Searching over 5,500,000 cases.

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Nanney v. Hooks

United States District Court, W.D. North Carolina, Asheville Division

September 12, 2019

ERIC A. HOOKS, Defendant.



         THIS MATTER is before the Court on initial review of Plaintiff's Amended Complaint filed under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, (Doc. No. 12), and on Plaintiff's Motion to Remove $350 Filing Fee, (Doc. No. 15), and Motion to Appoint Counsel, (Doc. No. 16). Plaintiff is proceeding in forma pauperis. See (Doc. No. 8).

         I. BACKGROUND

         The pro se incarcerated Plaintiff filed this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. (Doc. No. 1). The District of Columbia court transferred the matter to this Court due to improper venue. (Doc. No. 3). This Court dismissed the Complaint without prejudice on initial review and ordered Plaintiff to amend. The Amended Complaint is now before the Court for initial review.

         Plaintiff names as the sole Defendant Eric A. Hooks, Secretary of the Department of Public Safety, in his official capacity. The Amended Complaint alleges verbatim:

Erik A. Hooks said he/she was a Respondent as the state of North Carolina Buncombe County Court case # 1:18-cv-273-FDW which was a lie. And then he/she purged and change their name.

(Doc. No. 1 at 4).

         Plaintiff alleges that Defendant Hooks violated § 1983 by depriving Plaintiff of his right to a fair trial. (Doc. No. 1 at 3). He seeks $5 billion in damages.


         Because Plaintiff is a prisoner proceeding in forma pauperis, the Court must review the Amended Complaint to determine whether it is subject to dismissal on the grounds that it is “(i) frivolous or malicious; (ii) fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted; or (iii) seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from such relief.” 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B). In its frivolity review, the Court must determine whether the Amended Complaint raises an indisputably meritless legal theory or is founded upon clearly baseless factual contentions, such as fantastic or delusional scenarios. Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 327-28 (1989). A complaint should not be dismissed for failure to state a claim “unless ‘after accepting all well-pleaded allegations in the plaintiff's complaint as true and drawing all reasonable factual inferences from those facts in the plaintiff's favor, it appears certain that the plaintiff cannot prove any set of facts in support of his claim entitling him to relief.'” Veney v. Wyche, 293 F.3d 726, 730 (4th Cir. 2002) (quoting Edwards v. City of Goldsboro, 178 F.3d 231, 244 (4th Cir. 1999)).

         A pro se complaint must be construed liberally. Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520 (1972); see also Smith v. Smith, 589 F.3d 736, 738 (4th Cir. 2009) (“Liberal construction of the pleadings is particularly appropriate where … there is a pro se complaint raising civil rights issues.”). However, the liberal construction requirement will not permit a district court to ignore a clear failure to allege facts in his complaint which set forth a claim that is cognizable under federal law. Weller v. Dep't of Soc. Servs., 901 F.2d 387 (4th Cir. 1990). A pro se complaint must still contain sufficient facts “to raise a right to relief above the speculative level” and “state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.” Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555, 570 (2007); see Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662 (2009) (the Twombly plausibility standard applies to all federal civil complaints including those filed under § 1983). This “plausibility standard requires a plaintiff to demonstrate more than a sheer possibility that a defendant has acted unlawfully.” Francis v. Giacomelli, 588 F.3d 186, 193 (4th Cir. 2009) (internal quotation marks omitted). He must articulate facts that, when accepted as true, demonstrate he has stated a claim entitling him to relief. Id.

         “Section 1983 imposes liability on state actors who cause the deprivation of any rights, privileges or immunities secured by the Constitution.” Loftus v. Bobzien, 848 F.3d 278, 284 (4thCir. 2017) (quoting Doe v. Rosa, 795 F.3d 429, 436 (4th Cir. 2015)). To state a claim under § 1983, a plaintiff must allege that the defendant, acting under the color of law, violated her federal constitutional or statutory rights and thereby caused injury. Crosby v. City of Gastonia, 635 F.3d 634, 639 (4th Cir. 2011).

         The Eleventh Amendment provides that “[t]he Judicial power of the United States shall not be construed to extend to any suit in law or equity, commenced or prosecuted against one of the United States by Citizens of Another State, or by Citizens of any Foreign State.” U.S. Const. Amend. 11. Thus, § 1983 suits against a state, its agencies, and its officials sued in their official capacities for damages are barred absent a waiver by the State or a valid congressional override. Kentucky v. Graham, 473 U.S. 159, 169 (1985).

         III. ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.