United States District Court, E.D. Wisconsin
MICHAEL F. REESE, Sr., Plaintiff,
MARK DOOLITTLE, et al., Defendants.
ORDER GRANTING PLAINTIFF'S REQUEST TO PROCEED IN
DISTRICT COURT WITHOUT PREPAYING THE FILING FEE
WILLIAM E. DUFFIN U.S. Magistrate Judge
pending before the court is plaintiff Michael F. Reese,
Sr.'s Request to Proceed in District Court without
Prepaying the Filing Fee. Having reviewed Reese's
request, the court concludes that he lacks the financial
resources to prepay the fees and costs associated with this
action. Therefore, Reese's Request to Proceed in District
Court without Prepaying the Filing Fee will be granted.
that determination is only half of the court's inquiry.
Because the court is granting Reese's Request to Proceed
in District Court without Prepaying the Filing Fee, the court
must proceed with the second step of the analysis under 28
U.S.C. § 1915 and determine whether the complaint is
legally sufficient to proceed.
sought to ensure that no citizen would be denied the
opportunity to commence a civil action in any court of the
United States solely due to poverty. Denton v.
Hernandez, 504 U.S. 25, 31 (1992) (quoting Adkins v.
E. I. DuPont de Nemours & Co., 335 U.S. 331, 342
(1948)). However, Congress also recognized that “a
litigant whose filing fees and court costs are assumed by the
public, unlike a paying litigant, lacks an economic incentive
to refrain from filing frivolous, malicious, or repetitive
lawsuits.” Id. (quoting Neitzke v.
Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 324 (1989)). In order to balance
these competing concerns, before the court can allow Reese to
proceed in forma pauperis, the court is obligated to
determine that this case (1) is not frivolous or malicious,
(2) does not fail to state a claim upon which relief may be
granted, and (3) does not seek monetary relief against a
defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. §
1915(e)(2). Thus, although “a pro se complaint, however
inartfully pleaded, must be held to less stringent standards
than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers, ”
Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007) (quoting
Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 106 (1976)), a pro
se complaint must meet these minimal standards before the
court shall grant a plaintiff leave to proceed in forma
is legally frivolous when it lacks an arguable basis either
in law or in fact. Denton, 504 U.S. at 31;
Neitzke, 490 U.S. at 325. Although factual
allegations must be weighed in favor of Reese, that does not
mean that the court is required to accept without question
the truth of Reese's allegations. Denton, 504
U.S. at 32. Thus, a court may dismiss a claim as frivolous if
it is “clearly baseless, ” “fanciful,
” “fantastic, ” “delusional, ”
“irrational, ” “wholly incredible, ”
or “based on an indisputably meritless legal
theory.” Id. at 32-33. A court may not dismiss
a claim as frivolous simply because “the
plaintiff's allegations are unlikely.” Id.
a claim might not be frivolous or malicious but nonetheless
fail to state a claim upon which relief may be granted and
therefore be subject dismissal. In determining whether or not
a complaint is sufficient to state a claim under 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii), the court applies the same
well-established standards applicable to a motion to dismiss
pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6).
DeWalt v. Carter, 224 F.3d 607, 611 (7th Cir. 2000).
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)(2), a complaint must
contain a “short and plain statement of the claim
showing that the pleader is entitled to relief.”
Although the allegations in a complaint need not be detailed,
a complaint “demands more than an unadorned,
the-defendant-unlawfully-harmed-me accusation. A pleading
that offers labels and conclusions or a formulaic recitation
of the elements of a cause of action will not do. Nor does a
complaint suffice if it tenders naked assertions devoid of
further factual enhancement.” Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (internal quotation
marks, citation, and brackets omitted). The complaint must be
sufficiently detailed “to give the defendant 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)) (quotation marks and ellipses omitted).
complaint contains well-pleaded, non-frivolous factual
allegations, the court should assume the veracity of those
allegations and “then determine whether they plausibly
give rise to an entitlement to relief.” Iqbal,
556 U.S. at 679. “Determining whether a complaint
states a plausible claim for relief will . . . be a
context-specific task that requires the reviewing court to
draw on its judicial experience and common sense.”
the standards set forth in 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2) in
mind, the court turns to the allegations raised in
Reese's complaint. Reese alleges Krones Inc., by and
through Mark Doolittle and John Barker, violated the American
with Disabilities Act of 1990 by failing to make reasonable
accommodations for a known physical limitation from which
Reese suffered. (See generally ECF No. 1.)
Specifically, Reese alleges that in the spring of 2015 he
tore his peroneal brevis and longus tendons in his right
ankle, causing him to be able to “barely walk on [his]
right foot.” (ECF No. 1, at 7.) Reese then made two
accommodating requests to Mark Doolittle, which Doolittle
denied. (ECF No. 1, at 7-9.)
construing Reese's complaint, as the court must all
pleadings of non-attorneys, the court construes Reese's
complaint as alleging that Krones Inc., by and through Mark
Doolittle and John Barker, did not make “reasonable
accommodations” for Reese's known physical
limitations. See 42 U.S.C. § 12112(b)(5).
Construed in this manner, the court finds the complaint
satisfies the low standard necessary to proceed under 28
U.S.C. § 1915.
IS THEREFORE ORDERED that Reese's Request to
Proceed in District Court without Prepaying the Filing Fee
(ECF No. 2) is granted.
IS FURTHER ORDERED that, pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915(d) and Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 4(c)(2),
the U.S. Marshals Service shall serve a copy of the
complaint, a waiver of service form and/or the summons, and
this order upon defendants. Even though
Reese has been permitted to proceed in forma pauperis in this
case, Reese is still responsible for the cost of serving the
complaint on the defendants. Reese is advised that Congress
requires the Marshals Service to charge for making or
attempting to make such service. 28 U.S.C. § 1921(b).
The current fee for waiver-of-service packages is $8 per
item. The full fee schedule is provided in Revision to United
States Marshals Service Fees for Services. 28 C.F.R. §
IS FURTHER ORDERED that the all of Reese's
filings with the court shall be mailed to the following
Office of the Clerk United States District Court Eastern
District of Wisconsin 362 United States Courthouse 517 E.