United States District Court, N.D. Indiana, South Bend Division
OPINION AND ORDER
R. Leichty Judge, United States District Court
Robert Sklar filed a pro se complaint on behalf of
himself and J.S., his minor child, against the Manchester
Community Schools (MCS), the Town of North Manchester, and
the North Manchester Police Department. MCS filed a motion to
dismiss under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), which
the other defendants partly joined. ECF 9, 14. The defendants
have argued several reasons why the complaint must be
dismissed, including Mr. Sklar's unauthorized pro
se representation of his minor child; failure to state a
claim upon which relief can be granted; and the lack of
jurisdiction because there is no actual controversy. Although
Mr. Sklar filed his briefing late, even after being afforded
forgiving extensions by the court, the court addresses his
complaint on its merits given federal preference for this
outcome. That said, the court now grants the motion to
facts assume the truth of the allegations within the
complaint, as the court must given the procedural posture of
this motion. On or about April 22, 2019, Robert Sklar
(J.S.'s father) was contacted by North Manchester Police
Department (NMPD) officers. ECF 1 at 4. Officer Houser,
accompanied by an unnamed officer, wanted to speak with J.S.
about an incident that had occurred at a local park.
Id. JS was interviewed at the police station that
allege that later that evening the same officers entered the
Sklar home without a warrant or permission. Id. The
officers informed Mr. Sklar that a “No Trespass
Order” had been issued as to J.S.. Id. The
order banned J.S. from MCS property. Id. Mr. Sklar
refused the sign the order and was denied a copy.
same day, Mr. Sklar contacted the high school principal, Dr.
Lippe, about the order. Id. Dr. Lippe responded that
he did not approve the order. Id. Mr. Sklar also
contacted Chief Kirk of NMPD regarding the order and the
issuing officers entering his home without authorization.
Id. Chief Kirk informed Mr. Sklar that the order had
been requested by the School Resource Officer. Id.
at 5. On May 30, 2019, Mr. Sklar wrote to Russ Mikel,
Superintendent of Manchester Community Schools, and asked Mr.
Mikel for clarification and for an opportunity to appeal the
order. Id. Superintendent Mikel informed Mr. Sklar
that the order was issued by a police officer, not the
Kirk and Superintendent Mikel both informed Mr. Sklar that
the order would expire on June 1, 2019. Id. Because
of the order, J.S. was prohibited from attending school
functions typically open to the public including athletic
events, school board meetings, and a high school graduation.
alleges he was denied any ability to appeal the order.
Id. J.S. alleges that the order, and his inability
to appeal it, violated his constitutional rights and caused
him irreparable harm. Id. Mr. Sklar alleges that
officers violated his constitutional rights when they entered
his home without permission. Id. The plaintiffs
request the trespass order be lifted, $10, 000 per day J.S.
was banned from school property, and any other relief the
court deems appropriate. Id. at 3.
reviewing a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6), the court
accepts all well-pleaded factual allegations as true and
draws all reasonable inferences in the plaintiff's favor.
Reynolds v. CB Sports Bar, Inc., 623 F.3d
1143, 1146 (7th Cir. 2010). A complaint must contain a
“short and plain statement of the claim showing that
the pleader is entitled to relief.” Fed.R.Civ.P.
8(a)(2). The statement must contain sufficient factual
matter, accepted as true, to state a claim for relief that is
plausible on its face and raise a right to relief above the
speculative level. Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662,
678 (2009); Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S.
544, 570 (2007). A plaintiff's claim must be plausible,
not probable. Indep. Trust Corp. v. Stewart Info. Servs.
Corp., 665 F.3d 930, 935 (7th Cir. 2012). Evaluating
whether a claim is sufficiently plausible to survive a motion
to dismiss is “a context-specific task that requires
the reviewing court to draw on its judicial experience and
common sense.” McCauley v. City of Chicago,
671 F.3d 611, 616 (7th Cir. 2011) (quoting Iqbal,
556 U.S. at 678).
evaluating a facial challenge to subject matter jurisdiction
under Rule 12(b)(1), a court must use the same
“plausibility” standard; therefore, the court
must accept alleged factual matters as true and draw all
reasonable inferences in favor of the plaintiff. Silha v.
ACT, Inc., 807 F.3d 169, 174 (7th Cir. 2015). The
plaintiffs bear the burden of establishing the jurisdictional
requirements. Ctr. for Dermatology and Skin Cancer, Ltd.
v. Burwell, 770 F.3d 586, 588-89 (7th Cir. 2014).
course, because the plaintiffs are proceeding pro
se, the court must liberally construe the complaint.
Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007).