Downs v. Indy Mac Mortgage Services, FSB et al
ORDER denying 3 Motion for Leave to Proceed in forma pauperis; denying 4 Motion for service of process at government expense, without prejudice. Plaintiff is allowed up to and including September 23, 2013 to file an amended complaint. Signed by Chief Judge David R. Herndon on 8/22/2013. (mtm)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS
INDY MAC MORTGAGE
SERVICES, FSB, et al.,
Case No. 13-cv-858-DRH-DGW
MEMORANDUM & ORDER
HERNDON, Chief Judge:
Plaintiff Downs filed a civil suit on August 19, 2013 (Doc. 2). Now before
the Court are Downs’ motions for leave to proceed in forma pauperis (Doc. 3) and
for service of process at government expense (Doc. 4). Based on the following, the
Court DENIES without prejudice these motions.
By granting a motion for pauper status, a court authorizes a lawsuit to
proceed without prepayment of fees. The Prison Litigation Reform Act (“PLRA”)
significantly changed the district court’s responsibilities in reviewing pro se
complaints and in forma pauperis motions. The Seventh Circuit has clarified that
the PLRA “changed § 1915 not only for cases brought by prisoners, but in some
respect for all indigent litigants.” Hutchinson v. Spink, 126 F.3d 895, 899 (7th
Cir. 1997). Under the PLRA, the Court must screen any indigent’s complaint
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(those filed by prisoners and non- prisoners alike) and dismiss the complaint if
(a) the allegation of poverty is untrue, (b) the action is frivolous or malicious, (c)
the action fails to state a claim upon which can be granted, or (d) the action seeks
monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. §
Upon reading Downs’ pleadings, the Court finds that she is indigent. She
signed a declaration contained in her motion documenting her poverty. However,
her complaint does not survive § 1915(e)(2) review. At this point, the Court
cannot determine whether it has subject matter jurisdiction over Downs’ claims,
whether Downs has stated claims upon which relief can be granted, or even which
defendants her separate “counts” seek relief against (as Downs lists certain
defendants, i.e. Charles Stegmeyer and Quicken Loans, Inc., in her heading
and/or “jurisdictional statement” that are not mentioned in the body of her claims
While Downs cites diversity jurisdiction, 28 U.S.C. § 1332, solely based
upon her allegations, it appears Downs, along with all defendants, are citizens of
Illinois. Further, as for her citation to federal question jurisdiction, 28 U.S.C. §
1331, the body of Downs’ complaint appears to arise from state law. While her
“constitutional right to property,” such vague allegations are not sufficient to
invoke this Court’s jurisdiction. Thus, the Court ALLOWS Downs up to and
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including September 23, 2013 to file an amended complaint detailing facts that
demonstrate this Court’s jurisdiction as well as the bases of her claims.
For the reasons discussed herein, the Court DENIES both Downs’ motion
to proceed in forma pauperis and her motion for service of process at
government expense (Docs. 3, 4). She must re-file these motions upon the filing of
her amended complaint, should she still wish to pursue in forma pauperis status.
The Court warns Downs that should she fail to file an amended complaint by
September 23, 2013, the Court shall dismiss this action for failure to prosecute.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
Signed this 22nd day of August, 2013.
David R. Herndon
United States District Court
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