United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division
ENTRY DISCUSSING COMPLAINT AND DIRECTING FURTHER
WILLIAM T. LAWRENCE, JUDGE
Gertie Buckley brings this civil complaint against a number
of defendants alleging that the defendants have violated her
civil rights, the Fair Housing Act, the Americans with
Disabilities Act, and Indiana landlord-tenant law, among
courts have an obligation under 28 U.S.C. §
1915(e)(2)(B) to screen complaints before service on the
defendants, and must dismiss the complaint if it is frivolous
or malicious, fails to state a claim for relief, or seeks
monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from such
relief. Dismissal under the in forma pauperis
statute is an exercise of the Court's discretion.
Denton v. Hernandez, 504 U.S. 25, 34 (1992). In
determining whether the complaint states a claim, the Court
applies the same standard as when addressing a motion to
dismiss under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6).
See Lagerstrom v. Kingston, 463 F.3d 621, 624 (7th
Cir. 2006). To survive dismissal under federal pleading
[the] complaint must contain sufficient factual matter,
accepted as true, to state a claim to relief that is
plausible on its face. 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.
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). Thus, a
“plaintiff must do better than putting a few words on
paper that, in the hands of an imaginative reader,
might suggest that something has happened to her
that might be redressed by the law.” Swanson v.
Citibank, N.A., 614 F.3d 400, 403 (7th Cir.2010)
(emphasis in original).
alleges that Debra King tricked her, breached the contract,
never finished the project on her house, and allowed her to
place all of her money into an escrow account. She also
alleges that Mayors Smith and Broderick failed to help her
with her situation. She also moves to amend to add the City
of Anderson as a defendant because “these people have
been hired and rehired by the City of Anderson.”
Buckley's complaint must be dismissed
because it does not provide enough facts to allow a
conclusion that the defendants are responsible for violating
the rights that she mentions. In other words, Buckley states
that these defendants have violated her rights, but she does
not include enough facts to support this claim. Her motion
for assistance with serving the complaint, Dkt. No. 7, is
denied for the present because the complaint
has been dismissed. The motion to amend, Dkt. No. 6,
is denied because she has not stated a claim
against any defendant or the City of Anderson.
dismissal of the complaint will not in this instance lead to
the dismissal of the action at present. Instead, Buckley
shall have through December 8, 2017, in
which to file an amended complaint.
filing an amended complaint, the plaintiff shall conform to
the following guidelines: (a) the amended complaint shall
comply with the requirement of Rule 8(a)(2) of the
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure that
pleadings contain “a short and plain statement of the
claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief. . . .,
” which is sufficient to provide the defendants with
“fair notice” of the claim and its basis.
Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 93 (2007) (per
curiam) (citing Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S.
544, 555 (2007) and quoting Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2)); (b) the
amended complaint must include a demand for the relief
sought; (c) the amended complaint must identify what legal
injury she claims to have suffered and what persons are
responsible for each legal injury; and (d) the amended
complaint must include the case number referenced in the
caption of this Entry. The plaintiff is further notified that
“[u]nrelated claims against different defendants belong
in different suits.” George v. Smith, 507 F.3d
605, 607 (7th Cir. 2007).
also seeks appointment of counsel. “When confronted
with a request . . . for pro bono counsel, the district court
is to make the following inquiries: (1) has the indigent
plaintiff made a reasonable attempt to obtain counsel or been
effectively precluded from doing so; and if so, (2) given the
difficulty of the case, does the plaintiff appear competent
to litigate it himself?” Pruitt v. Mote, 503
F.3d 647, 654 (7th Cir. 2007). Based on the plaintiff's
submission, this Court concludes that the plaintiff has made
a reasonable attempt to obtain counsel. The second question
then is whether, given the difficulty of the case, the
plaintiff seems competent to litigate it himself.
Id. at 653-655.
the motion for counsel, Dkt. No. 8, is denied as
premature. The Seventh Circuit has found that
“until the defendants respond to the complaint, the
plaintiff's need for assistance of counsel . . . cannot
be gauged.” Kadamovas v. Stevens, 706 F.3d
843, 845 (7th Cir. 2013). In addition, it is this Court's
determination that the plaintiff's current motion for
counsel reflects that she is competent to litigate this
action on her own. She states that she has no difficulty
reading or writing English, she has a G.E.D. and “some
college, and she appears to be familiar with the factual
circumstances surrounding her claims.