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Williams v. Glass

United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Louisville Division

September 25, 2018

HAROLD GLASS et al., Defendants.


          David J. Hale, Judge

         Plaintiff Clifton C. Williams IV filed the instant pro se action.[1] This matter is now before the Court on initial review of the complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e) and McGore v. Wrigglesworth, 114 F.3d 601 (6th Cir. 1997), overruled on other grounds by Jones v. Bock, 549 U.S. 199 (2007). Upon initial screening of the complaint, the instant action will be dismissed for the reasons that follow.


         Plaintiff filed his complaint on the Court-approved complaint form for filing a civil case. Plaintiff names the following two Defendants: Harold Glass, the “Owner/Manager” of Stormy Realty; and the “Jefferson County Sheriffs” identifying the job or title “Compliance Officer (eviction).” Where the complaint form asks the filer to state the basis for this Court's jurisdiction, Plaintiff checked the box for federal-question jurisdiction. In the portion of the form where the filer is to list the specific federal statutes or constitutional provisions at issue, Plaintiff states, “That the Defendant did not follow specific procedure for pursuiant to (PTFA) 2009/as well improper consideration for persons with disabilities.” Plaintiff did not check the box for diversity-of-citizenship jurisdiction. However, in the “Amount in Controversy” section of the form, he states, “Said eviction also included, illegal removal of said Plaintiff property (2015 Nissan Versa) household furniture 29, 500 roughly.” As his statement of the claim, Plaintiff states the following:

Said Defendant was informed of a vehicle that was left on the property 2801 Preston Hwy #2 in a back parking area the defendant did not notify any resident of his decision the vehicle to be towed. Then the eviction process was performed, however upon ceasing the property not a notice was delivered by the sheriff's office, the defendant entered the dwelling prior to any representative present from the sheriffs department. No. tresspassing notice was not issued and the plaintiff's personal property was not cordin off or properly labeled by the Jefferson County Sheriffs office and said plaintiff lost signifigantly [sic] most of said possesions.

         In the “Relief” section of the complaint form, Plaintiff states, “Mr. Glass refused to make any accommodations for the plaintiff's mental disabilities. Never notified tenants as to entry into said dwelling and because of this lack of procedure the plaintiff lost all of their personal belongings.”


         Because Plaintiff is proceeding in forma pauperis, this Court must review the instant action. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e); McGore, 114 F.3d at 608-09. Upon review, the Court must dismiss a case at any time if it determines that an 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. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B). This Court recognizes that pro se pleadings are to be held to a less stringent standard than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers. Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519 (1972); Jourdan v. Jabe, 951 F.2d 108, 110 (6th Cir. 1991). However, the duty “does not require us to conjure up unpled allegations.” McDonald v. Hall, 610 F.2d 16, 19 (1st Cir. 1979).

         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 trial 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.

         In order to survive dismissal for failure to state a claim, “a 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 Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). “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. (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556). “[A] district court must (1) view the complaint in the light most favorable to the plaintiff and (2) take all well-pleaded factual allegations as true.” Tackett v. M & G Polymers, USA, LLC, 561 F.3d 478, 488 (6th Cir. 2009) (citing Gunasekera v. Irwin, 551 F.3d 461, 466 (6th Cir. 2009) (citations omitted)). “But the district court need not accept a ‘bare assertion of legal conclusions.'” Tackett, 561 F.3d at 488 (quoting Columbia Natural Res., Inc. v. Tatum, 58 F.3d 1101, 1109 (6th Cir. 1995)).


         A. PTFA

         As the basis for this Court's jurisdiction, Plaintiff points to the PTFA. The Court presumes that Plaintiff is referring to the Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act of 2009. “Congress enacted the PTFA as a temporary measure during the mortgage foreclosure crisis. The PTFA protects tenants who reside in properties that are subject to foreclosure by imposing certain obligations on successors in interest to foreclosed properties.” Mik v. Fed. Home Loan Mortg. Corp., 743 F.3d 149, 157 (6th Cir. 2014). “The PTFA requires successors in interest to provide bona fide tenants with 90 days' notice to vacate and to allow bona fide tenants to occupy the premises until the end of their lease term unless certain conditions are met.” Id.

         Plaintiff fails to allege how the PTFA applies to his claim or that he was evicted because he resided in a property that was subject to foreclosure. In any event, the PTFA expired on December 31, 2014. See Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, Pub. L. No. 111-203, 124 Stat. 1376, 2204 (2010) (setting date of expiration); Maggiore v. Leonard, No. 5:16-cv-340, 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 58039, at *4 (N.D. Ohio May 2, 2016) (citing Fairview Tasman LLC v. Young, No. 15-CV-05493-LHK, 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 5653, at *5 (N.D. Cal. Jan. 18, 2016) (finding that party could not assert claims under PTFA where alleged violations occurred after the Act's expiration)). While Plaintiff does not state the date the ...

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