United States District Court, N.D. Indiana, Fort Wayne Division
OPINION AND ORDER
THERESA L. SPRINGMANN UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
Taylor El, a plaintiff proceeding pro se, filed an Amended
Complaint [ECF No. 4], characterized as an Amended Legal
Notice of Removal, and a Petition for Leave to Proceed in
forma pauperis [ECF No. 3] on April 19, 2018. For the reasons
set forth below, the Plaintiff's Motion is DENIED. The
Plaintiff's Complaint is DISMISSED pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
a plaintiff must pay a statutory filing fee to bring an
action in federal court. 28 U.S.C. § 1914(a). However,
the federal in forma pauperis (IFP) statute, 28 U.S.C. §
1915, provides indigent litigants an opportunity for
meaningful access to the federal courts despite their
inability to pay the costs and fees associated with that
access. See Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319
(1989). To authorize a litigant to proceed IFP, a court must
make two determinations: first, whether the litigant is
unable to pay the costs of commencing the action, §
1915(a)(1); and second, whether the action is frivolous or
malicious, fails to state a claim upon which relief may be
granted, or seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is
immune from such relief, § 1915(e)(2)(B).
the first inquiry, an indigent party may commence an action
in federal court, without prepayment of costs and fees, upon
submission of an affidavit asserting an inability “to
pay such fees or give security therefor.” Id.
§ 1915(a). Here, the Plaintiff's Motion establishes
that she is unable to prepay the filing fee.
inquiry does not end there, however. In assessing whether a
plaintiff may proceed IFP, a court must look to the
sufficiency of the complaint to determine whether it can be
construed as stating a claim for which relief can be granted
or seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is immune
from such relief. Id. § 1915(e)(2)(B). District
courts have the power under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B) to
screen complaints even before service of the complaint on the
defendants, and must dismiss the complaint if it fails to
state a claim. Rowe v. Shake, 196 F.3d 778, 783 (7th
Cir. 1999). Courts apply the same standard under 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915(e)(2)(B) as when addressing a motion to dismiss
under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). Luevano
v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., 722 F.3d 1014, 1018, 1027 (7th
state a claim under the federal notice pleading standards, a
complaint must set forth a “short and plain statement
of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to
relief.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). Factual allegations are
accepted as true and need only give “fair notice of
what the . . . claim is and the grounds upon which it
rests.” EEOC v. Concentra Health Serv., Inc.,
496 F.3d 773, 776-77 (7th Cir. 2007) (quoting Bell Atl.
Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)). However, a
plaintiff's allegations must show that her entitlement to
relief is plausible, rather than merely speculative.
Tamayo v. Blagojevich, 526 F.3d 1074, 1083 (7th Cir.
Plaintiff filed what she characterizes as an “Amended
Legal Notice of Removal from Municipal Court to Federal Court
Pursuant to Title 28 § 1441-§1446 Proper Article
III Jurisdiction.” Despite its title, the filing seeks
monetary damages from the State of Indiana, State of Indiana
Superior Court,  and Officer A. Maur as well as
miscellaneous injunctive relief. Accordingly, the document is
more properly considered an amended complaint than a notice
case, the Plaintiff's Amended Complaint falls short of
what is required to state a claim under the federal pleading
standards. The Plaintiff alleges that, on March 14, 2018, she
was arrested for violating Indiana Code §
35-28-5-3.5. Although her claims are difficult to
discern, it appears that the Plaintiff asserts that several
of her rights have been violated in the course of her arrest
and prosecution in state court. The Plaintiff describes
herself as an “Aboriginal, Indigenous Moorish American
National, Freehold by Inheritance with Birthrights and
protected and secured Inalienable Rights.” (Amend.
Compl. 2.) The basis of her suit appears to be that
she was unlawfully detained, that the Indiana Superior Court
exercised unconstitutional authority over her, and other
individuals violated her rights by forcing her to pay fines
and costs, but mis-naming her in violation of her
“secured rights to [her] name and nationality.”
(Id. at 3.)
Plaintiff indicates that she made a “Reservation of
Rights” stating the correct spelling of her name and
her national status, but Officer Maur denied her inalienable
rights to her name and nationality. (Id.) The
Plaintiff's claims boil down to an allegation that
Indiana courts lack jurisdiction over her based on her status
as an Aboriginal Indigenous Moorish-American. The Seventh
Circuit has instructed that claims such this be summarily
Regardless of an individual's claimed status of descent,
be it as a ‘sovereign citizen, ' a
‘secured-party creditor, ' or a
‘flesh-and-blood human being, ' that person is not
beyond the jurisdiction of the courts. These theories should
be rejected summarily, however they are presented.
United States v. Benabe, 654 F.3d 753, 767 (7th Cir.
even setting aside the Plaintiff's allegations that she
is somehow beyond the jurisdiction of the state court, her
claim would still fail. The Plaintiff has not alleged facts
from which it can be plausibly inferred that Officer A. Maur
violated any provision of the federal Constitution or any
other federal statute. Similarly, she has not alleged facts
that plausibly suggest that the other individuals and
entities she has sued have violated any of her constitutional
rights. Instead, the alleged violations stem from the
constitutionality of the traffic stop and the asserted lack
it is usually necessary “to give pro se litigants one
opportunity to amend after dismissing a complaint[, ]
that's unnecessary where, as here, it is certain from the
face of the complaint that any amendment would be futile or
otherwise unwarranted.” Carpenter v. PNC Bank, Nat.
Ass'n, No. 633 Fed.Appx. 346, 348 (7th Cir. Feb. 3,
2016) (quotation marks omitted). See Luevano v.
Wal-Mart, 722 F.3d 1014 (7th Cir. 2013) and Hukic v.
Aurora Loan Servs., 588 F.3d 420, ...