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