United States District Court, E.D. Wisconsin
ORDER DENYING MOTION TO PROCEED WITHOUT PREPAYMENT OF
THE FILING FEE AND REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION TO
JOSEPH UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
December 19, 2019, DeAndre Evans filed a pro se
complaint against an individual identified as “Steve
(WCS).” (Docket # 1.) Evans also filed a motion for
leave to proceed without prepayment of the filing fee (in
forma pauperis). (Docket # 2.) Because Evans does not
demonstrate that he is unable to pay the filing fee, and
because his complaint does not state a claim on which relief
can be granted and amendment would be futile, I will deny his
motion and recommend that the case be dismissed.
federal in forma pauperis statute, 28 U.S.C. §
1915, is designed to ensure indigent litigants meaningful
access to the federal courts while at the same time prevent
indigent litigants from filing frivolous, malicious, or
repetitive lawsuits. Nietzke v. Williams, 490 U.S.
319, 324 (1989). To authorize a litigant to proceed in
forma pauperis, the court must first determine whether
the litigant is able to pay the costs of commencing the
action. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a). Second, the court must
determine whether the action is frivolous or malicious, fails
to state a claim on which relief may be granted, or seeks
monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from such
relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(i)-(iii).
standards for reviewing dismissal for failure to state a
claim under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii) are the same
as those for reviewing a dismissal under Federal Rule of
Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). See DeWalt v. Carter, 224
F.3d 607, 611-12 (7th Cir. 2000). In evaluating whether a
plaintiff's complaint fails to state a claim, a court
must take the plaintiff's factual allegations as true and
draw all reasonable inferences in his favor. Id. at
612. Although a complaint need not contain
“‘detailed factual allegations, '” a
complaint that offers “‘labels and
conclusions' or ‘a formulaic recitation of the
elements of a cause of action will not do.'”
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1949 (2009)
(quoting Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S.
544, 555 (2007)).
states that he earns $950.00 per month in wages or salary but
names no employer; he appears to have mistakenly referred to
the $950.00 he receives in monthly social security payments.
(Docket # 2 at 2.) Evans does not list any expenses. On this
information, I would be obliged to conclude that Evans can
pay the one-time $400 filing fee from his monthly surplus of
Evans' complaint does not state any claim on which relief
could be granted. Two days before this complaint was filed,
Judge Pepper dismissed another complaint by Evans that
suffered a similar defect. (Evans v. Ben, No.
19-cv-1704 (E.D. Wis. Dec. 17, 2019), ECF # 3.) As in that
case, Evans does not explain who the named defendant
(“Steve (WCS)”) is or what Steve did to him, when
he did it, where he did it, or how he did it. This complaint
is slightly more coherent, as construing Evans' complaint
broadly, I can assume that Steve is an employee of WCS. But
Evans alleges no specific actions by Steve or any other
employee of WCS. He states:
The people at WCS are trying to make me move into their
rooming houses, to say I know the people that they're
affiliated with in order to put a case on me, by using
technology (voices in my head) in order to build a case. They
act as if they're helping, but in actuality they hurting
me to use the government as a puppet to stop me from
furthering my future. They are also trying to use my social
security checks to benefit others.
(Docket # 1 at 3.) These allegations are disjointed, vague,
and conclusory. Furthermore, Evans does not explain what he
wants this court to do about these perceived grievances,
leaving the “Relief Wanted” section blank
(Id. at 4.) I cannot construe this complaint as
stating any claim on which relief could be granted and see no
possibility that amendment would cure the defects.
Evans has alleged no basis for federal jurisdiction. A
federal court can decide cases involving violations of
federal laws or the federal Constitution, 28 U.S.C.
§1331, or cases between citizens of different states in
some circumstances, 28 U.S.C. § 1332. Evans did not
check either of the boxes under “Jurisdiction” on
the complaint form. Indeed, as Evans has not stated any
federal claim against Steve and both are apparently Wisconsin
citizens, there is no basis for federal jurisdiction.
Evans fails to demonstrate that he is indigent and fails to
state any claim on which relief could be granted, and there
is no basis for federal jurisdiction. Because amendment could
not conceivably cure the defects in Evans' complaint, I
will deny his request to proceed in forma pauperis
and recommend that the action be dismissed.
AND REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
THEREFORE, IT IS ORDERED that Evans's motion to proceed
without prepayment of the filing fee (Docket # 2) is DENIED.
THEREFORE, IT IS RECOMMENDED that Evans's complaint
(Docket # 1) ...