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Harris v. Kinseth Hospitality Home 2 Suites

United States District Court, E.D. Wisconsin

September 23, 2019

MARILYN LOUISE HARRIS, Plaintiff,
v.
KINSETH HOSPITALITY HOME 2 SUITES, Defendant.

          ORDER GRANTING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO PROCEED WITHOUT PREPAYING THE FILING FEE (DKT. NO. 2), DENYING WITHOUT PREJUDICE PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO APPOINT COUNSEL (DKT. NO. 3) AND ORDERING THE PLAINTIFF TO FILE AN AMENDED COMPLAINT

          HON. PAMELA PEPPER, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         On October 26, 2018, the plaintiff (who is representing herself) filed a complaint against Kinseth Hospitality Home 2 Suites, dkt. no. 1, a motion to proceed without prepaying the filing fee, dkt. no. 2, and a motion to appoint counsel, dkt. no. 3. This is not the plaintiff's first trip to this court; representing herself, she filed two cases in 2017, alleging that staff at a hotel and staff at the Milwaukee Career College had harassed her. Harris v. Four Points Sheraton Hotel, No. 17-cv-859; Harris v. City of Milwaukee, No. 17-cv-1003. The court dismissed both cases for failure to state a claim. The complaint in this case does not state a claim, but the court will give the plaintiff the opportunity to amend her complaint.

         I. Motion to Proceed Without Prepaying the Filing Fee (Dkt. No. 2)

         The court may allow someone to proceed without prepaying the filing fee if two conditions are met: (1) the person shows that she is unable to pay the filing fee and (2) the case is not frivolous nor malicious, does not fail to state a claim on which relief may be granted, and does not seek monetary relief against a defendant that is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. §§1915(a) and (e)(2).

         A. Ability to Pay the Filing Fee

         The plaintiff's request states that she is employed, single and has two sons-ages fifteen and twelve-to whom she provides financial support of $200 per month each, for a total of $400. Dkt. No. 2 at 1. (In the “Other Circumstances” section later in the form, the plaintiff lists their ages as fourteen and eleven, and says that she sent them away to their father in September 2018. Id. at 4.) She reports that she receives $800 in total monthly wages and salary, and that she receives $890 from “Unemployment.” Id. at 2. She says her monthly expenses total $500, id. at 3, but this number does not match her listed individual expenses: $400/month for her children, $200/month for rent, and $100/month for other household expenses, id. at 2, for a total of $700. She does not list utilities, insurance, clothing or other expenses. She owns 2004 Chevy Impala valued at $2, 000. Id. at 3. She does not own a home and does not have any cash, checking or savings accounts. Id. Under “other circumstances, ” she explains that she had to send her children to stay with their father because she had become “homeless and depressed” due to her unemployment. Id. at 4.

         The court concludes that the plaintiff does not have the ability to pay the $400 civil filing fee.

         B. Screening

         The court next must decide whether the claims in the complaint are legally “frivolous or malicious, ” fail to state a claim for which a federal court may grant relief or seek monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. §1915A(b). To state a claim under the federal notice pleading system, a plaintiff must provide a “short and plain statement of the claim” showing that she is entitled to relief. Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). A plaintiff does not need to plead every fact supporting her claims; she needs only to give the defendant fair notice of the claim 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). 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's allegations “must be enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative level.” Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555 (citation omitted).

         Because the plaintiff represents herself, the court must liberally construe the allegations of the complaint. Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007).

         1. Facts Alleged the Complaint

         The complaint alleges that Kinseth Hospitality “or” Home 2 Suites “violated [her] rights” when they “fired [her] with untrue information.” Dkt. No. 1 at 2. The plaintiff “swear[s] under oath” that she “did not consume any alcohol on 6-20-2018.” Id. She also “swear[s] under oath” that “from day one, ” she was “harassed[, ] treated unfairly[, ] passed up for promotions and raises [she] rightfully earned.” Id. She says that she was “met up with Janelle and Rose” telling her that she “had to work fast” because she “would have the Echeck in Rms.” Id.

         The plaintiff says that the “environment was hostile and everyone would leave [her] back at the hotel.” Id. at 2-3. She asserts that “everyone would be able to help each other Just not [her].” Id. at 3. The plaintiff alleges that “workloads” were purposely “piled up” on her, and that she was “constantly harassed by [the defendants'] maintenance guy Harris.” Id.

         The plaintiff contends that in the month of October she was accused ...


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