United States District Court, W.D. Tennessee, Western Division
ORDER GRANTING LEAVE TO PROCEED N FORMA PAUPERIS REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION PURSUANT TO 28 U.S.C. § 1915
CHARMIANE G. CLAXTON, Magistrate Judge.
On December 31, 2014, Plaintiffs Ricky Freeman and Brenda Faye Hunter, residents of West Saint Paul, Minnesota, filed a pro se complaint against LaQuita Sullivan, Regina Fisher, Robert Lipscomb, Charisse Stewart, Memphis Housing Authority, Adrena James, Carlos Osegueda, Turner Russell, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Lynn Grosso and Gregory King accompanied by motions seeking leave to proceed in forma pauperis. (Docket Entries ("D.E.") 1, 2 & 3.)
Federal law provides that the "clerk of each district court shall require parties instituting any such civil action, suit or proceeding in such court, whether by original process, removal or otherwise, to pay a filing fee..." 28 U.S.C. § 1914(a). To ensure access to the courts, however, 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a) permits an indigent plaintiff to avoid payment of filing fees by filing an in forma pauperis affidavit. Under that section, the Court must conduct a satisfactory inquiry into the plaintiff's ability to pay the filing fee and prosecute the lawsuit. A plaintiff seeking in forma pauperis standing must respond fully to the questions on the Court's in forma pauperis form and execute the affidavit in compliance with the certification requirements contained in 28 U.S.C. § 1746.
In this case, the Plaintiffs have submitted properly completed and executed in forma pauperis affidavits. The information set forth in the affidavits satisfy Plaintiffs' burden of demonstrating that they are each unable to pay the civil filing fee. Accordingly, the motions to proceed in forma pauperis are GRANTED. The Clerk shall record the defendants as LaQuita Sullivan, Regina Fisher, Robert Lipscomb, Charisse Stewart, Memphis Housing Authority, Adrena James, Carlos Osegueda, Turner Russell, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Lynn Grosso and Gregory King.
In the instant Complaint, Plaintiffs allege that:
"All individual defendants and corporations violated our civil rights by refusing to make a reasonable accommodations by not installing a grab [bar] in my bathroom in 2006 and denied my girlfriend to live with me and she's handicap and so am I Defendants claimed we had to married to live together but the rules of the programs says different we had already sent in the doctor reports to the courts which proves we needed to be accommodated and the rules and regulations of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development programs which states violations of our rights and still was denied justice."
The Complaint is factually identical to the amended complaint that Plaintiffs filed on May 27, 2011 in 11-cv-02424-SHM-cgc. In the 2011 complaint, Plaintiffs complained of housing discrimination by all of the same defendants in violation of the Fair Housing Act ("FHA"), 42 U.S.C. §§ 3601, et seq., § 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 U.S.C. §§ 701, et seq., and § 1437f of the United States Housing Act of 1937 (the "Housing Act"), as amended by the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974, 42 U.S.C. § 1437f. Although the instant Complaint is captioned as a "Complaint for Violations of Civil Rights Under 42 U.S.C.§ 1983, " Plaintiffs reference the Fair Housing Act and the Rehabilitation Act in the additional pages filed with the Complaint (D.E. # 1-2 and 1-3) and complain of the same underlying actions. Plaintiffs seek damages in the amount of five million, seven hundred twenty thousand dollars ($5, 720, 000.00).
The Court is required to screen in forma pauperis complaints and to dismiss any complaint, or any portion thereof, if the action -
(i) is frivolous or malicious;
(ii) fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted; or
(iii) seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from such relief.
28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2).
In assessing whether the complaint in this case states a claim on which relief may be granted, the Court applies the standards under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), as stated in Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 677-79 (2009), and in Bell Atlantic Corporation v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555-57 (2007). Hill v. Lappin, 630 F.3d 468, 470-71 (6th Cir. 2010). "Accepting all well-pleaded allegations in the complaint as true, the Court consider[s] the factual allegations in [the] complaint to determine if they plausibly suggest an entitlement to relief.'" Williams v. Curtin, 631 F.3d 380, 383 (6th Cir. 2011) (quoting Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 681) (alteration in original). "[P]leadings that... are no more than conclusions are not entitled to the assumption of truth. While legal conclusions can provide the framework of a complaint, they must be supported by factual allegations." Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 679; see also Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555 n.3 ("Rule 8(a)(2) still requires a showing, ' rather than a blanket assertion, of entitlement to relief. Without some factual allegation in the complaint, it is hard to see how a claimant could satisfy the requirement of providing not only fair notice' of the nature of the claim, but also grounds' on which the claim rests.").
"A complaint can be frivolous either factually or legally. Any complaint that is legally frivolous would ipso facto fail to state a claim upon which relief can be granted." Hill, 630 F.3d at 470 (citing ...