Thomas v. Reisch et al
Memorandum Opinion and Order dismissing this action. An appeal from this decision could not be taken in good faith. Judge John R. Adams on 12/1/14. (K,C)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
NORTHERN DISTRICT OF OHIO
BARRY L. THOMAS,
STEPHEN A. REISCH, et al.,
CASE NO. 5:14 CV 1417
JUDGE JOHN R. ADAMS
MEMORANDUM OF OPINION
On June 27, 2014, Plaintiff pro se Barry L. Thomas, an inmate at the Belmont
Correctional Institution (BeCI) in St. Clairsville, Ohio, filed this civil rights action against
Stephen A. Reish, John G. Haas, and BeCI Warden Michelle Miller. The Complaint contains
few coherent allegations, but appears to assert that Plaintiff was improperly convicted in the Ohio
Court of Common Pleas.1 Plaintiff further complains that he is being subjected to adverse
conditions of confinement at BeCI. For the reasons stated below, this action is dismissed
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A.
A district court is expressly required to dismiss any civil action filed by a prisoner
seeking relief from a governmental officer or entity, as soon as possible after docketing, if the
court concludes that the complaint fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or if
Plaintiff was convicted of felonious assault in 2010. See, State v. Thomas, No.
2010CA336, 2011 WL 3863311 (Stark Cty. App. Aug. 29, 2011).
the plaintiff seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C.
§1915A; Siller v. Dean, No. 99-5323, 2000 WL 145167 , at *2 (6th Cir. Feb. 1, 2000).
Under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)(2), 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, 667-78 (2009). The pleading standard Fed. Civ. R. 8 announces does not require “‘detailed
factual allegations,’ but it demands more than an unadorned, the-defendant-unlawfullyharmed-me accusation.” Id. A pleading that offers “labels and conclusions” or “a formulaic
recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do.” Id. Nor does a complaint suffice if it
tenders naked assertion devoid of further factual enhancement. Id. It must contain sufficient
factual matter, if accepted as true, to “state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.” Id. 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. The
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. Where a complaint pleads facts that are
“merely consistent with” a defendant's liability, it “stops short of the line between possibility and
plausibility of ‘entitlement to relief.’ ” Id.
Regarding Plaintiff’s claim that his conviction is invalid, the U.S. Supreme Court has
held that, when a prisoner challenges "the very fact or duration of his physical imprisonment, ...
his sole federal remedy is a writ of habeas corpus." Preiser v. Rodriguez, 411 U.S. 475, 501
(1973). Moreover, absent allegations that criminal proceedings terminated in plaintiff's favor or
that a conviction stemming from the asserted violation of his rights was reversed, expunged by
executive order, declared invalid by a state tribunal, or called into question by a federal court's
issuance of a writ of habeas corpus, he may not recover damages for his claim. Heck v.
Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477, 487 (1994).
Further, the conditions of his confinement of which Plaintiff complains occurred in St.
Clairsville, Ohio, which is located in the Southern District of Ohio. Therefore, the Southern
District of Ohio is the only proper venue for this matter. 28 U.S.C. § 1391(b). An improperly
venued action shall be dismissed unless it is "in the interest of justice" that it be transferred to a
district or division in which it could have been brought. 28 U.S.C. § 1406(a).
Prison officials may not deprive inmates of "the minimal civilized measure of life's
necessities.” Rhodes v. Chapman, 452 U.S. 337, 347 (1981). The Supreme Court in Wilson v.
Seiter, 501 U.S. 294, 298 (1991), set forth a framework for courts to use when deciding whether
certain conditions of confinement constitute cruel and unusual punishment prohibited by the
Eighth Amendment. A plaintiff must first plead facts which, if true, establish an objective
component that a sufficiently serious deprivation has occurred. Id. at 2324. Seriousness is
measured in response to “contemporary standards of decency.” Hudson v. McMillian, 503 U.S.
1, 8-9 (1992). Routine discomforts of prison life do not suffice. Id. Only deliberate indifference
to serious medical needs or extreme deprivations regarding the conditions of confinement will
implicate the protections of the Eighth Amendment. Id. at 1000. Plaintiff must also establish a
subjective element showing the prison officials acted with a sufficiently culpable state of mind.
Id. A prison official violates the Eighth Amendment only when both the objective and subjective
requirements are met. Farmer v. Brennan, 511 U.S. 825, 834 (1994).
The Complaint simply does not contain allegations reasonably suggesting Plaintiff might
have a valid Eighth Amendment claim. It would therefore not be in the interest of justice to
transfer this case to the Southern District of Ohio.
Accordingly, this action is dismissed under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. 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.
Date: December 1, 2014
/s/ John R. Adams
JOHN R. ADAMS
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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