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Goodman v. Springs

United States District Court, D. Massachusetts

October 27, 2014

YVONNE GOODMAN, Plaintiff,
v.
MAIN SPRINGS, et al., Defendants.

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

F. DENNIS SAYLOR, IV, District Judge.

For the reasons set forth below, the Court will (1) grant plaintiff's application to proceed in district court without prepaying fees or costs; (2) grant the motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim filed by the Town of Avon; (3) deny the motion to dismiss for insufficient service of process filed by the Town of Avon as moot; (4) dismiss this action in its entirety; and (5) certify that any appeal would not be taken in good faith.

I. Background

On June 20, 2014, plaintiff Yvonne Goodman, a resident of Brockton, submitted for filing a two-page, handwritten complaint. The caption of the complaint identifies the defendants as follows: "Main Springs, Police Department, DCF, Superior, District, (Brockton/Boston) c/o Table of Content towns & counties: Post Office & United States of America." The complaint is entitled "Complaint of the above Entitled Defendants." The factual allegations are rambling and consist of a number of disjointed statements. Plaintiff appears to complain that there has been "rape on minor & adults" through the "improper use of a devise [sic] created by the CIA, FBI." She complains of mutation, mulalation [sic], kidnaping, impersonation, hostage citations and the [] creation of vampires, devils, etc." Plaintiff alleges that "documents [were] stolen and rewritten so the FBI CIA and residence of said filing conducted from the year of 2006 to present mainly [] If from Main Springs which the call a operation rape and biting to give eternal life..."

With her complaint, plaintiff filed an application to proceed in district court without prepaying fees or costs; a motion for emergency hearing; and affidavit and a two stipulations.

Plaintiff's motion for emergency hearing was denied on June 20, 2014. On August 5, 2014, the Town of Avon filed motions to dismiss for failure to state a claim and insufficient service. The motions are unopposed.

II. The Application to Proceed in District Court Without Prepaying Fees

The fees for filing a civil complaint include the $350 filing fee and the $50 administrative fee, see 28 U.S.C. § 1914(a) ($350 filing fee for all non-habeas civil actions) and indigent litigants may file a motion for leave to proceed without prepayment of the filing fee, see 28 U.S.C. § 1915 (proceedings in forma pauperis ).[1] With her application, plaintiff submitted a bank statement revealing an available balance of $4.64. Although the application is not complete, the Court finds that she lacks sufficient funds to pay the filing fees to pursue this action.

III. The Complaint Is Subject to Dismissal

A. Legal Standards

1. Screening Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915 (e)(2)

Because plaintiff has sought to file her complaint without the prepayment of the filing fee, summonses have not issued in order to allow the Court to review the complaint to determine if it satisfies the requirements of section 1915 of Title 28, the federal in forma pauperis statute. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915. Section 1915 authorizes the federal courts to dismiss an action in which a plaintiff seeks to proceed without prepayment of the filing fee if the action lacks an arguable basis either in law or in fact, Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 325 (1989), or if the action fails to state a claim on which relief can be granted, or seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from such relief. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915 (e) (2). When there is no arguable or rational basis in law or fact for a claim, the action may be dismissed sua sponte and without notice under Section 1915. Neitzke, 490 U.S. at 327-328 (interpreting the former § 1915 (d)); accord Denton v. Hernandez, 504 U.S. 25, 32-33 (1992) ("clearly baseless" actions may be dismissed); see also Mack, 204 F.Supp.2d at 166; Street v. Fair, 918 F.2d 269 (1st Cir. 1990) (§ 1915(d) sua sponte dismissals do not require notice to plaintiff with opportunity to respond if the claim is based on an "indisputably meritless legal theory" (such as where defendants are clearly immune)). A district court may also dismiss a complaint sua sponte, regardless of whether or not payment of the filing fee has been received, where the allegations contained in the complaint, taken in the light most favorable to the plaintiff, are patently meritless and beyond all hope of redemption. Gonzalez-Gonzalez v. United States, 257 F.3d 31, 37 (1st Cir. 2001) (citations omitted).

2. Dismissal for Failure to State a Claim Pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6)

To survive a motion to dismiss, a complaint "must give the defendant fair notice of what the... claim is and the grounds upon which it rests, ' and allege a plausible entitlement to relief.'" Decotiis v. Whittemore, 635 F.3d 22, 29 (1st Cir. 2011) (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550U.S. 544, 555, 559 (2007)). To determine whether the factual allegations in the complaint are sufficient to survive a motion to dismiss, the Court "employ[s] a two-pronged approach." Soto-Torres v. Fraticelli, 654 F.3d 153, 158 (1st Cir. 2011). "The first prong is to identify the factual allegation and to identify statements in the complaint that merely offer legal conclusions couched as facts or are threadbare or conclusory." Id. The second prong is to assess whether the factual allegations "allow [] the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.'" Id. at 159 (quoting Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1949 (2009)). If they do, "the claim has facial plausibility." Ocasio-Hernández v. Fortuño-Burset, 640 F.3d 1, 12 (1st Cir. 2011). "The make-or-break standard... is that the combined allegations, taken as true, must state a plausible, not a merely conceivable, case for relief." Soto-Torres, 654 F.3d at 159 (quoting ...


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