Jackson v. Herron
Memorandum of Opinion and Order For the reasons set forth herein, Plaintiff's Application to Proceed In Forma Pauperis (ECF No. 2) is granted, and this action is dismissed 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. Judge Benita Y. Pearson on 2/29/2016. (JLG)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
NORTHERN DISTRICT OF OHIO
MAGGAE JO JACKSON,
CASE NO. 4:16CV0029
JUDGE BENITA Y. PEARSON
MEMORANDUM OF OPINION
[Resolving ECF No. 2]
Pro Se Plaintiff Maggae Jo Jackson filed this action against Prosecuting Attorney Robert
Herron. In the Complaint (ECF No. 1), Plaintiff alleges the prosecutor is not doing enough to
resolve her case. ECF No. 1 at PageID #: 1. She does not specify the relief she seeks.
Plaintiff also filed an Application to Proceed In Forma Pauperis (ECF No. 2). That
Application is granted.
Plaintiff indicates George Johnson drugged and married her on the same day. ECF No. 1
at PageID #: 2. She states Johnson raped her. ECF No. 1 at PageID #: 3. Plaintiff also indicates
she had a medical emergency and believes her son’s DNA test was switched. She states she
wants that resolved. Plaintiff also mentions that a young boy and his mother were shot three
years ago in Salem, Ohio. The mother died but the boy recovered. She contends the authorities
have not been able to identify the perpetrator of that crime. Plaintiff contends Defendant was the
prosecutor when all of the crimes occurred, and she questions why he has not done more to
determine the identity of the shooter and obtain criminal convictions of that individual and
Johnson. ECF No. 1 at PageID #: 2. She states she and the family of the young boy need
closure. ECF No. 1 at PageID #: 1.
II. Standard for Dismissal
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 district 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, 33 (1992). See also Lawler, 898 F.2d at 1199.
When determining whether a 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, 570
(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. at
555. Although a complaint need not contain detailed factual allegations, its “[f]actual 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. (citation omitted). 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 Supreme Court in Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662 (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.” Id. at 678. Furthermore, “[t]he plausibility standard is not akin to a
‘probability requirement,’ but it asks for more than a sheer possibility that a defendant has acted
unlawfully.” Id. (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556). This determination is a “context-specific
task that requires the reviewing court to draw on its judicial experience and common sense.” Id.
III. Law and Analysis
Plaintiff does not assert any legal claims in her Complaint (ECF No. 1) and none are
apparent on the face of the pleading. Principles requiring generous construction of pro se
pleadings are not without limits. See Wells v. Brown, 891 F.2d 591, 594 (6th Cir. 1989);
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 Scheid v. Fanny Farmer Candy
Shops, Inc., 859 F.2d 434, 437 (6th Cir. 1988). The complaint must give the defendants fair
notice of what the plaintiff’s claims are and the grounds upon which they rest. Bassett v.
National Collegiate Athletic Ass’n, 528 F.3d 426, 437 (6th Cir. 2008). District courts are not
required to conjure up questions never squarely presented to them or to construct full blown
claims from sentence fragments. Beaudett, 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. Moreover,
Plaintiff’s failure to identify a particular legal theory in her Complaint (ECF No. 1) places an
unfair burden on Defendant to speculate on the potential claims that Plaintiff may be raising
against him and the defenses he might assert in response to each of these possible causes of
action. See Wells v. Brown, 891 F.2d at 594. Even liberally construed, the Complaint (ECF No.
1) does not sufficiently identify the legal claims Plaintiff intends to assert, and it fails to meet the
basic notice pleading requirements of Fed. R. Civ. P. 8.
Accordingly, Plaintiff’s Application to Proceed In Forma Pauperis (ECF No. 2) is
granted, and this action is dismissed 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
IT IS SO ORDERED.
February 29, 2016
/s/ Benita Y. Pearson
Benita Y. Pearson
United States District Judge
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