Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Littler v. State

United States District Court, D. Massachusetts

August 14, 2017

LAWRENCE LITTLER
v.
STATE OF MASSACHUSETTS

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          RICHARD G. STEARNS UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         INTRODUCTION

         On July 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.

         For the 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.

         BACKGROUND

         The 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[1] and state law claims for false imprisonment and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

         Littler's 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.”

         MOTION TO PROCEED IN FORMA PAUPERIS

         Based 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 pauperis.

         STANDARD OF REVIEW

         When a 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).

         In 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).

         In 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)).

         Even under a liberal construction, however, there are a number of legal impediments to ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.