United States District Court, W.D. Virginia, Charlottesville Division
GLEN E. CONRAD SENIOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Wimer, proceeding pro se, commenced this action by filing a
form complaint and a motion for injunctive relief against the
General District Court of Culpeper County, the Circuit Court
of Culpeper County, the Court of Appeals of Virginia, and
three individual defendants, Susan Whitlock, Dale Durrer, and
Cynthia McCoy. The plaintiff has not paid the filing fee but
will be granted leave to proceed in forma pauperis
for purposes of initial review of his complaint. For the
following reasons, the court concludes that the case must be
dismissed for failure to state a claim, pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
following facts are taken from the complaint, the
accompanying motion for injunctive relief, and public records
of state court proceedings related to the case. See
Philips v. Pitt Cty. Mem. Hosp., 572 F.3d 176, 180 (4th
Cir. 2009) (noting that courts "may properly take
judicial notice of matters of public record" when
reviewing a complaint).
to the written submissions, Wimer has a learning disability
that affects his ability to read and write. In December of
2016, Wimer was cited in Culpeper County for failing to have
his vehicle inspected and for driving without a seatbelt. He
received two summonses to appear in General District Court on
the alleged traffic violations. Wimer immediately went to the
courthouse and requested accommodations under the Americans
with Disabilities Act ("ADA"). Wimer alleges that
former General District Court Judge Dale Durrer denied his
request based on "outdated" ADA policies and
standards. Mot. for Inj. Relief 1, Dkt. No. 2-1. Wimer was
ultimately convicted of both traffic offenses.
appealed to the Circuit Court of Culpeper County, where he
appeared before Judge Susan Whitlock. Wimer claims that Judge
Whitlock responded in a defensive and aggressive manner when
he inquired about accommodations under the ADA, and that she
"refuse[d] to comply" with the statute. IcL at 2.
Wimer proceeded to trial in April of 2018, at which time he
was found guilty of both traffic offenses.
Wimer returned to the Circuit Court to file an appeal to the
Court of Appeals of Virginia, an employee named Tom Buckley
assisted him in completing the necessary forms. Wimer then
spoke to an individual with the last name of Shelton at the
Court of Appeals. Shelton suggested that Wimer contact Renee
Fleming Mills, who serves as the ADA "coordinator"
for the state judicial system, hi However, Wimer declined to
do so since that was "not [Wimer's] job."
Id. Records from the Court of Appeals of Virginia
indicate that Wimer's appeal was dismissed on October 11,
January 7, 2019, Wimer filed the instant action against Judge
Whitlock; Judge Durrer; Cynthia McCoy, the Clerk of the Court
of Appeals; and all three state courts. In his form
complaint, Wimer indicates that the action is brought under
the ADA. Wimer directs the court to "see [the]
attached" document in response to being asked to state
what relief he is seeking. Compl. 5, Dkt. No. 2. In the
attached "motion for injunctive relief," Wimer
indicates that Tom Buckley can confirm that the Circuit Court
does not have a policy regarding reading and writing
accommodations, and that it has failed to comply with the
ADA. Mot. for Inj. Relief 3.
28 U.S.C. § 1915(e), which governs in forma
pauperis proceedings, the court has a mandatory duty to
screen initial filings. Eriline Co. S.A. v. Johnson,
440 F.3d 648, 656-57 (4th Cir. 2006). The court must dismiss
a case "at any time" if the court determines that
the complaint "fails to state a claim on which relief
may be granted." 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii).
standards for reviewing a complaint for dismissal under
§ 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii) are the same as those which apply
when a defendant moves for dismissal under Federal Rule of
Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). De'Lonta v. Angelone.
330 F.3d 630, 633 (4th Cir. 2003). Thus, in reviewing a
complaint under this statute, the court must accept all
well-pleaded factual allegations as true and view the
complaint in the light most favorable to the plaintiff.
Philips, 572 F.3d at 180. To survive dismissal for
failure to state a claim, "a complaint must contain
sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to 'state a
claim for relief that is plausible on its face.'"
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556.U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting
Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570
construed, Wimer's complaint seeks injunctive relief
under Title II of the ADA, which provides that "no
qualified individual with a disability shall, by reason of
such disability, be excluded from participation in or be
denied the benefits of the services, programs, or activities
of a public entity, or be subject to discrimination by any
such entity." [*] 42 U.S.C. § 12132. For the
following reasons, the court concludes that the complaint
fails to state a plausible claim for injunctive relief
against the named defendants.
even assuming that Wimer was subjected to unlawful
discrimination, he has not alleged sufficient facts to
establish that he has standing to seek injunctive relief
under the ADA. Because injunctions regulate future conduct, a
party has standing to sue for injunctive relief only when
there is a "real or immediate threat" that the
party will suffer an injury in the future. City of Los
Angeles v. Lyons, 461 U.S. 95, 111 (1983). Such an
injury must be "imminent." Gratz v.
Bollinger,539 U.S. 244, 284 (2003) ("To seek
forward-looking, injunctive relief, petitioners must show
that they face an imminent threat of future injury.");
Q'Shea v. Littleton, 414 U.S. 488, 495-96 (1974)
("Past exposure to illegal conduct does not in itself
show a present case or controversy regarding injunctive
relief... if unaccompanied by any continuing, present adverse
effects."). "Although imminence is concededly a
somewhat elastic concept, it cannot be stretched beyond its
purpose, which is to ensure that the alleged injury is ...