United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Louisville Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Charles R. Simpson III, Senior Judge
Kimberly Freeman, pro se, filed a complaint and
application to proceed without payment of fees (DN 4). On
review, the Court finds that Plaintiff makes the financial
showing required by 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a). Accordingly,
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Plaintiff's
application (DN 4) is GRANTED.
Plaintiff is proceeding in forma pauperis, the Court
must review the complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
1915(e)(2); McGore v. Wrigglesworth, 114 F.3d 601
(6th Cir. 1997), overruled on other grounds by Jones v.
Bock, 549 U.S. 199 (2007). For the following reasons,
the action will be dismissed.
SUMMARY OF CLAIMS
names as Defendants to this action: Little Ceasars 40223
Store 00459; Walmart Neighborhood Market 40229 Store 05183;
and Steak n'Shake 2717 Hurstborne Prky 40220. She states
that the basis for jurisdiction is federal question,
specifically “Retaliation, Harrasment,
Discrimination.” The statement-of-the-claim portion of
the complaint form states: “On receipts while visiting
locations I experienced retaliation, harassment . . . . As a
plaintiff I was retaliated against and this matter has to be
filed in court. This behavior is unacceptable and has brought
legal action upon defendants.” As relief, Plaintiff
requests damages, “relief of retaliation, ” and
the “right to visit” Kentucky businesses
“without being harassed by phone in home or in
review under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2), this Court must
dismiss a case at any time if the Court determines that the
action is “frivolous or 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. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B). A claim is legally
frivolous when it lacks an arguable basis either in law or in
fact. Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 325 (1989).
The Court may, therefore, dismiss a claim as frivolous where
it is based on an indisputably meritless legal theory or
where the factual contentions are clearly baseless.
Id. at 327.
determining whether a plaintiff has stated a claim upon which
relief can be granted, the Court must construe the complaint
in a light most favorable to the plaintiff and accept all of
the factual allegations as true. Prater v. City of
Burnside, Ky., 289 F.3d 417, 424 (6th Cir. 2002). A
complaint, or portion thereof, should be dismissed for
failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted
“only if it appears beyond a doubt that the plaintiff
can prove no set of facts in support of [her] claim that
would entitle [her] to relief.” Brown v.
Bargery, 207 F.3d 863, 867 (6th Cir. 2000). While a
reviewing court must liberally construe pro se
pleadings, Boag v. MacDougall, 454 U.S. 364, 365
(1982) (per curiam), to avoid dismissal, a complaint must
include “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).
Plaintiff is trying to bring claims against three different
businesses. Under Federal of Civil Procedure 20(a)(2),
persons may be joined in one action as defendants if:
“(A) any right to relief is asserted against them
jointly, severally, or in the alternative with respect to or
arising out of the same transaction, occurrence, or series of
transactions or occurrences; and (B) any question of law or
fact common to all defendants will arise in the
action.” Fed. R. Civ.
20(a)(2). “[P]laintiffs . . . do not have free reign to
join multiple claims and defendants in any manner they
choose.” Proctor v. Applegate, 661 F.Supp.2d
743, 780 (E.D. Mich. 2009). “‘[T]he policy of
liberal application of Rule 20 is not a license to join
unrelated claims and defendants in one lawsuit.'”
Id. (quoting Boretsky v. Corzine, No.
08-2265 (GEB), 2008 WL 2512916, at *4 (D.N.J. June 23,
Plaintiff's scant claims of retaliation, harassment, and
discrimination at three different businesses does not
evidence that the alleged activity arose out of the same
transaction, occurrence, or series of transactions or
occurrences or involve common questions of law or fact.
Therefore, joinder of Defendants is impermissible under
Court need not consider whether one or more Defendants should
be severed from this action, because the complaint fails to
meet the notice-pleading standard of the Federal Rules of
Civil Procedure. Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)
requires that a complaint contain “a short and plain
statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled
to relief.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). “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.”
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (citing
Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556).
“A pleading that offers ‘labels and
conclusions' or ‘a formulaic recitation of the
elements of a cause of action will not do.' Nor does a
complaint suffice if it tenders ‘naked
assertion[s]' devoid of ‘further factual
enhancement.'” Id. (quoting Bell Atl.
Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555, 557). Conclusory
allegations or bare legal conclusions will not suffice as
factual allegations. Followell v. Mills, 317 F.
App'x 501, 505 (6th Cir. 2009) (“Conclusory
allegations or legal conclusions masquerading as factual
allegations will not suffice.”); Gregory
v. Shelby Cty., Tenn., 220 F.3d 433, 446 (6th Cir.
2000) (“[W]e need not accept as true legal conclusions
or unwarranted factual inferences.”).
instant case, the complaint does not contain sufficient
factual matter that, if accepted as true, states
“‘a claim to relief that is plausible on its
face.'” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678
(quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. at
570). Plaintiff fails to place Defendants on notice as to the
claim(s) against them. Swierkiewicz v. Sorema N.A.,
534 U.S. 506, 512 (2002) (indicating that the short and plain
statement of a claim must “‘give the defendant
fair notice of what the plaintiffs claim is and the grounds
upon which it rests'”) (quoting Conley v.
Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 47 (1957), abrogated on other
grounds by Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544).
The pleadings, therefore, are lacking in sufficient detail to
state a claim against Defendants, and they fail to meet the
basic pleading standard required by Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2).