United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, New Albany Division
ENTRY GRANTING MOTION TO PROCEED IN FORMA PAUPERIS,
SCREENING AND ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE
WALTON PRATT, JUDGE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT.
matter is before the Court on Plaintiff Michael Pierce's
(“Pierce”) Non-Prisoner Request to Proceed in
District Court Without Prepaying the Filing Fee (Filing
No. 2). Because he is allowed to proceed in forma
pauperis, this action is also subject to screening
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B).
motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis,
without prepaying fees or costs (Filing No. 2) is
granted. While in forma pauperis
status allows a plaintiff to proceed without
pre-payment of the filing fee, the plaintiff remains
liable for the full fees. See Robbins v. Switzer,
104 F.3d 895, 898 (7th Cir. 1997) (in forma pauperis
litigants remain liable for the filing fee; “all [28
U.S.C.] § 1915(a) does for any litigant is excuse the
pre-payment of fees”). The Court does not have the
authority to waive the filing fee, and it remains due despite
Pierce's in forma pauperis status. Fiorito
v. Samuels, 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 84869, at *5 (C.D.
Ill. June 30, 2016) (“[c]ourt does not have the
authority to waive a filing fee”); McDaniel v.
Meisner, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 106067, at *12 (E.D. Wis.
Aug. 12, 2015) (same). The filing fee for in forma
pauperis litigants is $350.00. No. payment is due
currently; however, the $350.00 balance remains owing.
courts have an obligation under 28 U.S.C. §
1915(e)(2)(B) to screen complaints before service on the
defendant 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
[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).
civil action, pro se plaintiff Pierce asserts
general grievances against the defendants-United States of
America, U.S. Attorney General William P. Barr, State of
Indiana, and Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill-concerning
various federal, state, and international laws and treaties
regarding chronic pain, pain management, and health privacy.
In seeking relief, Pierce asks this Court to “end
abuses by the Federal and State governments and respective
agencies, to the Constitution and Bill of Rights and the laws
of the United States of America.” (Filing No. 1 at
1.) Pierce requests that “all Americans be allowed
to join this litigation . . . . This request is essential
considering the multitude of innocent Americans suffering
from these archaic policies and everyone deserves the
opportunity to redress grievances against the
government.” Id. at 19.
Complaint, Pierce cites to numerous constitutional
amendments, federal statutes, and case law. He also provides
historical context to various statutes while generally
discussing chronic pain, pain management, and the
government's involvement in regulating prescription drugs
and health care.
Dismissal of Complaint
not appear that this Court has jurisdiction to adjudicate the
general grievances that Pierce has presented. “Courts .
. . have an independent obligation to determine whether
subject-matter jurisdiction exists, even in the absence of a
challenge from any party.” Arbaugh v. Y&H
Corp., 546 U.S. 500, 514 (2006). A court “must
raise the issue sua sponte when it appears that
subject matter jurisdiction is lacking.” Buethe v.
Britt Airlines, 749 F.2d 1235, 1238 (7th Cir. 1984);
see also Evergreen Square of Cudahy v. Wis. Hous. &
Econ. Dev. Auth., 776 F.3d 463, 465 (7th Cir. 2015)
(“federal courts are obligated to inquire into the
existence of jurisdiction sua sponte”).
“When a federal court concludes that it lacks
subject-matter jurisdiction, the court must dismiss the
complaint in its entirety.” Arbaugh, 546 U.S.
at 514, qu ...