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Vient v. Connersville News Examiner

United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division

May 23, 2018

Benjamin Vient, Plaintiff,
v.
Connersville News Examiner, Defendant.

          ORDER

          Hon. Jane Magnus-Stinson, Chief Judge

         Pro se Plaintiff Benjamin Vient appears to assert a claim of copyright infringement in this lawsuit initiated on December 20, 2017. Presently pending before the Court is Defendant Connersville News Examiner's (the “News-Examiner”) Motion to Dismiss. [Filing No. 18.]

         I.

         Standard of Review Under Rule 12(b)(6), a party may move to dismiss a claim that does not state a right to relief. The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure require that a complaint provide the defendant with “fair notice of what the . . . claim is and the grounds upon which it rests.” Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 93 (2007) (quoting Bell Atlantic v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)). In reviewing the sufficiency of a complaint, the Court must accept all well-pled facts as true and draw all permissible inferences in favor of the plaintiff. See Active Disposal Inc. v. City of Darien, 635 F.3d 883, 886 (7th Cir. 2011). A Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss asks whether the complaint “contain[s] sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to ‘state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570). The Court will not accept legal conclusions or conclusory allegations as sufficient to state a claim for relief. See McCauley v. City of Chicago, 671 F.3d 611, 617 (7th Cir. 2011). Factual allegations must plausibly state an entitlement to relief “to a degree that rises above the speculative level.” Munson v. Gaetz, 673 F.3d 630, 633 (7th Cir. 2012). This plausibility determination is “a context-specific task that requires the reviewing court to draw on its judicial experience and common sense.” Id.

         II.

         Background

         Mr. Vient filed his Complaint on December 20, 2017, which provides only the following allegations: “Copyright Breaches. Requested information from defendants, have not received replies, has been very distressing.” [Filing No. 1 at 2.] Mr. Vient states in his Complaint that he seeks “[s]tatutory, full costs and legal and court fees and any other according to laws.” [Filing No. 1 at 4.]

         On December 28, 2017, the Court issued an Entry finding that “[t]he allegations set forth in the complaint, that a news exchange has not responded to Mr. Vient's requests for information, do not state a legal claim upon which relief can be granted.” [Filing No. 3 at 3.] The Court also found that Mr. Vient had not alleged a basis for the Court's jurisdiction. [Filing No. 3 at 3.] It dismissed Mr. Vient's Complaint for lack of subject matter jurisdiction and for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted, gave Mr. Vient until January 22, 2018 to show cause why the action should not be dismissed for lack of subject matter jurisdiction and failure to state a claim, and gave him until that date to pay the filing fee. [Filing No. 3 at 3.] Although Mr. Vient paid his filing fee by the January 22, 2018 deadline, he did not respond to the Court's Order to Show Cause. The Court then gave Mr. Vient additional time, until February 20, 2018, to show cause why his action should not be dismissed. [Filing No. 5.]

         On February 2, 2018, Mr. Vient filed three photocopied pages which are somewhat difficult to decipher. The first page contains this paragraph:

         (Image Omitted)

         [Filing No. 6 at 1.] This paragraph appears to state:

Rights: Ben Vient retains all rights to “On the Rails, ” his writing and photographs taken by him. This agreement allows on publication of each submission in the print newspaper within two weeks of Ben Vient's Wednesday submission date. Digital publishing or reproduction is prohibited.

[Filing No. 6 at 1.] The next two pages contain the ...


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