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Bey v. Loughran

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

November 18, 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. 7] on an Amended Complaint [ECF No. 6]. The Court granted Plaintiff an opportunity to file an amended complaint after dismissing his original complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B). The Amended Complaint names as Defendants Matthew Loughran, Brian Broderick, and Bloomberg BNA.

         For the reasons set forth below, Plaintiff's Motion is denied, and his Amended 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).

         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 previously sued Parkview Hospital for violating the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act. Many of his allegations in this matter relate to the events that occurred in connection with that litigation, particularly during settlement. Previous to a settlement conference conducted by the presiding magistrate judge, Plaintiff's attorney had given an interview to Loughran, who is employed by Bloomberg. Plaintiff alleges that his attorney's statements were not accurate, and implied facts that were not true. He maintains that Loughran knew they were false, and the editor of the article, Broderick, knew or had serious doubts about the truth of the statements. Broderick put commas in places they did not belong. Loughran also talked about Plaintiff's litigation against Parkview at a conference attended by doctors.

         Plaintiff alleges that Parkview retaliated against him for filing a claim against it, using others to coerce him into a settlement and to cast him in a false light.

         ANALYSIS

         Plaintiff alleges that he was placed in a false light in retaliation for filing a lawsuit. The Defendants are the individuals he contends are responsible for the ...


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