United States District Court, W.D. North Carolina, Charlotte Division
C. MULLEN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
MATTER is before the Court on initial review of the
Complaint, (Doc. No. 1), and Plaintiff's Application to
Proceed in District Court Without Prepaying Fees or Costs,
(Doc. No. 2).
se Plaintiff purports to file suit under 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983. Plaintiff, whose address of record is in
Charlotte, names as Defendants the private law firm of
Crumley Roberts, LLP, and the firm's president,
Christopher H. Roberts, of Greensboro, N.C. (Doc. No. 1 at
1). Plaintiff states that Defendants were not acting under
color of state law at the time these claims occurred. (Doc.
No. 1 at 2).
Complaint's Nature of Case section states that Plaintiff
needs justice from his oppression that amounts to slavery
under the 13th Amendment. He appears to allege
that he is disabled due to anxiety disorder. He also
complains about numerous conditions imposed on him by his
mother and others. For instance, he alleges that he is
experiencing oppression due to an inadequate education,
homelessness, involuntary commitment to psychiatric hospitals
on several occasions, placement of Plaintiff's mother as
his guardian ad litem, and his mother's
“manipulation” of his social security benefits
without his consent. (Doc. No. 1 at 3). He alleges that his
living situation is oppressive because his roommates use
drugs and have confrontations with Plaintiff, and that they
are to blame for some missing mail. He further alleges that
he is the victim of race and disability discrimination at the
hands of his mother as well as the federal government
including public defenders, county and district judges, and
agencies which he is not aware of which are depriving him of
life and disparaging him. With regards to Defendant Crumley
Roberts, LLP, Plaintiff appears to allege that he emailed the
firm about his roommates having “jumped” him on
February 28, 2019. (Doc. No. 1 at 6). The law firm did not
respond until March 6, 2019, at which time an unknown person
called him and “was frivolous which is malicious, and
tried to put [Plaintiff] on a wild goose chase.” (Doc.
No. 1 at 6). Plaintiff complains that the law firm was
supposed to “appoint” him an attorney to get him
out of his “ordeal” and failed to do so, because
Plaintiff is African-American and disabled. (Id.).
sets forth some of his litigation history in the Complaint,
including case numbers 1:15-cv-4714, 1:15-cv-7282,
1:15-cv-10535, 1:15-cv-11841, 1:16-cv-1733, 1:16-cv-5938,
that he filed in the Northern District of Illinois. That
Court has dismissed a number of Plaintiff's cases as
frivolous and ultimately enacted a pre-filing injunction
against him, case number 1:16-cv-9680.
instant case, Plaintiff seeks the appointment of an attorney
who will “use all their knowledge and power to relieve
[Plaintiff] from [his] ordeal, make sure [he] don't
suffer any more, and start the process of remedying
[Plaintiff] being a victim, of Race and Disability
discrimination, at the hands of the federal government and
[Plaintiff's] mother.” (Doc. No. 1 at 15).
MOTION TO PROCEED IN FORMA PAUPERIS
Court first addresses Plaintiff's motion to proceed
in forma pauperis. Plaintiff's affidavit shows
that he receives monthly income of $820, comprised of $600 in
disability benefits and $120 in food stamps. (Doc. No. 2 at
1-2). His only assets are $15.50 in cash and in a checking
account. (Id. at 3). His monthly expenses total
$770, including $650 for housing and $120 for food. (Doc. No.
2 at 4-5). He does not expect any major changes to his
monthly expenses, assets, or liabilities in the next year and
he does not expect to have any expenses in conjunction with
this action. (Id. at 5). Plaintiff explains his
inability to pay the costs of these proceedings as follows:
“I don't have an money and I don't manage my
SSI benefits, my mother does.” (Doc. No. 2 at 5);
see also (Doc. No. 2 at 6). The Court is satisfied
that Plaintiff does not have sufficient funds to pay the
filing fee. The Court will, therefore, allow the motion and
permit Plaintiff to proceed in forma pauperis.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
Plaintiff is proceeding in forma pauperis, the Court
must review the Complaint to determine whether it is subject
to dismissal on the grounds that it is “frivolous or
malicious; fails to state a claim on which relief may be
granted; or seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is
immune from such relief.” 28 U.S.C. §
1915(e)(2)(B)(i)-(iii). The Court must determine whether the
Complaint raises an indisputably meritless legal theory or is
founded upon clearly baseless factual contentions, such as
fantastic or delusional scenarios. Neitzke v.
Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 327-28 (1989).
8(a)(2) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure requires
“a short and plain statement of the claim showing that
the pleader is entitled to relief.” Erickson v.
Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 93 (2007). The statement of the
claim does not require specific facts; instead, it
“need only ‘give the defendant fair notice of
what the ... claim is and the grounds upon which it
rests.' ” Id. (quoting Bell Atlantic
Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)). However,
the statement must assert more than “labels and
conclusions” or “a formulaic recitation of the
elements of a cause of action.” Twombly, 550
U.S. at 555.
pro se complaint must be construed liberally.
See Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520 (1972);
see also Smith v. Smith, 589 F.3d 736, 738
(4th Cir. 2009) (“Liberal construction of
the pleadings is particularly appropriate where …
there is a pro se complaint raising civil rights
issues.”). However, the liberal construction
requirement will not permit a district court to ignore a
clear failure to allege facts in the complaint which set
forth a claim that is cognizable under federal law.
Weller v. Dep't of Soc. Servs., 901 F.2d 387
(4th Cir. 1990).