Battles v. Trotwood Police et al
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATIONS: 2 Complaint filed by David Battles be dismissed without prejudice to renewal by filing an Amended Complaint within fourteen days. Objections to R&R due by 6/22/2017. Signed by Magistrate Judge Sharon L. Ovington on 6-8-17. (mcm)(This document has been sent by regular mail to the party(ies) listed in the NEF that did not receive electronic notification.)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF OHIO
WESTERN DIVISION AT DAYTON
DAVID LONDON BATTLES,
Case No. 3:17cv00112
District Judge Walter H. Rice
Magistrate Judge Sharon L. Ovington
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION1
Plaintiff David London Battles, a resident of Trotwood, Ohio, brings this case pro
se against a single Defendant—Trotwood Police Department. The Court previously
granted Plaintiff’s Motion for Leave to Proceed in forma pauperis under 28 U.S.C. §
1915. The case is presently before the Court for a sua sponte review to determine
whether Plaintiff’s Complaint, or any portion of it, must be dismissed because it is
frivolous or malicious, fails to state a claim for relief, or seeks monetary relief against an
immune defendant. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2); see, e.g., Anson v. Corr. Corp. of Am.,
529 Fed. App’x 558, 559-60 (6th Cir. 2013).
Attached hereto is a NOTICE to the parties regarding objections to this Report and Recommendation.
Plaintiff alleges in his pro se Complaint that his father’s girlfriend called the
Trotwood Police Department, claiming that he (Plaintiff) had assaulted her son.
Trotwood Police arrested Plaintiff without doing any investigation. He alleges, “So they
I feel like kidnapped me[,] held me for ransom[,] and went off of [hearsay] ….” (Doc.
#1, PageID #8). He further alleges that when he has called the Trotwood Police “on
somebody else case # TR16-4731 they say to me we have to investigate it and nothing
ever gets done ….” Id. He claims that this has happened a number of times.
He requests for relief, “Investigate Trotwood Police or fire somebody or
something …” Id. at 9. He believes that it is wrong for them not to investigate when he
calls them but to investigate when someone calls them about him.
A complaint may be dismissed as frivolous under § 1915(e)(2) “only if the
plaintiff fails to present a claim with ‘an arguable basis either in law or fact.’” Brand v.
Motley, 526 F. 3d 921, 923 (6th Cir. 2008) (quoting, in part, Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S.
319, 325 (1989)). A complaint lacks an arguable legal basis when it presents
“indisputably meritless” legal theories—for example, when the defendant is immune
from suit or when the plaintiff claims a violation of a legal interest which clearly does not
exist. See Neitzke, 490 U.S. at 327-328; see also Brand, 526 F.3d at 923. A complaint
lacks arguable facts when its allegations are “fantastic or delusional.” Brand, 526 F.3d at
923 (quoting Neitzke, 490 U.S. at 327-28); see Lawler v. Marshall, 898 F.2d 1196, 1199
(6th Cir. 1900).
The Court’s sua sponte review also requires dismissal of an in forma pauperis
complaint, or any portion of it, that fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.
28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii); see Hill v. Lappin, 630 F.3d 468, 470-71 (6th Cir. 2010).
To state such a claim, the “complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as
true, to ‘state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.’” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S.
662, 678 (2009) (quoting, in part, Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)).
Accepting Plaintiff’s allegations as true and construing his Complaint liberally in
his favor reveals that he seeks to challenge his arrest by the Trotwood Police Department
under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. This challenge, however, fails as a matter of law because the
“City of Trotwood Police Department, being a mere arm of the City of Trotwood, is not
its own entity, and is not capable of being sued (i.e., it is not sui juris ).” Hale v. Vance,
267 F. Supp.2d 725, 737 (S.D. Ohio 2003) (Rice, DJ). Plaintiff’s Complaint does not
identify any other Defendant.
Accordingly, Plaintiff’s Complaint is subject to dismissal under 28 U.S.C. §
1915(e)(2)(B) without prejudice to renewal unless he amends it to identify a proper party
IT IS THEREFORE RECOMMENDED THAT:
Plaintiff’s Complaint be dismissed without prejudice to renewal by filing an
Amended Complaint within fourteen days.
June 8, 2017
s/Sharon L. Ovington
Sharon L. Ovington
United States Magistrate Judge
NOTICE REGARDING OBJECTIONS
Pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 72(b), any party may serve and file specific, written
objections to the proposed findings and recommendations within fourteen days after
being served with this Report and Recommendations. Pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 6(d),
this period is extended to seventeen days because this Report is being served by one of
the methods of service listed in Fed. R. Civ. P. 5(b)(2)(C), (D), (E), or (F). Such
objections shall specify the portions of the Report objected to and shall be accompanied
by a memorandum of law in support of the objections. If the Report and
Recommendations are based in whole or in part upon matters occurring of record at an
oral hearing, the objecting party shall promptly arrange for the transcription of the record,
or such portions of it as all parties may agree upon or the Magistrate Judge deems
sufficient, unless the assigned District Judge otherwise directs. A party may respond to
another party’s objections within fourteen days after being served with a copy thereof.
Failure to make objections in accordance with this procedure may forfeit rights on
appeal. See United States v. Walters, 638 F.2d 947 (6th Cir. 1981); Thomas v. Arn, 474
U.S. 140 (1985).
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