United States District Court, E.D. Wisconsin
ORDER DISMISSING CASE
PAMELA PEPPER, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
October 9, 2018, the plaintiff, representing herself, filed a
complaint naming “Milwaukee Wi Bus Company MCTS”
and “Sam Nash” as defendants. Dkt. No. 1. She
also asked the court to allow her to proceed without
prepaying the $400 filing fee. Dkt. No. 2.
Judge William E. Duffin, to whom the case originally was
assigned, granted the plaintiff's motion to proceed
without prepayment of the filing fee. Dkt. No. 3. In that
same decision, Judge Duffin “screened” the
plaintiff's complaint under 28 U.S.C. §1915.
Id. He noted that the complaint alleged that
defendant Sam Nash “fractured bones in [the
plaintiff's] left leg, steals her prescriptions, and
placed her personal items outside of an unidentified
building.” Dkt. No. 3 at 4 (citing dkt. no. 1 at 2). As
for the Milwaukee County Transit System, the plaintiff had
alleged that it needed to award her ownership, pay her money,
and stop charging her rent, “‘because no one else
pay rental fee in the dwelling.'” Id.
(quoting Dkt. No. 1 at 2). Judge Duffin determined that the
plaintiff's allegations were incoherent, and that under
Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 8(a) they did not give the
defendants fair notice of what it was the plaintiff was
alleging that they had done to harm her. Id. He
recognized that he was obligated to liberally construe the
complaint but concluded that “no amount of latitude
could save [the plaintiff's] claim.” Id.
at 4. He recommended that this court-Judge Pepper-dismiss the
complaint for failure to state a claim. Id. at 5.
Judge Duffin's order advised the plaintiff that she could
file any written objections with the district court within
fourteen days of the date she was served with the order.
Id. at 5.
plaintiff did not file an objection to Judge Duffin's
recommendation. A little over a month after the date Judge
Duffin issued the order, however, the plaintiff filed an
amended complaint. Dkt. No. 4. She did not sign the amended
complaint. The amended complaint names “MCTS,
” “ASKEW, ” “Sherman Baker Known As
Obama-Barack” and “Ray Fulton” as
defendants. Dkt. No. 4 at 1. The amended complaint alleges
that the Milwaukee County Transit System “claim
personal properties thru my social security number and had me
evicted from rooming house . . . because I refused to pay
rent in area where there are no rent properties[.]”
Dkt. No. 4 at 2. It alleges that the plaintiff's court
summons and keys to her closet were stolen-she does not say
by whom. Id. The plaintiff says that on November 13,
2018, she talked to the “Dept of Age” and
“BHDC.” Id. Her amended complaint
concludes, “I need ownership rites of Bus Company and
privacy to be with my husband. I'm four and half months
pregnant. I'm financed by U.S. Social Security, SSI and
Disability. I've been threatened daily.”
Id. at 2-3.
of filing an objection to Judge Duffin's recommendation,
the plaintiff filed an amended complaint. An amended
complaint takes the place of the original complaint. See
Duda v. Bd. Of Educ. Of Franklin Park Public School Dist. No.
84, 133 F.3d 1054, 1957 (7th Cir. 1998). Because the
plaintiff's amended complaint has taken the place of the
original complaint, this court must analyze whether to allow
her to proceed on the amended complaint.
plaintiff is representing herself, the court must
“screen, ” or review, her complaint. The court
must dismiss a complaint if a plaintiff raises 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. §1915A(b).
is legally frivolous when “it lacks an arguable basis
either in law or in fact.” Denton v.
Hernandez, 504 U.S. 25, 31 (1992); Neitzke v.
Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 325 (1989). The court may
dismiss a claim as frivolous where it “is based on an
indisputably meritless legal theory” or where the
“factual contentions are clearly baseless.”
Neitzke, 490 U.S. at 327. “Malicious, ”
although sometimes treated as a synonym for “frivolous,
” “is more usefully construed as intended to
harass.” Lindell v. McCallum, 352 F.3d 1107,
1109-10 (7th Cir. 2003) (citations omitted).
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 must be intelligible; a
court may dismiss an unintelligible complaints for failing to
give the defendants notice of what the plaintiff alleges that
the defendants did . Lindell v. McCallum, 352 F.3d
1107, 1110 (7th Cir. 2003) (citing Davis v. Ruby Foods,
Inc., 269 F.3d 818, 820 (7th Cir. 2001)).
plaintiff does not need to plead every fact supporting her
claims; she needs only 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)). That said, a complaint that offers only
“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). Rather, a
complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as
true, that is plausible on its face.” Id.
(quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570). “A claim
has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual
content that allows the court to draw the reasonable
inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct
alleged.” Id. (citing Twombly, 550
U.S. at 556). The complaint allegations “must be enough
to raise a right to relief above the speculative
level.” Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555 (citation
omitted). However, because the plaintiff represents herself,
the court holds her to less stringent standards and will
liberally construe the allegations of her complaint,
“however inartfully pleaded[.]” Erickson v.
Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007).
amended complaint lists four defendants in its caption. Dkt.
No. 4. Other than listing them in the caption, the plaintiff
does not identify Askew, Sherman Baker or Ray Fulton. She
does not make any allegations that these three people did
anything to her. As for defendant Milwaukee County Transit
System, she alleges that that it claimed personal properties
through her Social Security number and evicted her because
she did not pay rent “in an area where there are no
rent properties.” Id. at 2. It is not clear
how the MCTS- which runs the buses and streetcars in
Milwaukee-could have gotten the plaintiff's Social
Security number. She does not say what property the MCTS
“claimed.” It is not clear how the MCTS could
have “evicted” her, and she does not ...