United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division
ENTRY GRANTING MOTION TO PROCEED IN FORMA PAUPERIS,
SCREENING AND ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE
WALTON PRATT, JUDGE
matter is before the Court on Plaintiff Charisse Miller's
(“Miller”) “Request to Proceed in District
Court Without Prepaying the Filing Fee” (Filing No.
2). Because she 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
Miller'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 Miller has filed a
fill-in-the-blank “Complaint for Violation of Civil
Rights.” (Filing No. 1.) She has checked the
box for a 42 U.S.C. § 1983 claim against “state or
local officials” and identified “civil” as
the defendant. Id. at 1, 3. She alleges that the
“events” took place in “Oklahoma, Arkansas,
Texas, and Indianapolis”. Id. at 4.
Miller's facts underlying the claim are stated only as
“stolen possession food money clothes shoes.”
Id. She does not explain any relief that she is
seeking. Id. at 5.
Dismissal of Complaint
has failed to state a claim for relief, provide factual
allegations to support a claim, or identify a defendant.
Accordingly, the Complaint is subject to dismissal for lack
of subject-matter jurisdiction. “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, quoted in Miller v.
Herman, 600 F.3d 726, 730 (7th Cir. 2010); see
also Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(h)(3) (“If the court
determines at any time that it lacks subject-matter
jurisdiction, the court must dismiss the action.”).