United States District Court, D. Massachusetts
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
RICHARD G. STEARNS UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
6, 2017, Plaintiff Lawrence Littler (“Littler”),
a self-described disabled resident of Swampscott,
Massachusetts, filed a pro se complaint accompanied
by an Application to Proceed in District Court without
Prepaying Fees or Costs. See Docket Nos. 1-2.
Littler subsequently filed a written request seeking
permission to utilize CM/ECF for electronic filing.
See Docket No. 5.
reasons set forth below: (1) Plaintiff's Application to
Proceed in District Court without Prepaying Fees or Costs is
ALLOWED; (2) Plaintiff's Motion for Electronic Filing is
DENIED without prejudice; and (3) this action shall be
dismissed within 35 days of the date of this Memorandum and
Order unless Plaintiff demonstrates good cause why this
action should not be dismissed, or files an amended
complaint identifies the defendant as the State of
Massachusetts and asserts federal claims pursuant to the
Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (“RA”), 29 U.S.C.
§§ 706, 791-794, Title II of the Americans with
Disabilities Act (“ADA”), 42 U.S.C. §§
12101 et seq., the due process clause of the Fourteenth
Amendment and state law claims for false
imprisonment and intentional infliction of emotional
claims arise out of a January 12, 2017 proceeding in state
court in which Littler was found in contempt of court for
non-payment of alimony and child support. Littler complains
that “the State of Massachusetts Judicial branch and
its agents servants and/or employees refused to accommodate
Plaintiff's disabilities, refused to allow Plaintiff to
completely present his case in defense and refused to afford
Plaintiff the right to be represented by an attorney at a
proceeding which had become criminal.” Littler states
that he served a month in prison for “failing to pay
money he did not have.” Littler states that his annual
income plummeted in 2012 and that his assets were depleted by
2014. Littler explains that he receives state aid and food
stamps and has no money to pay child support and alimony.
Littler alleges that he sustained monetary damage in excess
of $75, 000.00 and he seeks “judgment against the
defendant for pain and suffering; loss of enjoyment of life
and for such other further and different relief as to this
court seems just proper and equitable.”
TO PROCEED IN FORMA PAUPERIS
on the information contained in Littler's Application to
Proceed in District Court without Prepaying Fees or Costs,
the court will permit Littler to proceed in forma
plaintiff is permitted to proceed without prepayment of the
filing fee, a summons is not issued until the Court reviews
the complaint and determines that it satisfies the
substantive requirements of 28 U.S.C. § 1915. The court
must identify any cognizable claims, and dismiss any claims
which are frivolous, malicious, fail to state a claim upon
which relief may be granted, or seek monetary relief from a
defendant who is immune from such relief. See 28
U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2). An action or claim is
frivolous if “it lacks an arguable basis either in law
or in fact.” Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S.
319, 325 (1989). An action fails to state a claim on which
relief may be granted if it does not plead “enough
facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its
face.” Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550
U.S. 544, 570 (2007). Conversely, a complaint is plausible on
its face “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).
addition to the statutory screening requirements under §
1915(e), this Court has an independent obligation to inquire,
sua sponte, into its own subject matter
jurisdiction. McCulloch v. Velez, 364 F.3d 1, 5 (1st
Cir. 2004). “Whenever it appears ... that the court
lacks jurisdiction of the subject matter, the court shall
dismiss the action.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(h)(3). As an
additional matter, when subject matter jurisdiction is
lacking, there is no arguable or rational basis in law or
fact for a claim, and thus the action may be dismissed
sua sponte under § 1915. Mack v.
Massachusetts, 204 F.Supp.2d 163, 166 (D. Mass. 2002).
conducting this review, the court reads Littler's
complaint with “an extra degree of solicitude, ”
Rodi v. Ventetuolo, 941 F.2d 22, 23 (1st Cir.1991),
due to his pro se status, see id.; see
also Strahan v. Coxe, 127 F.3d 155, 158 n. l (1st Cir.
1997) (noting obligation to construe pro se
pleadings liberally) (citing Haines v. Kerner, 404
U.S. 519, 520 (1972)).
under a liberal construction, however, there are a number of
legal impediments to ...