United States District Court, M.D. North Carolina
MEMORANDUM OPINION, ORDER, AND RECOMMENDATION OF
UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Patrick Auld United States Magistrate Judge
case comes before the Court on Plaintiff's Application to
Proceed In Forma Pauperis (the
“Application”)(Docket Entry 1) filed in
conjunction with his pro se Complaint (Docket Entry 2). For
the reasons that follow, the Court will grant Plaintiff's
instant Application for the limited purpose of recommending
dismissal of this action, under 28 U.S.C. §
1915(e)(2)(B)(ii), for failure to state a claim.
federal in forma pauperis [‘IFP'] statute, first
enacted in 1892 [and now codified at 28 U.S.C. § 1915],
is intended to guarantee that no citizen shall be denied
access to the courts ‘solely because his poverty makes
it impossible for him to pay or secure the costs.'”
Nasim v. Warden, Md. House of Corr., 64 F.3d 951,
953 (4th Cir. 1995) (en banc) (quoting Adkins v. E.I.
DuPont de Nemours & Co., 335 U.S. 331, 342 (1948)).
“Dispensing with filing fees, however, [is] not without
its problems. Parties proceeding under the statute d[o] not
face the same financial constraints as ordinary litigants. In
particular, litigants suing [IFP] d[o] not need to balance
the prospects of successfully obtaining relief against the
administrative costs of bringing suit.” Nagy v.
Federal Med. Ctr. Butner, 376 F.3d 252, 255 (4th Cir.
address this concern, the IFP statute provides, in relevant
part, that “the court shall dismiss the case at any
time if the court determines that the action or appeal fails
to state a claim on which relief may be granted.” 28
U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii). A complaint falls short when
it does not “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) (emphasis added)
(internal citations omitted) (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). This standard
“demands more than an unadorned,
Id. In other words, “the tenet that a court
must accept as true all of the allegations contained in a
complaint is inapplicable to legal conclusions. Threadbare
recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by
mere conclusory statements, do not suffice.”
Id. The Court may also anticipate affirmative
defenses that clearly appear on the face of the complaint.
Nasim, 64 F.3d at 955.
claims under “42 U.S.C. § 1983” for
“[v]iolation of [his] constitutional [r]ights [under]
the 8th [Amendment] Cruel [and] Unusual
Punishment, [and] 14th [A]mendment of [the] U.S.
Constitution section one” (Docket Entry 2 at 3
(internal brackets omitted)), Plaintiff initiated this action
against six defendants: (1) “Mr. Lamont Goins”
(“Defendant Goins”) (id. at 2); (2)
“Elouise Williams” (“Defendant
Williams”) (id.); (3) “Richard Bou[l]den”
(“Defendant Boulden”) (id. at 3); (4) “Gene
Troy” (“Defendant Troy”) (id.); (5)
“State of North [Carolina] Office of Administrative
Hearings” (the “OAH”) (id. at 1); and (6)
“Civil Rights Division Human Relations
Commission” (the “NCHRC”) (id.). The
Complaint states the following as its basis for asserting
claims under Section 1983:
Human relations refuse[d] to [i]nvestigate [Plaintiff's]
Fair Housing complaint . . . . The refusal is based on either
inaccurate information derived from [Plaintiff's]
criminal record in which some offenses [were] dismissed,
expunged by the courts . . . [or] are listed mult[i]ple times
in a feeble attempt to exasperate or make wors[e
Plaintiff's] criminal record . . . .
(Id. at 4.) The Complaint's “Statement of
Claim” states the following in its entirety:
“[h]uman relations refused to investigate
[Plaintiff's] claim of housing discrimination based upon
in[ac]curate reports derived from third party reporting
agencies associated with [E]quifax, [T]ransunion, and
[E]xperian.” (Id. at 5.) The Complaint also
alleges that Plaintiff has “been subjected to housing
discriminati[on] and employment discrimination” (id.),
and further requests “compensat[ion] for  mental
anguish and punitive damages in accordance with federal
law” (id. at 6).
OAH and the NCHRC
initial matter, neither the OAH nor the NCHRC qualify as a
“person” subject to suit under 42 U.S.C. §
1983. In that regard, to state a claim for relief under
Section 1983, Plaintiff must assert “that [he was]
deprived of a right secured by the Constitution or laws of
the United States, and that the alleged deprivation was
committed under color of state law.” American Mfrs.
Mut. Ins. Co. v. Sullivan, 526 U.S. 40, 49-50
to North Carolina law, “[t]he [OAH] is an independent,
quasi-judicial agency under Article III, Sec. 11 of the
Constitution and, in accordance with Article IV, Sec. 3 of
the Constitution, has such judicial powers as may be
reasonably necessary as an incident to the accomplishment of
the purposes for which it was created.” N.C. Gen. Stat.
§ 7A-750. North Carolina law similarly places the NCHRC
under the Civil Rights Division of the OAH. See N.C. Gen.
Stat. § 7A-761.
State is not a person within the meaning of [Section]
1983.” Will v. Michigan Dep't of State
Police, 491 U.S. 58, 64 (1989). As such, states and
state agencies do not constitute “persons”
subject to suit under Section 1983. Id. at 67-71.