United States District Court, E.D. Wisconsin
Stadtmueller U.S. District Judge
October 10, 2019, Plaintiff filed this action pro se
purporting to present a claim under the False Claims Act, 31
U.S.C. § 3729, as a qui tam relator. (Docket
#1). The Court begins by addressing Plaintiff's motion to
proceed in forma pauperis. (Docket #2). In order to
allow a plaintiff to proceed without prepaying the filing
fee, the Court must first decide whether the plaintiff has
the ability to pay the filing fee and, if not, whether the
lawsuit is frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a viable
claim for relief. 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(a),
(e)(2)(B)(I). On the first question, it appears that
Plaintiff has intermittent income and substantial expenses.
She also explains that she has almost no savings, and lives
with her mother to reduce her expenses. Plaintiff's sworn
statements reveal that she would be unable “to provide
h[er]self . . . with the necessities of life” if
required to prepay the $400.00 filing fee in this matter.
Adkins v. E.I. DuPont de Nemours & Co., 335 U.S.
331, 339 (1948); Brewster v. N. Am. Van Lines, Inc.,
461 F.2d 649, 651 (7th Cir. 1972).
notwithstanding the payment of any filing fee, the Court must
dismiss a complaint if it raises claims that are
“frivolous or malicious, ” which 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).
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); Hutchinson ex rel. Baker v. Spink, 126 F.3d
895, 900 (7th Cir. 1997). The court may, therefore, 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)
state a cognizable claim under the federal notice pleading
system, the plaintiff is required to provide a “short
and plain statement of the claim showing that [he] is
entitled to relief[.]” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). It is not
necessary for the plaintiff to plead specific facts and his
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
considering whether a complaint states a claim, courts should
follow the principles set forth in Twombly by first,
“identifying pleadings that, because they are no more
than conclusions, are not entitled to the assumption of
truth.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 679. Legal
conclusions must be supported by factual allegations.
Id. If there are well-pleaded factual allegations,
the court must, second, “assume their veracity and then
determine whether they plausibly give rise to an entitlement
to relief.” Id.
allegations are difficult to decipher, but the Court gathers
that she encountered some problems with Defendants, a
staffing agency and (presumably) a supervisor employed there.
Plaintiff identifies the problem as “not wanting to
participate in providing information that was incorrect and
inaccurate for [a] Rebid for Wisconsin, in 2012.”
(Docket #1-1 at 7). She goes on to state the claim a little
differently: “I was terminated because I question[ed]
inaccurate information that was to be submitted to receive a
Re-Bid Contract in the State of Wisconsin regarding my
resume.” Id. As noted above, Plaintiff wishes
to bring a claim under the False Claims Act as a qui
allegations have nothing to do with the False Claims Act,
makes it unlawful to knowingly (1) present or cause to be
presented to the United States a false or fraudulent claim
for payment or approval, 31 U.S.C. § 3729(a)(1) (2006);
(2) make or use a false record or statement material to a
false or fraudulent claim, § 3729(a)(1)(B); or (3) use a
false record or statement to conceal or decrease an
obligation to pay money to the United States, §
3729(a)(7) (2006). Under the Act, private individuals such as
[Plaintiff], referred to as “relators, ” may file
civil actions known as qui tam actions on behalf of
the United States to recover money that the government paid
as a result of conduct forbidden under the Act. Glaser v.
Wound Care Consultants, Inc., 570 F.3d 907, 912 (7th
Cir. 2009). As an incentive to bring suit, a prevailing
relator may collect a substantial percentage of any funds
recovered for the benefit of the government. Id. To
establish civil liability under the False Claims Act, a
relator generally must prove (1) that the defendant made a
statement in order to receive money from the government; (2)
that the statement was false; and (3) that the defendant knew
the statement was false. E.g., United States ex rel.
Gross v. AIDS Research Alliance-Chicago, 415 F.3d 601,
604 (7th Cir.2005).
United States ex rel. Yannacopoulos v. Gen.
Dynamics, 652 F.3d 818, 822 (7th Cir. 2011).
does not allege that Defendants received any money from the
federal government or, even if they did, that they made false
statements to anyone about it. Instead, Plaintiff seems to
allege something about her resume. To the extent Plaintiff
suggests that there was an issue with money received by
Defendants from the State of Wisconsin, that is not
actionable under the federal False Claims Act. There
previously existed a Wisconsin false claims act, but it was
repealed in 2015, and in any event, it applied only to fraud
involving the state Medicaid program. United States v.
Lakeshore Med. Clinic, Ltd., No. 11-CV-892-LA, 2013 WL
1307013, at *2 (E.D. Wis. Mar. 28, 2013).
has failed to state any viable claims for relief. Thus, not
only must her motion for leave to proceed in forma
pauperis be denied, this action must also be dismissed.
IT IS ORDERED that Plaintiff's motion to
proceed in forma pauperis (Docket #2) be and the
same is hereby DENIED; and
IS FURTHER ORDERED that this action be and the same
is hereby DISMISSED with prejudice pursuant
to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B) for failure to ...