Martin v. Ware et al
Memorandum of Opinion and Order For the reasons stated in the Order, this action is dismissed without prejudice pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e). The Court certifies, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(3), that an appeal from this decision could not be taken in good faith. Signed by Judge Dan Aaron Polster on 2/23/2017. (K,K)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
NORTHERN DISTRICT OF OHIO
REGGIE WARE, et al.,
CASE NO. 1:16 CV 2742
Judge Dan Aaron Polster
MEMORANDUM OF OPINION
Pro se Plaintiff Carlos Martin filed this civil rights action against Ohio Adult Parole
Authority (“OAPA”) employees Reggie Ware, Nicole Leligdon, Erin Hoston, and Andre
Imbrogno. In the Complaint (Doc. # 1), Plaintiff alleges Parole Officer Leligdon lied to him,
caused his arrest on a false parole violation charge, excluded witnesses who could provide
exculpatory evidence, and did not give him credit for time served in the county jail awaiting his
parole violation hearing. He seeks release from prison and termination of post release control.
Plaintiff contends he had been released from prison on post release control for eight
months when he received telephone call from his parole officer, Nicole Leligdon, asking him to
come to her office for an unscheduled visit. Plaintiff asked if everything was okay, and
Leligdon assured him everything was fine. When he arrived, he was arrested and charged with a
parole violation. He remained in jail for seven days without knowing the nature of the violation
for which he was under investigation. At the end of the seven day period, Leligdon visited him,
and informed him that a female, whom Plaintiff contends he did not know, made some type of
allegation against him. Leligdon told him the female did not follow through with her complaint
so he was released. Plaintiff claims that because Leligdon lied to him about the purpose of his
visit, he drove to her office. Upon his return, he found he had received three parking tickets in
Plaintiff contends his next scheduled visit with Leligdon was to occur on September 6,
2016. He received a telephone call from Leligdon on August 15, 2016, stating she needed to
review paperwork with him. He was wary of the unscheduled visit, and asked her several times
if anything was wrong. She assured him there was no subtrafuge and she really just needed to
go over paperwork. He arrived at her office and was arrested again for a parole violation. He
claims he still did not know the nature of the charges against him when he was taken back to the
Lorain Correctional Institution on August 23, 2016. Three days later, Leligdon visited him and
informed him that Christina Smith reported to her that Plaintiff had violated the terms of a
separation order. Plaintiff claims Leligdon did not question him or attempt to verify Smith’s
version of events.
Plaintiff claims Leligdon lied to him and coerced him into waiving a parole violation
hearing. He contends the OAPA originally scheduled a parole revocation hearing for September
13, 2016, but continued it to September 27, 2016 after Plaintiff arranged for witnesses to be
present. He alleges he nevertheless arranged for his witnesses to be present on the new date.
One of those witnesses was his sister, Temeeka Martin. He claims his sister had text messages
and recorded telephone calls from Smith saying she would not show up for the hearing if Martin
paid her $ 1,800.00. Plaintiff indicates that when his sister arrived at the building, she was not
allowed to go upstairs for the hearing. Instead, Leligdon questioned her in the lobby about the
testimony she would give at the hearing and then informed her that her testimony would not be
needed because Plaintiff was going to sign a hearing waiver. His sister insisted that she be
permitted to go upstairs for the hearing but her request was refused. Plaintiff contends that
Leligdon then lied to him and told him his sister was not there and would not be coming because
she had a flat tire. Believing he had no witnesses or evidence to present, Plaintiff claims he
signed the waiver. He was found guilty of the violation and was sanctioned to 77 days in prison.
He alleges he was not given credit for the time he spent in jail and prison awaiting the hearing.
Plaintiff does not indicate the legal claims he is attempting to assert in this action. He
seeks release from prison, and relief from the post release control portion of his sentence. He
also asks that Leligdon be removed as a parole officer.
II. STANDARD OF REVIEW
Although pro se pleadings are liberally construed, Boag v. MacDougall, 454 U.S. 364,
365 (1982) (per curiam); Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520 (1972), the Court is required to
dismiss an in forma pauperis action under 28 U.S.C. §1915(e) if it fails to state a claim upon
which relief can be granted, or if it lacks an arguable basis in law or fact. Neitzke v. Williams,
490 U.S. 319 (1989); Lawler v. Marshall, 898 F.2d 1196 (6th Cir. 1990); Sistrunk v. City of
Strongsville, 99 F.3d 194, 197 (6th Cir. 1996). An action has no arguable basis in law when a
Defendant is immune from suit or when a Plaintiff claims a violation of a legal interest which
clearly does not exist. Neitzke, 490 U.S. at 327. An action has no arguable factual basis when
the allegations are delusional or rise to the level of the irrational or “wholly incredible.” Denton
v. Hernandez, 504 U.S. 25, 32 (1992); Lawler, 898 F.2d at 1199.
When determining whether the Plaintiff has stated a claim upon which relief can be
granted, the Court must construe the Complaint in the light most favorable to the Plaintiff,
accept all factual allegations as true, and determine whether the Complaint contains “enough
facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.” Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S.
544, 555 (2007). The Plaintiff’s obligation to provide the grounds for relief “requires more than
labels and conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not
do.” Id. Although a Complaint need not contain detailed factual allegations, its “factual
allegations must be enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative level on the
assumption that all the allegations in the Complaint are true.” Id. The Court is “not bound to
accept as true a legal conclusion couched as a factual allegation.” Papasan v. Allain, 478 U.S.
265, 286 (1986).
The Court in Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 677-78 (2009), further explains the
“plausibility” requirement, stating that “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 678. Furthermore, “the plausibility standard is
not akin to a ‘probability requirement,’ but it asks for more than a sheer possibility that a
Defendant acted unlawfully.” Id. This determination is a “context-specific task that requires the
reviewing Court to draw on its judicial experience and common sense.” Id.
The only relief Plaintiff seeks is release from prison and relief from the post release
control portion of his sentence. He cannot obtain this relief in a civil rights action. Challenges
to the fact or duration of confinement must be brought in a Petition for a Writ of Habeas Corpus
and are not the proper subject of a civil rights action brought pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 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 from illegal custody).
Accordingly, this action is DISMISSED without prejudice pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
1915(e). The Court certifies, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(3), that an appeal from this
decision could not be taken in good faith.1
IT IS SO ORDERED.
Dan Aaron Polster
United States District Judge
28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(3) provides:
An appeal may not be taken in forma pauperis if the trial court certifies that it is not
taken in good faith.
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