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Bey v. Loughran

United States District Court, N.D. Indiana, Fort Wayne Division

October 16, 2019

TYQUAN STEWART BEY, Plaintiff,
v.
MATTHEW LOUGHRAN, et al., Defendants.

          OPINION AND ORDER

          HOLLY A. BRADY JUDGE

         Tyquan Stewart bey, proceeding without counsel, seeks leave to proceed in forma pauperis [ECF No. 2]. He has filed a Complaint [ECF No. 1] naming Parkview Hospital, David Stacks, Mark Baeverstad, Christopher Myers & Associates, David Frank, Matthew Loughran, Brian Broderick, Bloomberg BNA, Rothberg Logan & Warsco LLP, Susan L. Collins, and the Federal Government. Additionally, on October 8, 2019, Defendant filed a motion for Judge Recusal [ECF No. 3]. He asks that the undersigned recuse herself because “she will be added as a defendant” when he amends his complaint and, thus, will have a personal financial interest in the outcome of the case.[1]

         For the reasons set forth below, Plaintiff's Motions are denied, and Plaintiff's Complaint is dismissed under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii).

         DISCUSSION

         Ordinarily, 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, 28 U.S.C. § 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. Id. § 1915(e)(2)(B).

         Under 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 he is unable to prepay the filing fee.

         But the inquiry does not end there. District courts have the power under § 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 § 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 Cir. 2013). Federal courts are also required to “check to see that federal jurisdiction is properly alleged.” Wis. Knife Works v. Nat'l Metal Crafters, 781 F.2d 1280, 1282 (7th Cir. 1986); see also Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 326 n.6 (1989).

         To 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 must provide “sufficient detail to give the defendant ‘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 (7th Cir. 2007) (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)). However, a plaintiff's allegations must show that his entitlement to relief is plausible, rather than merely speculative. Tamayo v. Blagojevich, 526 F.3d 1074, 1083 (7th Cir. 2008).

         COMPLAINT ALLEGATIONS

         Plaintiff has previously sued Parkview Hospital for violating the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act. Many of his allegations relate to the events that occurred in connection with that litigation, particularly during settlement. Indeed, Plaintiff has already sued most of the Defendants named in this litigation for many of the same actions he complains of in this case.

         The settlement conference was conducted by Magistrate Judge Collins. Also participating were Plaintiff and his attorney David Frank and, on the other side, attorneys Stack and Baeverstad. Plaintiff believes that he should have gotten more than $23, 000 in settlement of his claims. In particular, he believes he was entitled to $104, 000 in punitive damages, but that the people involved in the settlement conference kept pertinent information from him, including information pertaining to punitive damages. Plaintiff asserts that the parties used Magistrate Judge Collins to coerce him into a settlement.

         Additionally, Plaintiff asserts that, prior to the settlement, his attorney made statement to Loughran during an interview that put Plaintiff in a false light. He identifies Brodrick as the editor of the resulting article, and Bloomberg as their employer.

         ANALYSIS

         Plaintiff asserts the following causes of action: legal malpractice; conspiracy to commit fraud and to cast Plaintiff in a false light; retaliation for filing a civil complaint; “Equality Act”; false light; intentional infliction of emotional distress; abuse of process against ...


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