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Otha Nowlin, Iii v. Allen County Jail

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT NORTHERN DISTRICT OF INDIANA FORT WAYNE DIVISION


September 7, 2012

OTHA NOWLIN, III, PLAINTIFF,
v.
ALLEN COUNTY JAIL, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Judge James T. Moody United States District Court

OPINION and ORDER

Otha Nowlin, III, a pro se prisoner, filed a civil rights complaint. "A document filed pro se is to be liberally construed, and a pro se complaint, however inartfully pleaded, must be held to less stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers." Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007) (quotation marks and citations omitted). Nevertheless, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, the court must review the merits of a prisoner complaint and dismiss it if the action is frivolous or malicious, fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from such relief.

A complaint must contain sufficient factual matter to "state a claim that is plausible on its face." Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007). "A claim has facial plausibility when the pleaded factual content 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 Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556). "Factual allegations must be enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative level, on the assumption that all the allegations in the complaint are true (even if doubtful in fact)." Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555 (quotation marks, citations and footnote omitted). "[W]here the well-pleaded facts do not permit the court to infer more than the mere possibility of misconduct, the complaint has alleged-but it has not shown-that the pleader is entitled to relief." Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 679 (quotation marks and brackets omitted). "In order to state a claim under § 1983 a plaintiff must allege: (1) that defendants deprived him of a federal constitutional right; and (2) that the defendants acted under color of state law." Savory v. Lyons, 469 F.3d 667, 670 (7th Cir. 2006).

Here, Nowlin claims that he is a sovereign citizen. He argues that because he is a sovereign citizen, he is being illegally held in the Allen County Jail by order of a state court judge. He is "suing for illegal detaining and unconstitutional acts . . .." (DE # 1 at 3.) As a result, he is attempting to sue the judge, the sheriff, and the jail commander. These claims are frivolous. "Regardless of an individual's claimed status of descent, be it as a 'sovereign citizen,' a 'secured-party creditor,' or a 'flesh-and-blood human being,' that person is not beyond the jurisdiction of the courts. These theories should be rejected summarily, however they are presented." United States v. Benabe, 654 F.3d 753, 767 (7th 2011).

Though Nowlin also makes reference to numerous conditions at the jail,*fn1 he has not provided an adequate factual basis to plausibly state a claim against any of these defendants. "[A] plaintiff must do better than putting a few words on paper that, in the hands of an imaginative reader, might suggest that something has happened to her that might be redressed by the law." Swanson v. Citibank, N.A., 614 F.3d 400, 403 (7th Cir. 2010) (emphasis in original). Therefore, this complaint will be dismissed as frivolous.

For the foregoing reasons, this case is DISMISSED pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A because it is frivolous. The clerk shall enter final judgment.

SO ORDERED.

James T. Moody


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