Irwin v. Job and Family Services et al
Memorandum of Opinion and Order: Accordingly, the plaintiff's motion to proceed in forma pauperis (Doc. No. 2 ) is granted, but his action is hereby dismissed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §1915(e)(2)(B). 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 4/3/17. (LC,S) re 1
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
NORTHERN DISTRICT OF OHIO
Douglas C. Irwin,
Job and Family Services, et al.,
CASE NO. 1: 17 CV 44
JUDGE PATRICIA A. GAUGHAN
Memorandum of Opinion and Order
Pro se plaintiff Douglas C. Irwin has filed this in forma pauperis civil rights action
alleging “reverse discrimination” under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act against the Cuyahoga
County Department of Job and Family Services (“JFS”); JFS administrators and employees
Alfred White, Kenyon Horton, and Valerie Baker; and the Ohio Hearing Review Board. (Doc.
No. 1.) He contends he was subjected to reverse discrimination by the defendants in his attempt
to obtain food stamp benefits. He alleges he has been required to endure “hardship” to obtain
benefits, that he was denied his mail and food stamps, and he asks the Court for “enough
money” so he won’t “have wellfare/food stamps to deal with . . . such as 11,000,000 million
dollars [and] no more walking from westside to east.” (Id. at 2.)
Although pro se pleadings are construed liberally, Boag v. MacDougall, 454 U.S. 364,
365 (1982), federal district courts are expressly required, under 28 U.S.C. §1915(e)(2)(B), to
screen all in forma pauperis actions, and to dismiss before service and such action that the Court
determines is frivolous or malicious, fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted, or
seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. In order to state a
claim on which relief may be granted for purposes of §1915(e)(2)(B), a pro se complaint must
set forth sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to state claim to relief that is plausible on its
face. See Hill v. Lappin, 630 F.3d 468, 471 (6th Cir. 2010) (holding that the dismissal standard
articulated in Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662 (2009) and Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550
U.S. 544 (2007) governs dismissals under 28 U.S.C. §1915(e)(2)(B)). The factual allegations in
the pleading “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 (even if doubtful in fact).”
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555.
Upon review, the Court finds the plaintiff’s complaint must be dismissed.
Although the plaintiff’s allegations liberally construed are sufficient to indicate that he
has not been able to obtain food stamp benefits, and that he has encountered administrative
difficulties and hardship in complying with what he has been required to do to obtain benefits,
his allegations are insufficient to support any plausible claim that the defendants have subjected
him to unlawful, reverse race discrimination. The only allegations pertaining to race
discrimination set forth in the plaintiff’s complaint are his own conclusory assertions that he has
dealt with “black racist staff members” in his efforts to obtain benefits. (Doc. No. 1 at 2.)
These conclusory allegations are insufficient to state any plausible federal reverse
discrimination claim against any defendant in the case. See, e.g, Tucker v. Victor Gelb, Inc.,
194 F.3d 1314, 1999 WL 801544 (6th Cir. Sept. 28, 1999) (upholding summary dismissal,
holding that conclusory allegations of discrimination are insufficient to state a plausible claim).
Accordingly, the plaintiff's motion to proceed in forma pauperis (Doc. No. 2) is granted,
but his action is hereby dismissed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §1915(e)(2)(B). 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
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