United States District Court, D. Kansas
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER AND ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE
Crow U.S. Senior District Judge
Ray Anthony Miles is hereby required to show good cause, in
writing, to the Honorable Sam A. Crow, United States District
Judge, why this case should not be dismissed due to the
deficiencies in Plaintiff's Complaint that are discussed
herein. Plaintiff is also given the opportunity to file an
amended complaint to cure the deficiencies.
Nature of the Matter before the Court
Plaintiff alleges that the City of Topeka had its attorney
filed a non-wage garnishment against Plaintiff's inmate
banking account for an old fine. Plaintiff alleges that the
state failed to render him a judgment and the city's
garnishment is unlawful. Plaintiff names the State of Kansas
and the City of Topeka as defendants, alleges a violation of
his due process and equal protection rights, and seeks
“all of [his] money that was taken, and money for [his]
time filing suit and mental pain and suffering.” (Doc.
1, at 5.)
Statutory Screening of Prisoner Complaints
Court is required to screen complaints brought by prisoners
seeking relief against a governmental entity or an officer or
an employee of a governmental entity. 28 U.S.C. §
1915A(a). The Court must dismiss a complaint or portion
thereof if a plaintiff has raised claims that are legally
frivolous or malicious, that fail to state a claim upon which
relief may be granted, or that seek monetary relief from a
defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. §
state a claim under § 1983, a plaintiff must allege the
violation of a right secured by the Constitution and laws of
the United States, and must show that the alleged deprivation
was committed by a person acting under color of state
law.” West v. Atkins, 487 U.S. 42, 48 (1988)
(citations omitted); Northington v. Jackson, 973
F.2d 1518, 1523 (10th Cir. 1992). A court liberally construes
a pro se complaint and applies “less stringent
standards than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers.”
Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007). In
addition, the court accepts all well-pleaded allegations in
the complaint as true. Anderson v. Blake, 469 F.3d
910, 913 (10th Cir. 2006). On the other hand, “when the
allegations in a complaint, however true, could not raise a
claim of entitlement to relief, ” dismissal is
appropriate. Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550
U.S. 544, 558 (2007).
se litigant's “conclusory allegations without
supporting factual averments are insufficient to state a
claim upon which relief can be based.” Hall v.
Bellmon, 935 F.2d 1106, 1110 (10th Cir. 1991).
“[A] plaintiff's obligation to provide the
‘grounds' of his ‘entitlement to relief'
requires “more than labels and conclusions, and a
formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of
action.” Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555 (citations
omitted). The complaint's “factual allegations must
be enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative
level” and “to state a claim to relief that is
plausible on its face.” Id. at 555, 570.
Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals has explained “that, to
state a claim in federal court, a complaint must explain what
each defendant did to [the pro se plaintiff]; when
the defendant did it; how the defendant's action harmed
[the plaintiff]; and, what specific legal right the plaintiff
believes the defendant violated.” Nasious v. Two
Unknown B.I.C.E. Agents, 492 F.3d 1158, 1163 (10th Cir.
2007). The court “will not supply additional factual
allegations to round out a plaintiff's complaint or
construct a legal theory on a plaintiff's behalf.”
Whitney v. New Mexico, 113 F.3d 1170, 1173-74 (10th
Cir. 1997) (citation omitted).
Tenth Circuit has pointed out that the Supreme Court's
decisions in Twombly and Erickson gave rise
to a new standard of review for § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii)
dismissals. See Kay v. Bemis, 500 F.3d 1214, 1218
(10th Cir. 2007) (citations omitted); see also Smith v.
United States, 561 F.3d 1090, 1098 (10th Cir. 2009). As
a result, courts “look to the specific allegations in
the complaint to determine whether they plausibly support a
legal claim for relief.” Kay, 500 F.3d at 1218
(citation omitted). Under this new standard, “a
plaintiff must ‘nudge his claims across the line from
conceivable to plausible.'” Smith, 561
F.3d at 1098 (citation omitted). “Plausible” in
this context does not mean “likely to be true, ”
but rather refers “to the scope of the allegations in a
complaint: if they are so general that they encompass a wide
swath of conduct, much of it innocent, ” then the
plaintiff has not “nudged [his] claims across the line
from conceivable to plausible.” Robbins v.
Oklahoma, 519 F.3d 1242, 1247 (10th Cir. 2008) (citing
Twombly, 127 S.Ct. at 1974).
Eleventh Amendment Immunity
names the State of Kansas as a defendant. The State of Kansas
and its agencies are absolutely immune from suits for money
damages under the Eleventh Amendment. The Eleventh Amendment
presents a jurisdictional bar to suits against a state and
“arms of the state” unless the state waives its
immunity. Peterson v. Martinez, 707 F.3d 1197, 1205
(10th Cir. 2013) (quoting Wagoner Cnty. Rural Water Dist.
No. 2 v. Grand River Dam Auth., 577 F.3d 1255, 1258
(10th Cir. 2009)). Therefore, in the absence of some consent,
a suit in which an agent or department of the state is named
as a defendant is “proscribed by the Eleventh
Amendment.” Pennhurst State Sch. & Hosp. v.
Halderman, 465 U.S. 89, 100 (1984). Plaintiff is
directed to show cause why the State of Kansas should not be