United States District Court, D. Massachusetts
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
RICHARD G. STEARNS UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
reasons set forth below, the Court (1) grants the
plaintiff's motion for leave to proceed in forma
pauperis, (2) denies plaintiff's emergency motion;
and (3) directs plaintiff to file an amended complaint.
Marsha Grant (“Grant”), a residential tenant of
Highland House Apartments in Randolph, Massachusetts, filed a
complaint against two Highland House property managers.
See Complaint (“Compl.”), Docket No. 1.
The complaint is accompanied by 48 pages of exhibits.
Id. With her complaint, Grant filed a one-page
emergency motion seeking to have this federal court review
the submitted documents and decide whether she must vacate
her apartment by the end of December 2018. See
Plaintiff's Motion (“Pl.'s Mot.”), Docket
No. 3. Grant also filed an Application to Proceed Without
Prepayment of Fees and Affidavit. See Docket No. 2.
seeks to have this federal court “review a housing case
that was brought against [plaintiff by Highland House].
Compl. at ¶ III (statement of claim). Grant alleges that
she was “taken to court” despite the fact that
her lease was due for renewal and the assistant manager
accepted Grant's payments. Id. She states that
she must leave her apartment by the end of December.
Id. She alleges violation of several federal
statutes including the Fair Credit Act of 1970. Id.
seeks relief “due to the stress this has caused”
and for defamation of character and false claims. Compl. at
¶ IV (relief). Grant states that she “was publicly
embarrassed in state court to due to the false claim”
and that this affected her credit score. Id.
Although not clearly pled, it appears that Grant sought
“a stay of execution from the Quincy District
Court” and that she has filed a complaint with the
United States Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Id. at p. 6. Grant seeks to have the defendants held
TO PROCEED IN FORMA PAUPERIS
upon review of plaintiff's motion for leave to proceed
in forma pauperis, the court concludes that
plaintiff has demonstrated a lack of funds to prepay the
filing fee. The court therefore will grant the motion.
plaintiff is allowed to proceed without prepayment of the
filing fee pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915, the court
“shall dismiss the case . . . if the court determines
that - . . . the action or appeal . . . fails to state a
claim on which relief may be granted or . . . seeks
monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from such
relief.” Id. § 1915(e). In conducting
this review, the court liberally construes the complaint
because plaintiff is proceeding pro se. See
Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520-21 (1972).
the Rooker-Feldman doctrine, this Court lacks
subject-matter jurisdiction to review the decisions of the
Quincy District Court if the matter is concluded. Under the
Rooker-Feldman doctrine, federal district
courts lack jurisdiction over “federal complaints
… [that] essentially invite federal courts of first
instance to review and reverse unfavorable state-court
judgments.” Federacion de Maestros de P.R. v. Junta
de Relaciones del Trabajo de P.R., 410 F.3d 17, 20 (1st
Cir. 2005). The doctrine applies to “cases brought by
state-court losers complaining of injuries caused by state-
court judgments rendered before the district court
proceedings commenced and inviting district court review and
rejection of those judgments.” Exxon Mobil Corp. v.
Saudi Basic Industries Corp., Inc., 544 U.S. 280, 284
(2005). Here, Grant's request for this court to review
the state court proceedings improperly seeks, “in
effect, an end-run around” state court proceedings that
did not go her way. Klimowicz v. Deutsche Bank Nat'l
Trust Co., 907 F.3d 61, 66 (1st Cir. 2018).
to the extent that a proceeding before the Quincy District
Court is on-going, the Court will abstain from exercising
jurisdiction under Younger v. Harris, 401 U.S. 37,
46 (1971). A federal court must abstain from reaching the
merits of a case over which it has jurisdiction “when
the requested relief would interfere (1) with an ongoing
state judicial proceeding; (2) that implicates an important
state interest; and (3) that provides an adequate opportunity
for the federal plaintiff to advance his federal
constitutional challenge.” Mass. Delivery Ass'n
v. Coakley, 671 F.3d 33, 39 (1st Cir. 2012) (citation
omitted). Grant's request to interfere with pending state
court proceedings implicates all the requirements for
Younger abstention. Because there are no applicable
exceptions, abstention is mandatory.
extent Grant brings this action pursuant to the “Fair
Credit Act, ” the complaint fails to comply with the
pleading requirements of the Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure. To state a claim for relief, a complaint must, in
compliance with Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2), include “a short
and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is
entitled to relief.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). At a
minimum, the complaint must “give the defendant fair
notice of what the plaintiff's claim is and the grounds
upon which it rests.” Calvi v. Knox County,
470 F.3d 422, 430 (1st Cir. 2006) (quoting Educadores
Puertorriqueños en Acción v.
Hernández, 367 F.3d 61, 66 (1st Cir. 2004)). A
complaint fails to state a ...