United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division
BOBBY J. RAY, Plaintiff,
INDIANA, CPS, Defendants.
ENTRY GRANTING IN FORMA PAUPERIS MOTION, DISMISSING
COMPLAINT, AND DIRECTING PLAINTIFF TO SHOW CAUSE
WALTON PRATT, JUDGE
In Forma Pauperis
plaintiff's motion to proceed in forma pauperis,
dkt. , is granted.
complaint is subject to the screening requirement of 28
U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B). This statute directs the Court
to dismiss a complaint or claim within a 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
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,
[the] complaint must contain sufficient factual matter,
accepted as true, to state the plaintiff pleads factual
content that allows the court to draw the reasonable
inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). Pro se
complaints such as that filed by the plaintiff are construed
liberally and held to a less stringent standard than formal
pleadings drafted by lawyers. Obriecht v. Raemisch,
517 F.3d 489, 491 n.2 (7th Cir. 2008).
lives in Indianapolis, Indiana. He alleges that he has
“been with the same person for 13 years and never
gotten a fair shot at life. For the last 13 years I been
lock[ed] up about 3-5 times because of this person and
haven't really done not a dang thing wrong.” Dkt.
1, p. 2. … “We been thru CPS 2X and I even told
them something was wrong with her. I would like to sue them
too if I can too. I have 3 kids by her and 1 stepchild with
her. Id. The named defendants are 1) the State of
Indiana, and 2) CPS, which the Court assumes is Child
Protective Services, a state agency.
alleges he is suing because of the emotional stress CPS has
caused him and his children. Dkt. 1, p. 3. For relief, he
requests that the court award him and his children $2 million
dollars and also give people the right to speak if and when
any law enforcement comes up to talk. Dkt. 1, p. 4.
Ray's claims are difficult to discern, but he appears to
be concerned with matters that involve the CPS and his
children. The CPS, generally speaking, deals with allegations
of abuse or neglect of children. These are domestic matters
over which this Court lacks jurisdiction. See Alpern v.
Lieb, 38 F.3d 933, 934 (7th Cir. 1994) (holding that the
domestic relations exception, among other doctrines, barred
suit for damages against the plaintiff's ex-wife,
attorney, and judge who presided over divorce proceedings);
Ervin v. Ervin, 571 Fed.Appx. 464, 466 (7th Cir.
2014) (observing that a lawsuit attacking an order to pay
child and spousal support on due process grounds was “a
domestic-relations case, and thus is probably excluded from
federal-court jurisdiction by the domestic relations
a court finds that it lacks jurisdiction, it is improper for
it to proceed to the merits of the issue.” United
States v. Rachuy,743 F.3d 205, 211 (7th Cir. 2014).
“Jurisdiction is the power to declare the law, and when
it ceases to exist, the only function remaining to the court
is that of announcing the fact and dismissing the
cause.” Steele Co. v. Citizens for a Better
Environment,523 U.S. 83, 94 (1998) (internal quotation
omitted). The Court of Appeals has repeatedly held that
“the party invoking federal ...