. at 23, 125 S. Ct. 385. Rather, we must “focus[ ] our
inquiry on whether the principal objective of a contract is maritime commerce.” Id.
at 25, 125 S. Ct. 385 (emphasis added); accord Sisson v. Ruby, 497 U.S. 358, 367,
110 S. Ct. 2892, 111 L. Ed. 2d 292 (1990) (“The fundamental interest giving rise to
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maritime jurisdiction is ‘the protection of maritime commerce.’ ” (quoting Foremost
Ins. Co. v. Richardson, 457 U.S. 668, 674, 102 S. Ct. 2654, 73 L. Ed. 2d 300
(1982))). After the Court’s decision in Kirby, there can be no doubt that our inquiry
into whether a contractual dispute falls within our maritime jurisdiction must focus
on whether the contract’s “primary objective ” has an “essentially maritime nature”
and relates to “maritime commerce.” 543 U.S. at 24–25, 125 S.Ct. 385[.]
New Hampshire Ins. Co. v. Home Sav. and Loan Co. of Youngstown, Ohio, 581 F.3d 420, 424 (6th
Cir. 2009).5 Thus, even though Plaintiff describes himself as a vessel6 and even if he were a boat,
he offers no other allegations with regard to navigable waters or marine commerce that support his
assertion that his claims fall within admiralty jurisdiction. Accordingly, the Court must dismiss
Plaintiff’s admiralty and maritime claims for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.
State law claims
Plaintiff alleges that Defendants violated several state laws, rules or policies. To the
extent that Plaintiff seeks to invoke this Court’s supplemental jurisdiction over such state-law
claims, the Court declines to exercise jurisdiction. In determining whether to retain supplemental
jurisdiction, “[a] district court should consider the interests of judicial economy and the avoidance
of multiplicity of litigation and balance those interests against needlessly deciding state law issues.”
Landefeld v. Marion Gen. Hosp., Inc., 994 F.2d 1178, 1182 (6th Cir. 1993). Ordinarily, where a
district court has exercised jurisdiction over a state-law claim solely by virtue of supplemental
jurisdiction and the federal claims are dismissed prior to trial, the court will dismiss the remaining
state-law claims. Id. Dismissal, however, remains “purely discretionary.” Carlsbad Tech., Inc. v.
For a more detailed explanation of the test applied to determine whether a tort falls within federal admiralty
jurisdiction, see Jerome V. Grubart, Inc., v. Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Co., 513 U.S. 527, 534 (1995). The tort must
either occur on navigable water or, if the injury is suffered on land, it must be caused by a vessel on navigable water.
“The Rules of Construction Act defines a ‘vessel’ as including ‘every description of watercraft or other
artificial contrivance used, or capable of being used, as a means of transportation on water.’” Lozman v. City of Riviera
Beach, 133 S. Ct. 735, 739 (2013) (quoting 1 U.S.C. § 3).
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HIF Bio, Inc., 556 U.S. 635, 639 (2009) (citing 28 U.S.C. § 1367(c)); Orton v. Johnny’s Lunch
Franchise, LLC, 668 F.3d 843, 850 (6th Cir. 2012). Here, the balance of the relevant considerations
weighs against the continued exercise of supplemental jurisdiction. Accordingly, Plaintiff’s statelaw claims will be dismissed without prejudice.
Having conducted the review required by the Prison Litigation Reform Act, the Court
determines that Plaintiff’s action will be dismissed for failure to state a claim pursuant to1915A(b),
and 42 U.S.C. § 1997e(c).
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
$505.00 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 $505.00 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: March 27, 2017
/s/ Janet T. Neff
Janet T. Neff
United States District Judge
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