United States District Court, N.D. Indiana, Fort Wayne Division
OPINION AND ORDER
A. BRADY JUDGE
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.
reasons set forth below, Plaintiff's Motions are denied,
and Plaintiff's Complaint is dismissed under 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, 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. §
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.
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).
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).
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.
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.
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
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