Blair v. Hamilton County Detention Center Jail Facility
ORDER overruling 5 Blair's Objections and adopting 4 the R&R in full. Accordingly, the Court dismisses 3 Blair's Complaint with prejudice. And the Court certifies, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(3), that an appeal of this Orde r would not be made in good faith, thereby denying Blair leave to appeal in forma pauperis. Signed by Judge Douglas R. Cole on 11/18/22. (sct)(This document has been sent by regular mail to the party(ies) listed in the NEF that did not receive electronic notification.)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF OHIO
Case No. 1:22-cv-5
JUDGE DOUGLAS R. COLE
Magistrate Judge Bowman
HAMILTON COUNTY DETENTION
CENTER JAIL FACILITY,
This cause comes before the Court on the Magistrate Judge’s February 7, 2022,
Report and Recommendation (“R&R,” Doc. 4) recommending sua sponte dismissal of
Plaintiff Delfon Blair’s Complaint (Doc. 3) for failure to state a claim upon which
relief can be granted. For the reasons discussed below, the Court OVERRULES
Blair’s Objections (Doc. 5) and ADOPTS the R&R (Doc. 4) in full. The Court thus
DISMISSES Blair’s Complaint (Doc. 3) WITH PREJUDICE. The Court further
CERTIFIES, under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(3), that an appeal of this Order would not be
made in good faith and therefore DENIES Blair leave to appeal in forma pauperis.
On January 5, 2022, Blair, who appears to be receiving treatment at Summit
Behavioral Healthcare in Cincinnati, filed a pro se motion seeking leave to proceed
in forma pauperis with his proposed “Habeas Corpus Complaint Menmorandom [sic]”
against the “Hamilton County Detention Center Jail Facility.” (Doc. 1). On February
7, the Magistrate Judge granted Blair’s request to proceed in forma pauperis and
ordered his Complaint filed. (Doc. 2). His Complaint was docketed that same day.
The Complaint claims that, on November 8, 2021, Blair “was arrested, no[t]
identified out [of] a lineup, no id, no finger prints, not t[a]ken to arraignment, or the
other court date, not t[a]ken to court or evaluated.” (Id. at #15). He asks the Court to
“force the process on this mandamus to be done correctly” and award him $3 million
in relief “for inducing panic.” (Id.).
The Magistrate Judge issued the R&R on the same day she ordered the
Complaint filed. (Doc. 4). In that R&R, the Magistrate Judge addressed the
requirement under the Prison Litigation Reform Act of 1995 to sua sponte screen the
Complaint to determine whether any portion of it should be dismissed because it is
frivolous, malicious, fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or seeks
monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. (Id. at #17–18
(citing 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)).
Based on her review of the Complaint, the Magistrate Judge recommends that
this Court dismiss primarily because Blair failed to sue a suable entity. (Doc. 4, #19).
Alternatively, the R&R notes, to the extent Blair is seeking release from custody or
to enforce his speedy trial rights, the instant Complaint is not a proper vehicle.
Rather, Blair must seek such relief through a petition for a writ of habeas corpus,
filed after exhausting his state court remedies. (Id. at #20). In response, Blair
objected. (Doc. 5). His objections largely recast his earlier arguments while adding
his belief that his allegations do not constitute a frivolous or malicious suit. (See
The Court reviews an R&R de novo after a party timely objects. Fed. R. Civ. P.
72(b)(3). Such review applies only to “any portion to which a proper objection was
made.” Richards v. Colvin, No. 2:12-cv-748, 2013 WL 5487045, at *1 (S.D. Ohio Sept.
30, 2013). Faced with a proper objection, “[t]he district court ‘may accept, reject, or
modify the recommended disposition; receive further evidence; or return the matter
to the magistrate judge with instructions.’” Id. (quoting Fed. R. Civ. P. 72(b)(3)).
By contrast, a purely general objection “has the same effect as would a failure
to object.” Howard v. Sec’y of Health & Hum. Servs., 932 F.2d 505, 509 (6th Cir. 1991).
Thus, a litigant must identify each objected issue in the R&R with sufficient clarity
that the Court can identify it, or else that issue is deemed forfeited. Miller v. Currie,
50 F.3d 373, 380 (6th Cir. 1995); see also Berkshire v. Beauvais, 928 F.3d 520, 530
(6th Cir. 2019) (clarifying that failure to object is forfeiture).
Blair’s objections largely mirror the Complaint and thus likely constitute
general objections. And, while the Court reviews pro se filings liberally, see Haines v.
Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520–21 (1972), that principle does not relieve Blair of his
obligation to comply with the Court’s procedural requirements. McNeil v. United
States, 508 U.S. 106, 113 (1993). In any event, whatever the applicable standard of
review, as the R&R correctly notes, Blair has not identified a suable entity.
Under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, Blair must show that a “person” either deprived him
of—or caused someone else to deprive him of—his constitutional rights. 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983. And under § 1983, the Hamilton County Justice Center is not a suable
“person.” See Parker v. Mich. Dep’t of Corr., 65 F. App’x 922, 923 (6th Cir. 2003)
(holding that a Department of Corrections is not a “person” under § 1983); see also
Aladimi v. Hamilton Cnty. Just. Ctr., No. 1:09-cv-398, 2012 WL 292587, at *7 (S.D.
Ohio Feb. 1, 2012) (finding that the Hamilton County Justice Center was not a
“person” that could be subject to a § 1983 suit), report and recommendation adopted,
No. 1:09-cv-398, 2012 WL 529585 (S.D. Ohio Feb. 17, 2012).
The R&R also recommends that the Court deny Blair’s request for release from
custody, or to enforce his speedy trial rights, to the extent he is seeking either remedy.
(Doc. 4, #20). The Court agrees. The proper way for Blair to challenge his custody is
through a writ of habeas corpus. To be sure, Blair uses the words “habeas corpus” in
his Complaint. But a habeas petition requires more than mere incantation of those
words; for example, Blair must identify his custodian as the respondent in the suit
and show that he has exhausted his state law remedies. He has done neither here.
The Court OVERRULES Blair’s Objections (Doc. 5) and ADOPTS the R&R
(Doc. 4) in full. Accordingly, the Court DISMISSES Blair’s Complaint (Doc. 3) WITH
PREJUDICE. And the Court CERTIFIES, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(3), that
an appeal of this Order would not be made in good faith, thereby DENYING Blair
leave to appeal in forma pauperis. The Court DIRECTS the Clerk to enter judgment
and TERMINATE this matter on the Court’s docket.
November 18, 2022
DOUGLAS R. COLE
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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