United States District Court, E.D. Wisconsin
ORDER GRANTING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR LEAVE TO
PROCEED WITHOUT PREPAYMENT OF THE FILING FEE (DKT. NO. 2),
SCREENING COMPLAINT UNDER 28 U.S.C. §1915A, AND
DISMISSING COMPLAINT FOR FAILURE TO STATE A CLAIM
PAMELA PEPPER, United States District Judge.
James Cortez McCoy, who is confined at the Milwaukee County
Jail, is representing himself. He filed a complaint against
the California Lottery for $200 billion dollars in damages.
Dkt. No. 1. This order resolves the plaintiff's motion
for leave to proceed without prepayment of the filing fee,
screens the plaintiff's complaint and dismisses the
complaint for failure to state a claim.
Application for Leave to Proceed Without Prepaying the Filing
Fee (Dkt. No. 2)
Prison Litigation Reform Act applies to this case because the
plaintiff is incarcerated. 28 U.S.C. §1915. The law
allows a court to give an incarcerated plaintiff the ability
to proceed with his lawsuit without pre-paying the civil
case-filing fee, as long as he meets certain conditions.
Id. One of those conditions is a requirement that
the plaintiff pay an initial partial filing fee. 28 U.S.C.
§1915(b). Once the plaintiff pays the initial partial
filing fee, the court may allow the plaintiff to pay the
balance of the $350 filing fee over time, through deductions
from his prisoner account. Id.
October 17, 2017, Magistrate Judge David E. Jones issued an
order directing the plaintiff to pay an initial partial
filing fee of $21.67 by November 7, 2017. Dkt. No. 5. On
October 25, 2017, the plaintiff paid an initial partial
filing fee of $22.00.
case was reassigned to this court on October 24, 2017. The
court will grant the plaintiff's motion for leave to
proceed without prepayment of the filling fee, and will allow
him to pay the filing fee over time from his prisoner
account, as described at the end of this order.
Screening of Plaintiff's Complaint
Standard for Screening Complaints
Prison Litigation Reform Act requires federal courts to
screen complaints brought by prisoners seeking relief against
a governmental entity, or officer or employee of a
governmental entity. 28 U.S.C. §1915A(a). A court may
dismiss a case, or part of it, if the claims alleged are
“frivolous, malicious, ” fail to state a claim
upon which relief may be granted, or seek monetary relief
from a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C.
state a claim under the federal notice pleading system, a
plaintiff must provide a “short and plain statement of
the claim showing that [he] is entitled to relief[.]”
Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). The complaint need not plead specific
facts, and need only provide “fair notice of what the .
. . claim is and the grounds upon which it rests.”
Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)
(quoting Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 47 (1957)).
“Labels and conclusions” or a “formulaic
recitation of the elements of a cause of action” will
not do. Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009)
(quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555).
factual content of a complaint must allow a court to
“draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is
liable for the misconduct alleged.” Id.
Indeed, allegations must “raise a right to relief above
the speculative level.” Twombly, 550 U.S. at
555. Factual allegations, when accepted as true, must state a
claim that is “plausible on its face.”
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678.
courts follow the two-step analysis in Twombly to
determine whether a complaint states a claim. Id. at
679. First, a court determines whether the plaintiff's
legal conclusions are supported by factual allegations.
Id. Legal conclusions not supported by facts
“are not entitled to the assumption of truth.”
Id. Second, a court determines whether the
well-pleaded factual allegations “plausibly give rise
to an entitlement to relief.” Id.
Facts Alleged in the Complaint
plaintiff alleges that on July 13, 2015, he bought a winning
Powerball lottery ticket in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Dkt. No. 1
at 2, 3. He submitted his claim on April 22, 2017.
Id. at 2. On July 20, 2017, the plaintiff received a
letter stating that “they can't pay out on ...