United States District Court, D. New Hampshire
Jerome L. Grimes
Southern New Hampshire University
L. Grimes, pro se.
SUPERSEDING REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
K. Johnstone United States Magistrate Judge.
Superseding Report and Recommendation replaces the August 11,
2017 Report and Recommendation (Doc. No. 6) ("August 11
R&R"), which this court has withdrawn in an Order
issued on this date.
Jerome L. Grimes has filed a Complaint (Doc. No. 1) and an
Amended Complaint (Doc. No. 8), which are before this court
for preliminary review, pursuant to LR 4.3(d) and 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915(e)(2). Grimes also filed a "Reply Objection
to Report and Recommendation" (Doc. No. 7) after the
court issued the August 11 R&R (Doc. No. 6) vacated this
date. The court has considered the factual assertions in
Document No. 7, along with those in the complaint (Doc. No.
1) and amended complaint (Doc. No. 8) in conducting this
preliminary review. Also before the court are Grimes's
requests for a preliminary injunction, set forth in the
complaint (Doc. No. 1) and amended complaint (Doc. No. 8) .
pleadings (Doc. Nos. 1, 7, 8) allege that Grimes has enrolled
in a 30-month online sports management graduate program at
Southern New Hampshire University ("SNHU"). Grimes
applied for and obtained financial aid in the form of a loan,
guaranteed by the U.S. Department of Education, to pay
tuition for courses in that program.
asserts he enrolled in an online sports management field
methods course at SNHU, which was scheduled to run from April
2017 through June 2017. SNHU accepted a disbursement of
Grimes's federally-insured student loan to pay for that
course. Grimes could not complete the course and received a
failing grade in June 2017. Sometime after June 26, 2017,
Grimes received notice that the "F" he received had
been withdrawn by the professor. See Doc. No. 7, at
asserts that on June 14, 2017, SNHU financial aid office
staff members, agents, student advisors, and coconspirators,
in Grimes's view, inspired by a "hidden agenda,
" effectively "blacklisted" or
"discriminat[ed]" against Grimes, by preventing him
from accessing federally insured student loan funds to pay
for future courses at SNHU. Grimes alleges that SNHU's
alleged discriminatory conduct has violated Titles III, IV,
and IX and other federal laws. Grimes seeks preliminary
injunctions granting him access to student loan funds at
SNHU, and an order firing unnamed "state actors"
from remaining in the employ of schools or universities that
receive federal funds.
magistrate judge conducts a preliminary review of pleadings
like Grimes's, which are filed in forma pauperis.
See LR 4.3(d). The magistrate judge may recommend to
the district judge that one or more claims be dismissed if,
among other things, the court lacks jurisdiction, a defendant
is immune from the relief sought, or the complaint fails to
state a claim upon which relief may be granted. See
28 U.S.C. § 1915(e) (2); LR 4.3(d). In conducting its
preliminary review, the court construes pro se complaints
liberally. See Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94
(2007) (per curiam). The complaint must contain
"sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to
'state a claim to relief.'" Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (citation omitted).
of legal conclusions, Grimes's bald assertions of
discrimination under Titles III, IV, and IX, and other laws
are not actionable as they fail to assert sufficient facts to
state any claim upon which relief might be granted.
Grimes's claims of discrimination under Titles III, IV,
and IX are conclusory and do not allege facts to show that
Grimes was treated differently than any similarly-situated
individuals on the basis of sex, race, disability, or any
has also failed to state claims based on 42 U.S.C. §
1983 and the Sixth and Fourteenth Amendments. SNHU is a
private university. Given the absence of allegations of state
action here, Grimes has not stated actionable claims of
violations of his federal constitutional rights, and 42
U.S.C. § 1983 does not provide Grimes with a remedy.
Cf. Murphy v. Villanova Univ., 547 F.Supp. 512,
517-18 (E.D. Pa. 1982) (private university not liable under
section 1983 as plaintiff failed to show university engaged
in "state action"), aff'd, 707 F.2d
1402 (3d Cir. 1983).