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Weedman v. Johnson

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

April 29, 2019

CHARLES WEEDMAN, JR. Plaintiff,
v.
M. JOHNSON, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          DAVID J. HALE, JUDGE

         Plaintiff Charles Weedman, Jr., initiated this pro se civil rights action against Bullitt County Police Officer M. Johnson. Because Plaintiff's claims were related to an ongoing state-court criminal proceeding, the Court entered an Order staying the action pending the resolution of the state-court case. Plaintiff has now filed a letter in which he indicates that “all the charges were dropped on me” and asks “this Honorable Court to make a ruling on this case since it is over an done” (Docket No. 25). He attaches to the filing the Bullitt Circuit Court's Order of dismissal without prejudice of the criminal case against him (DN 25-1). The Court construes Plaintiff's letter as a motion to lift the stay in this action, and IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that this motion (DN 25) is GRANTED.

         The Court will now screen Plaintiff's complaint and amended complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A.

         I.

         In the complaint, Plaintiff alleges that Defendant Johnson violated his constitutional rights on October 21, 2017, by failing to ask Plaintiff for permission to search the car he was driving and by failing to “read my rights to me.” Plaintiff indicates that he was arrested after the officer found “a small amount of meth and pot hide in the car witch was not mine.”

         Plaintiff has also filed an amended complaint in which he claims that Defendant Johnson:

gave false information to get me indicted such as me knowing the car I was driving had expired tags on no insurance . . . an I did not know the tags were out this was not my care . . . the officer also said the car was mine it is in Cory Snell's name I was only borrowing it to take his kids my grandkids back to there foster parents . . . The officer said the drugs were found on me. This is not true . . . .

         The records provided by Plaintiff from his state-court criminal proceedings indicate that, in December 2017, Plaintiff was indicted by a Bullitt County grand jury for operating a motor vehicle with “no/expired” tags; no motor vehicle insurance; illegal possession of a controlled substance in the first degree (methamphetamine); illegal possession of a controlled substance (marijuana); and illegal use or possession of drug paraphernalia. (DN 7-1, pp. 6-8). However, as stated above, the criminal charges have been dismissed.

         In neither the complaint nor the amended complaint does Plaintiff indicate in what capacity he sues Defendant Johnson.

         II.

         Because Plaintiff is proceeding in forma pauperis, the Court must review this action under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2). On review, a district court must dismiss a case at any time if it 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).

         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)).

         Although courts are to hold pro se pleadings “to less stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers, ” Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519 (1972), this duty to be less stringent “does not require us to conjure up unpled allegations, ” McDonald v. Hall, 610 F.2d 16, 19 (1st Cir. 1979), or to create a claim for a plaintiff. Clark v. Nat'l Travelers Life Ins. Co., 518 F.2d 1167, 1169 (6th Cir. 1975). To command otherwise would require courts “to explore exhaustively all potential claims of a pro se plaintiff, [and] would also transform the district court from its legitimate advisory role to the improper ...


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