United States District Court, E.D. Wisconsin
Stadtmueller, U.S. District Judge.
filed a pro se complaint for alleged retaliation and
wrongful termination from her employment. (Docket #1). On
June 24, 2019, the Court denied Plaintiff's motion for
leave to proceed in forma pauperis because it lacked
essential information necessary to determine if she qualified
for that benefit. (Docket #3). The Court ordered Plaintiff to
submit an amended motion by July 15, 2019. However, on July
1, 2019, the Court received a letter from Plaintiff including
the information the Court had requested. (Docket #5). Though
this does not quite comply with what the Court instructed
Plaintiff to do, the Court will nevertheless consider the
letter as Plaintiff's response to the Court's June 24
order. Upon review of Plaintiff's motion and her letter,
the Court finds that Plaintiff may indeed proceed in
forma pauperis. It will, therefore, reverse the denial
of her motion. (Docket #2).
the payment of any filing fee, however, when a plaintiff asks
leave to proceed in forma pauperis, the Court must
screen the complaint and dismiss it or any portion thereof if
it has raised 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. §
1915(e)(2)(B). A claim is legally frivolous when it lacks an
arguable basis either in law or in fact. Denton v.
Hernandez, 504 U.S. 25, 31 (1992); Hutchinson ex
rel. Baker v. Spink, 126 F.3d 895, 900 (7th Cir. 1997).
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.
state a cognizable claim under the federal notice pleading
system, a plaintiff is required to provide a “short and
plain statement of the claim showing that [she] is entitled
to relief[.]” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). It is not necessary
to plead specific facts; rather, the plaintiff's
statement need only “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)). However, a complaint that offers
“labels and conclusions” or “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). To state
a claim, 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
alleges that Defendants violated her rights under Title VII
of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e
(“Title VII”). Title VII protects against
workplace discrimination on the basis of one's race,
color, gender, sex, religion, or national origin. Plaintiff
does not clearly identify which of the classes she belongs
to. Instead, she says that she engaged in some unspecified
“protected activities.” See (Docket #1-1
at 1). Plaintiff claims that Defendants learned of these
“protected activities, ” and based upon them, did
various things to make Plaintiff's work more onerous, and
eventually fired her. Id. at 1-3.
may not proceed on her complaint as it is currently
presented. First, she sues many defendants who cannot be
liable under Title VII. The only proper defendant is
Packaging Corporation of America. Plaintiff's individual
supervisors cannot be sued under Title VII. Sattar v.
Motorola, Inc., 138 F.3d 1164, 1168 (7th Cir. 1998).
Second, her vague assertions of engaging in “protected
activity” do not bring her within the protections of
Title VII. Plaintiff must clearly explain what protected
class she falls within, what negative employment actions she
suffered, and how those actions were directly connected to
her membership in a protected class. In other words, merely
being targeted with negative employment actions does not
create a viable Title VII claim. Rather, the claim arises
when the actions are based on impermissible motivations, such
as an employee's race or gender.
Court will afford Plaintiff an opportunity to amend her
complaint to cure the deficiencies described in this Order.
If she wishes to proceed, she must file an amended complaint
on or before August 2, 2019. Failure to file
an amended complaint within this time period will result in
dismissal of this action. Civ. L. R. 41(c).
amended complaint must bear the docket number assigned to
this case and must be labeled “Amended
Complaint.” The amended complaint supersedes the prior
complaint and must be complete in itself without reference to
the original complaint. See Duda v. Bd. of Educ. of
Franklin Park Pub. Sch. Dist. No. 84, 133 F.3d 1054,
1056-57 (7th Cir. 1998). In Duda, the Court of
Appeals emphasized that in such instances, the “prior
pleading is in effect withdrawn as to all matters not
restated in the amended pleading[.]” Id. at
1057 (citation omitted). If an amended complaint is received,
the Court will screen it pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
IT IS ORDERED that the Court's denial of
Plaintiff's motion to proceed in forma pauperis
(Docket #3) be and the same is hereby
VACATED and the motion (Docket #2) be and
the same is hereby GRANTED; and
IS FURTHER ORDERED that Plaintiff shall file an
amended complaint in accordance with the terms of this Order
on or before August 2, 2019, or this action
will be ...