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Richmond v. State

United States District Court, D. Minnesota

August 22, 2014

COURTNEY RICHMOND, Plaintiff,
v.
STATE OF MINNESOTA; HENNEPIN COUNTY; HENNEPIN COUNTY JAIL; and HENNEPIN COUNTY MEDICAL CENTER, Defendants.

Courtney Richmond, pro se.

REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

TONY N. LEUNG, Magistrate Judge.

This matter is before the undersigned United States Magistrate Judge on Plaintiff Courtney Richmond's application for leave to proceed in forma pauperis ("IFP"). See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(1). Because Richmond's complaint fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted, this Court recommends that Richmond's IFP application be denied and this case be dismissed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii).

In reviewing whether a complaint states a claim on which relief may be granted, this Court must accept as true all of the factual allegations in the complaint and draw all reasonable inferences in the plaintiff's favor. Aten v. Scottsdale Ins. Co., 511 F.3d 818, 820 (8th Cir. 2008). Although the factual allegations in the complaint need not be detailed, they must be sufficient to "raise a right to relief above the speculative level...." Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007). The complaint must "state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face." Id. at 570. In assessing the sufficiency of the complaint, the court may disregard legal conclusions that are couched as factual allegations. See Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662 (2009). Pro se complaints are to be construed liberally, but they still must allege sufficient facts to support the claims advanced. See Stone v. Harry, 364 F.3d 912, 914 (8th Cir. 2004).

Richmond's Complaint is largely unintelligible. That said, it appears that Richmond's allegations stem from a 2003 lawsuit brought against the City of Brooklyn Center and three Brooklyn Center police officers. In that lawsuit, Richmond alleged that the police officers conducted a strip search and body-cavity search in violation of his Fourth Amendment rights. A jury returned a verdict in favor of Richmond on the question of whether the strip search was unreasonable, but the Eighth Circuit found that the officer who performed the search was entitled to qualified immunity. See Richmond v. City of Brooklyn Center, 490 F.3d 1002 (8th Cir. 2007).

Richmond alleges that the defendants in this case - the State of Minnesota, Hennepin County, the Hennepin County Jail, and Hennepin County Medical Center - somehow concealed facts about his previous case. This Court, however, cannot tell from the Complaint in what way Richmond claims that each defendant harmed him. For example, it is unclear from the Complaint what facts were allegedly concealed by any of the defendants, or how any of the defendants went about concealing those facts. Moreover, Richmond has not presented his allegations in complete and coherent sentences, making it is almost impossible to ascertain what exactly he is attempting to allege. The defendants that Richmond seeks to sue are entitled to reasonable notice of the claims against them; his Complaint does not provide that reasonable notice.

Accordingly, this Court concludes that, even with the liberal construction that is required in pro se cases, Richmond's Complaint fails to state a claim on which relief can be granted. Because Richmond's Complaint fails to state an actionable claim for relief, his IFP application should be denied, and this case should be summarily dismissed under § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii).

RECOMMENDATION

Based on the foregoing, and on all of the files, records, and proceedings herein, IT IS HEREBY RECOMMENDED that:

1. Plaintiff Courtney Richmond's application to proceed in forma pauperis [ECF No. 2] be DENIED.
2. The Complaint [ECF No. 1] be SUMMARILY DISMISSED pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii).

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