Parker v. Smyrna Police Department et al, No. 1:2010cv03104 - Document 3 (N.D. Ga. 2010)

Court Description: ORDER AND OPINION DISMISSING the action WITHOUT PREJUDICE for failure to state a claim on which relief may be granted. Plaintiff's request for leave to proceed in forma pauperis is granted for the purpose of dismissal only. Signed by Judge Timothy C. Batten, Sr. on 10/29/2010. (alc)
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Parker v. Smyrna Police Department et al Doc. 3 I I I IN THE UNITED STATES DI1STRICT COU FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF GEOR ATLANTA DIVI&ION i i MICHAEL EDWARD PARKER, Inmate ID # 058453, Plaintiff, .. CIYIL ACTION NO. 1: 10-cv-031 04-TCB I v. SMYRNA POLICE DEPARTMENT, OFFICERB. THACKER, et aI., Defendants. .. .. PRISONER CIVIL RIGHTS 42:U.S.C. § 1983 I I :: ORDER AND OPIbl0N i Plaintiff Michael Edward Parker, an inmate at the Cobb County Adult Detention Center in Mari etta, Georgia, has submitied this prt se civil rights acti on, seeking rei ief under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The matter is now the Court for an initial screening. F or the purpose ofdismissal only, leave to procet in forma pauperis is I. The Legal Framework A. i 28 U.S.C. § 1915A Review . Title 28 U.S .C. § 1915 A requires a federal to conduct an initial screening ofa prisoner complaint seeking redress from a goyernmental entity, or from an officer or employee of such an entity, to determine whtther the complaint (1) is frivolous, I malicious, or fails to state a claim upon which i may be granted, or (2) seeks , monetary relief from a defendant who is immUlp.e from such relief. A complaiJilt is A072A (Rev.SIS 2) Dockets.Justia.com I frivolous when it "has little or no chance of succdss" - for example, when it appears I "from the face ofthe complaint that the factual I are clearly baseless or that I the legal theories are indisputably meritless." C,rroll v. Gross, 984 F.2d 392, I (11th Cir. 1993) (internal quotations omitted). A Qomplaint fails to state a claim when I it does not include "enough factual matter (taken as true)" to "give the defendant fair notice of what the ... claim is and the grounds ppon which it rests." Bell Atlantic , , Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555-56 (2007) (noting that "[fJactual allegatibns I must be enough to raise a right to relief above thp speculative level," and complaint i "must contain something more ... than ... statqment of facts that merely creates a suspicion [o:t] a legally cognizable right ofactionp. See also Ashcroft v. Iqbal, _ U.S. , 129 S. Ct. 1937, 1951-53 (2009) (holding that Twombly "expounded the pleading - I standard for all civil actions," to wit, conclusory that "amount to nothing I more than a formulaic recitation ofthe elements 9fa constitutional ... claim" are i entitled to be assumed true," and, to escape disrissal, complaint must allege facts sufficient to move claims "across the line from ¢onceivable to plausible") (internal quotations omitted); Oxford Asset Mgmt. v. 297 F.3d 1182, 1187-88 (lith Cir. 2002) (stating that "conclusory allegations, 4nwarranted deductions offacts[,] or I legal conclusions masquerading as facts will prevent dismissal"). I 2 A072A (Rev.SIS 2) B. 42 U.S.C. § 1983 Cause of Action To state a claim for relief under 42 U.S.C.§ 1983, a plaintiff must allege that I a defendant's act or omission under color of itate law deprived him of a right, privilege, or immunity secured by the or laws of the United States. See Hale v. Tallapoosa County, 50 F.3d 1579, 1582 d Ith Cir. 1995). Ifa plaintiff fails to satisfy these pleading requirements or to provife factual allegations supporting a viable cause of action, the claim is subject to See Chappell v. Rich, 340 I F.3d 1279, 1283-84 (lIth Cir. 2003) (affirming district court's dismissal of § 1983 i , ' complaint because plaintiffs' factual allegations 'ere insufficient to support asserted constitutional violation). See also L.S.T. Inc. v. row, 49 F.3d 679,683-84 (11 th Cir. i 1995) (noting that "[i]t is well-established that . . . conclusory allegations are insufficient to state a § 1983 claim for relief'). I II. i The Complaint I Parker alleges that City of Smyrna poli1e officers violated his Fourteenth Amendment equal protection rights when they arrested him, and only him, on ! , December 31, 2009, after a knife fight betwern Parker and two others. Parker acknowledges that the officers took a knife fr<1m his person, but claims that'the officers also took knives from his two alleged 3 A072A (Rev.8/8 2) I Apparently, the officers i believed the alleged assailants' version ofevents,lnot Parker's. (CompI. , IV.) Parker seeks, inter alia, "possible lost wages" resulting frbm his arrest, $172,850 in for unavoidable future character defamation," and:$500,000 in "suffering damages for time spent incarcerated." (Id. , V.) III. Discussion Parker does not allege a false arrest claiml but only that his equal protection rights were violated. However, in general, i I i [t]he Equal Protection Clause ofthe Fourtdenth Amendment commands that no State shall 'deny to any person wi1hin its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws,' which is a direction that all persons similarly situated should be treated alike'! Thus, to establish an equal that the state treated him protection violation a plaintiff ordinarily differently from a similarly situated persof based on a constitutionally ! protected interest. Holloman v. Jacksonville Hous. Auth., No. 06-HlH08, 2007 U.S. App. LEXIS 1940, ! i at *7-8 (lith Cir. Jan. 30. 2007) (citation and irtemal quotations omitted) (citing Jones v. Ray, 279 F.3d 944, 946-47 (lIth Cir. 2061), which states that "[t]o establish an equal protection claim, a [plaintiff] must i that (1) he is simiHrrly I situated with other [persons] who received mote favorable treatment; and (2) his discriminatory treatment was based on some protected interest such as race") (internal quotations omitted). to state an equal protection claim 4 A072A (Rev.a/a 2) I I as a "class of one," a plaintiff must allege that he ip similarly situated to "comparators i i [who are] prima facie identical in all relevant resfects" and that the defendants have I , intentionally treated him differently with no ratiorial basis for doing so. See Campbell v. Rainbow City, Ala., 434 F.3d 1306, 1314 (ldh Cir. 2006). Here, Parker has 'not alleged any fact suggesting that he was treated differently based on a "constitutionally I I protected interest such as race," Jones, 279 F.31d at 947, nor has he alleged facts sufficient to move a possible "class of one" equhl protection claim, Campbell, F.3d at 1314, "across the line from conceivable to plausible," Igbal, 129 S. Ct. at 1951. Therefore, as stated in his complaint, Parker's IV. e1IIal protection claim fails. I Conclusion For the foregoing reasons, this Court finds ihat Parker's complaint fails to state I a claim on which relief may be granted, and it is DISMISSED WITHOUT PREJUDICE. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b)(l). . IT IS SO ORDERED this 29th da ofo4ober, 2010. TIMOTHY C. B{\TTEN, SR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE i 5 A072A (Rev. SIS 2) .