United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, New Albany Division
SCOTT A. MARTIN, Plaintiff,
COOPER AND FREEMAN LAW FIRM, ASHLEY URBAN LAW FIRM, INDIANA STATE POLICE, Defendants.
ENTRY GRANTING REQUEST TO PROCEED IN FORMA PAUPERIS,
DISMISSING COMPLAINT, AND DIRECTING ENTRY OF FINAL
WALTON PRATT, JUDGE United States District Court Southern
District of Indiana
plaintiff's request to proceed in forma
pauperis, dkt. , is granted.
Notwithstanding the foregoing ruling, “[a]ll [28
U.S.C.] § 1915 has ever done is excuse
pre-payment of the docket fees; a litigant remains
liable for them, and for other costs, although poverty may
make collection impossible.” Abdul-Wadood v.
Nathan, 91 F.3d 1023, 1025 (7th Cir. 1996). The
assessment of even an initial partial filing fee is waived
because the plaintiff has no assets and no means by which to
pay a partial filing fee. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(4).
Accordingly, no initial partial filing fee is due at this
the plaintiff is a “prisoner” as defined by 28
U.S.C. § 1915(h), this Court has an obligation under 28
U.S.C. § 1915A(b) to screen his complaint before service
on the defendants. Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b), the
Court 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. 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,
[the] complaint must contain sufficient factual matter,
accepted as true, to state a claim for 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). 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. Perez v. Fenoglio, 792
F.3d 768, 776 (7th Cir. 2015).
Complaint, Mr. Martin alleges that during all of 2017-2018,
the Kentucky and Indiana State Police Departments did not
help him when his life was in danger after he called them
several times. He further states: “I would like for the
defendant to stop following me and having people follow me.
I've caught and seen the defendant stalking me at
multiple places. Including the hospital when I had problems
with my eyes. The meds I was given at U of L hospital made me
lose my eyesight.” Mr. Martin alleges the Louisville
police department and Indiana State Police “didn't
help me because they said I was crazy and didn't need
help.” He seeks one million dollars and for the pain
and suffering and to have defendants and other people stop
on the screening standard set forth above, the complaint must
be dismissed. First, any claim that that the
State Police Departments failed to investigate Mr.
Martin's complaints must be dismissed because the Seventh
Circuit does not recognize a claim for “inadequate
police investigatory work” in the absence of some other
recognized constitutional violation. Lyons v. Adams,
257 F.Supp.2d 1125, 1135 (N.D. Ill. 2003) (citing
Jacobson v. National R.R. Passenger Corp., No. 97 C
6012, 1999 WL 1101299, at *10 (N.D.Ill. Nov.29, 1999);
Washington v. Godinez, No. 95 C 7612, 1996 WL
599055, at *3 (N.D.Ill. Oct.17, 1996) (“[T]here is no
constitutional right to an investigation by a police officer
unless another recognized constitutional right is
involved.”)); see also Gomez v. Whitney, 757
F.2d 1005, 1006 (9th Cir. 1985).
Mr. Martin appears to assert that the other defendants
identified in the complaint, Cooper and Freeman Law Firm and
Ashley Urban Law Firm, have stalked him. This claim, too,
must be dismissed because it is frivolous and deserves no
further judicial time. See Lee v. Clinton, 209 F.3d
1025 (7th Cir. 2000), and Gladney v. Pendleton
Correctional Facility, 302 F.3d 773, 774 (7th Cir.
2002). Mr. Martin may genuinely believe that the law firms
are staking him, but that belief is so implausible that it
cannot be the basis of a federal claim. Dismissal for lack of
subject-matter jurisdiction because of the inadequacy of the
federal claim is proper only when the claim is “so
insubstantial, implausible, foreclosed by prior decisions of
this Court, or otherwise completely devoid of merit as not to
involve a federal controversy.” Steel Co. v.
Citizens for a Better Env't, 523 U.S. 83, 89 (1998)
(citing Oneida Indian Nation of N.Y. v. County of
Oneida, 414 U.S. 661, 666 (1974); Romero v.
International Terminal Operating Co., 358 U.S. 354, 359
(1959)). The Court notes that Mr. Martin brought a similar
complaint that was dismissed for the same reasons. Martin
v. State of Indiana Police, No. 4:18-cv-140-RLY-DML.
reasons set forth above, the Court dismisses
the complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B).
Because the allegations in the complaint are so fanciful that
they fail to engage the court's subject-matter
jurisdiction, dismissal of this action shall be without
prejudice. See Ezike, 2009 WL 247838 at *3
(citing African American Slave Descendants Litig.,
471 F.3d at 758, 763.).