United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Paducah Division
RONALD H. HOBSON PLAINTIFF
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, DEFENDANT
B. Russell, Senior Judge United States District Court
Ronald Hobson, proceeding pro se and in forma
pauperis, filed the instant suit against the
“United States government and everything beneath all
the way down to local county government all states all
counties and governmental departments.” [DN 1 at 1.]
Upon initial review of Hobson's complaint pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2), the Court construed Hobson's
complaint as alleging an action under the Federal Tort Claims
Act (FTCA) concerning medical treatment that he received from
Veterans Affairs Medical Centers. [DN 5 at 1.] Accordingly,
the Court allowed the case to proceed against the United
States, as the exclusive entity responsible under the FTCA,
but concluded that, as Hobson had set out no allegations that
would implicate any state or county government, any claims
Hobson may have been attempting to bring against such
entities were dismissed. [Id. at 2.]
Defendant, the United States of America, then filed a motion
to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction pursuant to Federal Rule
of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1) and for failure to state a claim
upon which relief can be granted pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6).
[DN 11.] After this Court issued a Show Cause Order noting
that the time for Plaintiff Ronald Hobson to respond had
passed [DN 12], Hobson filed a response. [DN 13.] The United
States replied. [DN 14.] Hobson then filed an additional
response. [DN 15.]
upon further review of Hobson's complaint, the Court has
determined that it need not address the United States'
motion to dismiss. Rather, under § 1915(e)(2),
“the court shall dismiss the case at any time
if the court determines that . . . the action . . . fails to
state a claim on which relief may be granted.” 28
U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii) (emphasis added). Although
the Court previously held that Hobson's complaint passed
the initial screen required under § 1915(e)(2) and
characterized Hobson's complaint as bringing suit against
the United States under the FTCA, the Court is no longer
convinced of this. The Court has “inherent power to
reconsider interlocutory orders and reopen any part of a case
before entry of a final judgment.” Mallory v.
Eyrich, 922 F.2d 1273, 1282 (6th Cir. 1991) (citing
Marconi Wireless Telegraph Co. v. United States, 320
U.S. 1, 47-48 (1943)). Further, “district court[s] may
modify, or even rescind, such interlocutory orders.”
Id. (citing Simmons Co. v. Grier Brothers
Co., 258 U.S. 82, 88 (1922)).
the Sixth Circuit has noted that “[a] case that may not
initially appear to meet § 1915(e)(2) may be dismissed
at a future date should it become apparent that the case
satisfies this section.” McGore v.
Wrigglesworth, 114 F.3d 601, 608 (6th Cir. 1997),
overruled on other grounds, Jones v. Bock, 549 U.S.
109, 205 (2007). See also Lewis v. Michigan Occupational
Safety & Health Admin., No. 13-10889, 2013 WL
2050479, at *2 (E.D. Mich. May 3, 2013), report and
recommendation adopted, No. 13-10889, 2013 WL 2049549
(E.D. Mich. May 14, 2013) (same). Upon second review of
Hobson's complaint, for the reasons explained in detail
below, the Court is convinced that is the case here.
Accordingly, the Court's prior Order [DN 5] is VACATED
and this action is DISMISSED for failure to state a claim on
which relief can be granted under § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii).
The United States' motion to dismiss [DN 11] is therefore
DENIED AS MOOT.
12(b)(6) standard for failure to state a claim on which
relief can be granted “governs dismissals for failure
to state a claim under [§ 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii)] because the
relevant statutory language tracks the language in Rule
12(b)(6).” Hill v. Lappin, 630 F.3d 468, 471
(6th Cir. 2010). Under that standard, a complaint must
contain “a short and plain statement of the claim
showing that the pleader is entitled to relief.”
Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). In order to survive a motion to dismiss
under Rule 12(b)(6), a party must “plead enough
‘factual matter' to raise a ‘plausible'
inference of wrongdoing.” 16630 Southfield Ltd.
P'ship v. Flagstar Bank, F.S.B., 727 F.3d 502, 504
(6th Cir. 2013) (quoting Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S.
662, 678 (2009)). A claim becomes plausible “when the
plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to
draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable
for the misconduct alleged.” Iqbal, 556 U.S.
at 678 (citing Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S.
544, 556 (2007)).
applying the Rule 12(b)(6) standard, the court must presume
all of the factual allegations in the complaint are true.
Total Benefits Planning Agency, Inc. v. Anthem Blue Cross
& Blue Shield, 552 F.3d 430, 434 (6th Cir. 2008)
(citing Great Lakes Steel v. Deggendorf, 716 F.2d
1101, 1105 (6th Cir. 1983)). “The court need not,
however, accept unwarranted factual inferences.”
Id. (citing Morgan v. Church's Fried
Chicken, 829 F.2d 10, 12 (6th Cir. 1987)). Should the
well-pleaded facts support no “more than the mere
possibility of misconduct, ” then dismissal is
warranted. Iqbal, 556 U.S at 679. The Court may
dismiss the case “only if, after drawing all reasonable
inferences from the allegations in the complaint in favor of
the plaintiff, the complaint still fails to allege a
plausible theory of relief.” Garceau v. City of
Flint, 572 F. App'x. 369, 371 (6th Cir. 2014)
(citing Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 677-79). “Pro
se complaints are to be held ‘to less stringent
standards than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers, ' and
should therefore be liberally construed.” Otworth
v. Budnik, 594 F. App'x 859, 861 (6th Cir. 2014)
(quoting Williams v. Curtin, 631 F.3d 380, 383 (6th
Cir. 2011) (citation omitted)).
stated, even liberally construing Hobson's pro
se complaint, the Court is unable to ascertain any cause
of action raised therein. Hobson states, for example, that he
want[s] a specific kind of home that is energy efficient and
environmentally friendly with adaptive access and can afford
the payments and have the credit. I want land to put it on. I
want my fiancé to marry and assist each other with
better lives and to be together. I want healthcare. I want
help and Justice and that is it. May I please have it? Did
not I earn it? Is it not a right as an American Citizen at
least if not disabled veteran? I have disability papers
saying I earned it at least in part of that for which I am
[DN 1 at 2.] Hobson further asserts that his “[d]octor
at the VA murdered that heartless bastard that could deal
with this and then just left me to die all over again and
nobody cares and nobody will do their job and do anything
about it.” [Id.] Additionally, Hobson alleges
[c]urrent VAMC travel is running at about 50% accuracy, my
appointments are not showing up even when the people supposed
to help with appointments are looking for them, medications
are running at about 75% kept refilled on standing
prescriptions, I got sent the wrong eye glasses, I have a
vender [sic] calling me complaining because the VA will not
pay him for my appointments but they do for everyone
else's, and the central pharmacy is sending me worthless