Williams v. Common Pleas Court
Opinion & Order signed by Judge James S. Gwin on 11/7/17. The Court, for the reasons set forth in this order, dismisses this action under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e). The Court certifies, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(3), that anappeal from this decision could not be taken in good faith. (D,MA)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
NORTHERN DISTRICT OF OHIO
SECUNDA ANN WILLIAMS,
CUYAHOGA COUNTY COURT OF COMMON )
CASE NO. 1:17 CV 2102
JUDGE JAMES S. GWIN
OPINION & ORDER
On October 6, 2017, Plaintiff pro se Secunda Ann Williams filed this in forma pauperis
action against Defendant Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas. The Complaint is not
easily understandable, but appears to allege there was a conspiracy to deprive her of her mother’s
Although pro se pleadings are liberally construed, Boag v. MacDougall, 454 U.S. 364,
365 (1982) (per curiam), the district court is required to dismiss an 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.1 Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319 (1989); Hill v. Lappin, 630 F.3d 468, 470 (6th
An in forma pauperis claim may be dismissed sua sponte, without prior notice to the
plaintiff and without service of process on the defendant, if the court explicitly states that
it is invoking section 1915(e) [formerly 28 U.S.C. § 1915(d)] and is dismissing the claim
for one of the reasons set forth in the statute. Chase Manhattan Mortg. Corp. v. Smith,
507 F.3d 910, 915 (6th Cir. 2007); Gibson v. R.G. Smith Co., 915 F.2d 260, 261 (6th Cir.
1990); Harris v. Johnson, 784 F.2d 222, 224 (6th Cir. 1986).
A cause of action fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted when it lacks
“plausibility in the complaint.” Bell At. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 564 (2007). A
pleading must contain a “short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is
entitled to relief.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 677-78 (2009). The factual allegations in the
pleading must be sufficient to raise the right to relief above the speculative level on the
assumption that all the allegations in the complaint are true. Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555. The
plaintiff is not required to include detailed factual allegations, but must provide more than “an
unadorned, the-defendant-unlawfully-harmed-me accusation.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 (2009). A
pleading that offers legal conclusions or a simple recitation of the elements of a cause of action
will not meet this pleading standard. Id.
Principles requiring generous construction of pro se pleadings are not without limits.
Beaudett v. City of Hampton, 775 F.2d 1274, 1277 (4th Cir. 1985). A complaint must contain
either direct or inferential allegations respecting all the material elements of some viable legal
theory to satisfy federal notice pleading requirements. See Schied v. Fanny Farmer Candy
Shops, Inc., 859 F.2d 434, 437 (6th Cir. 1988). District courts are not required to conjure up
questions never squarely presented to them or to construct full blown claims from sentence
fragments. Beaudette, 775 F.2d at 1278. To do so would "require ...[the courts] to explore
exhaustively all potential claims of a pro se plaintiff, ... [and] would...transform the district court
from its legitimate advisory role to the improper role of an advocate seeking out the strongest
arguments and most successful strategies for a party." Id.
Even construing the Complaint liberally in a light most favorable to the Plaintiff, Brand
v. Motley, 526 F.3d 921, 924 (6th Cir. 2008), it does not contain allegations reasonably
suggesting she might have a valid federal claim. See, Lillard v. Shelby County Bd. of Educ,, 76
F.3d 716 (6th Cir. 1996) (court not required to accept summary allegations or unwarranted legal
conclusions in determining whether complaint states a claim for relief). This action is therefore
dismissed under section 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.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
Dated: November 7, 2017
James S. Gwin
JAMES S. GWIN
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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