United States District Court, E.D. Wisconsin
STADTMUELLER U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE
December 20, 2019, Plaintiff filed a pro se
complaint alleging that Defendants violated her rights.
(Docket #1). This matter comes before the court on
Plaintiff's motion to proceed in forma pauperis.
(Docket #2). Notwithstanding the payment of any filing fee,
the Court must dismiss a complaint if it raises claims that
are “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);
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, 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
for a plaintiff to plead specific facts, and her 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 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). 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. To state a claim for relief
under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, a plaintiff must allege that: 1)
she was deprived of a right secured by the Constitution or
laws of the United States; and 2) the deprivation was visited
upon her by a person or persons acting under color of state
law. Buchanan-Moore v. Cty. of Milwaukee, 570 F.3d
824, 827 (7th Cir. 2009) (citing Kramer v. Vill. of N.
Fond du Lac, 384 F.3d 856, 861 (7th Cir. 2004)); see
also Gomez v. Toledo, 446 U.S. 635, 640 (1980). The
Court is obliged to give a pro se litigant's
allegations, “however inartfully pleaded, ” a
liberal construction. See Erickson v. Pardus, 551
U.S. 89, 94 (2007) (quoting Estelle v. Gamble, 429
U.S. 97, 106 (1976)).
allegations are, to put it generously, difficult to follow.
As best the Court can tell, Plaintiff operates her own
childcare business. She generally complains that Defendants
are trying to shut down that business. In doing so, they have
allegedly falsified records, made false statements, defamed
her, and attempted to intimidate her. Plaintiff also mentions
some perceived unfairness in a hearing she had with
Defendants; perhaps this was part of an administrative action
initiated by Defendants to revoke her business license?
Plaintiff further alleges that Defendant Tony Paige tried to
break into her business at some point, and has made unwanted
sexual advances against her. Plaintiff does not clearly state
what kind of relief she wants.
allegations do not invoke this Court's jurisdiction.
Federal courts are courts of limited jurisdiction, and may
only hear cases in two primary categories: 1) those raising
issues of federal law, known as “federal
question” jurisdiction, and 2) those between parties
who are citizens of different states and which involve an
amount in controversy exceeding $75, 000.00, known as
“diversity” jurisdiction. See 28 U.S.C.
§§ 1331 and 1332(a).
complaint does not assert either. All of the parties are
residents of Wisconsin, so there is no diversity
jurisdiction. It is unclear precisely what claims Plaintiff
wants to advance or what relief she wants if her claims are
ultimately proven. Even so, the Court concludes that nothing
in her complaint invokes any cognizable federal claims.
Whatever issues Plaintiff has with Defendants, they appear to
be matters of state law which must be raised in state court.
The Court must, therefore, deny Plaintiff's motion for
leave to proceed in forma pauperis and dismiss this
action without prejudice for want of jurisdiction.
IT IS ORDERED that Plaintiff's motion
for leave 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 without prejudice for