Carman v. Heinig et al
Memorandum of Opinion and Order: Accordingly, the plaintiff's application to proceed in forma pauperis (Doc. No. 2 ) is granted, and for the reasons stated above, this action is dismissed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §1915(e). The Court further certifies, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §1915(a)(3), that an appeal from this decision could not be taken in good faith. Judge Patricia A. Gaughan on 1/10/17. (LC,S)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
NORTHERN DISTRICT OF OHIO
Ronald G. Carman,
Julie Heinig, et al.,
CASE NO. 1: 16 CV 2577
JUDGE PATRICIA A. GAUGHAN
Memorandum of Opinion and Order
Seeking to proceed without prepayment of fees, pro se plaintiff Ronald G. Carman, a
detainee in the Cuyahoga County Jail, has filed this in forma pauperis civil rights action
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §1983 against DNA Diagnostics Center of Fairfield, Ohio (DDC) and its
Forensic Analyst, Julie Heinig. The plaintiff alleges his criminal defense lawyer, Richard
Agopian, hired DDC as a DNA expert to assist in the plaintiff’s defense in a case pending
against him in Cuyahoga County. Defendant Heinig was the analyst at DDC responsible for the
actual DNA testing. The plaintiff alleges that DDC did not conduct the DNA test he and his
counsel “required” and that this has caused a delay in his trial. In addition, he alleges that
because of the “deception” of the DDC analyst, he could be wrongfully convicted in his
criminal case, “rendering the expert for his defense deceptive.” (Doc. No. 1 at 7.)
The plaintiff seeks $100,000 compensation from the defendants for “causing [him]
stress, anxiety, depression, [and] delay in trial for several months.” (Complt., Prayer for Relief.)
Although pro se pleadings are liberally construed and held to less stringent standards
than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers, Boag v. MacDougall, 454 U.S. 364, 365 (1982) (per
curiam); Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520 (1972), federal district courts are required 28
U.S.C. §1915(e)(2)(B) to screen in forma pauperis actions, and dismiss before service any such
action that the Court determines is frivolous or malicious, fails to state a claim on which relief
can be granted, or seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. See
Hill v. Lappin, 630 F.3d 468, 470 (6th Cir. 2010).
The plaintiff’s complaint must be dismissed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §1915(e)(2)(B). In
order to state a viable claim under §1983, a plaintiff must allege that he was deprived of a right
secured by the federal constitution or laws of the United States by a person acting under color of
state law. Bomer v. Muechenheim, 75 F. App'x 998, 999 (6th Cir. 2003).
The plaintiff has not alleged he was deprived of any specific right secured by the federal
constitution or laws of the United States. In addition, the defendants are not state actors. DDC
is a private entity hired by the plaintiff’s defense counsel to offer an expert opinion in the
plaintiff’s criminal case. DDC is not a person and did not act under color of state law.
Defendant Heinig, an analyst at DDC, likewise is not a state actor. See, e.g., Jones v. Diner,
No. 4: 09 CV 204, 2009 WL 1285842 (E.D. Ark. 2009) (dismissing §1983 action against a
private entity hired by the plaintiff’s defense counsel to offer an expert opinion in a criminal
case, and a medical doctor for the private entity, for lack of state action).
Accordingly, the plaintiff’s application to proceed in forma pauperis (Doc. No. 2) is
granted, and for the reasons stated above, this action is dismissed pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§1915(e). The Court further certifies, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §1915(a)(3), that an appeal from
this decision could not be taken in good faith.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
/s/ Patricia A. Gaughan
PATRICIA A. GAUGHAN
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?